But have you guys noticed... there is a ton of blonde Vocaloids these days! In fact, there's more blonde Vocaloids now than any other hair color. Take a look:
2. Sweet Ann
3. Rin Kagamine
4. Len Kagamine
9. Galaco (Well... original anyway, Pre-NEO)
11. ZOLA Project Yuu
12. ZOLA Project Kyo
13. Yan He
17. CYBER DIVA
This is an incredible list. Of all the other hair colors, Blonde is the only dominant one. Even the number of green and brown haired Vocaloids can't even touch this list. What's more? Fans have been trying for years to make LEON and LOLA look like Lily and Adult Len!
But more shocking is Sweet Ann, whose box art design is based on Black actress Lena Horne, and yet Ann too, appears fair skinned with Blonde hair and blue eyes. Her international re-release has her with a more "anime" look, but the origins are no less shocking, especially when you add the fact that they made it look on the box like Sweet Ann is a Frankenstein, singing to you from the depths of Hell itself. Just look at the background! This borders on racist and disrespectful, as the art came out exactly one day before the birthday of Lena Horne. Lena was born June 30th, while Ann was originally released June 29th. (Lena was still alive when Ann was released in Japan in 2007, but passed away a year and four months before Ann's "animealike" re-release. Lena Horne died in May of 2010, Ann's second release was in September of 2011 in Taiwan.) Ann was the third ever Female Engloid (English speaking Vocaloid) and has a deeper voice than most Vocaloids, as heard here. Some have compared her singing style to Lena Horne, saying this tune may have been what they were aiming for, when tuning Sweet Ann's womanly voice.
The picture of Lena Horne and Sweet Ann comes from here, you can tell the problem right away.
So what makes Blonde so attractive, as to give us so many yellow haired Vocaloids?
Well for starters, the image of the Blonde beauty (or cutie) with blue or green eyes, has always been a sure-fire way to grab attention overseas.
Take a look at the most popular anime titles over the last 25 years. Dragonball Z didn't really secure a strong United States TV deal, until after main character Goku reached the first Super Sayajin stage, in which he earns Blonde hair and green eyes. Until this part of the anime made air in Japan, Dragonball (the earlier series from the 1980's) barely had a TV deal, with a few episodes half-done by Harmony Gold. Sure, Dragonball featured Lunch, but she only appears Blonde with green eyes in a few scenes. But after a strong merchandise line appeared with Goku as a Super Sayajin, suddenly, Saban, Ocean and Funimation were fighting over who would get the rest of the show. And since the original 1989-1995 Z anime added more Super Sayajins ~ all blondes ~ the show has made it's way into a large number of countries, with new manga, merchandise, movies and more, STILL being made.
Sailor Moon originally had pink hair, but publisher Kodansha and anime company Toei Animation pushed for the character to have her hair re-painted yellow. The result? International deals. By 1994, Toonmakers and DiC were fighting for the right to bring the show over, and by 1995, not only was the show competing on syndication against American animated Blonde bombshells like Sky Dancers and Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, it also had a small, but potent toy line, with the now-Blonde protagonist front and center. The prequel manga series Codename Sailor V debuted in the US in 2011 to rave reviews, while the original Sailor Moon manga was also reprinted that year. The first Volume, 5th, 7th, 12 and final Short Stories volumes, each had on the cover Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus, Sailor Uranus, Princess Serenity and finally, a happily-married Usagi. All Blonde.
Naruto is another series, based around a Blonde character, while not to be outdone, Digimon Frontier brought the ailing Virtual-Fighting-Pet based series a second chance at popularity, shortly after debuting with a very Blonde Izumi/Zoe. Before hand, the first Digimon anime saw a jump in the ratings, after Gatomon/Tailmon Digivolved into the scantly clad and very Blonde Angewomon. Angemon was also featured in higher rated episodes, along with his Digivolution, MagnaAngemon.
Now not all popular series have Blonde characters as the star, or even as a popular character. But many of the ones boasting a large toy line do. Marketers know this, and are eager to capitalize on this, by asking the creators of their best shows to make a few, Blonde characters. The theory they use is that Western/American audiences will typically spend more money, if the product looks less Japanese and more Aryan. If you look at America's top doll lines, (G.I. Joe, Barbie, Bratz, Moxie) it isn't hard to find a Blonde character, as the main stars are usually just that.
