Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wrapping up 2009

In May this blog was started. At the beginning I didn't have quite an idea what to write or how to write. I am generally a bad writer and writing one story takes more time and effort than it should. I am also not a fluent English user which makes writing harder. Still, I have been writing and so has Riho, and I am happy with the outcome since there are some regular readers. Without them there would be no point to write anything, so a big "Thank you!" to the readers of this blog.



The goal for this blog has not been to give up to date news. There are other English blogs for that (like Vocaloidism). Over the time this blog has become a place for us to share our Vocaloid related discoveries. I often like to do some background search on topics and then write a bit longer story, but that is not always the case. Riho is more interested in sharing particular music discoveries.

Next year we would like to liven up this blog a bit. We are preparing banners and will do some link exchange. So far we really haven't advertised this site. We also have some ideas how to extend the site so it wouldn't be only a blog. No details yet, but you'll see next year. We will also upload some our own made content which will probably be one of the first Miku works in Estonian. But all that on next year.

"Happy new year dance" MMD from Miku.



Since only me and Riho are keeping this blog, we are still short of editors. If you would like to write posts here, contact us and we'll let you do that.

I'll finish this post with greetings to all our readers around the world. That is in Estonia (of course), USA, Italy, Japan, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore!, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Spain, France, Finland and other places. Everyone is welcome to spam this blog post with comments saying a few words about themselves and what they like/would like to see here.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Magnet cosplay

I was looking at some Comiket 77 cosplay pictures (it is currently held in Tokyo) and then I saw one with Miku and Luka on it. It seemed to be a very hard thing to do convincingly so I got interested. I searched through the web for similar cosplays to see how others have succeeded in recreating the message from song "Magnet". You all probably know that, but for reference.



I didn't expect the rabbit hole to be that deep. There so many cosplays of this and some photoshoots are just excellent (same thing here too). Definitely recommend. I can't upload galleries here, so you have to click yourself. You can do it! :)



This style sample was from previously mentioned photo shooting session where Miku role was played by S.F.Sakana. She is certainly one of the best Miku cosplayers ever.



Look, a nice pic with Len and Rin! Mood is not right, but all the costume quality, colors and lighting are just beautiful. Picture is from this cosplay gallery.

I am glad that there are people who are brave enough to express themselves through cosplaying and making photoshooting sessions. World would be much more gray without it. I know that in Italy it is common to say "bella" to strangers on street when they look beautiful. We don't have such habit here and people acting like that would look strange. I wish that people would be more brave to express themselves through clothes and others would be more accepting. On the contrary, shiny clothes with bad taste are just as bad as being plain, but I'd accept that if some of those are really vivid and nice. All this applies to men too!

For more Magnet cosplay gallerys, go to cosplay.com and search for "vocaloid magnet". Have a good time discovering.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wooden Miku

There once was a fictional character name Jason Vorhees - even if you do not know the name, imagine a maniacal killer with a hockey mask and a chainsaw - that is him. But it seems that as times change, so do people and now a new kind of Jason has appeared. This time he has dedicated himself to carving various life-size anime characters out of wooden blocks. In case you have never worked with a chainsaw, imagine drawing something with a pen that weighs 10 kilograms, vibrates strongly, makes an awful noise that can be heard miles away and has the potential to remove some of your limbs. The level of detail that he achieves with such an inaccurate tool is remarkable.

Here is the youtube playlist for the rest of Thejeisonsan' carvings. As far as I could understand from videos, titles and comments, he has made an EVA 01, Mikoto Misaka from Railgun, Mio and Yui from K-on and a lot of other sculptures.

First off, Hachune Miku, the video is in two parts and almost 14 minutes in total.
Not much of Vocaloid music, but I do hope that you can enjoy the 8-bit classic that Mega Man is.





Next up, a life-size Hatsune Miku. Accompanied by the Earthbound soundtrack.



The fact that her hair had to be supported made me realize that anime hairstyles might be even more exaggerated than we think.

Last up, the only song with Miku and chainsaws that I could find. Sadly, no translation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas



Best wishes from my nendoroid :)



(I do need a camera with manual focus)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IOSYS meets Miku

I just want to share this overwhelming energy you can find in some of this dōjin circle works. Originally these featured Touhou characters, but there are also a few Vocaloid remakes I know of. When I first discovered their flash animations I was enthralled by how well they can put animation and music together.

I won't embed the latest MMD cup video of "Overdrive" here even if it features the voice from Miku. Even if I like song better, I still find the video in the older version much more pleasing.



Ah, and I just can't get over that Miku stole the precious thing.



It is so nice to watch this side by side with original. Yes, I like Miku version better.




Along with MAD content, IOSYS has used voices of Miku other Vocaloids to make serious albums too. This should calm you down after those energy bombs.



Since this song is from an album they sell it is likely to be removed soon from Youtube. I made a light search and it is available in Amazon.co.jp in case you want to support the author.

To tell the truth, I don't quite like all the free content sharing because those who make it want to live too, but I can't help Youtube and such are strong medium for popularizing authors works. There is no easy and acceptable by everyone solution out there, so my effort will be sharing, but also trying to give credit to the author and when possible, also how you could support the artist when you wanted to. I guess that is a right thing to do.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Miku v2 (?) and The Touhou Project

After stumbling over a song that sounded a lot more realistic than most of Vocaloid-powered (just wanted to use that expression) songs. But now the problem is - even after looking about details about it, I still know nothing. So, if you, dear reader, know a bit more, feel free to leave a comment. All info I have comes from the video description: "This movie is new Hatsune Miku vocal Data Base β.ver demo song movie."
The fact remains, this sounds completely different and there are even arguments, if this really is Miku or not.


About the Touhou Project - not long ago, a simple video of Touhou characters got over a million views in one week on NicoNico. The video was the soon-to-be very famous Bad Apple. For some reason, there is yet to be a Miku version of this. But there is a Megpoid version, that sounds decent... to be polite. The problem is that the singer of the track is exceptionally good and whether it is Megpoid or the creator, it just doesn't reach it. I am still hoping that someone with lots of experience would make a Miku or Meiko version with it.



To keep the length of this post to a sane level, this shall be the last video for this time. Related to Touhou and insanely cute. There is also a Miku (-like) version, but the style does not suit me.


If you remember the Fast Food and Miku post, then those songs also originated from Touhou. Even if they are musical train wrecks, there is still something oddly catchy about those.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another Miku Channel

Can be found here. It features a collection of some of the most popular Miku videos on a self contained TV like site. I admire the absolute simplicity of the page and being non-youtube, but hate the Comic-Sans (sorry). The page got my attention for one whole evening as backround video/music.


As a bonus, all videos are in auto repeat mode. I like it, since I have a weird habit of listening to one song multiple times in a row.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pi challenge

Interestingly Pi-chorus by Len fits the original song "Incarnation" by Hanasoumen-P. I didn't count, but in this modified song Len should say PI in 2000 digit precision.



More works from Vocaloid master π-P.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Voc@loidm@ster festival 3

Is a community initiated event that is currently being held on NicoVideo, that is between 6th and 8th of November. What it means is that various mashups are created based on iDOLM@ASTER and Vocaloid content. All this is uploaded to NicoVideo for others to see. Fumi25 blog seems to be a good place to keep yourself updated what is happening in NicoVideo.

IDOLM@ASTER is a raising simulation game where you act as a producer who works on finding pop idols. It is quite adictive and game idols are loved just like there are people obsessed in Vocaloids.

I haven't looked over all the content and new videos are uploaded as I write, but here are some like. This one I started liking when playing Project Diva. It is a song called "moon" by Miku and the animation features Chihaya Kisaragi.
Agh, after trying various ways I couldn't embed it, but here it is.


Next one is an animation mixup of both. I don't know about the song, but it is embed-worthy since it looks and feels like the most usual entry (it is probably not tho).




This Len song マフィアゲー makes a good mix with the video. This is currently my top favourite.




And what the hell is this. Laughs.



Keep yourself updated and see all the entries as they appear.

I have to admit that iDOLM@STER physics simulation is superior to usual hand crafted joint animation found in usual MMD. That makes iDOLM@STER animation much prettier and addictive to watch. Maybe one day MMDs will get such pysics simulation too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween songs

A whole collection of Vocaloids in one fresh Halloween song. "Dream Meltic Halloween" by Machigeriita-P who is also a known author of many horror themed Vocaloid songs.


MP3 link in NicoVideo.

Here is not a fresh, but rather popular song that goes with Halloween theme. It has many different video versions with many having also English subs. There are also versions that have human vocal over Vocaloid versions and just human voice versions. Different slide show versions, bad quality and incomplete versions. Put "Trick and treat" in Youtube and prepare yourself.


MP3 link in NicoSound.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Miku Z4 on Super GT 2009 - AUTOPOLIS

A lot has happened after I last time wrote about Miku Z4 on Super GT. I think that those who were more eager to follow, already know what has happened, but here I sum some things up and present some links. I used bit.ly to see how much these are clicked. I hope it won't bother you much.


New artwork on Miku Z4 at Autopolis! source


At first, congratulations! Studie GLAD Racing points were almost doubled at AUTOPOLIS circuit to total of 5 points and new driver Taku Bamba (who replaced Yasushi Kikuchi) got a first driver point. On Saturdays qualification (translated) Taku Bamba drove a promising 11th best lap. On Sundays final (translated) he managed to come on 10th place being 2 laps behind first car. This is really a good news after such misfortune on Fuji and Suzuka circuit where Miku Z4 had to cancel both of these.






