Monthly Archives: September 2007

Making Rounds with Hatsune Miku

Uninstall is probably the best one I ran across.

I got a laugh out of this one. It reminded me back when people were doing a capella versions of eurobeat and DDR music. Hare Hare Yukai is no exception I suppose.

This one has Hatsune Miku harmonizing with another sound instrument running on classic Vocaloid, from Sousei no Aquarion. Or this song from Nausicaa.

Some people like this version of Tori no Uta, but I think it is seriously lacking.

Slightly less lacking is this version of Princess Mononoke theme. Or this other song from AIR.

There’s always dance-pop leek spinning. Which is probably the simplest way to use Hatsune Miku.

With Hatsune Miku, every computer-literate otaku geek is a dreamer. Or LOL.

What’s Hatsune Miku? It’s basically a synthetic instrument pack sort of thing running on the Vocaloid2 engine–a text-to-speech singing engine. In other words, it’s a software that outputs singing if you give it the notes and words. You can also fine tune it and such. It can even output in Engrish.

Just check out the links up there. And down here.


Marisa steals the whatever. It’s a little weak, but yeah.

True My Heart. Beefed up version.

Something from Lucky Star.

One could buy into the marketing possibilities and hype about something like Hatsune Miku–and so far it’s living up to it to a degree. But will things turn out like this? Virtual idol and all that stuff. But then again, even Hatsune Miku is modeled after a real person.

Oh God not this song >_<. To get you in the mood for Eva revival?

LOL CLANNAD in 17 days.

The one to sing about.

Some Higurashi Nonsense.

This is just a fraction of what Hatsune Miku has out there–there’s a legion more on Niconico, and more and more appear by the moment. The original graphic of Hatsune Miku is sort of the new visual icon for this virtual singer slash amusing computer tool. Coincidentally the typical vocaloid sells for a few thousand copies (if it’s any good). Hatsune Miku has gone already way, way beyond that as a smashing success as far as a professional software tool goes.

Got a video you like? Please do share?

Women Don’t Have A Thousand Faces in Anime

Sorry Yumi-chan, but a cat has even more.

What's the matter, cat got your tongue?

Or in this week’s case, an alien bent on destruction of the Human race.


That must’ve been one of the most satisfying moment in anime that I ran in to for some time. It’s definitely one of the more satisfying thing to happen to a persistent pain-in-the-butt character (and Heroic Age‘s got its share) that I’ve seen. It’s not even karmic, because to be fair Peato Ou does have the right idea (killing DNAra will lead to the end of the Human race), even if he’s blind about the end result. (It’s like knowing not to hit a tagged rogue in Area 52 on a PvE server, but you do it anyways because you are dumb.)

In the introspection of the nature of men and women, there are some anime that take it seriously, and there are some anime that don’t. For everything else, there are high quality key animation frames that captures the essence of the human spirit expressed through the art of body language translated into pictures. The exaggerated nature of anime art style only enhances the enjoyment of its audience when we see the actors on stage, normally being serious, break out in a show-and-tell of how badass something that may have just happened to them.

And this treatment is gender-neutral! Dropping your jaw is not a sexist behavior in anime.

The Last Generation of Haruhi Suzumiya

Back in ’95-96 Akiyuki Shinbo directed a project called Soreyuke! Uchuusenkan Yamamoto Yohko. It was an adaptation of a series of teenage-level science fiction novels written by Takashi Shouji. The project resulted in two OAV series, and later in 1997 a 26-episode TV series retelling the expanded novel story was aired.

Perhaps it’s just how people looked at TV shows and movies back in the 90s, but Yamamoto Yohko didn’t make a big splash. Unavoidably, Akiyuki Shinbo’s … signature directorial style is somewhat hit-and-miss with the crowd, and I think the Yamamoto Yohko TV series is one of the earliest example of this signature style.

(In some ways looking at Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, you can tell that its rather-two-dimensional look works much more successfully with the punches Shinbo pulls–in fact I believe that’s why Pani Poni Dash did so much better with the fans yet Soul Taker was just way out in the left field with a cold but critically acclaimed reception. Yamamoto Yohko shared that 3D feel. All to stretch the animation budget?)

