Tag Archives: Convention

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

Hatsune Miku Retrospective Panel @ Animé Los Angeles 14

Who: Engloids.info, UtaForum.net, & TQF Present
Where: Anime Los Angeles, LP3 (Room 200C) on 2nd Floor of Convention Center
What: Hatsune Miku Retrospective: 10 Years A Virtual Diva
When: Saturday 1/27 @ 11:45am-12:45pm
Why: Relive a decade of Miku music videos. We will be giving away ribbons to attendees.

[Twitter Annoucement] [Facebook Event]
Continue reading “Hatsune Miku Retrospective Panel @ Animé Los Angeles 14” »

Vocamerica at AnimeBanzai Recap

On the weekend of October 20-22 Anime Banzai in Layton Utah hosted special guest EmpathP & her VOCAMERICA concert. Although EmpathP has brought her western Vocaloid-focused concert series all over the eastern U.S. as well as Switzerland, this was the concert’s first venture into the western part of the country. Festivities kicked off early Friday evening with a pair of special panel sessions: The World of Vocaloid & VOCAMERICA Q&A. The first session was an introduction to Vocaloid including a brief history of the software, how it evolved through the years & how the character aspect developed, becoming an integral part of each voice bank. VOCAMERICA Q&A was more of an open forum that allowed the audience to delve deeper into the roots of VOCAMERICA & provide input as to what future directions the concert project might take.

VOCAMERICA on the main stage

Although there was no formal VOCALOID cosplay gathering at Anime Banzai, there were plenty of GUMIs, Rins, Lens, & even a Mayu cosplayer was spotted. EmpathP’s Vocaloid panels served as a magnet for Vocaloid enthusiasts throughout the weekend, & they continued early Saturday evening with two more sessions. The first was an English Vocaloid lecture full of all sorts of inside info you probably won’t find online anywhere. For example, the voice samples for Big Al’s first voice bank had to be re-recorded due to “quality issues”. EmpathP explained just what those “quality problems” were & what options were available to PowerFX in order to resolve them. After a short break EmpathP finished the evening with a most intriguing analysis of the Vocaloid opera “The End” starring Hatsune Miku.

Rear projection technology provided a holographic effect.

VOCAMERICA’s 9th concert was held Sunday morning at 9 AM. As with past concerts, DEX & DAINA opened with CircusP’s “Fade”. Other crowd favorites from past concerts included nostraightanswer’s “Define Me” starring Maika & her incredibly long, bouncy locks, CrusherP’s “Biohazard” sung by Kikyuune Aiko (with new animation!) & “Wildfire” sung by an “inflammable” DAINA, & EmpathP’s “Two Weeks” featuring a heart-grabbing performance by DEX. Some new songs featured in this concert included CircusP’s “Different Seas”, EmpathP’s “Fairytale Blue”, CreepP’s “Mommy”, & “Barrier” by MJQ & Eri. Kikyuune Aiko also surprised the audience with “Hibikase” by GigaP & Reol (even Kikyuune Aiko’s creator MystSaphyr had no idea that Aiko was going to perform this one!).

After the concert merchandise was available for sale.

The VOCAMERICA train rolls on! Heading back to the east coast, its next stops are in Columbia SC (Banzaicon Nov. 3-5th), Deerfield Beach FL (Anime Iwai Nov. 10-12th) & Pigeon Forge TN (Yama-Con Dec. 1-3rd). There are also plans for a 2nd European show in Spain.

Keep an eye on VOCAMERICA.com as more shows will be added as they are booked.

Additional Coverage @ Studio VOXYZ’s VOCAMERICA at Anime Banzai

Seiun Virtual Idols Project’s Viki Hopper to Perform at VOCAMERICA

With the VOCAMERICA Kickstarter now closed AkiGlancy (EmpathP) has revealed the “mystery UTAU” that claimed the $1,000 “UTAU Performance Reward Package” to be none other Seiun Virtual Idols Project’s Viki Hopper. Viki Hopper is an English VCCV voicebank developed for the UTAU singthesis software.

As part of “UTAU Performance Reward Package” Viki Hopper will appear in concert performing an original song written and composed by EmpathP. As updates for Viki Hopper are still pending she won’t debut until “next summer” during a yet unnamed future VOCAMERICA event as the opening act.

Congratulations to Ben Laudicano and the rest of the Seiun team. Thanks to you and 313 other backers supporting this, and other future concerts, would not have been possible. Viki Hopper is amazing and we look forward to her VOCAMERICA debut later next year.

You can download Viki Hopper for FREE here. You can listen to a sample of her in a video embedded below. Continue reading “Seiun Virtual Idols Project’s Viki Hopper to Perform at VOCAMERICA” »

“Mirai no Neiro” and “IA ROCKS” Concerts @ HyperJapan (London, England)

VocaEuro reports that HyperJapan, a convention in London England, is going to be hosting not one, but two different Vocaloid events totaling 5 concerts across 3 days. They are “free” to anyone attending the convention but space will be limited so do arrive early. The full schedule for events can be found here.

Mirai no Neiro Sessions:
Friday
Saturday (Morning)
Sunday

IA ROCKS Sessions:
Saturday (Afternoon)
Sunday

Mirai no Neiro
Mirai no Neiro (Sound of the Future) is a grass-roots volunteer group who aim to introduce Japan’s Vocaloid culture to countries around the world. So far they’re doing a pretty amazing job – having pulled off highly successful unofficial Vocaloid concerts in the US, Germany, Taiwan, Denmark, Switzerland, Mexico and Chile!

IA Rocks
While Mirai no Neiro is an unofficial concert IA ROCKS’ world tour is anything but. Sponsored by 1STPLACE the Vocaloid publisher has been showcasing IA across the world selling out live events in France, Taiwan and America. If you are looking for a virtual pop idol I can assure you that IA does indeed “ROCKS”.

For more about HyperJapan check out their Official Website.

For additional event coverage follow our friends at VocaEuro.