Tag Archives: vocaloid

Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid (Racing 2011 Version)

Miku Hatsune Racing 2011 figure by Good Smile Company

Another day, another Vocaloid figure. The Vocaloid phenomenon offers a little something for everyone. To amateur musicmakers, it is an empowering tool, giving them the ability to add vocals to their instrumental tracks. For artists, it is a source of inspiration for their illustrations. For companies, it’s a reliably fat cash cow – slap a Vocaloid image on a product or insert one of the characters into a video game and watch the units fly off the shelves. A few companies have taken this commercial exploitation to another level; Sega, for example, loves throwing her into games that she has no business being in. And Good Smile Company too, who have made so many products featuring her likeness that she might as well be their mascot. At least in the case of their auto racing team, it seems that this is literally true, as this figure represents.
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Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid (Cheerful Version)

Miku Hatsune Cheerful Figure Review

Back to figure reviews, and what more appropriate character to feature than Miku Hatsune, that ubiquitous, protean pitchwoman of software products, racing teams, and Toyota automobiles?
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Miku Append from Vocaloid

Max Factory Miku Append Figure Review

Miku Hatsune’s popularity among figure collectors is ascendant, and though it seemed like she would have to share the 2011 hobby spotlight with Tamaki Kousaka and Super Sonico, most of Sonico’s figures won’t be coming out until next year and many of this year’s Tamaki figures are manifestly forgettable, leaving no competition to contest Miku’s prominence. From her humble origin as an image character of a niche software package, she has become a titan of commercialization, appearing not only in her own games but also games such as Pangya Fantasy Golf and the PlayStation 3 port of Idolmaster 2, becoming the mascot of Good Smile Racing, and selling Toyota automobiles. And of course, she’s gotten figures – not just numerous figures, but a numerous variety of figures. A few years ago, one could justifiably complain that Miku figures all looked alike – Good Smile Company’s Miku looked very much like Volks’s Miku which looked very much like Max Factory’s Miku. However, in recent times, figure makers have offered new takes on the Vocaloid mascot, casting her as a sort of warrior clad in robotic armor and as a pit crew worker. Even more conventional takes on the character, such as Good Smile Company’s Lat-type figure and Max Factory’s Tony Taka-designed figure present distinctive poses and facial expressions. The latest Miku figure to be released is perhaps the most distinctive yet, but whether that’s a good thing is debatable. Let’s take a closer look at it.
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Lily from anim.o.v.e

Lily from Vocaloid Figure Review

Phat Company’s Lily is the newest Vocaloid figure to the market. Unlike the most famous Vocaloid girl, it’s pretty easy to tell what she does for a living. If you looked at Miku, you’d think she was a student at a high-tech school or a high-flying armored superheroine or a troublemaking, rabble-rousing revolutionary. Lily, however, is quite obviously a singer. Perhaps she just hasn’t been in the music industry long enough to sell out yet. It happens to so many who stick around and make it big, though, so time will tell.
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Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid


Max Factory Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid Figure Review

Way back when I was in college, I was interested in making electronic music, and being that I did not and still don’t have any musical talent to speak of, I figured the easiest way to do it would be via computer. I had a copy of ReBirth for drums and a MIDI controller that I could use for basslines, my roommate played the guitar so I could ask him for samples, but one thing I didn’t have was vocals. While I might have been able to fake some sort of musical ability with instrumentals, there was no way I was going to embarrass myself by trying to sing. One day, while reading the news from that year’s NAMM on Harmony Central, I learned that Yamaha had developed voice synthesis software intended to provide musical vocals. They had a couple of voices, and I listened to the samples; one of them was of a voice called “Miriam” singing old traditional songs like Auld Lang Syne and Scarborough Fair. They were interesting and innovative in an academic sense, but they were still rather rough and being a broke student, I couldn’t buy the software anyway, so I quickly forgot about them and the whole enterprise and went back to doing my homework.

Fast forward years later; I’m out of college, I’m buying figures, I see a ton of people talking about some young green-eyed girl in dire need of a haircut. Wondering what anime she was from, I Google her name and find out that she’s from “Vocaloid.” How curious, I think, that an anime was named after voice synthesis software. Then I find out that she’s not from an anime at all; Yamaha made a mascot character to ostensibly represent one of their voice packs and it succeeded beyond their wildest expectation. I’m not certain if this whole phenomenon is an ingenius example of marketing or a demonstration of how simple it is to get money from anime fans.
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