Sheer joy :) source


Last time on Fuji speedway Miku Z4 got some serious engine problems (translated) during practice and they had to abandon the race. So they had to say goodbye to both qualification and final race. Still, on Sunday they organized a support tour bus (translated) where fans could drive through the circuit and see it close up. There were more.


Troubled Miku Z4 at Fuji. source. (I like that umbrella, I want one... :)


I encourage you to visit their blog and I remind that, they have some official songs on their web site you can download and listen to. "Blue Max Warrior ~撃墜王~" is still my favorite.

This year's closing Super GT event is Motegi 250km race on 7th and 8th of November. Excitement is up again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sweet Tooth Miku

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a question asked by the writer Philip K. Dick. But what would Miku dream about? Obviously, after singing so much, she would still see that in her dreams. But surprisingly, Miku seems to have a bit of a sweet tooth. Apparently, what would make Miku happy, is for her to find a world where there are chocolate bathtubs, pancakes with caramel and sauce, and in return, she would give you Lots Of Laughs. I find the artwork stunning, the song itself very good, but the LOL in it is like a drop of tar.


The info panel in youtube gives all the mp3 and nicovideo links and all other information. For some reason, the downloadable mp3 sounded worse than the youtube version.

The second song features Kaito running a "Love so Sweet" bakery. I won't tell you more about the story, just watch it :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Robot Miku at CEATEC, Tokyo

People, who built the HRP-4C robot, now dressed it up as Hatsune Miku for this year technology showcase event CEATEC 2009 that is currently ongoing on the outskirts of Tokyo.



Even tho their work is technologically impressive, I find it esthetically unpleasant (to express myself mildly). Probably one of my favourite robot Miku is the PSP playing Miku.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MikuMikuDanceCup 2009 Summer (MMDCUP III Trilogy)

I haven't really covered any MMD related topics here before. Let this be the first light one. (This is a hard topic for me, because there are great amounts of info around and mostly not in English. But I'll still try).

MMD is a short for MikuMikuDance that is a simple program that makes it possible to animate Miku and other Vocaloids in 3D. This is used by many enthusiasts and there are a lot of those low-polygon dance videos out there. Some want to take it onto a higher level and use it for story animation. Many of these are made for special MMD events like MMDCUP III Trilogy that was held about a month ago. It featured 133 MMD videos that received a staggering 3.2 million views during the event.

Since the event is over, there is an official closing movie. I had to embed it with Korean subtitles, because there is no original one in Youtube. You can find authentic version in NicoVideo here.



Vocaloidism had a coverage on this, but to sum the most important things up, there was a competition under three themes: Season, Future and Easy. It started at 24th of June and ended on 24th of August. Activity in NicoVideo defined the rankings. All participating videos can be found here. Those who can't access NicoVideo can watch most of them in Youtube. I used this channel (find videos with 【第3回MMD杯本選】 in their name).

I could go into discussing about points and top videos, but I won't do that. Instead I will make my own picks out of the competition. These are highly subjective and you may want to watch all videos yourself. I watched most of the competion videos and favorited what I liked most and now I try to present them in more organized manner.

My favorite one is "Island" (アイランド). Nice song, natural chracter animation, nice camera work and most importantly, great story. It also reminds me a great PS1 game with absolutely wonderful music, Chrono Cross.



Another favorite is the one where Miku has birthday and gets a present. What happens there looks very realistic, you'll see.



Sometimes it is not Miku in trouble, but Haku instead. By some peculiar reason she just can't get off the table. Luka is also playing cute, but I can't get what she's doing. She can dance to OSTER project tho. I've seen a lot of Miku dancing videos, but some still impress me. In one video Miku wants to be with her master and actually finds a way with help of Luka. Escaping to real world would be a good idea if things would turn out like in horror movie. Maybe Miku is destined to fight for Earth or just bad guys as hero so that Haku can safely drive her trailer (for great lol, skip to 3:15 and watch to very end). For laugh, it is also worth checking out what Mona does.

I could go on, but I already doubt that many of you read this post through. I'll finish this post with one promotional video (not quite new tho) that might make you want to try MMD yourself.



I haven't tried using MMD, but would like to. Ideas and people are welcome :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Upcoming Black Rock Shooter Anime

If you have been living under a rock like me, you may not have heard about this: they are actually making a Black Rock Shooter anime. The number of episodes and release date are still unknown, the most accurate info being: "spring 2010"

So, why am I making a post like this so early? The big fuss is over the fact that on 30. September, a "Pilot Edition" was released. Don't expect much, even if these are 3 rather big files, they all come down to the same video with different mixes of the song.

