Okay, I am about to completely destroy any credibility that I may have had prior to posting this article. It’s something that I have been completely obsessed with lately. If you know the whole story behind my obsession, it’ll seem a lot more justified, even if you’re not into the whole Anime/waifu/Weaboo/We got nuked by Godzilla culture. It’s something that’s still pretty fascinating from a Sci-Fi and technology standpoint, and I also really like the whole creativity/collaboration aspect of it.
Hatsune Miku started her life as a piece of computer software called Vocaloid, which makes vocal patterns based on pre-recorded sound samples. In Japan, marketing often utilizes Anime characters in the same way we might use athletes or celebrities. Each Vocaloid voice pack had it’s own mascot, with Miku being the most popular. Officially, she is a time-traveling android from a dystopian future where all music is dead. She has traveled to our time to prevent this from ever happening.
Musically inclined people began using Vocaloid to make songs, either digitally or with actual instruments that they played. These songs were uploaded to
NicoNicoDouga, which is basically a Japanese equivalent of youtube. Then people who aren’t musically inclined but had savvy for working with animation or 3d modelling created music videos for these songs. After that, fashion sensible folk took things a step further by designing costumes and outfits for the Vocaloid characters to wear in their music videos. The characters were given their own personalities and backstories, and in the case of Hatsune, eventually became akin to actual celebrities, who were utilized to market other things. Miku has even become popular enough to star in her own videogames. All that, from a piece of vocalization software made by Yamaha.
That’s the part that I really embrace. The idea of a body of people with a variety of talents, all coming together to create something awesome. When you think about it, it’s kind of like Robot Boombox, albeit a lot dorkier. If that’s even possible. On RBX we have connections with musicians who make beats and songs for us to use in our videos and podcasts, writers who provide content for the website, and gamers who do “Let’s Plays”. Frank utilizes his tech knowledge and education in web design to build us a platform to get this content out to the world, and I use my internet history and social savy to guide things along, as well as scout talent and promote the brand. The entire website is a sum of all of it’s parts.
The Vocaloid craze reached it’s peak when people began paying money to see these fictional characters perform live in concert. Yes. Fake divas performing live. This was done using a technology called “Musion Eyeliner”, which happens to be the same tech used to revive Tupac Shakur from the dead and allow the Gorillaz to perform alongside Madonna. Musion Eyeliner works by projecting a High Definition LED image off of a thin, metallic film that is placed at a 45 degree angle on the stage. This gives the illusion of a hologram, and with proper planning the digital projections can even give the appearance of interacting with human beings.
This is an evolution of an old theatre technique called Pepper’s ghost, which is often used in haunted houses to scare the shit out of little kids and black people with white sheeted ghosts. Although it isn’t an actual hologram, this is the closest we can currently get to some crazy Macross shit, and crazy Macross shit is always appreciated in my book. Seriously, crazy Macross shit.It’s an exciting prospect for the future. Imagine a world where musicians and celebrities are more important to society for their artistic contributions, as opposed to their media buzz. Imagine a world where society themselves can be a part of this creation process! The “Tupac Hologram” brings another exciting idea to the table with the ability to “revive” long dead musicians and expose them to the newer generations, or to preserve concerts in a new way, so that with the progress of technology one could relive exciting experiences almost in person, as opposed to relying on simple video recordings.
So in closing: That’s why I’m pathetic, and 2D girls are better than real girls.