There’s a long backstory to this figure inspired by virtual idol Hatsune Miku, but here’s the condensed version: She’s got no pants, or underwear, for that matter.
The world’s biggest virtual idol is returning to the U.S. on a new concert tour, and also making her Canadian performance debut.
Vocaloid music still isn’t exactly what you’d call mainstream in Japan, but the genre of virtual idols has made considerable strides in popularity over the last couple of years. Just last month, Vocaloid Hatsune Miku appeared on perpetually popular TV program Music Station, a feat that’s considered a feather in the cap of any performer.
Now, Japan’s most popular virtual vocalist has teamed up with one of its most popular human ones, as Hatsune Miku and J-pop recording legend Namie Amuro have collaborated on a new song and music video.
Nintendo fans have been hard at work these past few weeks churning out all kinds of creative levels in Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. Even if you don’t have a copy of the game yourself, if you’re a fan of Mario you’ve no doubt had fun watching videos showcasing the mad-cap levels people have come up with and the rages of gamers trying to beat the hardest courses.
The level we’re showcasing today, however, focuses on not what an insanely tricky course looks like, but what you can do with music in the game by bringing Vocaloid into the Mario world.
What was the last really creative music video you remember seeing? While watching artists sing, dance, and play their instruments never seems to get old, it’s nice to see something more unique once in a while.
Enter Sasanomaly and his new video for his cover of Hatsune Miku‘s “Synesthesia Ghost.” Not only is it a fresh idea, it’s very cool, kind of creepy and involves art students from Prague!
We all knew it was eventually going to happen.
As Hatsune Miku’s popularity grew – eventually landing her a much-lauded place on David Letterman, where her appearance was met with widespread confusion and much self-conscious head bobbing – we were all essentially certain that one day, like all other holographic semi-celebrities, our much beloved Hatsune would one day be immortalized in the form of a transforming donkey.
What defines an anime character? Digital idol Hatsune Miku’s most distinctive features are her long, turquoise blue pigtails – or twintails as they’re known in Japan.
But take those away and is she still Hatsune Miku?
The flight attendants of Japan Airlines (JAL) put on their best idol costumes to dance to Hatsune Miku’s “39” (San-kyuu, or ‘Thank You’) song to promote the company’s participation at the Niconico Chokaigi 2015 event this month.
The video shows the dancers in various spots within the JAL Sky Museum in Tokyo. In the background you can see how the attendant’s uniforms have changed throughout time.
No matter where you are in the world, the end of the year is always fun because you get to look back on the last 12 months and reflect on the different trends, hits and big stories. Joysound, a company that is bringing karaoke and social media together, is doing just that, and recently released a list of the top 20 karaoke songs of 2014 divided by age, from teens to 60-year-olds.
For the older age groups the rankings are pretty similar, with tracks like Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s opening theme song, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” being a particular favorite, and Frozen’s “Let It Go” managing to sneak into every single group’s list of most-sung tracks. The biggest anomaly, however, was the teen group, with 11 of their top 20 songs being vocaloid tracks, and the remaining nine from anime.
Hatsune Miku made her American TV debut on Wednesday night, performing on none other than the Late Show with David Letterman. Miku, of course, is a vocaloid, a super-famous Japanese idol who just happens to be virtual. The turquoise-haired star surprised viewers by performing an English song, “Sharing the World”.
Mr. Letterman, meanwhile, looked a little nonplussed.
The use of vocaloids, artificial singers programmed on a computer, has created its own niche in online art. Thousands share their individually crafted songs using one of the dozens of synthetic voices available posting them to sites such as Niconico for the fun and entertainment of all.
Their popularity has risen to the point of vocaloids getting adopted by highly acclaimed musicians and artists. The figurehead of vocaloids, Hatsune Miku, has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Lady Gaga, the Japanese Self Defense Force’s Central Band, Pharrell Williams, and Isao Tomita to name a few.
This time, however, artificial performers of the present will be merged with artificial performers of the past in Vocaloid Opera AOI with Bunraku Puppets. I love it when a name perfectly explains what something is so I don’t have to, so let’s get right to looking at trailer for this human-free opera.
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”).
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.
Music class can be pretty hit or miss. Some people really enjoy it and find a life-long passion–other fumble hopelessly with the drumsticks and just wish it were time to start math class. Either way, we all had to sit through it, right?
But as important as learning an instrument may be, it kind of seems like music class is still stuck in the 20th century–or even the 19th century. After all, the music industry today relies as much on Pro Tools as it does on an expert bass player. So while we’ll always need skilled musicians, it does seem prudent to introduce the more technologically advanced aspects of music to the classroom, doesn’t it?
Well, one Japanese school did just that by offering a vocaloid composition trial lesson to their curriculum!
Last month, we posted an article capturing the changes in anime art style over time. These adjustments in overall style can come on so slowly, but when laid out side-by-side, they become so blatantly apparent, it’s amazing that such a large breadth of drawing styles could all come under the umbrella of Japanese anime. It would seem that with every passing decade there comes an attraction to a different art style.
In the special interest magazine, Febri volume 19, there is an interesting report called Portrait of a Modern Otaku, which classifies these trends in popular Japanese anime according to “generations,” starting with Space Battleship Yamato and all of its fans falling into generation one. Generation two is represented by Gundam, while fans born of Evangelion and erotic dating simulators belong to generation three. Today’s twenty-somethings likely identify with the fourth generation of fans frontlined by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And finally, the youngest bunch, teenagers and below are classified together with none other than Kagerou Project.
But wait. How could it be that an offshoot of Vocaloid, the computer voice simulator, is the poster child for this most recent generation of otaku? The development of Vocaloid fandom itself, holds the answers.
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!
Up until now, lonely otaku wishing to tuck in with their favorite anime character had to rely on the cotton-blend comfort of their beloved dakimakura, aka “love pillows.” I’m sure it’s nice to wrap around the 2-D image of one’s imaginary lover, but it must be a bit of a letdown considering that a pillow only satisfies two of the major senses: sight and touch. Just think how far these fan’s crazy fantasies could carry them if sound and scent also came into play.
Well, Vocaloid fans rejoice, because a member of Nico Nico Douga’s engineering department has put together an application which allows the user to not only see and interact with a 3-D virtual model of Hatsune Miku in her bed, they can also hear, touch, and even smell her! Talk about dreams come true!
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.