Saya looks like a typical Japanese high school girl, except she's not one. She was born straight out of a computer, created by a mother and father who make their living as freelance 3-D CGI artists and who have high hopes for their beautiful daughter to one day become a movie star.

When just looking at her photos, it's almost impossible to tell that Saya is a computer-generated 3-D image. She looks like a real, breathing human being. Apparently, I'm not the only one who has this impression because netizens seem to be just as blown away as I was. Unsurprisingly, she already has quite the following in Japan, but according to her parents Teruyuki and Yuka Ishikawa, she's still a work in progress. To her creators, there are certain parts of her that need improvement, especially her skin texture and hair, which they're currently working on. And since she's eventually going to star in a movie, Saya does have to start moving just like a human being, which is probably a lot more difficult for her than just looking like one. For this movie, Saya's creators announced that they're working on another character, and new Saya fans already seem pretty excited.

Besides impressing me, looking at Saya makes me wonder about what 3-D computer-generated images are going to look like in the future, in my lifetime and beyond. It may not be too long before we really won't be able to tell the difference between who's real and who's not. 


Watch SHINee’s Minho as a young man with hidden feelings for his best friend in Because It’s the First Time, a short series about life and love in the prime of youth: