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daijoubu da. mondainai.

NEXT Hatsune Miku Project Diva Videos!
(kaito) drum solo
Well, I never said which Friday... thanks to repeated health issues I'm foregoing a single huge post but going to go for a blitz of much smaller posts over the next week to make it a little more managable. I've still got all my links over the last couple weeks, together with a bunch of remixes and a ton of MMD.

But first and in happier news, more Project Diva! Sega have finally put up a video for the next Project Diva game - conveniently titled NEXT Hatsune Miku Project Diva - which will be released in both PS3 and Vita formats with Transfarring enabled to be able to share your content between the two. They stress that the two games are going to be exactly the same in terms of content, just maybe not in terms of resolution, and that the 'fun factor' is going to be the same regardless. Here is the site itself, while here is a bunch of information about the release (try not to wince at 'Kagamine Lin').

A lot of the advertising gumph is kind of obvious if you've already played any of the Project Diva games - the fact that notes are done to the lyrics rather than to the beat was something we already knew, Sega, and you don't have to sell it to us - while Chance Time returns as a series of Technical Zones giving you more points for completing chunks of the song. Also, yes, Vita widgets come into play, as some of the notes are scratches rather than button presses. What's nice to see is that, for the higher resolution, the models are getting a overhaul - you can already spot some differences in the shots, with some of the proportions and sizes being altered a little to work better.

One thing's for sure in any case: it is seriously, seriously pretty.

I would like to take a moment here to note that World's End Dancehall is apparently a West Side Story dance number in Chinatown, complete with Utena slow-motion sparkling close-ups and people leaping in front of the moon. I am pretty much okay with this.

The two things I'd like to see before I'm utterly and completely convinced - Internet Co. vocaloids (or at least sufficient support for them to be later added), and a Rock Band-style content delivery system. With the Vita having infinitely better PSN support than the PSP, and with Transfarring enabled to allow for easier content management between the Vita and the PS3, Sega are rapidly running out of excuses for not using episodic content and DLC, rather than forcing people to buy whole new games each time they want a system update. Besides, how much more in the way of gameplay innovation can you even cram into a rhythm game?

... waaaaait...

Catchup: Part the Stop The Presses: 小室哲哉 meets VOCALOID
(kaito) drum solo
The final linkdump to get us up to date is in progress, but something about it being sodding huge is making it take a while. (I reckon tomorrow, maybe Thursday?)

In the meantime, a set of videos popped up today to surprise me - the top thirty or so is suddenly dominated by a whole brace of tracks involving major producers making Vocaloid covers and arranges of songs originally produced by Tetsuya Komuro, one of Japan's most well-known producers, and the only producer ever to have been involved with the top 5 songs in a single week of the Oricon rankings. A little digging reveals that the album they come from is a new release on the 28th, coinciding with the rerelease of some of Komuro's finest works.

And these covers are all absolutely amazing. The producers have pulled out all the stops for this album, and the grand result is a set of breathtaking covers featuring some of the best tuning I've heard in a long, long time. Check under the cut for EZFG's badass Luka, Dios' absolutely astonishing Rin, and a delightful mathru Miku, as well as comm favorites Penguin Project and Heavenz.

小室哲哉 feat. 初音ミク / 「LOVE IS ALL MUSIC」

The official introduction to the album, and an excellent way for TK to show off a little and reveal that he's still got it when it comes to belting out an excellent piano track. If he's the one who tuned Miku, then he's also no slouch when it comes to using Vocaloid - Miku's not the best I've ever heard her, sure, but she's far more than servicable and duets along with the backing singers in a gorgeous bit of soft pop.

Videos: 1 + 8 = 9Collapse )
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Catchup, Part The Second: Underdogs Edition
(kaito) drum solo
This time around we're concentrating on those Vocaloids which don't get much play - expect a lot of Yukari and IA, mostly, with a side order of Iroha, Meiko and Yuki. I had a few CUL songs in my shortlist but, uh, none of them were particularly good. If I've missed any, absolutely share them in the comments, I love listening to the new guys.


