elaby: (Vocaloid - LukaxMiku Magnet)
I feel like I've hit the lesbian Vocaloid song jackpot lately!

Hokorobi, by 40m. He hasn't put it up on his YouTube page yet and I can't figure out how to embed stuff from Nico Nico, so this is from some other person's YouTube account. Sadly, this one isn't subbed, though the one on Nico Nico is (link in the doobly doo). Pretty much all you need to know is that they're girlfriends and they cherish the time they've spent together and even if they should be someday torn apart I'll change the world they'll meet again.


If that one was a little too ambiguously "Well, I guess they could just be REALLY CLOSE FRIENDS" for you, have this one. BONUS: IT'S IN ENGLISH.


I (Love) is apparently in response to this next song, by Luka, called "Lie". There are various interpretations but the consensus seems to be that Luka is in love with Gumi but is trying to force herself to be straight. It is therefore not a very uplifting song, but beautiful, and Luka's English is amazing. This features some of the most incredible animation I've seen in a Vocaloid video.


AND BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT EXACTLY HAPPY, please have some more 40m. The first one is my favorite, but the second one can cure anything. Trust me on this.

The Nearest Town in Spring - It's about the first signs of spring, taking things at your own pace, and how you'll find everything your heart has been looking for close to home. "Pretty soon the flowers will be blooming in your town, too..."


Do Re Me Fa Rondo - MARCH WITH ME! The pictures pretty much = the lyrics so don't worry too much about not understanding Japanese XD My favorite part is when there's aliens.
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku flower ears)
Project Diva (a Vocaloid video game) is coming out on the PS3, and I just ran across a gif from the opening sequence on Tumblr and proceeded to scour the internet until I found its source. I'M NOT SORRY.



Points to watch out for, in CAPSLOCK O' EXCITEMENT:
- MIKU AND LUKA FISTBUMP.
- LUKA ON CELLO OMFG
- RIN IS APPARENTLY A MIKU/RIN-SHIPPING FANARTIST (take a look at the chalkboard in the Project Diva Extend Sekiranun Graffiti opening).

<3333333333333
elaby: (Vocaloid - Rin chibi face)
I was never a big fan of this song - "Electric Angel" - but it's a classic Miku tune and they seem to play it at all the concerts. But OMFG THIS REMIX HAS SLAIN ME.

It doesn't have subtitles, but essentially the song is from the point of view of a Vocaloid telling the software users how much she appreciates the way they breathe life into her by writing songs for her.



I didn't think I'd EVER prefer a Rin/Len cover over a song originally sung by Miku, but... that day has come.
elaby: (Vocaloid - JBF Luka glasses headphones)
When you're a fan of something, you may think that simply being a fan doesn't contribute meaningfully to the world. You may feel like part of a faceless crowd, tiny and insignificant. You may think the creators of the work you love will never know or appreciate how happy it's made you.

You're wrong.

At Anime Expo this year, several famous Vocaloid songwriters from Japan ran a panel in which they talked about how the Vocaloid fandom makes them feel. The songwriter Dixie Flatline, who wrote Just Be Friends, described his experience:

Eight years ago, Dixie Flatline quit his job in Japan and moved to New York in order to find a music-related job; he really wanted to show his music to the American people and wanted to be a part of a country that had the best music culture to him. It was his dream, but things didn’t pan out for him, and he had to go back to Japan, a huge disappointment for him.

Time passed, and last year, Dixie Flatline saw a video titled “Mikunopolis” where Luka sang his song. For a while after watching, he couldn’t figure out what had happened; he had seen so many people singing his song along with Luka in Japanese. He said that he was supposed to have given up his dream on that day eight years ago. But when he saw the footage, his dream had somehow come true; he had nearly leapt for joy. “No joking,” he added, and he left the audience with this closing remark: “Watching Mikunopolis, watching you guys singing JBF in that video is one of the best memories for me in my life. I appreciate you guys from the bottom of my heart.”


I was at that concert. That was me, in that video, in that huge stadium, waving my arms and singing in Japanese to Just Be Friends along with a thousand other fans. JBF is one of my very favorite Vocaloid songs, and I hoped against hope that Luka would perform it at the concert. I wasn't disappointed.

Just Be Friends at Mikunopolis

No matter how big or small, how famous or obscure the thing you love - your appreciation matters. It makes someone's world better.
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku Luka kiss)
I had the urge today to make a Post Full of Cool Things, so I hope you'll find some of them enjoyable :) This is a taste of the things I've been amusing myself with on the internets lately.

