Hatsune Miku Still On My Mind

Hatsune Miku Still On My Mind

Over Thanksgiving, somehow conversation in the workplace turned to the recent piece I wrote about HATSUNE Miku, the personification from the Vocaloid music software in Japan.  Now so you understand, none of my colleagues are anime fans in the least so it was interesting watching through their eyes as Miku sings to a sold out audience who went as nuts for her as folks might for any concert singer.  The comments ranged from the technical niftyness of the animation and timing with the live band to the creepiness of Miku’s life-like, somewhat sexual movements and the way the crowd reacted and sang out to her.

As they chatted, I decided that since my Japanese isn’t good enough to know everything Miku sings about, I needed to get an English translation.  Even better would be to get one to go with the original “World is Mine” song from Miku’s album, Hatsune Miku Best: Memories.

 

 

After we all watched the translated version (thanks to Rena for those BTW, assuming my replacement video from the move to WordPress is the same one I had in Blogspot), suddenly, the live concert and the otaku reaction made more sense (to me at least).

 

 

Nevertheless, I can’t help find this reaction even more “out there” because in my mind, I’m thinking, “How many of these guys believe they love Miku and that she possibly loves them as well?”  After all, Miku isn’t a normal, female singer nor is she an idol (though maybe that definition changes as well).  There are literally thousands of images dedicated to Miku alone ranging from cute and sweet to nasty and pornographic.  So in a very real sense, she’s like an anime character come to “life.”

In the end, I suppose it really doesn’t matter.  I’m not sure why this even is on my mind, but there you go.

While thinking about the “World is Mine” song, I’m stunned that it became so popular.  The original song sounds more like electronic noise at times with MIDI overtones (at least on my nice headphones).  Had I heard this version first, I wouldn’t have been that impressed.  However, the live version with a real band has a nice, rich sound to it and I rather enjoy it.  Those of you who are of a mind to, I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on the two song versions.

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19 Responses to “Hatsune Miku Still On My Mind”

  1. lelangir says:

    Yeah I think ryo’s original supercell album was all synthesized instruments. Sony remastered it with live instruments (except they kept the synthesized drums) and then there are awesome live versions like this.

    Pretty crazy how popular it is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    (no offense to the translator but that’s not the most accurate translation…)

    Miku is… a little hard to explain. I’m going to paraphrase another blog post I read recently, but one of the major factors in her popularity (and that of the other Vocaloids) is that she’s really an “idol for everyone.” Anybody can contribute. Any amateur musician can pick up a copy of the Vocaloid software and produce something with it. Anyone can draw fanart (Crypton technically owns the copyrights for the designs but they’re pretty liberal with letting fans use them anyway). There’s infinite possibilities and literally thousands of Vocaloid songs out there. It’s a self-perpetuating community-driven fad with something for everyone; and if there isn’t something for you yet, you can just create it.

    Of course there will always be people who dream of 2-D waifu but I don’t think that’s the main reason Miku et al. are popular.

  3. Ultimaniac says:

    The thing you gotta understand about Miku and the rest of the vocaloids is that they are whatever you want them to be, they don’t have any set personality. That’s why everyone loves them so much. You can’t judge any of them off of just one song.

  4. arimareiji says:

    Just a random thought – if you’re not familiar with Megatokyo already, Tohya Miho provides a really interesting spin on the idea of virtual idols, and fans creating their own reality that can bring them to life.

    But in the interest of full disclosure, I should warn you that comics (pages, not chapters) are still only coming out at the rate of 2-4 a month.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hatsune Miku is the virtual diva in japan and is getting to be recognized all over the internet. There are many MV of vocaloids like the one you have there are other vocaloid version of it as well. Like Len kagamine’s world is mine version. Even in the usa , vocaloids are popular. BTW Miku is going to be released in the usa soon.

  6. MikuLover says:

    “How many of these guys believe they love Miku and that she possibly loves them as well?”

    No offense ANB, but since you’re an otaku yourself, and a pretty hard-core one as it seems to me, maybe you should think twice before you start questioning the sanity of other otaku who express their fandom differently. I’d love to go to a Miku concert like that and this has nothing to do with being delusional, it’s like the first Anonymous said. For crying out loud, if we can be passionate, cosplay, and write tons of fanfics about anime and manga characters, what’s so wrong about being into a virtual idol? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t show up for a live virtual show with Negima characters if you could.

  7. retaliation says:

    so i understand this is not from an anime? she is just an icon for some music maker?

  8. Lan says:

    wait, what? you claim that this vocaloid thingy doesnt invlove idols, but someone must have sung that song before the vocaloid effects were put over the top of it, right?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The interesting thing about Miku is that she has a surprising amount of crossover appeal. Sony was figuring that supercell was going to sell only about 10% to the female fanbase.

    The buyers of the album were half female.

    It really is NOT just the body pillow marrying set who are buying these albums.

  10. Ultimaniac says:

    @Lan

    No, the song is made completely off of the vocaloid program, the voice is completely digital. Sure the voice files are based off of real voices but that’s as far as it goes.

  11. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Ielangir — I’ll have to do a look-see for that remastered version.

    Anonymous said…

    (no offense to the translator but that’s not the most accurate translation…)

    I saw one other translation, but it read rather poorly which is why I went with this one. ^_^;

    Of course there will always be people who dream of 2-D waifu but I don’t think that’s the main reason Miku et al. are popular.

