Hatsune Miku has been known for helping blaze the trail to the future for quite some time now. From her futuristic look, to her function as a vocal synchronization software, Miku has inspired AR apps, 3D hologram concerts, and more. Now it seems that this digital pop-star has inspired her fans to take that extra step into making tomorrow come today. Using Hatsune Miku as a muse, one Niconico Douga user has invented a unique new musical instrument, simply known as Ano Gakki (“That Musical Instrument”).
- Master Blaster
Aug 25, 2014
As the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift inches closer to its commercial release, virtual girlfriend technology in Japan has been make huge strides. Japanese developers have already found ways to sleep next to Hatsune Miku, sleep with Hatsune Miku, and even be Hatsune Miku. With those essential milestones out of the way, it was time to focus on the more subtle things.
One guy by the name of Negipoyoshi has created a more tranquil Hatsune Miku experience by designing a simulated drink sharing application that allows you to sit with the blue-haired vocaloid on a sunny patio by the sea as you share a single drink with two straws.
- Casey Baseel
Aug 16, 2014
This summer, Nagoya once again served as the host city of the World Cosplay Summit. With anime fans arriving from all over, some of them came by car, and you know what that means: itasha, automobiles covered with anime graphics.
Held concurrently with the costuming competition was an itasha exhibition, and we strolled by to check out the rides adorned with their drivers’ favorite 2-D heroines.
- Master Blaster
Jul 16, 2014
You might say that the last great life-changing technological achievement was the development of portable devices like smartphones and tablets. However, it’s been a few years now and nothing truly new has come down the pike aside from making other everyday things “smart” like glasses or a watch.
Just in time, we now have a new device that may change the very fabric of society. It’s a vending machine that lifts up the skirt of a Hatsune Miku plush toy. It may not sound important right now, but that’s how these game-changers work. In a few years’ time all of our lives will revolve around this invention, so let’s take a moment to see how it works.
Niconico user おかっち took it one step further by using the Miku Miku Dance animation program to recreate the “Let It Go” video with Hatsune Miku in place of Elsa. From start the finish, the process took 43 days.
- Cara Clegg
Jul 10, 2014
Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly come out with any more Hatsune Miku merch…someone finds a way to get the teal-haired songstress’ face on yet another new product!
There’s a unique challenge for anime professionals working on a franchise with as long a history as Gundam, which aired its first episode 35 years ago. Since each new series does away with the war mechs of its predecessors, designers are always under pressure to come up with giant robots that look more powerful, technologically advanced, and, in the case of the villains’ machines, sinister than what fans have seen before.
With Gundam Unicorn’s NZ-999 Neo Zeong, piloted by baffling-named antagonist (and Toyota owner) Full Frontal, we think the animators did a pretty good job. From its sharp, angular lines, blood-red paint job, and the crevices in the sheet metal produce murky shadows, the mobile armor appears immediately menacing and dangerous.
Unless that is, you remove the head unit and replace it with a cute anime girl or kitty cat.
All-around music guru Pharrell Williams can’t possibly get any “happier” as he continues to ride the waves of last year’s worldwide hit “Happy” into Japan. He released a special Japan-version music video for the song on May 13, and even appeared as a special guest on May 16th’s episode of popular Japanese music variety show Music Station, where he performed in front of an ecstatic Japanese crowd. And the fun doesn’t stop there, because he has yet another treat for his Japanese fans–a collaboration with everyone’s favorite Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku!
Miku, who made a splash for herself last month when it was announced that the virtual idol will be performing as the opening act for part of Lady Gaga’s upcoming world tour, stars alongside Williams in the music video for a remixed version of a Livetune song. The original song serves as the theme song for prolific Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s directorial debut film. Just wait until you see the adorable avatar version of Williams dancing alongside Miku in the video!
- Casey Baseel
May 14, 2014
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine gave me an umbrella with a handle that looks like the hilt of a katana. It’s actually really well-made, while I’ve never had to use the crosspiece to protect my hand from rival swordsmen’s strikes, it does provide a nice bit of extra grip during typhoons and lesser storms with gale-force winds.
There is one problem, though. When it’s closed up, and all you can see is the handle, it looks a little too much like a samurai blade, and I feel a little self-conscious carrying it in public. So maybe it’s time I switched to something a no less unique but a whole lot more innocuous: like an umbrella shaped like a giant Welsh onion.
An enterprising engineer has tinkered with the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted virtual reality device, to make it possible to kiss Hatsune Miku… or at least, a CGI version of her. By attaching infrared sensors to each side of the device, the engineer made it possible to communicate with the Wii remote’s infrared sensor bar. Four infrared lights attached to each corner of the device track your head movements. Two servomoters beneath the device let Miku’s face move in tandem with yours. And as for her lips… those are approximated by a gummy replica between the motors.
- Master Blaster
Apr 21, 2014
There are a number of active bands in Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), but at the top of them is the Central Band. In existence longer the GSDF itself, they are the go-to band in situations where it’s unacceptable to screw up, such as welcoming foreign dignitaries and ceremonies of the highest order.
Then there’s “Senbonzakura”. This song was produced by WhiteFlame (aka Kurousa-P) and utilizes the artificial vocal talents of vocaloid Hatsune Miku. After its upload to video hosting site Niconico Douga in 2011, it became a modern classic of the vocaloid genre spawning several remixes and covers online and in karaoke rooms.
So what happens when the rigid discipline and tradition of the GSDF Central Band meets the wild pop of Senbonzakura? Let’s take a listen!
With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.
Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.