Here are all the 3 videos put together in HD.


For me, it was a somewhat disappointment. I have never been a big fan of the song itself. The visual style would be K-On meeting Gurren Lagann. The story seems too cliche - average schoolgirl gets a magic boost and transform into Black Rock Shooter to defend the earth from... a scythe-wielding goth chick? Seems like we have to wait until spring to find out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vocal-oid

Making a program sing like a common singer is a feat by itself. Some creators have taken it to a new level, giving Miku a lot more vocal depth and creativity. In my opinion, making a vocaloid sing "words" is not easy, but to make her sing utter gibberish should be next to impossible. Making it actually sound good is simply amazing.

I haven't found many songs like this and I am pretty sure that there are better examples out there. I have found some a capella versions, but nothing really good.



Only the chorus is as mentioned above, but since it is so cute, I thought I'd share.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unofficial Hatsune Mix manga

It arrived. I was very exited. It was Hatsune Mix manga, compiled from monthly releases under the same title by Comic Rush. I don't really know why it is "unofficial", but that doesn't really matter. Here it is, on my desk, waiting to be read.



I find it very interesting piece of work since it is made by the same illustrator KEI who made the original Miku design. The manga is written in Japanese, but it has furigana as reading aid. So I find it suitable for Miku fans learning Japanese, like me :)

The manga itself consists of 8 unrelated stories. Each one is a bit twisted on its own way. I don't agree with everything written here, but it pretty much describes what to expect.

It is also available for online reading, but that is not exactly the same. In my printed version there are two chapters missing: "01. Abandoned Mix" and "06. Wandering Mix". That was unexpected and a bit disturbing. A small relief is that all 16 wonderful color pages are not bloated with texts.

Getting my hand on this one was a bit tricky here. I found that the cheapest way to order it was from Amazon.co.jp here. Still the shipping to here in Estonia was a beefy ¥ 3700 while the manga itself was only ¥700. That's about 500 EEK in our local currency

I take this manga to Animatsuri this weekend, so everyone interested, can read it in such a nice place as manga reading corner :)

I finish my post with one cinematic version of Abandoned Mix (that I didn't get):

Animatsuri 2009

This weekend, on 12-13 of September the biggest anime related event in Estonia is being held here in my hometown Tartu. Lots of stuff will be happening there, click the link for more info. If you didn't know about it yet (quite improbable), then now you know. :)

Both writers of this blog are also part of organizing crew. You can find me and Riho at information desk along with our mascot if all goes as planned. Riho will be selecting music for the event, so some extent of Vocaloid content will be expected.

I hope to see lots of Miku, Haku, Rin, Len, Kaito and other Vocaloid character cosplays (it is very improbable tho :P ). All Vocaloid cosplayers will get their pics posted here. I probably won't be making pics, but I can collect them from others who do :)

Let's finish this with good quality cosplay, but with a bad quality video unfortunately.



PS. Ahh... It is so good to have internet again. I recently moved to another place and there have been 9 days without internet.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2nd birthday of Hatsune Miku

Yesterday was 2nd birthday of Hatsune Miku. Happy birthday! Does this mean she turned 18 now? Hmm...



Here is a special song for her made by OSTER project:



Other Miku fans celebrated her birthday too, yesterday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Miku Z4 on Super GT 2009 - SUZUKA

This time I quite missed Super GT race at Suzuka. I hope you'll forgive me. I still try to keep you informed about what happens there. Last time I wrote about Sugo.

During last weekend 22th and 23th of August there was 700km long "Pokka GT SUMMER SPECIAL" at Suzuka circuit. Qualifying round went well for Miku Z4 and they finished 12th. This gave a quite good starting grid position next day in total 20 cars. About half of the race was good for them, but then they had to retire because of the faulty accelerator wire. That's sad. You can find more about that in Studie GLAD blog (translated) and here.

Here is one video coverage of Miku Z4 race. Unfortunately it is in Japanese, but if you watch it many times, you may start to understand what happened there. :)




Also, Super GT in not all about racing. Have a look. This small video was done during pit walk.




It also appears that one Goodsmile Racng team member has been playing around with his phone, since many short "inside" videos have appeared into their Youtube channel. I suspect he hasn't checked them, because they all are 90 degrees turned. You can find more videos on their Nicovideo channel.

That's all for now. Next event will be at Fuji Speedway on 12th and 13th of September.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Michael Jackson special

As we all know we'll never see Michael Jackson on stage ever again, but memory of him lives on, in various forms. One if these is combining Vocaloids with his songs. There are a lot of bad examples of it, but here are some of my favourite picks.

It isn't often when you see Miku with something else than skirt. Here is one of those cases and it suits her just as well.