1. I started another blog! It's called Tea Under the Pine Boughs and it will be (most likely slowly) filled with articles I write about Victorians, pictures of mori girl fashion, faery things, and probably, knowing me, Vocaloids. Right now it's just got an introductory post of sorts about why I can't get enough of those wacky Victorians. I intend to use it for more professional writing, which is not to say that it'll be very professional. It'll probably just have more themed content rather than rambling about life, which is what this journal is for :)

2. Speaking of Vocaloids. Have some!

This song is Akatsuki ("daybreak") Arrival by Last Note and features some of the most human-like Luka and Miku I've ever heard. ALSO I TOTALLY SHIP THEM. It's implied to end in tragedy, which is only what you can expect from a Vocaloid romance song (but could we have some happy lesbians sometime, plzkthx?). The video's pretty good, too, and it's subtitled very well.



3. Mori girl style is so appealing to me because it portrays an antique feeling while still looking comfortable. Mori style is elegant, so girls (and boys!) who wear it look dressed up but not formal. It's inspired by fairy tales and woodlands and cottages and going out into meadows in the early morning with a woven basket to gather flowers.

Here are some of my favorite mori girl images that I've found around the internet, mostly on tumblr. )
elaby: (Vocaloid - LukaxMiku Magnet)
HHNNNNG I can't even express how adorable I find this video. It's the opening of Project DIVA Extend, a Vocaloid video game. Movie-quality CG, VOICE ACTING OMFG, and my new favorite Miku song ever? THANK YOU, SEGA. For those of you playing along at home, the song is Cumulonimbus Graffiti - the one I posted a few weeks ago back in August (holy crap, that long ago?) with the incredible animated video of Miku flying through clouds with a little girl.



Impromptu dialogue translation!

Blackboard message: Thank you, Luka! (I'm not sure if she's a teacher who's leaving or an older student who's graduating)
Note on blackboard: To Miku, from Luka - Look under here!
Luka's voice: This is your homework.
Miku: It's a song...
Rin and Len: Luka-nee! (nee = older sister, an affectionate term for a girl older than you)
Len: We thought you were Luka-nee.
Rin: Sheesh.
Miku: Hey! Let's all do this homework together!
Rin and Len: Yeah!
[I have no idea what Miku says next *facepalm*]
*montage time!*
Miku, Rin, and Len: All right!
Rin: Hurry, hurry!
Luka: Miku-chan, what's up?
Miku: We made a sequel!
Luka: Okay, I'll meet you at the ocean, then.
[I'm not sure what Len says, but I assume it's something like "We're here!" or "This is our stop!"]
Miku: Hurry!
Rin: Wait!
Miku, Rin, and Len: Luka-sempai!
Luka: Everyone!
Miku: Here, look!
Luka's voice: You all pass.

Translation of this song that I did earlier this fall )
elaby: (Vocaloid - Mozaik Roll hug)
Oh my giddy aunt. Watch this video. It's television-quality (or better) traditional animation to the song Cumulonimbus Graffiti, written by (for those of you playing along at home) Dixie Flatline of Just Be Friends fame and produced by Ryo (supercell) of freaking everything Melt, World is Mine, Love is War, and Black Rock Shooter, to name a few. I THINK the general gist of the storyline is that Magic Cloud Graffiti Artist!Miku takes her younger self, or a similar-looking protege, on a journey of wonder and gravity defiance. There's also a huge white sperm whale that blows hearts out of its blowhole. Look, trust me, just watch it.



And if your taste is something a little more coherent, I present Alice in Musicland, an adorable 12-minute chibi Alice and Wonderland extravaganza in the style of paper cutouts. There are six or seven full songs, featuring all of the Crypton Future Media Vocaloids. It's like a mini musical. The work that must've gone into this is incredible to contemplate.

elaby: (Vocaloid - Yowamushi Montblanc)
Although my squee for Vocaloids knows no bounds, I often find it hard to explain it to people - even people already familiar with the video game/anime subculture. So I thought I would write a quick and dirty (perhaps, knowing me, not so quick) Fangirl's Guide to Vocaloids.

What is Vocaloid?
Vocaloid is a voice synthesizer software developed by Yamaha. Using databanks of human voices, the software reproduces singing in that voice. Users of the software input lyrics and designate the notes to be sung in, resulting in songs sung in the computerized voice. The software is marketed toward both professional and amateur musicians as a way to substitute or reproduce a living vocalist.

What do people do with the Vocaloid software?
They produce songs. Users range from professional musicians who release albums using the synthesized voices to amateur ones who compose for fun. The internet is a huge distribution and sharing space for songs produced using Vocaloid voices. In Japan, Nico Nico Douga, a video-sharing website, is where most of the Vocaloid-related activity takes place. A typical situation might go like this: a professional or amateur songwriter (called a "producer") composes a song, uses one of the Vocaloid voice banks to sing the lyrics, and records the backing track with the help of fellow musicians. The producer then puts together a music video (called a PV) using the art of a collaborator, and another collaborator creates effects for the video. The producer then posts the PV on Nico Nico Douga and the crowd goes wild.

