Category Archives: VocaRant

Hatsune Miku Retrospective: Lost History

“Hatsune Miku Retrospective” is a series of blogs relating to the like-named panel to be hosted at Anime Los Angeles 14. This blog “Lost History” is the first in the series and chronicles issues encountered in the research phase of the panel.

Preparing for my upcoming panel was quite a nostalgic experience.

I got to reflect on my decade of being a Vocaloid fan and look back at old videos and all of a sudden I am a freshman in college, Bleach had just come out and this viral video with a girl spinning a leek became a hit between my friends. There wasn’t a term for this at the time but I guess I can say ‘lolituma’ and ‘leek spin’ would become one of my first exposures to a “meme”. From this meme would spawn the infamous video by Otomania, Hachune Miku, and my first exposure to Vocaloid.

From there it was Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru♪, Po Pi Po, and the heyday of ryo (supercell). I became obsessed and we shared these clips and music videos with my friends at my college’s anime club. Back in the day, however, foreigners were not easily able to browse Nico Nico Douga so we mostly relied on YouTube reprinters to download these videos and re-upload them for western audiences.

Back in the day copyright enforcement was lax and no Vocaloid producer had signed up with any major record labels. With the previous sentence and this blog post’s title, you can guess where the rest of this blog is going. As copyright crackdown, almost every major Nico reprinter lost their channel and trying to get proper view counts for older Vocaloid videos before producers started cross-uploading to YouTube became very hard when researching for the panel.

It wasn’t just the Nico reprinters affected either. When Google implemented YouTube Red they failed to get many non-US record labels on board and many Vocaloid videos whose producers signed with Japanese record labels had their videos blocked abroad. Between Sony Music Entertainment Japan, EXIT TUNES, Inc., UMAAA, and other Japanese music labels many old Vocaloid videos, even official uploads on official artist YouTube channels have been blocked abroad.

Luckily there are ways to bypass these regions restrictions or we were able to get copies of the videos to use in our panel off of Nico Nico Douga but it has shown how the media landscape has changed over the years in the Vocaloid realm. From being ignored, finally accepted, to now rejected, over the last 10 years a lot of early Vocaloid history is lost.

As we now celebrate a decade of Hatsune Miku I think it’s important we reflect on the past and cherish this living history… while we still can.

Additional Reading: YouTube Red and Vocaloid @ VocaloidNews.net

Thoughts on “Mirai no Neiro -The Sound of the Future-” Panel @ AX 2014

Its a bit delayed but welcome to the first of Engloids.Info’s recap coverage of AnimeExpo 2014. First up is a VocaRant article where Executive Editor ‘Hentai’ shares his thoughts on “Mirai no Neiro -The Sound of the Future-” AnimeExpo’s annual Vocaloid panel hosted by D.P.H. (Delusion Production House)

For those unfamiliar with Mirai no Neiro’s basic format it consists of a host/translator along with a panel of 3-5 Vocaloid producers who each take turns introducing themselves, sharing a bit of their work (often a PV something new), and a segment where each producer either gives some background in the production of that particular song or Vocaloid in general.

This year’s panel of producer included the likes of buzzG, KagomeP, sunzriver, UtataP & WataameP. While they all had a lot of interesting things to share, KagomeP and UtataP in particular thanks to their relatively high English proficiency and great stories, what really stood out to me were the segments by the Illustrator WOGURA and MMD Producer MasatakaP.

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VocaRant: A Voclaoid in My Hand, 3D Volumetric Holographic Printing

Browsing Kickstarter for fun, something I have started doing after Kickstarting The BIG ALbum with Koda-P, I cam across an interesting Kickstarter project. Inspired by a book on Holography they had read as a kid a pair of entrepreneur inventors have developed a technique they are calling “Volumetric 3D Printing”.

Unlike traditional 3D printing which involves extruding plastic into shapes and forming 3D objects, theirs involves printing on to plastic slides an image, these slides are held together by machine oil and a special case, and a holographic 3D image can be found within them as they are put side by side, as seen in the GIF above.

Their rewards tier involve a treasure trove of “curiosities” trapped in plastic, but at the higher tiers you can have them 3D print an object of your own design and send it to you. All I can think of is having my own holographic virtual diva right in the palm of my hand. Sure $99 is a bit much to pay for a paperweight but sacrifices must be made FOR SCIENCE!

Kistarter video embedded after the jump…
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VocaRant: Avanna’s Release Date?

This is a question that has been asked continually over the last month, looking at my Google Analytics alone all of the my top 5 Google search keywords are different combinations of ‘Avanna’ and ‘Release’. As we have no official news from the powers that be I figured I may as well rant and speculate on the topic.

Personally I am placing the blame on squarely on Yamaha, as for their motivations, and how I came to this conclusion, we will go over through the course of this article. Before we begin speculating let us first let us establish what we do, what official statements have been made, and the ‘facts’ of the situation. First we will have a look at Avanna, her artwork redesigns, what progress has been made on her vocals, and then we will look at the past with Oliver’s release last year. Once we have established what we do know, then I will go into my speculation, and the conclusions I have drawn from the situation at hand.

Rant Sections

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VocaRant: Avanna’s Upcoming Release

I have been following the Avanna discussion on VocaloidOtaku for quite a while and have wanted to blog about her upcoming release. This isn’t really news, more speculation and educated guessing, so I can’t post it on the main blog, so instead I post it to my (not so new) VocaRant column/sideblog and share my thoughts on the matter with you.

With Avanna’s release right around the corner, many people have become impatient, some even doubting if Avanna is going to release at all. I can say, with almost 100% certainly that Avanna is going to happen, things have been in motion too long to stop now. Its the dates and details where things begin to get murky.

Zero-G has suffered many technical difficulties in Avanna’s development, what they were specifically, your guess is as good as mine, but as long as nothing has changed (and I don’t think they have) they told us to prepare for a ‘Summer’ release date.

While the informal end of Summer is Labor Day, the actual end of Summer this year is September 20th, because September 21st is the first day of fall. So with that date in mind, I fully expect final details to begin rolling in sometime within the next 2 weeks, with the actual release following shortly in the fall, some time before Christmas.

This sort of Big Al Syndrome should be nothing new to Engloid fans, neither should a rapid info release schedule soon after those technical difficulties are overcome. If you don’t recall Oliver’s release and his many delays, the actual release took many by surprise as the date was not revealed untill the day before, not even a full 24 hours, he was set to go on sale.

I fully expect that if is releasing it will come by surprise, in a great wave of activity, a gigantic dump of information, and a physical edition & bundles some months later. I see her release as a great dam, now that the normally tight-lipped Zero-G is finally opening up we can finally see cracks in its great surface and feel the pressure building up.

She may, or may not, make that September 20th not-deadline, but I am willing to bet she will be coming out sooner, rather than later…

If you want to know more you can track all our previous coverage on the “Avanna” site tag.