Vocaloid in essence is vocal synthesiser software – which doesn’t sound like a very new or revolutionary idea – but j-pop producers have given animated faces & characters to the artists they’ve employed to sing into their software manifestations - and in turn created a whole industry out of it!
If you’re just starting to get into j-pop & anime, here are some examples of popular Vocaloid artists:
Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) is a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesiser application developed by Crypton Future Media. Hatsune’s voice is sampled from Japanese voice actress, Saki Fujita. She has performed at concerts as an animated projection (a 16-year-old girl with long turquoise pigtails).
Megurine Luka or just “Luka” is a vocailoid developed by Crypton Future Media Inc. as part of their character series. Her voice is provided by the Japanese female voice actress, Yū Asakawa (浅川 悠 / Asakawa Yū), who was recorded in Japanese and English for the voice bank.
GUMI (グミ) is a Japanese vocaloid developed and distributed by Internet Co. Ltd. Her voice is provided by Filipino-Japanese female singer, Megumi Nakajima (中島 愛; Nakajima Megumi).
Vocaloid music dance unit DANCEROID
Danceroid is a Japanese female net idol dance group affiliated with Beautiful Group talent agency. They release DVD’s rather than CD’s as they are primarily a dance act that dance & mime to vocaloid. So they are essentially, human versions of anime characters based on software engineered voices… ok my head hurts.
Kamui Gackpo (神威がくぽ) is a Japanese VOCALOID developed and distributed by Internet Co., Ltd. His voice is provided by Japanese male singer, GACKT.
There's more artists than appear in this list so let us know your favourite!