Vocaloid News

Vocaloid is a franchise
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Impressive Tech Demo Allows You To Take a Walk With Hatsune Miku, Thanks to Augmented Reality Tech

While still a work in progress, a male user from nicovideo (sort of like Japan's Youtube) has combined the power of the Kinect-like Asus Xtion and Wrap920 VR Glasses in order to bring Hatsune Miku to "virtual life" in front of you. In the video below, he takes Japan's favorite Vocaloid singer out for a walk in the park, and then shows how you can interact with her virtual being (petting her head, smacking her head, and moving her tie) by moving your hands towards her. Link for full story can be found below the video:

Full Story Link: http://sgcafe.com/2012/07/strolls-with-miku-now-a-close-reality/

Quite impressive stuff, to be honest. What are your thoughts and how would you use such technology?

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Christmas music! I love it. Yes, I am one of those people that was spared having to listen to the same ten songs looped over and over again at work for days on end, so my love for Christmas tunes remains happily intact. It also helps that I listen to music beyond every possible rendition of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells" ever, but I digress. This isn't about hating or loving the music of the holidays; this is about said music in anime and/or anime related products!

So here is a small collection of Christmas tunes brought to you by the people of Japanese animation.

Digimon Adventure 02 - Minna no Christmas

Artist: Kouji Wada
Album: Christmas Fantasy
 

Digi Charat - Welcome to X'Mas

Artist: Asami Sanada, Miyuki Sawashiro & Kyoko Hikami (Dejiko, Puchiko & Rabi~en~Rose)
Album: Di Gi Charat X'mas - Welcome to X'Mas
 

Vocaloid - Merry Christmas to the World

Artist: Kagamine Rin
Album: N/A
 

Toradora! - Holy Night

Artist: Rie Kugimiya and Eri Kitamura (Taiga Aisaka & Ami Kawashima)
Album: Toradora! Character Song Album
 

Sailor Moon - Ave Maria

Artist: Shinohara Emi (Sailor Jupiter)
Album: Christmas For You
 

Pokémon - Pokémon Christmas Bash

Artist: N/A
Album: Pokémon Christmas Bash   
 

Ranma 1/2 - Kiyoku Tadashii Kurisumasu

Artist: DoCo
Album: DoCo☆Second
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So VOCALOID 3 is supposedly gunna have a Korean voice bank, whereas the other ones were Japanese. The VOCALOID people said that they were going to make the worlds most realistic vocal sythesizer, I personally thought it wouldn't be much of an upgrade, sure the other VOCALOIDs were okay, but I didn't think it could be realistic. For those of you unfamiliar with the sounds of VOCALOID it sounds like this:
  
  Oh yeah, Japanese electronic pop songs about debauchery and murder. Sure, it doesn't sound super real, but it isn't bad. But now we get the Korean equivalent with this demo clip leak by those VOCALOID dudes:
  
  
Yeah... that sounds pretty real. I like it. It's so real!!!!
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It took me awhile to write and edit, but I have finally gotten my content all together and have wrapped up writing most of my experiences at this year's FanimeCon 2011 in San Jose, Califorina. In this first of two segments that highlights my four days of wandering around, taking photos, and interviewing people for this feature, I will discuss what I saw at FanimeCon cosplay-wise, from the basic cosplayers to the elaborate cosplays that left people standing there in amazement. In addition, I have two of the interviews that I conducted for this feature, as well as some cosplay photos that I took during my travels around the San Jose Convention Center over the four-day duration of FanimeCon. I hope that you enjoy reading this feature as much as I did writing about my experiences.

One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD
One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD

Introduction

This year, I was able to make the pilgrimage from my hometown of Chico, California down to San Jose for FanimeCon 2011, which ran from Thursday, May 27th until Monday, May 30th at the San Jose Convention Center in downtown San Jose. From the moment I first reached the Convention Center at roughly 11:30 AM Friday morning until I got on the 12:50 PM AMTRAK train back to Sacramento on Monday, I was amazed and thrilled to be surrounded by roughly 15,000 or more fellow anime/manga fans doing what they do best: partaking in four days of Con madness. I was surrounded by a horde of people, ranging from photographers to cosplayers to members of the media and everything in between as FanimeCon 2011 officially got underway at 2:00 PM Friday with the Opening Ceremonies. Armed with my 2009 Canon Rebel XSi D-SLR camera, a pair of 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses, and two 8GB memory cards that could hold 1,350 images apiece, I set forth into the masses and began my 4-day adventure at FanimeCon 2011, taking cosplay images, conducting interviews, and helping my new friend (and fellow photographer) Sam Lau with his photoshoots outside of the Convention Center with dozens of cosplayers.

Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)
Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)

Cosplay at FanimeCon: From the Basic to the Amazing!

When I attended the opening day of FanimeCon 2010 last year (from 8 AM until 2:30 PM), I managed to walk around the Convention Center taking images of various cosplayers that were making the rounds of the area before I had to leave. This year, I decided to employ the same strategy that I had used for the 6 hours of the previous year, by making constant loops of the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and outside of the Convention Center, taking images of any cosplay that captured my attention or was worthy of being captured with my camera. This year, I began to notice after several hours that there were a ton of VOCALOID, One Piece, Black Butler, and various Final Fantasy cosplays (ranging from FFV all the way to FFXIII) at FanimeCon to behold, and they seemed to be the most popular series/franchises to cosplay as this year. I lost count of how many different cosplays from different series that I came across, but I am quite sure that it was quite a high number in the end. Some of the best cosplays that I came across were from the VOCALOID, Eureka 7, One Piece, Black Butler, Final Fantasy, Puella Magi Madoka★Magica, Code Geass, Street Fighter, Rozen Maiden, and other franchises that I could not name (not familiar with them)

One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)
One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)

In addition, the types of cosplay that I came across at FanimeCon were quite amazing, from the basic cosplays that new cosplayers or low-budget cosplayers donned for convention all the way to the elaborate, high budget cosplays that had photographers swarming them like flies, all trying to capture images of their amazing cosplay from whatever series/franchise it was from. There were dozens of scheduled cosplayer gatherings being held at FanimeCon, which allowed for a large number of cosplayers dressed as the characters of their favorite franchises to participate in mass photoshoots and to interact with each other under the leadership of the leader of their gathering. I managed to attend 5 gatherings (VOCALOID, Pokemon, K-ON!, Valve, and Black Butler) at FanimeCon this year, taking image of the large number of cosplayers that participated in each of their respective gatherings. One of the people that I managed to interview for my feature was the leader of the VOCALOID gathering that was held on Friday at 5:30 PM, and our brief interview is as follows:

Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.
Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying at FanimeCon?

Christina: Just going to the convention and seeing the cosplays and like "That looks like fun!" *laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying as VOCALOID?

Christina: Um, I dunno...I just love Miku, she's a great character. Um, I'm not really sure...she is just like my favorite, so....*laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what was your budget and what was the effort needed for your cosplay?

Christina: Um...budget was about...I wanna say around $200+. Um, it was originally about...maybe I think $75 for the wig and like $80 for the cosplay itself plus shipping, so and then I added on props later, so that total is around $50 or so.

ShadowKnight508: Thanks for participating, Christina! Enjoy the rest of your Con!

Working with Sam Lau (Cosplay.com)

Around 2 PM on Friday afternoon at FanimeCon 2011, I came across a Sucker Punch photoshoot that featured a Babydoll and other cosplays from the film. As one of the cosplayers posed with a rifle on a bike, the wind began to swirl quite strongly, sending one of the reflector screens that one photographer had set up flying. I grabbed onto it and put it back in place, holding it still until he was finished. After the shoot was over, he introduced himself to me as Sam Lau, a photographer from Toronto, Canada who was attending FanimeCon 2011 to take images for his profile on Cosplay.com. I decided that he was a neat guy to hang around with, so I asked if I could become his assistant/partner for the day. He agreed, and from that point on, I was assisting him with his photoshoots for the remaining three days of the convention. We took many images as a team, with me assisting him in his shots by holding/angling the light reflecting screen or holding the screen with a Pocket Wizard-enabled flash for additional lighting. While he packed up after he had finished, I would take my quick shots of the subject and then proceed off with Sam to find the next cosplayer to shoot. We spent the most time with a Sailor Mercury cosplayer (Sailor Moon), taking her images at the fountains at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Park and in the one fancy area of the hotel that Sam was staying at.

His images (which turned out much better, due to his impressive Nikon camera and incredible lenses), can be found on Cosplay.com under Baron Karza, his profile name.