Well the point here, I hope, is to remind or introduce you –I sure do need to rewatch it–to this actually really above average but rarely-heard-of anime series to you. Yamamoto Yohko is twelve years old now, but its faded-out color palette and seeing kids hanging out at arcades are the only things showing its age. The direction is sublime (and resourceful), the OAV episodes are fun, energetic, and charming. The TV series suffers, I think, from being 26 episodes long, but it delivers a solid story about someone much like Suzumiya Haruhi…sans the romantic/Kyon angle.

Maybe that’s where the magic is missing? I don’t know. (Is that just the difference between 90s TV shows and today’s?) But I do know that it’s a fairly timeless TV anime, and is worth watching beyond mere sentimentality. It’s smart, humorous, it keeps you surprised, and the voice acting is top notch.

It’s even got time travelers, aliens, and ESPer-like computers. It is even licensed–at least the two OAV series. The TV series is in limbo–RightStuf has an option which they have not exercised because the sales were subpar. The US release was back in 2001, and it was on both DVD and VHS. You can probably find the DVD super cheap now, if at all.

Team Simoun Needs Your Help!

Until 10~11pm Japan time, you can still vote for Rimone in the 2007 Saimoe contest. Tomorrow The-Very -Good-Girl Mamiina will be up in the running, so please support her as well! If you like Simoun and is curious about Saimoe, you can read about what Saimoe is here, as well how to vote in the world-wide contest about Japanese anime 2-D chara popularity.

Or if you’re really lazy, just:

1. click here at least 1 hour (ideally 2) before 8:58AM US Eastern time, keep the new window open.
2. Wait two hours (or right after 8:58am if you are getting this in really last-minute), then refresh that window you kept open. Keep it opened.
3. click here and then click on the top most thread that has a number less than 1001.
4. Scroll down to the bottom with the text box, input the code [[balhblabhab]] from step #2 (including the [[]]) into the text box.
5. If you are voting today (up to Monday, Sept. 10 US Eastern time), next line in the text box put in <<リモネ@シムーン>> — the text string starting with << and ends with >>. If you are voting tomorrow for Mamiina, put in << マミーナ@シムーン>> instead.
6. Click the button next to the text box. Should be the only one on the page.
7. Click again on the button on the next page (scroll down a bit maybe).
8. ???
9. Profit!

That is, if nothing went wrong. A lot of European ISPs seem to work fine. No proxies will likely to work with this. It sucks for me, but hey, it’s worth a shot for VERY GOODNESS.

Tasha Yar == Karukinus

No, not really. Seriously. I’m just kidding…

Hello, Yin's sempai?

More I watch Heroic Age, the more I think of Star Trek. Why? It has that geek-utopia smell to it.

There is a lot of literature written about the Star Trek … franchise. Thing. Culture. Geekdom. What have you. Ever imagine if The Next Generation was not about Captain Picard going out there and discover new stuff, but Deanna Troi’s younger, innocent sister leading the Federation to reconciliation with a strange version of the Borg… Oh, and replace all that technobabbling with “hoshiboshi no michibiki” and “staarrrrway” and “the power of the Golden Tribe” and you’ve got it.

What if Q raised Age?

I think that air of utopia seasoned with reason being the common pillar for all those sentient being existing in the universe…is the heart of the Star Trek universe, the common thread behind its themes. And in this Heroic Age, such is the order of the world.

Onto the present and ever present whine:

Within the series we need to realize, that like many other space sci-fi stories, traveling between each star is a big hassle and a major plot point. Such is as true in The Heroic Age as with others in the same genre of anime. The nature of space travel in each sci-fi setting is something of some concern and attention for the story teller. That’s a big “Kero-chan Check” point for settings (as with character designs). But so far within the series we have not had a very clear explanation of how FTL travel works. I think it’s a major disservice to the audience to not be able to understand how this major plot point works. Especially how it ties into DNAra’s singular, unique power that we realize later on.

Along the same line, real space maneuvering in The Heroic Age seems to be akin to that of Starship Operator–it takes real time to move stuff around (each battle takes days and weeks and months to resolve), although it seems rather Star Wars-ish when it comes to combat otherwise. The Nodos here is both a help and a harm–it strips the show of any kind of realism, yet it makes things a lot less boring. But somehow, the combat parts of this show is still pretty boring and I don’t know what can be done to help it.