Another theory has more to do with science. Peter Frost, an anthropologist at Laval University in Quebec City once wrote that during the caveman era, Blonde was a rare hair color. This made cavewomen with Blonde hair more appealing, because it was different. It was rare, and anything "shiny and new" to a caveman would make the mate he was after more appealing than the usual red and brown stock. This was less the case in Nordic countries, where Blondes were the norm.
Other scientists however believe it's more complicated than that. Blonde is subconsciously a color we associate with youth. It's a color more commonly found in babies and in small children, and for those who will one day outgrow Blonde locks, the color is more likely to stay in young girls, rather than in boys. In a nutshell, it's a symbol of youth, and it makes the subconscious mind associate that youth with procreation. The longer someone stays youthful, the better the offspring will be. AND THERE IS NO NON-CREEPY WAY TO TYPE THIS, FOLKS!!! Many people, specifically older men, associate the blonde hair with being young and having strong babies with... um.. the youth. EW!!!
This creepypasta revelation explains why so many times, we see Blondes being used in *AHEM* adult material. It also explains why there are so many videos of Rin and Len, where they are put into adult situations. (Again, creepy.) But the makers of Vocaloid already know all of this it seems, and have done a fair job of making sure there are enough Blondes to go around.
Does this mean we should hate them? No, absolutely not. Even though it's monotonous to see so many yellow-haired Vocaloids, each one does have a different story, image and background, and when you're looking at that, and listening to the different sounds, you get to see how much they balance out the rest of the cast, and provide stronger vocals in duets, and different story ideas.
But it is easy to see them also as a "cop-out" overall. If can feel at times like when they run out of ideas, they go with the tried-and-true Aryan image, to remind the Western world that there are more characters than just Miku, and to cater to the fanbase that keeps paying for these Blondes.
Let's face facts, if people weren't buying Blonde Vocaloids, the list would have stopped with either Lily or Oliver, as SeeU has been accused of being a "Mikualike". But then, that also works in her favor. For those who are intimidated by the anime-heavy Miku, here's a softer, Korean clone called SeeU. This is the insult hurled at SeeU constantly, even by fans of hers, and yet, those same detractors still go out of their way to buy her songs, so she can't really be dismissed as a Korean Mikualike so suddenly.
People ARE buying Blonde Vocaloids, everything from the DVD-ROMs to posters and keychains. Is it a shameless cop-out? Maybe, but it works.
Maika, Bruno and Clara cater to the Spanish speaking market, but Maika maintains her strong, anime image. Luo is just one of many new Chinese Vocaloids, however these voicebanks belong to very sturdy, Anime-looking creatures. But Vocaloids more aimed at Western audiences usually are featured as Blondes, as the theory here is that this is the only thing we want, Blonde and young. More ethnic characters like LEON, LOLA and ZOLA Project WIL typically go forgotten, as do "older" characters like Big Al, MEW, GUMI and Kiyoteru, are often times left in the background, despite large ad campaigns, like the one last year for GUMI/Megpoid. MEiKO (at age 25) is used less as an attractive woman, and more as "Ewwww.. someone MOM" simply because she isn't a teenager, nor Blonde. But anime-alike Miku at age 16, and the Blonde 14 year olds Rin and Len, are more often seen in videos, used as sensual creatures, with completely adult Gakupo and KAITO lurking beside them, ready to pounce. Vocaloid here, have plenty of perverts for fans, and while the people behind it are repulsed by such a negative image, these perverts pay BIG, and like any good business, they cater to who pays.
So if young, Blonde Vocaloids are in, it's not really their fault if they deliver, right? What can we do?
We can vote with our wallets for one. Buy more merchandise of the other Vocaloids, and let our voices be heard on the official Vocaloid Facebook, NOT to chastise them, but to praise them for the Vocaloids we DO like better. Or, we can also simply enjoy these Blonde Vocaloids. They do offer something for everyone, and they are just as charming to many (non-perv-creepy) fans as the others do.
The choice is up to you, and at this point, there isn't a wrong answer.
EDIT: This article will continue to be updated as more blonde Vocaloids see release. As of February, 2015, the number now goes to 17 with the addition of Engloid CYBER DIVA, said to be the first truthfully based on an American accent...... because Big Al didn't happen, right? <_<