【カバー】Tell Your World feat.MEIKO

Tell Your World (IGASIO, Meiko, Pop)
And you know what? I'm going to put Meiko at the top of the post again, because I can. I'm even going to put her at the top of the post with a mere cover, and it's going to be perfectly justified because holy damn I was blown away by this. It's no Amazing Grace, but Meiko's voice is tremendously good in this tribute to the kz classic. She could stand to be a bit louder, but that doesn't detract even slightly from a stellar performance.


Jitter Doll (niki, Lily, Rock)
God, was there ever any doubt this would rank this post? Niki's back to blow us away with a super-soulful rock track from Lily with every hallmark falling impeccably into place, from Lily's excellent tuning to a catchy track that doesn't let up. Fantastic crescendos, interesting hooks and bridges, it's just all-round great. It's boggling to me that more people don't use her when faced with tracks like this, but maybe they're just too intimidated.

結月ゆかりのオリジナル曲 ゲダツセンセイション -Full ver.-

Gedatz Sensation (deadball, Yukari, Dancey Pop)
Deadball's inimitable style applied to Yukari is a thing, alright, and took me quite by surprise when I was making the post. It's a very strange song but catchy as hell, full of strong bass and energy and a whole lot of little electronic touches. Yukari isn't going to endear herself to everyone - rather stark in tuning, much like deadball's Miku, it may not be to everyone's taste.

【 IA 】 現実的論理主義者 【オリジナル】

Realist Logician (goboumen, IA, Rock)
Before the first chorus, I would have been prepared to chalk the popularity of this video up to the excellent-quality PV provided by koyubi, but don't fall into the trap. A rather uninspiring first verse camoflages some seriously awesome choruses and crescendoes, together with some absolutely excellent soloing from IA during the requisite quiet sections. She still has a couple of issues - aside from the start of the song, there's a number of squeaky words here and there - but taken on the whole it's a deserving track well worth a listen.

Videos: 4 + 11 = 15Collapse )

Catchup, Part The First
(kaito) drum solo
Okay, let's go. There's going to be several posts over the weekend: looking at the size of my shortlist, I'm going to say we'll have two roundup posts, and somewhere in the middle a special roundup for all the underdog vocaloids that didn't make it far into the rankings proper but did make it into my shortlist. I'm trying to focus a little more than usual on rarer songs and those that didn't make it all the way up to the ranking, so this shouldn't just be treading old ground.

Also, a bit of news I'd forgotten to mention:

- I'm not exactly sure of the rules for it, but many nicovideo videos now stream properly and are searchable, loading substantially faster than their more recent counterparts. It seems like it happens to videos that are more than a certain age old? There isn't really any indication it's searchable until you try it, at which point you'll get a spinning loading symbol and the Nicovideo TV. In any case, it's about time.

- Here is a video of Miku performing a jingle for a news show live on air to the slightly stunned faces of all involved. Extra prizes to anyone who can tell, just from the PV, who made it.


【MEIKO with Families】アメイジング・グレイス【Vocaloid Gospel】

Amazing Grace (Nanameue, Meiko + Ensemble, Trad.)
If you glossed over this on the ranking thinking it was just another general cover of Amazing Grace, I implore you to go take another listen to it because it's significantly and absolutely fantastic. If the frankly amazing Meiko doesn't do it for you - despite taking top billing with some of the most amazing tuning I've ever heard from her - then the second half and crescendo will. There's really nothing to describe how uplifting it is to hear a full-on acapella Vocaloid track, especially when it sounds this good. Guaranteed to bring the biggest goddamn smile to your face.


Rain Shower, While the Sun Shines (OSTER, Rin, Big Band Ethnic Rock Opera?)
Listening to the start of this song, you would be forgiven for thinking that Oster had returned to the operatic, orchestral bent of Alice in Wonderland, but this tremendous song soon breaks its way through that misconception and into a tremendous song that completely defies description. One part eager and energetic rock track, the other traditional Japanese, the other other an operatic forte by a splendidly tuned Rin, this is a fantastically original track and a seriously good listen.

【GUMI(40㍍)】 春に一番近い街 【オリジナルPV】

The Closest Town In Spring (40m, Gumi, Pop)
Purestrain 40m back on absolutely fine form, an utterly fantastic piano-and-guitar song that's jaunty and upbeat and perfectly evokes the coming of spring. Peppered full of gorgeous solos, there's nothing I can say against this whatsoever, beyond hoping that 40m doesn't get stalked by someone recognizing the locations around his house.