When you talk about Vocaloids, what do you mean?
The term "Vocaloids" in the plural is used, at least in the English-speaking fandom, to describe the various "characters" that are assigned to each voice databank. Lemme 'splain.

Even though Yamaha is the company that developed the Vocaloid software, other companies created voice banks by sampling the voices of celebrities, singers, voice actors, etc. Crypton Future Media is the most prominent, but other companies, including Yamaha itself, create and sell voice banks.

Let's take Miku as an example. "Hatsune Miku" is the name given to the voice bank made by sampling the voice of seiyuu Fujita Saki. When you buy the Hatsune Miku Vocaloid software, the box comes with Miku's picture on the front and a minimum of personal information (gender, age, height, weight, and suggested musical genre). None of the voice bank "characters" are given any more official information than this, and some are given less. VY1 and VY2, the voice banks developed by Yamaha, have no image and no specified gender, so depending on how users pitch the voice, it can sound male or female.

Because no official personality or story is established for any of the voice banks, users of the software are free to write songs about any subject without pressure to stay "in character". All we get about each voice bank character is an image and some general information.

On Vocaloid characters and The Fandom )

Internet cookies to anyone who can guess which Vocaloid is in my icon :D
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku sings (deep teal))
Thank you, SEGA! All the other clips of Mikunopolis on YouTube are bootleg footage that I suspect may be taken down at any moment, but SEGA put up what I assume must be an official compilation clip of the concert. It shows bits from a bunch of Miku's songs (no Rin, Len, or Luka, sadly) and quite a bit of the re-orchestrated Hajimete no Oto at the end. But no SPiCa T_T

Go to 1:40 to see Miku's first appearance. I really hope this lovely footage means we're getting a DVD of the concert soon <3



I need more Miku icons!
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku singing in the rain)
I'm back from my big Anime Expo adventure :3 First time traveling by myself, flying by myself, staying in a hotel by myself... and I didn't really run into any difficulties. Onnacounta how I are a grownup, I expect. I had a blast, and it was absolutely worth it, but it was an awful lot of doing crammed into very few hours XD

LONG POST IS LONG. I'm going to break this up by cut tags so that people can skip bits if they want.

Travel, whee )

-
Arriving at the con! )

-
Vocaloid panels )

-
Cosplay watching and other things I did while waiting for the Miku concert to start )

-
Mikunopolis, aka THE CONCEEEEERRRTT )

-
Day 2 of my adventure begins - Day 3 of the con, technically - and the Copic Marker workshop )

-
Con loot, and how I amused myself before catching the shuttle back to the airport )

-
Travel II, or: the endcap )

In short, it was a fun-packed two and a half days, though somewhat surreal since I'm not used to such back-to-back activity, especially not all by myself. I'm really glad I went. I think it was an experience not to be missed :)

omg.

May. 17th, 2011 08:26 pm
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku Luka kiss)
So on Sunday I found out that Hatsune Miku is going to be performing in Los Angeles at Anime Expo. And I was like HNGH I WANT TO GO, but as it's on the other side of the country, and plane tickets and cons tend to be expensive in general, I thought there was no way. I never in a million years expected a Miku concert to be put on in the U.S., and once I knew there would be one and there was no way I could go, I was a sadpuppy. And I just kept thinking about it, because when the concerts were in Japan, I knew there was really no chance I'd get to see one. I mean, international trips are long and expensive and if I were going to Japan, I would want to spend some time there. But a concert in the U.S. was logically attainable... I just knew I couldn't spend that much.

But see, I feel like I hardly ever really want anything. I go to a lot of fiber events with [livejournal.com profile] caitirin and our friends, but it's not because I'm super excited about the fiber events themselves... its because I like spending time with [livejournal.com profile] caitirin and our friends. There are very few things that I'm really into that I could travel somewhere to meet other similarly interested people. Even with anime, I can go to cons and have a great time, but they're usually so general that I could take or leave them.

But Vocaloids... I'm really, really into this fandom, even if I don't participate in any meaningful way. And I love Miku like I'd find it hard to love any other singer, because other singers are real people and I feel a little bit uncomfortable fangirling over them.

So I talked it over with [livejournal.com profile] caitirin, and even though we don't have enough money for her to come too, I'm going to go.

To LA.

To see Miku.

OMFGKEYSMASHFLAIL.