Performance: Hatsune Miku (Project DIVA)
Song: Michael Jackson - Beat It!


Kaito does it even better if his tempo would be right.

Performance: Kaito (Project DIVA)
Song: Michael Jackson - Thriller


One more pick I chose because I liked the non-usual animation style of Miku. She's bad.

Performance: Hatsune Miku (a bit wierd version tho)
Song: Michael Jackson - Bad

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Live performance of Hatsune Miku

I remember that in Hatsune Mix it was a dream of Miku to perform live on stage. That dream bacame true. There she was on stage on Animelu Summer Live 2009 welcomed by staggering number of listeners, reportedly about 25000.



A bit more about it here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fast food and Miku

For some unknown reason someone has mixed Miku and Ronald the clown into one person and made a video out of it. I purposely didn't embed it here, because this is just wrong. My sole opinion is that megaburgers and Miku just don't match.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Clean Tears

I start off with a new song from Clean Tears with bizarre name D'zK. Clean Tears is claimed to be one of the oldest trance style composers using Miku's voice. On their website you can find all their works. Some of it can be previewed in Youtube playlist, but there are much more in this and this mylist in NicoVideo. If you liked Youtube playlist, I highly recommend these two for you too.



I haven't found any good MP3 source for Clean Tears, but I'll work on that :).
If all else fails, then there is always NicoSound you can use to rip mp3s one by one out of NicoVideo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Robo-Miku?

Do we have to be afraid and run as fast as we can, since Robo-Miku is here with her ultra-deadly leek?



Miku herself is not sure whether she is a robot or not:


I personally like the first video, "Boku wa Roboto" (I am a robot) more, mainly because of the really good artwork.



This whole post reminds me of a post Toomas made a while ago, it may have been about vocaloids in estonia (or the lack of), but what touched me was the song The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Electric Angel

This is a song that could be best described as: Miku singing a little song about herself. I don't know if the term "electric angel" would be accurate, but it somehow fits Miku rather well. I adore the little clip at 0:53 when Miku peers from the dark cyberspace into the black and white real world, with the user leaving her alone.



This is the Aerial Flow remix that I greatly prefer over the original. But of course not in youtube quality that in my opinion completely ruins the song. The mp3 is here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Miku Z4 on Super GT 2009 - SUGO

Last weekend there was 5th race of Super GT 2009 at Sportsland Sugo 300km circuit. Again I couldn't cheer for 808 car since I was not at home and even if I were, there are no official live broadcasts of this event here :(. But as I care how Studie Glad Racing and car 808 performs, I follow what happens out there. I have also written about Super GT before.

Miku Z4 (808) had major problems with the engine last time so they couldn't participate at all. This time at Sugo circuit they had fixed the car and also made improvements to the car. Since they changed the shape of the car, they also had to redo the artwork. It's like changing for summer clothes as they write.



This gallery features more pictures from both qualifying day and race itself at Sugo.

On Saturday at Sugo circuit Miku Z4 had a bit of trouble completing qualifying round because they didn't get good enough best lap. Therefore it was not clear if they can participate on race itself on Sunday. Fortunately they were allowed to come to start, but they were put on the last position on start grid. During the race they drove over grass and also had problems with back spoiler. But pushing their Miku Z4 hard they managed to finish 17th out of total 21 cars being 6 laps behind from the winner. Currently Studie Glad Racing has 3 points total, while the leading team has 65. That is they are at 20th position in GT300 ranking out of 22 teams total. Yeah, I know it could be better. And I believe it will.

It is good to see that there are people who make Super GT available for those who can't watch it live. Here is the best video I could find of final Sugo race that took place on Sunday.



And here is one more Sugo compilation dedicated to Miku Z4 :)



Next Super GT event is on 22th and 23th of August. Good luck to Miku Z4 and I hope to be watching (somehow)!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mario GO GO

Wohoo, this video now has English subtitles. Unfortunately subbed video has bad sound quality :(



When Mario eats mushroom, he becomes Super Mario. Hmm, I never thought about it like that.

Here is a nice gameplay video where music and sound effects are performed by Miku. If you listen carefully and understand a bit Japanese, you'll notice words like "入ります" (hairimasu) when Mario is entering a pipe. This is just what the word means. The level played seemed difficult. Every time Mario looses a life, it was like "Oh nooo! Doooon't die Miku!!!" :P

Nico link.

Actually I would like to see Miku mod of Mario game, but I haven't found any yet. I'd like to see Miku jumping around and rescuing... ermmm... Kaito?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What are you doing Kaito?

Is Miku mocking on Kaito? Or is it Kaito who is to blame in the first place? I don't really get it, but I think Kaito did something embarrassing and now Miku has revenge on him or something like that.


Nico link, MP3 from author and author's blog.