Chick and Scales (furu, Miku, Theatric)
I defy you not to smile at this track, maybe consider getting up and dancing along with it? A legitimately hilarious and wonderful video encompasses this absolutely boggling and bombastic track, confusing and wonderful in equal measure. From a kazoo-and-duck-call introduction to a Miku singing at a breakneck pace to a big band melody heavy on the tuba and drums to an energetic and exultant chorus to the entire second half of the track, words can hardly describe how much sheer fun this track is to listen to.

Videos: 4 + 13 = 17Collapse )



Net Game Chorus x Headphone Actor (sa, Miku + IA, Rock)
sa is still at it, producing some of the most insane and most inspired mashups around nicovideo. While I don't honestly think anything will ever beat his absolutely breathtaking version of Calc x Interviewer, this is a solid entry to his stable and a lot better than some of his other recent works. The speed of both tracks play off each other to produce a frantic, barreling ride that simply doesn't ever stop or let up. Unfortunately, the harmonize point is at 2:50, which leaves the second half of the mashup feeling a little like a let down - still, great work.

MMD/Other: 1 + 4 = 5Collapse )

Next up, the underdogs and their recent songs in a special spotlight post.

News Roundup
(zetsubou) z-zeeen
I'm not actually dead - an assortment of RL business left me with no time the last couple of weeks, and even the three concert posts crept up on me without warning, so my apologies there. Two catchup roundups are underway and sitting in my notepad - the first should be up tomorrow, roughly hitting last week or so, and there'll be another one Thurs or Fri to get us fully back up to date.

While I'm at it, some news!

- The Crypton twitter got, uh, a little busy recently! Aside from confirmation of Meiko Append and talk about Miku English coming out 'by the end of the year' (a little off from Crypton's original timeframe of, you know, last year...) it also seems that whoever was in charge of it Thanksgiving Weekend decided to start tweeting while drunk, rather sulkily taking swipes out of a potential business partner and then having to apologise rather profusely.

- Miku's Google+ page has announced a colloborative project with Google to try to get Vocaloid listeners into participating in production. Or at least learning about production. Maybe? It's a little hard to tell, as Crypton still seem kind of incapable of getting someone other than a machine to do their Facebook and Google+ translations. The release is here, and it seems like the idea is that they're going to reveal the producer they're profiling on the 13th and, one assumes, go through their creative process. In the meantime, viewers are encouraged to watch the 39s video and figure out who the producer is!... which is a little tricky, when there's no lyrics and not a lot of instrumentation...

- Speaking of the big Google: the official, full-length video for Tell Your World is out, produced by Wakamura. Visually, it's a substantial treat, if a little busy on the eyes; Wakamura is one of the best in the business for using MME and some of the things he can marshal the engine into pulling off are breathtaking - see the spacescape at the end of the video for a prime example. But the rest of it leaves a little to be desired - facebook camera angles and poses, a lack of any real substantive dance or action... it doesn't do anything, and I think that's a tremendous shame after the short version managed to be so heartwarming and inspiring. If you extended the Google version out to four minutes and just roped in as many bits of fandom as you could into it, I'd be deliriously happy with it as a PV.

- Suzune Ring's got a couple new demos out, the first concrete information we've had on her in some time: Village Girl Dreaming (Nico) and Ice World (Nico), both by LambdaSK and a whole host of people at Vocanext. The thing is, I honestly can't muster up much of an opinion on these just yet - the voicebank doesn't seem refined enough to really garner an original opinion on the content, it's still at the stage of being a generic female Vocaloid voice. I do appreciate the wah-wah and the farmyard animals, though, don't get me wrong.

- So, if you wanted Miku on your iPhone, Sega is here to provide with Miku Flick. The preview video, as well as reaffirming that I'm heartily sick of Koi Suru Vocaloid, suggests the gameplay revolves around Ouendan-style stylus movements where you flick a given hiragana in a specific direction. If you're the sort to go for that, the JP iTunes page is here, though an english-language version is in the works.

- A smorgasbord of Gumi news: for one, the Native version (i.e. the V3 upgrade for her normal voice) is now on sale for the substantial cost of 11k yen. In slightly more bizarre news, peperon is helping out with a colloboration between... Lawson and Gumi... seems a bit random to me, but hey! It kicks off on 3/14, streaming music and offering downloads in most Lawson stores for a month, provided you have the smartphone, the technology, and the access to Japan to use it.

