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Japan Trends

Virtual idols win legions of real-world fans in Japan

Technology brings anime fantasies to life for devotees of J-pop

TOKYO -- Animated pop idols are stepping off the screen and into the real world. With a bit of technological sleight of hand, they can perform live on stage -- singing, dancing and engaging with audiences in live performances like actual people. This blurring of the lines between the screen and real life has anime fans going crazy.

In late November, a 19-year-old university student in Tokyo, attended one such live event. She was there to see Egoist, a virtual pop group from the "Guilty Crown" anime series. The sole performer was lead singer Inori Yuzuriha, the anime's main character, projected onstage in 3-D.

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