Over the 4 days we worked together, we took images of at least 60 different cosplayers, most of which had some stunning outfits or amazing props to go with their cosplay. Below are some of the many cosplay photos that I took at FanimeCon 2011 this year. The rest (meaning the other 150 or so) can be found on my DeviantArt profile (which will be linked down below the images):

Overall, my experience at FanimeCon 2011 was a great one, for spending almost four days engulfed by all things anime/manga with over 15,000 people is nothing short of epic. I took roughly 500 images at FanimeCon, with around 280 of them turning out to be the best of the bunch, so those 280 or so are being uploaded onto my DeviantArt account (around 70% of them are loaded up as we speak). In part two of my feature on my trip to FanimeCon 2011, I will post the other three interviews that I managed to conduct, more cosplay images, photos from several of the gatherings, my Con pass, the FanimeCon 2011 guidebook, and show the band of religious protestors that show up and heckled the con attendees (which led to some funny moments with cosplayers mocking them, horsing around them until the cops showed up, and ended with a Jesus cosplayer walking in front of their group, arms spread wide and looking towards the heavens as the crowds cheered him on).

ShadowKnight's DeviantArt Profile: http://www.shadowknight508.deviantart.com

*ShadowKnight508 is a frequent user of AnimeVice, with almost 24,000 Wiki points worth of work to his name and many blogs to his credit. You can find him watching anime, taking photos, gaming, or working on the Honey Blonde/Maid Bride wiki pages.*

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Hello all! Revealing a new… ish side of myself! The cosplayer!! Let’s get a few things straight. Yes, I am a girl, and yes, I crossplay more than is healthy. XD
 
Now! Time to start. Let me give you the low down about this blog. This’ll be all about my cosplay experiences, blah blah. In the comments feel free to discuss what ever I discuss, offer suggestions, or just be random. Now to the main event…. 
 

 KAITO!!! (So smexy!!)
 KAITO!!! (So smexy!!)


 So, recently I ordered a Kaito (Vocaloid) wig. Tearing it out of the package took longer than expected… yeah, I’m scared to use scissors. It’s too pretty!! Anyway, so I get it out and spend nearly half an hour petting it. I’m honestly really impressed with the quality. It’s extremely soft and well styled. So, I pin my hair up and ghasp! ZOMG! I needed to style the bangs.
 
I’m not even joking, the bangs were unstyled… not even like an attempt. The bangs went past my chin. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem, for a normal cosplayer.   But I kind of have a love for hair styling… so this, of course will take be forever. I’m not even half way done and it’s been a grand total of 40 minutes. I’m also having trouble finding a good gel for my wig. If any of you know of any decent brands I can find in Canada, I would love you forever. It’s hard because I can’t find a brand that isn’t too gely. One that doesn’t make my wig look like crap would be nice, but one that keeps it all together.
 
See the last wig I styled was my Claire Stanfield (Baccano!) wig. I’m so proud of that but it took me close to 4 hours in total. Let’s just say it started of as a shoulder length wig. I nearly died, but it actually looks really, really nice. It’s good because I was able to avoid having to use a lot of intense gel. But GAH! Did it take forever!!
 
Anyway, a nice brand of gel for my wig would be glorious. No joke. I will give you an internet cookie for your helpfulness.
 
Duke Of Venomania
Duke Of Venomania
Judgment Of Corruption
Judgment Of Corruption
Onto the costume. Originally, I was going to just to a Magnet Kaito cosplay, but I guess my plans have changed. I love Kaito way to much (I think I need an intervention). Currently I’m making 3 Kaito cosplays. Magent, Judgment of Corruption, and Duke Of Venomania’s Madness. It’s pretty insane but I love the costumes too much not to do them. I’ll probably wear my Kaito costumes to the replacement Anime Evolution, called Cos & Effect, in Vancouver. I’m excited. It’s a shame that my close friend will be busy with a Saint Seiya cosplay. I’ve actually been meaning to do one of those, but y’know what? I honestly don’t have the money for that, so I’m going to have to hold out on that one. 
 