Kaito is always been mocked on. I don't really know why, but he is just like that. But Kaito sings well, really well at times.



Nico link, and MP3 from Nicosound (as usual, press パソコンへ転送).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Project Diva - small Review

Toomas already made most of the introductory work, so I'll just share the game experience.

First of all: I am a heavy critic and if you give me a reason to criticise, I will, so don't think that the game is bad just because I point out things that I didn't like.

First of all, the biggest problem - everything is in japanese, making navigation in the menu next to impossible. Selecting songs, saving the progress etc basic navigation will be clear after a few minutes of trial-and-error. Although I would be very grateful for a fan translation or a walkthrough.

One thing that you will notice very soon: this game is HARD. I have had previous experience with Stepmania on the PC and Elite Beats Agents on the DS, but this is by far the hardest of them. Failing the song completely is a task not easily done, but not having enough points to pass as "standard" will be the usual end result. It strongly emphases on combos, with the "chance mode" actually giving you points in an arithmetic calculation: 100, 200, 300 etc for each consecutive good hit.

The gameplay itself is somewhat tricky. In Stepmania, the arrows follow straight lines to fixated target points. In this game, the targets pop up all over the screen, the speed of the flying "arrows" (can't describe them in a better way) varies from song to song and the most difficult aspect: some songs require all 4 action buttons and sometimes with the screen full of buttons, you will end up mashing the wrong one.

Background videos vary from stunning to simple slideshows. Be careful when playing the song Packaged, Miku's dancing is actually so cute that you might lose your combo while staring at her cheerful skipping. Sometimes the background video is too busy and you'll have a hard time seeing the targets. Amazingly, Ievan Polkka didn't have Hachune Miku with her leek, but had a slideshow. For me it would have sufficed if the whole video had been like the original - Hachune Miku shaking her leek and changing facial expressions.

The quality of the gameplay also varies. For example, Packaged has a stunning video, all the targets are placed very accurately and balanced, making the song somewhat difficult, but very reasonable. Then you get a song with a background of random images and completely random targets that sometimes don't even bother to follow the song. In the middle of a slow ballad one can get a row of targets that have to be hit at a pace more suited to grindcore.

A bit more about the difficulty: there are characters and costumes, but to unlock them, you have to be really good, no next to perfect. here is a list of the unlockables. After hours of gameplay I have yet to unlock a single one of them.

There are also a few extras, for example a music player that features Miku in a random (could be selectable, the menu is still in japanese) room and you can select any song the game has. Amazingly, if you have other music in your PSP, it will also play it. It was kinda awkward watching Miku walk around in a library with hard rock in the background.

The final verdict would be: it has flaws, it is the first game, it is awesome. I personally would recommend at least someone in the development crew to play some stepmania. For instance, the song preview works with a button, you can't see the highscores before selecting the game, the gameplay itself could use little revisions etc. But all in all, it is a really great game and I am a nitpicker.

One new song (maybe it isn't new) from the game that I found really good.

What is OSTER project?

Now "what", but "who"! OSTER project is a famous Vacaloid user of course... see what he/she has done. That's right, he/she, we don't know. In fact we know almost nothing of person behind OSTER project.

Here is "koizuru radio". It somewhat explains who OSTER project is (it was also made by OSTER project) but most importantly, it is just very entertaining to watch. :)
Yes, I know, it is old, but I haven't seen it before. Also, youtube quality is much lower than in nicovideo, but in nicovideo there are no English subtitles. :(

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 01:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 02:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 03:

Nico link.

Oster Project feat Miku Hatsune in koisuru Radio 04:

Nico link.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

初音ミク - Project DIVA - PSP

I wanted to make a post about this game awhile ago, but haven't gotten this far. Now I can't prolong it any further, because the game is officially out (released on 2 June 2009). It was long waited among hardcore fans, but since I don't own PSP I wasn't particularly eager to preorder it just because.

Let's start off with promo video by game producer SEGA. It quite much tells what the game is about. There are a lot more of videos on Youtube that you might want to look.



So what is this about? To put it short, then this is a rhythm game that features Miku and many other Vocaloids. You can choose among character (Miku, Haku, Rin, Len, Luka, Kaito or Meiko), costumes and songs and off you go. The gameplay itself is Stepmania like, you have to press buttons at given times for Miku to sing. I think there are people who might find it just boring, but taking all the music and visual performance into account, I think you'll just love it even without actual gameplay. I would :) And if that is not enough for you, then you can compose your own songs and stage performances.

Since there is so much info about this game around internet, this post is mainly for creating appetite. If you are already drooling then there are bad news for you. The game is only in Japanese and it is very unlikely for it to be released in English. But the good news is that you can order it around the world, because the game is not region locked. I believe very little Japanese is needed to figure out the menus.

