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?
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.
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…
In a video recently uploaded to Japan’s Niconico Douga, Hatsune Miku appears as a marionette from the Edo period. The video is a period-style tribute to videos created with MikuMikuDance, a free 3-D animation program often used in the creation of Vocaloid music videos and other fan videos. This particular clip doesn’t actually feature any synthesizers or computer animations but brings Miku to life with true Edo flair.
Though she falls a bit short in the “people-you-can-actually-touch” department, Hatsune Miku is certainly one of the most popular idols in Japan. Her appeal is, obviously, partly based on her digital singing voice, but she’s also got the cutes to capture fans’ hearts.
And, of course, where there are fans, there is cosplay!
Unfortunately, Asahi Sasaki’s makeup-based cosplay may be just a little bit too…real.
Hatsune Miku fans eager to order the “Naked Hatsune Miku Love Pillow Cover” were faced with quite an unexpected image on the product’s Amazon JP page!
(This post contains images that may not be safe for work)
Oculus Rift is surely one of the most highly anticipated devices of this gaming generation. In case you’ve somehow not heard about it, Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that is already garnering rave reviews from industry insiders and little old ladies who are more hardcore than you. What makes Oculus Rift so exciting is its high-quality dual display that uses motion detectors to dynamically show users the game world as they turn their head. Basically, it’s supposed to be a completely immersive experience. Right now, the device is still mostly limited to developers hard at work trying to take advantage of its full power, but most of the demos we’ve seen have been great. One Japanese developer decided to create an adorable mini-game staring everyone’s favorite fictional idol: Hatsune Miku.
On July 4, Japanese cell phone provider Docomo announced that it will soon release a smart phone in collaboration with Hatsune Miku. Known as the Xperia feat. HATSUNE MIKU, the device is slated for release in late September, making it the first ever collaboration between Hatsune Miku and Sony’s Xperia brand, a name some of our readers might remember, after the company unveiled its mammoth Xperia Z Ultra. This new piece is mainly a nod to Miku’s many fans, but all of the special features and promotions are sure to satisfy anyone with even a passing interest.
Each of Japan’s seasons has its own unique charm. Whether it’s the cherry blossoms of spring, fireworks on the beach in midsummer, crimson maple leaves in the fall, or a hot spring surrounded by winter snow, there’s something to enjoy at almost any point of the calendar.
The glaring exception, though, is the few weeks of rainy season during June, when the constant threat of sudden squalls make the weather report about as reliable as a third-rate palm reader. You’re pretty much guaranteed of getting caught in a shower at some point, and if you’re not lucky enough to be around a 100 yen shop at the time, you’re stuck ducking into a convenience store and paying a premium for a clear plastic umbrella you’ll probably throw away as soon as you get home and can swap it for your sturdier regular one.
Thankfully, convenience store chain Family Mart has a new product to take some of the sting out of that situation.
Hatsune Miku, the virtual pop singer, has been selling out entire theatres for her most recent performance in The End, the world’s first (and possibly only) vocaloid opera. As would be expected from an opera that replaces humans with digital singers, The End is full of surprises. But the most surprising of all is their choice of Marc Jacobs as digital wardrobe designer. Miku’s new outfit was recently revealed at the premiere of The End in Shibuya.
Hatsune Miku Project mirai 2 for the 3DS is expected to be released in Japan this fall. The latest rhythm game is the predictably-named sequel to the Hatsune Miku Project mirai, featuring the rest of the Vocaloid Crew alongside the ever-popular Miku-chan. The game promises to be fun for both casual and serious players alike, and who can resist those super-cute Nendoroid character designs? Check them out at the official site.
Exciting news for both Vocaloid fans and doll collectors – the first details of a collaboration between Japan’s version of Barbie, Rika-chan, and otaku idol Hatsune Miku have been leaked online. Read More
If you have an eye for detail, you might just recognize the place in the image above. It’s an awesome rendering of Tokyo’s Akihabara. And it’s from the skilled hand of a former quantum physics researcher turned picture jockey.
John Hathway (pseudonym), the Japanese artist who created the picture, is known as a picture jockey (PJ) because he builds images the same way a disc jockey mixes tracks; by improvising with new patterns and arrangements and blending backgrounds to create totally unique and exciting works of art.
Now he’s teamed up with Tokyo Otaku Mode, a popular site for all things otaku, to celebrate their 10 million-plus likes on Facebook. They thanked fans in a unique way, with the release of this gorgeous image, and a rare picture jockey performance.
Ever since Japan started its whole Cool Japan kick, it’s been pushing manga and anime to a world-wide audience like never before. Near the forefront of it all is the software program turned pop icon, Vocaloid, with Hatsune Miku stealing most of the spotlight. Just last week, more than 20 real-life Mikus gathered together at a park in Kaohsiung, Taiwan! It was a truly magnificent spectacle, perhaps the highlight of our year thus far. Read More
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