March 2, 2010

Spontaneous Otakulture 1 - Hatsune Miku & Vocaloid

As of late I have been watching much less anime. Though it's because I'm always busy with college, as an otaku that can be very unforgivable. But if we take a step back and examine Otaku culture (henceforth referred to as "otakulture"), we can note that there is much more to the lifestyle of an otaku than just anime. Sure, you've had to at least heard of Naruto and One Piece, seen a full series in Japanese, and maybe ventured to an anime con to even think "otaku", but there's much more to otakulture than meets the untrained eye.

And for that reason, I will use this ongoing section to tell ya'll about what bits of prominent otakulture I have discovered and fallen in love with. For all you
wakai kenshitachi (young swordsmen) out there, this will give you new insight on what the world of otaku has to provide for you

Otakulture 1 - Hatsune Miku & Vocaloid

You may have, during a late night on YouTube, (or if you're actually on top of things, Niconico Douga) discovered a stunning green-hair, leek carrying, singing goddess with a somewhat synthetic voice. Well, that about sums up Hatsune Miku, Vocaloid's first and most popular voice.

Vocaloid is a program developed my Yamaha that enables any freelance composer to create vocalized music without a real singer. The voice is instead precatalouged, so that the composer can type in the lyrics (with the proper pitch) and make a vocal track. Imagine a future of songs sung by Miku, the persona given to the voice - a stunning anime girl.

"Nonsense da!", you may be thinking. "How can people get into music without a real singer?" Well, they have. There are countless songs "by" Miku, many of which are purchasable on iTunes and featured on YouTube and NND. Who needs the ditsy celebrities, coked up slutty pop singers, and over-hyped hip-hop sensations? If this catches on to the United States, a new revolution in the music game could show itself. Of course this will never happen though. I can dream though... I can dream.

Hatsune Miku has siblings too! Well, more like rivals and friends in the form of other characters for the next generations of Vocaloids. Twins Kagamine Rin and Ren, once-backup-singers-for-Miku Kasane Teto and Akita Neru, Gackt-inspired Kamui Gakupo, the mysterious Megurine Luka, and many others have risen to popularity. Their personalities are incredibly entertaining, and are probably their most crucial selling point. Who would like to hear a robotic voice belt out songs no one knows? Wait, let me rephrase that. Who would like to hear the cute trio of Miku, Teto, and Neru sing "Triple Baka" while entertaining you with their hilarious antics? ... I thought so.

Vocaloid isn't for everyone. But most otaku (like myself) have come to love the distinct voices and personalities of the Vocaloids. And to top it off, the composers are (usually.) extremely talented. I would be surprised if these guys were really amateur musicians; their tracks sound like they'll be in the next hit anime. So if you're a budding J-pop composer, I would highly recommend Vocaloid software.

Here ends the first edition of Spontaneous Otakulture. Hopefully you learned something new, or were able to relate with a smile. Keep walking the path of the otaku, and the rewards will be plentiful. Probably.


1 comment:

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The Otaku Reviewers

This blog, "The Otaku Reviewers", was started in February of 2010 on this very same platform, Blogger. At first, it was a venture into the informational and informal world of comics, anime, video games, and Japanese culture. In other words, just a random blog.

Over time, the founder of the blog credited with the pseudonym "RPGhero" was joined by two fellow bloggers and friends with the names "Chansu" and "Deretsun". Together the three bloggers looked up interesting Japanese culture facts, recommended new anime, talked about their own "otaku" interests, and traveled across the United States to various anime conventions.

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