I know you can click, so here are some good sources:
Probably the best English source for the game.
Official site in Japanese, but clicking around you will find music and videos of the game.
Sankakucomplex way of Project Diva.
One English review of the game.
Buy game from Play Asia (shipping worldwide).
Buy game related merchandise from Hobby Search (shipping worldwide).

I'll end up this post with one very nice "on stage performance" of Miku that appeared in PS3 Home available only in Japanese PlayStation Network a few days ago.


Nico link.

This clearly promotes the Project Diva, but at the same time is the first on stage live performance of Miku I have seen. Here's one more Miku's appearance on PS3 Home.

Aagh, maybe I should buy PSP just because of the game before it is sold out. XD

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Logic Designer

This encounter sounds very familiar. Starting of the video also helps to recognize the song I have in mind. Can you guess it?


Nico link. MP3 can be found from Mintiack homepage who is the author of the song.

Here is "the original" from Norway, but I doubt the author had it in mind when making this song. But you'll never know.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last Night, Good Night

A few hours ago I stumbled over a deviantart account and didn't think much about it. I noticed a link to a Miku video and wasn't expecting much either. Was I wrong.

Last Night, Good Night PV from redjuice on Vimeo.


It turns out that the illustrations and Motion Graphics for the video had been done by redjuice (redjuicegraphics), (his homepage being here.) Music and lyrics by: kz (livetune).

I have seen too many Miku videos, where the sound is muddy, Miku sounds metallic, the video consisting of blocky CGI or suffers of bad compression...or in the worst case, all of those symptoms. This here combines one of the most beautiful songs of Miku with the most beautiful music video ever done for Miku. I recommend to register to Vimeo.com just to get this video in 800x600 resolution and crystal-clear sound.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vocaloids in Estonia

I've been looking around the internet to find anything that would link Vocaloid and Estonia or Hatsune Miku and Estonia. I found very little. Entering "Vocaloid Estonia" in Google resulted in some eBay links at top and nothing more, that is just sad, but not unexpected. Just as sad as the following song (don't miss the lyrics).



There are no Vocaloid songs made here in Estonia or in Estonian as far as I know. To compare ourselves with neighbors then Finnish people are mush ahead from us. Just remind that Miku's Levan polka is actually a remix of original song from Loituma, but there's much more.

If no more then at least this post might become first in Google search results when associating Vocaloid and Estonia (Eesti). There were some people I found, who mentioned Vocaloids in their profiles, so there might be some hope of something emerging from here. If I get motivated enough I even might try to mix some sounds together myself >:)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Miku Z4 at Super GT

Many of you probably know that there is an itasha team named Studie GLAD Racing at Japanese Super GT who has designed the their car to match Miku image. If you didn't know that and want to find out more about it then search the internet for phrases like "Miku Z4" or "Studie Glad Racing". Later on I'll write down some sources I use for keeping you up to date with their progress.

Why I write about it? This is because I find it extremely interesting that two separate worlds, Vocaloids and motor sports, have merged together. Also I haven't really found any good non Japanese source to track progress of that team. Picking out info from Japanese sites is quite tedious, but I'll try to keep myself and You informed. But before I'll jump into their current progress, let me make a little introduction for those who are not familiar with Super GT and this team. To start off, this is what I am talking about:



This is specially modified BMW Z4 to fit into GT300 class. Notice the decals, these are PIAPURO design meaning that they are a collective creation of internet users on piapro.jp. Originally the the ones who designed it didn't know where their design will be used. They thought that their work would end up at Comiket itasha show or on some lower level local racing events. But no, their designs were used by Studie Glad team on probably the biggest Japanese motor sports event Super GT.

The Studie Glad entered the championship with their Hatsune Miku Studie Glad BMW Z4 car on 2008 (an awfully long name, so I like to use Miku Z4 instead). Crypton Future Media (who owns the rights on Vocaloid software and Hatsune Miku voice) fully supported the initiative. The Miku Z4 received warm welcome among itasha community despite the fact that the team itself wasn't very successful. On this picture you can see the drivers (Yasushi Kikuchi and Shozo Tagahara), team manager (Akira Yasushi Suzuki) and their racing queens. :)



On this year (2009) the same team entered the Super GT series with same drivers and manager, but with improved vehicle. It wasn't only decals that were upgraded, but now they have new mechanics and a lot of experience from last year. On the beginning of 2009 season they introduced a personal sponsor program. During a limited period of time between April 17 and May 11 people could buy merchandise and at the same time support the team. They got 693 personal sponsors. Unfortunately I didn't know about that program back then. I would have loved to get one of these:



This year their performance hasn't been as they have expected. They are not happy with the result either, but they still are my favorite team in Super GT. Actually unless Miku Z4 participation I wouldn't care much about Super GT. But since they do, they have my support.