- This might be the most ambitious bit of ascii art around. Here's the reduced image if you're having trouble visualising it in full.

- Uh... I guess Peru now has a stadium named after Miku? Is... is that what I'm seeing here?

- A presentation on the 'Open Source Nature of Vocaloid' was performed at the SXSW Music Festival, a sentence I didn't expect to type any time soon.

- Staggeringly, Aoki Lapis of the I-Style Project, the company able to produce a thousand promotional shows without any actual content to display, will be released on the 6th April to what will surely be a horde of adoring fans. She's also just finished up in a charity event for the Japanese Earthquake Anniversary, which is all well and good, but... ... but even Crypton doesn't do this many events and appearances and they actually have product released. Is I-style one massive hallucination? I keep being unable to believe it!

Thanksgiving Days 39 Concert
(peony) the secret weapon

There was Meiko. shu-t, easily Meiko's biggest supporter, eases right on into the live show with Change Me, and finally we have the full Crypton lineup at a Thanksgiving Concert. The rest of the set list is here and as per the posts below I'll be adding to this one as I find more pictures and sources. Please feel free to chime in if you've got any scoops!

More pictures:Collapse )

Mikupa 2012 Set List
(kaito) drum solo

With Mikupa 2012's first day having just wrapped up, that means it was the turn of the Hatsune Miku Live Party 2012 to take the stage. Mikubook has you covered with a set list, while the niconico.com Pay Per View is still allowing timeshifts of the event for US users here at $25 per event or $40 as a bundle for both.

So far I'm hearing that the biggest highlights included Kaito showing up(!) to perform Pane Dhiria, Luka doing Night Fever, and Miku doing a version of Gekishou to blow the stage away... not to mention all of the producers being delightful idiots.

Tomorrow is the Final 39s Thanksgiving Concert - again, the NicoNico page is here. In the meantime, I'm still eagerly waiting for some enterprising soul with a Youtube unrestricted time limit to post the event for a sneak peek; if you were watching and feel the need to gush, please do so in order for the rest of us to live vicariously through you.

... but where was Meiko. :|


- Youku has a video of Kaito's Pane Dhiria performance!
- Mikatan's blog has a whole bunch of high-quality pictures of the concert and sale goods.
- Someone out there is making gifs of the concert. Anyone know the source? I'd love to have more of these:

How about that CUL Matsuri?
Since V3's been skyrocketing as of now, why not do a little checkup on how CUL's doing? Just gonna share some nice works I've stumbled upon. I apologize if some of these videos have already been done in a previous linkdump.

Love Lock Juliet, TaKa, CUL
  An awesome rock track that shows off CUL's lower tones, and, to be honest, I really think that lower octaves is where she definitely soars. Too many songs I have heard her squeak, crack, and leave a ringing in my ear. This is a very pleasant change! Bring up any, ANY other CUL track at random, and I guarantee you that this one will almost definitely knock the other one flat on it's sorry arse.

DEAD or LOVE, Kasane, CUL
  One very dramatic, dynamic, piano rock song that really hooks you in with it's astounding intro...and then there's that squeaky CUL that makes you jump a little in your seat. It's not as bad as it could be, but it's enough to grate on the ears. Other than that, it's a very respectable, foot tapping track with a heavy bass, electric piano, and grungy energy that will appeal to the average rock-genre fan. If you can deal with the squealing road kill singer, that is.

System Freya, Kaoling, Gumi/CUL
  My lord, Kaoling has done it again. Another stunning ethnic track with chirping vocals and a wonderfully toned Gumi and CUL, just chanting along with the drums, wind instruments, and delicate percussion that peeps it's head in here and there. If you like any of Seiko or Shigoshite, or are just an ethnic music fan in general, you don't wanna miss this one.

Only a few more because I'm a picky brat...Collapse )

(kaito) drum solo
As pretty much expected, MMD Cup took a huge bite out of the rankings since last weekend, leaving me with not really enough on my shortlist to do a post for a while. As if that weren't enough, something else - see below - took another huge chunk out of them this week, so the overall number of songs to pick from was a little reduced to say the least. Fortunately, we've also got some hot off the presses for you.

