It's pretty amazing what you can do with the internet.
First, all a UK student done was rent a domain, setup a blank page and offer some pixel space for "sale". It bagged him over US$1,000,000 with what seems to be very little effort although I'm sure the publicity the site got really helped. The whole "time capsule" idea seemed to have gone down well with people but, aren't museums themselves already a fairly good example of that? Well, good for him that it worked in the end. More than enough for his degree!
Later, I also came across a simple 4 frame Flash animation on loop entitled "Loituma Girl". It made use of a certain scene from Bleach and the Swedish song, "Ievan Polkka". It didn't take long before this tiny little piece of work spread like wild fire through the Anime communities, causing the 1995 quartet "Loituma" singers to gain a sudden boost in popularity again.
Since then, the song's had various remixes including this one created with Crypton's voice synthesis software, "Vocaloid2: Character Vocal Series" which costs around 15,000 Yen (US$130). Very cute. Actual song is really catchy too!
The mascot's name you see here is Miku Hatsune (literally meaning "First Sound of the Future") and is illustrated by Kei. Vocaloid2 really just makes use of Yamaha's "Vocaloid" voice synthesis software which allows its users to create vocal songs just by typing in lyrics and melodies. Crypton is just one of the companies that takes their software into the next step by marketing the product with characters and packaging it with a large selection of pre-recorded voice samples.
Voice synthesis isn't really anything new. If you're using Windows XP, you should be able to visit Control Panel and go to Speech to hear an example. It doesn't sound that great does it? However, in Vocaloid's case it works out pretty well due to the limited pronunciation of the Japanese language which is around 46 sounds of Kana. English on the other hand, is more difficult to reproduce with its flexible alphabet of 26 letters.
The voice you hear in this video belongs to Seiyuu (i.e. Voice actress), Saki Fujita who doesn't have much of a profile at the moment really. It seems Crypton will be releasing a new package of voice samples in December 2007 and another in 2008. In the meantime, you'll just have to stick with Saki's voice. Already there's plenty of other songs on Youtube that was created by this software including "Fly Me to the Moon" from Evangelion.
I can imagine how much money the company would be making if they managed to sign up Aya Hirano but, I doubt her manager would go with the deal. All the Aya fans could just go about mixing up their own stuff then and the profits would drop.