I'm actually really excited about going by myself. I've never traveled alone before, and I only lived "by myself" a little while at college when I lived in the upstairs of my landlady's house. I think this will be an awesome experience, even aside from the concert, because I'll show myself that I can be an independent adult. [livejournal.com profile] caitirin and I never want to be apart from each other, so I haven't had much of a chance to prove to myself that I can do it. I never did any studying abroad in college. I never did any exchange student things or anything like that in high school. I say it's about time.
elaby: (Vocaloid - Rin approves)
I can't find the code to embed it, so a link will have to do:

Musunde Hiraite, Rasetsu to Mukuro ~ Live

There was another live Vocaloid concert on 3/9 (hurr, 3=mi 9=ku), with holographic singers and all, and that up there is my favorite Vocaloid song EVER. The way they animated Miku's mannerisms to mimic the original video is freaking amazing. Also be on the lookout for audience participation time XD Which was really the only way they could get the right effect with that line, so I'm glad they did it. I wish I could embed it but that option isn't there under "Share" T_T

Or maybe they're not holograms this time? It looks like they're being shown on a black screen of some sort, and there's no projection light from behind them. OH WELL WHO CARES. Can you imagine what it would be like to be a songwriter and put up your Vocaloid song on the internet and then have it get popular and the people organizing the concert come to you to ask if they can do your song at the concert? Dude.
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku singing in the rain)
For my, erm, eleventh day of Creative Boot Camp, I determined to finish the picture of Hatsune Miku that I drew with my tablet and have been working on with Photoshop for-seemingly-ever. I didn't do any creative things yesterday (I watched lots of Vocaloid videos XD And we went mini-golfing!) so today I'm doing double-duty, which is allowed on the weekends.

This is the first picture that I would consider complete that I ever drew entirely on the tablet - no scanned pencils or anything, just blank-canvas-file-to-finished-picture. With a BACKGROUND. LE GASP. (It's a pretty simple background, but it's more than I usually do!)

~Datte kimi no koto ga suki na no~ Because it's you who I love )

Art dump

Aug. 1st, 2010 06:42 pm
elaby: (Vocaloid - JBF Luka glasses headphones)
*heaps backlog of sketches onto your f'list*

I haven't scanned stuff in my sketchbooks in what seems like forever! Is actually less than forever. For your patience with my non-cleaned-up, non-color scribblings, I'll reward you with actual Photoshop coloring at the end. It may resemble an acid trip, but it's in color!

[ETA: I just noticed that there must've been a little scrap of paper on my scanner, because it appears in at least four of the pictures. Virtual cookies to anyone who spots it.]

Miku, Miku again, Konata, and some original characters this way )
elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku sings (deep teal))
I've been watching about ten basquillion* Vocaloid music videos on YouTube and Nico Nico Douga (funtimes trying to figure out why I can't log into my account when I can only read about 1/3 of the text!). And here are two of the absolute best!

*Highly technical, accurate term

Mozaik Role, by DECO*27, sung by Gumi (a Vocaloid program using the voice actress Nakajima Megumi). The animation in this is freaking stunning. I suggest watching it first with the subtitles off (click that up arrow in the right bottom corner, and then on the red dog-eared square, to toggle the subs) and then switching them on if you want to know what the song is about. I'm in awe of the quality of this; it's probably the best Vocaloid PV I've seen in terms of how smooth the cell-style animation is.



Why hello there, massively awesome Miyazaki homage! This one is "Wonderland and the Sheep's Song," by Hachi, sung by Hatsune Miku (the one in my icon :3). The animation in this one isn't quite as smooth as Mozaik Role, but the scope is like ten times as epic. And the backgrounds look like they're right out of a movie. I also really really love how the main character could just as easily be a boy or a girl.

elaby: (Vocaloid - Miku flower ears)
As my poor patient [livejournal.com profile] caitirin is now thoroughly aware, I am very much obsessed with Vocaloid. It's just--! Miku, she's so CUTE, and the music is so GOOD, and there's so much OF IT *armwaving*

The deal, as far as I can figure out, is that people use the Vocaloid software to record songs with synthesized vocals and then they post them on Nico Nico Douga (the Japanese equivalent of YouTube) or YouTube, and either they or someone else creates incredible music videos, called PVs, to go with the songs. There are often several different PVs for each song. And for your enjoyment, I've embedded several under the cut!

These songs are largely pop-rockish, and sound a lot like anime opening themes, which is why I love them omg.

This way... )
elaby: (Etzi)
I am utterly hooked on watching Vocaloid music videos on YouTube. Hatsune Miku in particular XD

Vocaloid is a Japanese voice synthesis computer program where you can write music and lyrics and the synthesized voice sings them. There have been several versions, with voice data based on the voices of Japanese singers or actors, and each version has its own character who personifies that version's voice. This is Hatsune Miku, who incidentally Kagami cosplays in the Lucky Star OAV :3

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