You know, I’m a little strange in the way that I don’t like to reveal the things I like. I mean, I’d be into something (say a television series or character) but would not talk about it or even not wish to discuss it; Instead, my actions would give away my fondness for the character/concept. For example, I would claim not to like something, but then I would turn around and draw it or otherwise express my fondness of the subject in my own passive way. It’s not because I don’t want people to know… I’m just like that, heh.
At any rate, I recently had the opportunity to play the PSP game, Hatsune Miku Project DIVA (初音ミク プロジェクト ディーヴァ) which can best be described as a game to appeal to Vocaloid fans. I never had much interest in Vocaloid, seeing as I cannot understand a shred of Japanese and I tend to judge things based on content rather than surface appearance, but I figured that I’d give the game a try, simply because I had seen the Hatsune Miku girl so much and my friends were playing it. At any rate, in my opinion, the game that Sega JP created was decent (unfortunately, Miku moving around in the background distracted me more often than not during some of the faster songs) but they did capture the charm of the Vocaloid concept.
For those in the dark, Vocaloid is basically a vocal-synthesizing program that can create a vocal track by typing in words and adjusting the pitch, length, etc of the sounds. The first “voice” was marketed under the character Hatsune Miku who is depicted as the singer of the produced song. Since then there have been others such as Kagamine Rin/Len and a few more. Now, I think this was a creative move by Yamaha Corporation as it is much more fun to imagine that you are instructing a virtual character how to sing rather than using a program that would “render” a song. In Vocaloid’s case, the voice’s “character” can be imagined to be the singer, which has an appeal of its own.
People who are familiar with me know that I always enjoy the “virtual assistant” or “virtual sentience” concept, probably because I have always loved cartoon/anime/videogame characters and, like most others, wonder what it would be like if they were [at least semi] real. Playing the PSP game, I can say that I enjoyed seeing Miku dance along with the song because it just made the Vocaloid program that much better; It lent complex programming flesh, bones, and long blue hair. The character alone has created a fanbase for the Vocaloids and I’m sure there are others like me who are looking at the big picture and looking forward to more advances in this field.
It’s probably just human nature to anthropomorphize (Is that a word, Maxine?) things… I mean look at animated characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog. At any rate, it was a neat idea in Yamaha Corporation’s case. The Vocaloids have a large fanbase; Even one of my friends plans on making a presentation about Vocaloid in her Oral Communications class. (Boy do I wish I could see THAT, haha.) Oh well- at any rate I guess I’m just another fan now. Sure the character is moe and all, but if you look at the workings behind her, the feat is an admirable one indeed.
So how about the future? Vocaloid is unique in this aspect right now, but I certainly hope other products can incorporate an element like this as well, even if it’s just as a mascot that the product becomes “known” as. One event that really caught my attention as I was reading was a “Live” concert with Hatsune Miku starring. Of course, Miku can’t walk out of the computer screen, so the staff had a giant screen on stage that would show Miku singing while actual people would play the music. Sure, if you look at it, its just a cartoon playing on a TV screen, but can you imagine? Once we have holographic technology, you might just see Miku on stage dancing with the rest of the performers. F,