I believe their result will get better over time because of Super GT rules that give more advantage to those cars that haven't been that fast. After all it is mostly about public entertainment and tight competition is favored. To achieve this, they have strict regulations for cars and special weight handicap system. The last one means basically that the more points you get, the more dead weight is put on your car on upcoming races. The system is designed so that towards the end of season, this extra weight is lightened and finally removed for the last race.

Here is a random pick of the last racing event Miku Z4 actually drove. It was on May 3 on Fuji Speedway. They finished 17th in GT300 class while in start there were 21 GT300 cars. Drivers weren't very pleased with that, but what can you do.



If you see some cars passing Miku Z4 like wind, then don't worry, these are probably GT500 class cars. These more powerful GT500 cars are on the track at the same time as GT300 class cars. These can be distinguished by large sticker on top of windscreen. If that is yellow then the car is in GT300 class. White stickers mark GT500 class.

The last Super GT event was Sepang race, but disaster stroke. The Miku Z4's engine didn't start and they were unable to participate even on qualification round. Hope they get that fixed soon and start collecting points on next event at Sugo held on 25 and 26 July. Studie GLAD Racing team has currently exactly 2 points and is 58 points behind from first team.

Now this has been a long post with lots of links, but I just wanted to write it down. I hope that I didn't mess up names and the sources I used were reliable. Before giving some official links, I'd also point out that Studie Glad has some their own official Miku songs on their web page. My favourite one is this one: Blue Max Warrior ~撃墜王~ (mp3 link). I recommend watching this slideshow while listening this song :)

Some links I keep track of:
Super GT official site (in English) - good place for results and schedule.
Studie Glad Racing site (in Japanese) - direct source for team related info.

I would be happy if I could watch the race live here in Estonia, but no channel is broadcasting it here. The situation is even more sad, since no TV station is broadcasting it in whole Europe. Motors TV used to do it last year, but not any more :(. If you know a way how to watch it here, give me a hint. I'd really appreciate that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Juggling Miku

This video made my day. It seems there isn't a thing Miku can't handle. Starting with three negis she takes more and more harder things to juggle with. Have a look.


Nico link.

The next video is made by the same person. It has a bit more realistic look because of using motion blur. This time Neru tries to interfere the process.


Nico link.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Music Machines

Most of the people who have listened to a song of a Vocaloid probably know how the interface of creating it looks like. But I believe not to be the only one wondering, how the rest of the music has been created. Here is a video of "something" that I can only describe as "music machine", but are usually referred to as "KORG instruments". The ones used here are KORG Electribe MX, KORG Kaoss Pad 3 and KORG Kaossilator. It is only a remix, but gives a small peek behind the scenes.


Denki Groove - "Niji" sung by Miku and MEIKO

mp3 download

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tunak Tunak Tun by Miku

Random encounter if I may say so. Just brilliant!



Nico link and MP3. Original song is Daler Mehndi - Tunak Tunak Tun and it also has misheared English lyrics version by buffalax.

Appetite for hardcore music

The music I listen depends on my current mood, this time it is needs some energy and beat. I'm not really into trance (I even somewhat hate that word, because there is so much crap out there), but still I like some songs of that genre. Here are a few finds from Miku music collection I like to listen at times like this. Oh.., and it reminds me that I have to organize my music so I could listen to is according to my mood, right now I am just picking songs one by one.

To start with, here is one quite old, but good one. Silence by NAYUTA.

Nico link and MP3.

Someone has taken time, remixed it a bit and put together a very long MMD edition of this with MikuMikuDance to accompany the song (some day I want to write more about MikuMikuDance and related programs):


Hatsune Miku - Plug Out.

Nico link, MP3 link.

This one is rather interesting. It is a remix of a remix of Miku's LightSong. Here is the original remix and here is the original.

Nico link and MP3 link.

If you got sick from previous ones, then this piece of retro sounding techno should help you to recover. Miku - Youthful days' graffiti:

Nico link and MP3.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Miku appearance in Little Big Planet

I found a rather curious gameplay video of PS3 hit game Little Big Planet. It seems that someone has taken time and built a character quite similar to Miku and also a level that suits her well. The level features an orchestra of many Hachune Mikus and Lens playing part of "Miku Miku ni shite ageru" (みくみくにしてあげる). The song itself is between 1:25 and 2:20. I imagine how hard it might have been to put it together.



I don't have this game on PS3 and therefore can't check if that level is published or not (in Little Big Planet a user can publish levels so that all LBP users can download and play it). Probably if you search levels in game you will find some Miku levels (maybe this one for example).

For comparison, this is the original well known song "Miku Miku ni shite ageru":