Akita Neru (亞北ネルNeru Akita) is an officially recognized derivative. Her name is a play on words: Akita (亞北) is taken from "飽きた" or "get bored" while Neru (ネル) is from "寝る" or "go to bed". She has a younger brother, Nero.
The term "Derivative" is used here to describe a fanmade VOCALOID character that is based on an already existing character.
On October 14 of 2007, when the Miku movement was on the rise beyond expectations, a Japanese TV station suddenly broadcasted a program that stereotyped Miku users as "anime freaks without stable work experience". Three days later Miku's pictures became unsearchable on main search engines such as Google and Yahoo! Japan, and in the following two days, Miku's article was deleted from the Japanese Wikipedia.
This news became widespread or "flamed up (炎上した)" on 2ch bulletin boards with the rumor that an advertising agency which had a strong influence in the Japanese music industry was behind the series of "anti-Miku negative campaign" in an attempt to purge Miku and indie musicians from the music trend. Then numerous comments were posted which denied the rumor or "put off the fire (消火する)" followed by the phrases "飽きた、寝る。 (Got bored. Going to bed.)" or "寝る、お前らも寝ろよ。 (Gonna go to bed. Follow me, y'all!). Yet those comments drew nothing but negative responses from 2ch netizens. The contributors were branded as "puppets of the agency". The netizens joked about the "puppets" and made a spoof character for these posts as "Akita Neru". Later Smith Hioka, an illustrator, finalized the concept art of Neru. She came to represent the tsundere culture of VOCALOID.
Google and Yahoo! Japan announced that the search failure was a technical problem and had nothing to do with the advertising agency or the TV program. The Wikipedia page removal was the result of copyright violation, which also had no relation to the agency. Still the rumor about the "Miku-hating agency" persists within the Japanese fandom presently.
On April 1 2008, Crypton adopted Neru as an official derivative character of Miku.
In Project DIVA Neru is an available character in the PSP game, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA and again as a playable character in its sequel. Her appearance in the first Project DIVA game did not carry her "official" personality, and was as cheerful as Miku. This was corrected in Project DIVA 2nd, complete with tantrum-throwing if the player has not chosen her for a long time.
Neru officially has no defined voice, however this has not prevented users from attempting to give her one. In some cases Neru has the voice of a boyish-sounding girl, while some people have assigned her to Miku's default voice, but in a higher octave. Although people use the higher pitched voices as a representation of Neru, her voice has been portrayed in Project DIVA 2nd as being a lowered version of Miku. Another suggestion also uses Rin. This was first used in Nanamue-P's Honey Honey PV, Neru has a singing voice that better matches her aesthetics.
Rin complains about Miku being so well known and that she would like to be so well known too. When Neru offers her things she can do to bring Miku down, Rin states she is not able to do such things as she likes Miku too much. After this Neru agrees about Miku bringing joy to everyone and in the end they both say they have to try and that one day they will beat Miku.
Neru complains about the official VOCALOIDs (and Haku when she appears) and why she hates them, later revealing how she actually likes them, and that she wants to be loved by everyone as well. Later Haku appears and calls her tsundere.
Neru is regarded as a "BOUKALOID" (in Japanese, 防火ロイド or 防火LOID) - a play on words. It literally means Fireproof-loid and has the same pronunciation as VOCALOID in Japanese.
Neru's DEN2 arm marking is said to stand for an "anti-Miku advertising agency".
A common fan description is that Neru is employed in a writing agency for a rate of 700 yen per hour. The IP address of the "puppets of advertising agency" was said to belong to a writing agency company which hired part-time workers for the rate. Yet this is nothing more than another unconfirmed rumor.
She sometimes speaks in Tohoku dialect or Akita dialect. People speaking in such dialects are located in the Tohoku region. This is a reference to her family name Akita, and the prefecture's name.
Like Miku, Neru also has a futuristic ribbon in the shape of a blue circle holding her side tail in place. This does not need to physically touch Neru's hair to keep it in place. This is also one of the most difficult parts of Neru's outfit to recreate for cosplayers.
Neru's seemingly disliking otaku is a part of her Tsundere personality. Her true mind is the aspiration to otaku, and Miku.
While uninformed fans may brand Neru's contempt against otakus as harsh and cruel, there is a real-life reason to this. In Japan, otaku are real obsessive people that goes beyond norms in celebrating their admiration for a particular character, anime series, or even idol singers. Unlike overseas otaku, they have been known to go beyond extremes, and in reported cases in Japan, are capable of commuting crimes.
In Japan, otakus are typically illustrated as fat grown-up men with backpacks and an unhealthy obsession for a particular (often moe) franchise or series.
In contrast, overseas otakus simply are fans of tv shows, seiyus or anime from Japan, and are more civil in comparison.