    Interesting. Thanks for the thoughts. ^_^

    Ultimaniac said…

    The thing you gotta understand about Miku and the rest of the vocaloids is that they are whatever you want them to be, they don’t have any set personality. That’s why everyone loves them so much. You can’t judge any of them off of just one song.

    Customizable then. Hmmmm.

    As to judging them off one song, I just used “World is Mine” because it was my favorite song off the concert Blu-ray.

    @arimareiji — Believe it or not, when my comic strip site was my only focus, Fred submitted Megatokyo for inclusion into “the collective” (as I used to call it) to help promote the strip (it was a traditional comic strip back then). I wasn’t into manga or anime back then, so it didn’t really hold my interest even though it was well drawn. It did make me plan a trip to Japan, but that sadly fell apart along with the company I worked for at the time. ^_^;;;

  12. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Anonymous said…

    BTW Miku is going to be released in the usa soon.

    I read something about that. I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

    MikuLover said…

    No offense ANB, but since you’re an otaku yourself, and a pretty hard-core one as it seems to me, maybe you should think twice before you start questioning the sanity of other otaku who express their fandom differently. I’d love to go to a Miku concert like that and this has nothing to do with being delusional, it’s like the first Anonymous said. For crying out loud, if we can be passionate, cosplay, and write tons of fanfics about anime and manga characters, what’s so wrong about being into a virtual idol? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t show up for a live virtual show with Negima characters if you could.

    Um, I rather doubt I would. In my circle of friends, I’m the only anime fan. Because of our ages, some have seen the old school stuff and some have even borrowed DVD’s from my collection. However, none are “fans” and since I really have no interest of my own in crowded events (I’ve only gone to sci-fi conventions because friends happened to be going and talked me into attending as well). I collect DVD’s and manga books but that’s it. I write a blog and admin FUNimation’s forums. If I have time, I’ll hit up other blogs or even a message board or two. However, I don’t have that much free time any more so that’s gone. So yeah, I’m hardcore to a degree, but maybe not as much as one would think. ^_^

    Still, my remarks weren’t meant to offend you. I should have been a bit better about the wording in the piece because my thoughts came from having watched co-workers who are NOT anime fans watch these videos and listening to their thoughts. These are people around my age who are geeks of one sort or another (and I use the term “geek” in the broadest sense seeing as how everyone has a passion they geek out about from horses to bagpipes to Japanese arcade machines to whatever). However, they all have spouses and most have family of their own and some indicated that they wanted to show their kids this to get their reaction.

    Anyway, it just got me to thinking and so I mused and became a bit sad I guess. It was not intended to belittle people at all because I don’t care if people went to the concert and loved it. I’m not a concert person myself and the only concerts I’ve gone to were because some woman I was with at the time gave me Bambi eyes to attend. ^_^;;;

  13. AstroNerdBoy says:

    (Man, I hate having to make multi-part posts!)

    retaliation said…

    so i understand this is not from an anime? she is just an icon for some music maker?

    She’s not from an anime, though I can easily understand why that association could be made. She’s a “personification” for the Vocaloid music software. My hat is certainly off to the developers of it. ^_^

    @Lan — I know Ultimaniac answered your question. I wanted to add that my understanding is that the original Vocaloid software used samples of a seiyuu’s voice as a base. I read that for the concert, no samples were used as the software has advanced quite a bit from its initial release. Those of you with more knowledge can correct me if I’m wrong.

    @Anon — thanks for the info. ^_^

    @Ultimaniac — thanks for the info. ^_^

  14. arimareiji says:

    Sorry if I’ve posted this here before (I don’t think I have), but I found myself remembering this in connection with the notion of the plausibility of 2D love and seiyuu/idol obsession:

    Real vs. Anime
    (Some of the comments are less than SFW)

    Personal opinion: If they’re consciously obsessing about the 2D girl they have no relationship with versus the 3D girl they have no relationship with, that’s A VERY GOOD THING. 2D girls can’t be hurt by someone who goes over the edge and becomes a rapist and/or stalker.

  15. retaliation says:

    Damn I wish this was an anime. I bet they could make a anime out of it and it would sell well imo.

  16. Anonymous says:

    There is, in fact, a Black Rock Shooter OVA. So there kind of IS a Vocaloid anime.

  17. Sarah says:

    Most of what Hastune Miku’s ‘songs’ are produced by the person creating the song (Mostly Supercell i think, and a bunch from NicoNico Douga’s artists.)

    If you want Hatsune Miku and co. in ‘anime-ish’ style… you should search youtube for Vocaloid Anime. They’ve practically got a ton. (Maybe hours.)

    My favourite songs of Miku is Triple Baka, Black Rock Shooter and Love is War (Makes Linkin Park die in a fire :D) (Up from the top of my head.)

  18. Ikelepte says:

    Hi ANB!
    Just passing by to thank you for this old article. Discovered Vocaloid and Miku because of it and now after 5 months, I decided to make an article on the Vocaloid phenomenon. You may be interested if, like your post title, it’s still on your mind.

    The article is quite long and explains how I discovered it, what is Vocaloid , the reason of its success, and why would anyone would want to go to a virtual idol concert.

    Here is the link : “Hatsune Miku : Talent Ambassador”

    Next post will probably be : “How to appreciate foreign language songs : Example of Japanese with Vocaloid”

    So thanks ANB for the link before 😉

  19. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I checked out your article. Thanks. ^_^

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