And then I fell asleep and had to continue writing the post the next day!! Never get old, it's terrible. Someone hand me a cane... so I can beat anyone younger than me.


- The Project Diva twitter feed strongly hints that the Mirai demo is now out. If you've got access to the Japanese Nintendo DS store, take a look there tonight for the 'something special' the tweet mentions.

- The Engloids blog (good site, by the way) has some translated information on the intention to bring out a SeeU English database within the year. This would be interesting from a region perspective - with the English version of Miku still seemingly a non-starter, SeeU could potentially take the lead on bridging the east and west; on the other hand, with a certain amount of reactionary outcry on Youtube over the whole Save Miku furore, it's anyone's guess as to how she'd be received.

- Gonna repimp the Save Miku Wikia, as I've been keeping up with it and am very pleased to see it both getting used and getting used effectively.

- Kind of off-topic, but hachi, under the name of Kenshi Yonezu, is putting out a full-length album entirely of his own work: singing, animation, and music, the works. You can check out the headliner song, Go Go Ghost Ship, here.

- Of course, Kaito's birthday happened, but... one look at the tag sorted by view will confirm what I'd already started to suspect - with the top 6 all coming from MMD Cup, I think he's been usurped a little.


【ミク リン レン ルカ KAITO MEIKO GUMI がくぽ】ゆめのかたち【オリジナル】

Dream Form (fuwari, Ensemble, Ballad)
Oh no, right in the feelings! Well, what else could I put up at the top of the post? The Crypton and Internet all-stars team up for a soft and super-gentle pop ballad number, with traditional understated fuwari music and a vocal tour-de-force. Seriously heartwarming, and if somehow that wasn't enough there's a full animation from nekomura, one of the more famed PV makers around.

【GUMI】 イカサマライフゲイム 【オリジナル・PV付】

Ikasama Life Game (kemu, Gumi, Rock)
a.k.a. 'Fake Life Game'. Not the first Gumi song that I narrowly avoided linking last post, thinking the next one would be along within the week - but easily the biggest and most striking of the lot. A tremendous marriage between fast rock, scorching piano and chiptune stylings, kemu's latest grandstands in fine fashion, topping it all off with an excellent Gumi and an absolutely excellent video. If you somehow haven't seen this yet, make absolutely sure to now.


2D Dream Fever (Polyphonic Branch, Miku, Rock)
The video for this track was quite a surprise, I have to admit - it seems odd to see hie working with anyone but kous, especially on a track that isn't even vaguely kous-like; a frenetic mix of chiptunes and eager rock, married to a video that's half electronics and half kinetic typography. The style changes in the music are a little too abrupt for me at times, but it's hardly about to stop me enjoying what is all in all a very impressive production.

Videos: 3 + 15 = 18Collapse )

MMD / Other:


Tda Miku Append
So, yeah. I was going to give MMD a miss, what with the cup just gone, but this didn't give me a choice. This is what the big fuss was about this week - a new and ridiculously detailed MMD model of Miku Append, HD-capable and already with a couple changes of clothes and a bunch of neat tricks you can do with the eyes and face - including that 80s standby of computer text behind the retina. It's no exaggeration to say this model has been more popular even than Lat's launch this last week, with multiple top-ten videos clogging up the ranking and a whole slew of reprinted songs dedicated to it. Chances are the video above - being a general look at the model's boning and design - won't interest you that much, so here's a bunch of dances under the cut.

MMD: 1, but it's a big one...Collapse )

Save Miku Wikia
(kaito) drum solo
A quick heads-up post: if you're a little lost on what exactly is going down on Youtube and what can be done to help, the Save Miku Wikia is probably the best source to use, being both a lot more cool-headed than any given Youtube comment you'd care to name what with their focus on information-gathering rather than finger-pointing, and being solidly comprehensive in their contacting producers and uploaders for comment. They could use help from native speakers, as a little too much of the site is Google Translated or conjecture, but they appear to be avoiding wild claims. At least, until such time as the Youtube commenters find them, I guess... Edit: ramendik a.k.a. Saruta stopped by to reassure readers that there's been no trouble and work is proceeding on both sides of the world in the comments, so apologies for the dumb irreverence!


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