If any Hatsune Miku fans find themselves in China’s Guangxi Province, they might want to stop by the city of Yulin for an unexpected surprise, because it’s in this city that the Vocaloid singing sensation has gotten a fast food restaurant dedicated to her, though likely not in any official capacity.
Heads up, Vocaloid fans, the fifth entry in the “DIVA” rhythm music game series is heading to Sony’s sexy portable. More info and in-game footage after the jump.
Yamaha Corporation, creator of audio equipment, instruments, and synthesizers including the immensely popular voice synthesizer series known as Vocaloid, announced yesterday that it is developing an automated song generator called VOCALODUCER, which will automatically compose a song, given lyrics and a few basic parameters. It sounds like pretty soon anyone can be a Vocaloid song producer in no time!
While vocaloids like Hatsune Miku are still relatively unknown in the West, they have quite the following in Japan and can be found taking part in everything from live concerts to limited edition smartphones. Though some may worry that the digital singers mean the end of “human” music, so far that’s hardly been the case. In fact, it’s nothing strange to find regular bands performing cover songs of vocaloid originals!
One band has taken the concept a step further by introducing some unique, traditional elements and are garnering quite a bit of attention among Japanese Internet users. Meet the Wagakki Band with Yuko Suzuhana and get ready to rock!
On 29 September, the Third Maebashi Mt. Akagi Hill Climb was held in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture. It’s a grueling 20.8km (12.9mi) bicycle course climbing Mt. Akagi for a vertical difference of 1.3km (0.8mi) from start to finish.
This year 2,811 people participated and the fastest time was set by Kenichi Miyamoto, completing the course in an impressive 56 minutes and 23 seconds. However, the attention of many locals was grabbed by a rider bearing an uncanny resemblance to the virtual songstress Hatsune Miku. So just who was this turquoise-locked ita-bike rider?
- Casey Baseel
Sep 13, 2013
Given the massive popularity of virtual idol Hatsune Miku, it’s easy to forget that she really hasn’t been around that long. The singing computer construct only recently celebrated her sixth birthday, which inspired one fan to whip up a Miku-themed cake.
This is far from the first time we’ve come across food that’s supposed to resemble the aqua-tressed songstress, and we’ve previously reported on Miku meat buns and even Miku bento. This just might be the most detailed recreation we’ve seen of the Vocaloid in edible form yet, though.
- Master Blaster
Sep 6, 2013
This year marks the 80th anniversary of Kenji Miyazawa’s Death, and as a tribute to the celebrated writer a revival of the Ihatov Symphony was performed in his hometown of Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on 29 August. The symphony was composed by Isao Tomita, a true originator of electronic music in Japan and features Hatsune Miku the iconic vocaloid who embodies the trail blazed by Tomita decades ago.
It really warms your heart to see more Japanese celebrities show their support for cosplay. It’s one of the flashier hobbies that anime fans can boast and is getting more popular by the day. Cosplay websites abound with fashion tips and suggestions for various costumes styles, poses, and makeup options for just about every conceivable costume on the market.
But AKB48 star, Haruka Shimazaki, might want to do a bit of rethinking before offering up her own anime makeup (AniMake for short) suggestions, as her most recent attempts caused a despairing cry to ring out from among her adoring fans…
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China1
- New tax exemption system for foreign visitors to Japan starts today!2
- We try Riedel’s glass which unleashes the true flavor potential of Coca Cola3
- Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan4
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea5
- To handwrite, or not to handwrite? Recruiter lays into ‘laziness’ of young Japanese job hunters6
- The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】7
- Expat’s video “Our Japan” beautifully captures why we love it here8
- Shonen Jump surprises readers with literal booby traps in new online manga service9
- The top 10 instances when Japanese people feel thankful to be Japanese10
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money3
- Japanese women reveal their methods of raising a guy’s bedroom technique4
- Japanese illustrated cookbook teaches you how to cook “mother and daughter”【Photos】5
- The ugly truth of goukon, Japan’s group blind dates6
- Chinese cadet is beautiful enough to make you want to join the army7
- Tokyo ice cream stand’s colossal eight-flavor cones might be the biggest we’ve ever seen8
- Miranda Kerr’s newest photoshoot for Vogue Japan stirs up controversy9
- Big in Japan, not so much in the U.S. – Fangirl furious over Arashi concert ticket price gap10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Lifehack: Transform a Starbucks paper bag into a fully functional wallet!5
- Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years6
- Japanese actor’s unfortunate choice of t-shirt has net users amused, doubting his English ability7
- You’re in for a big surprise if you fall for this bikini wearing DJ’s sexy poster!【Photos】8
- Chibatman called in by police, receives their official approval9
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!3
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls4
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later5
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons6
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady9
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】10
- To handwrite, or not to handwrite? Recruiter lays into ‘laziness’ of young Japanese job hunters
- The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】
- Expat’s video “Our Japan” beautifully captures why we love it here
- Shonen Jump surprises readers with literal booby traps in new online manga service
- The top 10 instances when Japanese people feel thankful to be Japanese
- Soup not soap: Japanese public bathhouses surviving by converting into retro-chic cafés
- Three reasons to sleep with a huggy pillow (that have nothing to do with an anime crush)
- Is your grandpa bad-ass enough for these epic, blade-concealing walking sticks?
- Of course Japan wants you to use the Oculus Rift to look up girls’ skirts
- Strawberry and beef? We try Lotteria’s new Tochigi Wagyu Steak Hamburger with Strawberry Sauce
- Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results
- What your favorite sushi says about your income