 
I recently finished my Magnet Kaito headphones for my Magnet Kaito cosplay. I found this old pair of headphones that I decked out with my acrylic paints. The artist in me was so happy!! I had my smock on and everything. Too bad I didn’t have some j-pop playing in the background. It would have made me so anime-nerd-ish. XD I’m also in search for my judge’s robes for my Judgment of Corruption cosplay. That and a purple vest. WHY PURPLE? I swear it will drive me around the bend. At least I commissioned a friend to make my Duke Of Venomania costume at a discounted price. My inability to sew dresses will get me killed one of these days. I know it.
 
In conclusion: Decked out in blue, obsessed with Kaito, fake blue hair everywhere, me huddled in a corner with a half styled wig, and desperately searching for a judge’s cloak. Oh I love being a cosplayer.
 
Finally, a reminder, any suggestions for good hair gel for my wig? I have a budget XD Thanks and I hope you liked this first blog of many to come. :)
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Welcome, my fellow AnimeVice members, to this my latest anime figure review for AnimeVice. In what is my 2nd of three anime figure reviews that I am doing this week, my latest review will be on the 1/7th Scale PVC VOCALOID Hatsune Miku figure that I purchased from my good friend Ben Mailey in the United Kingdom this past May. 

 1/7th Scale Hatsune Miku (Box)
 1/7th Scale Hatsune Miku (Box)
 

Some Quick Background Information

Produced by the designers of MAX FACTORY and licensed by Crypton Future Media Inc, the 1/7th Scale PVC VOCALOID Hatsune Miku figure was released in Japan and was made available for sale in December 2009 for roughly 8,800 Yen (including taxes). It was sculpted by famed figure designer Kenichi Tsumura for MAX FACTORY.  
 

Analysis of Figure

Standing roughly 22 Cm tall, Hatsune Miku comes with a stamped black oval base that bears the Japanese logo for Hatsune Miku. The great amount of detail that both MAX FACTORY and sculptor Kenichi Tsumura have put into this figure is quite amazing, from the small details of her entire outfit to the outstanding blue/green color of her long hair. Unlike my 1/7th Scale Selvaria Bles figure, there are no additional pieces for Hatsune Miku that can be swapped in/out and nothing on the figure is removable. 

 Hatsune Miku (with black stamped oval base)
 Hatsune Miku (with black stamped oval base)

My Opinions

Hatsune Miku was the first figure that I purchased to start my humble anime figure collection this past May, and it was mostly by luck that I came across her. Back in April 2010, one of my friends from the Anime Gamer Clan (by the name of Ben Mailey, who lives in the United Kingdom), made the offer to anyone who was interested in purchasing the 1/7th Scale Hatsune Miku figure that his friend had decided to get rid of. Intrigued by the offer and the chance to get a good deal on her, I took up his offer and came into contact via Playfire with his friend Duncan of Lockerbie, Scotland in mid-May. He looked forward to sending me his Hatsune Miku figure, so long as I was willing to pay him roughly $120 for her (that included the international shipping and handling fees). I spent a week thinking it over, since at the time, the same figure on Play-Asia was running around $150 (before S&H fees). 
 
After 8 days, I contacted him and agreed to pay him the $120 via PayPal for the Hatsune Miku figure, and roughly 6 days later, on June 5th, 2010, she arrived in a well-worn Royal Mail box covered in United Kingdom and United States customs stickers. Ever since, she has been on the bookshelf on display for all who enter my room.

 Hatsune Miku (on display on bookshelf)
 Hatsune Miku (on display on bookshelf)

Final Scores

1/7th Scale VOCALOID Hatsune Miku PVC Figure (2009 GoodSmile/MAX FACTORY)

Price: 8,800 Yen (Roughly $95-$96 USD)
Availability: Limited (Currently Out of Stock/Print on Play-Asia)
Detail: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Would I Recommend it to Others?: Yes 


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I have enough figures on pre-order online that I don't need anymore coming in for the foreseeable future.. I always though this figure looked awesome, but the price tag scared me away.. Unfortunately Tomopop's review pushed me over the edge.
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I like many, has been considering myself a lil bit Otaku, I have made my last push into An Otaku
 ( I am being called otaku, and I`m being harassed by some guy who hates anime.)
I made this push earlier this month, I began taking AMV`s seriously, but thats nothing, THEN! I went tro my local EB (think gamestop), And used my diplomatic prowess and charismatic ability to obtain an already ordered copy of Record of Agarest War: The really naughty edition. (the guy hadnt some in for a while and wasnt answering the phone),
Next! I pre-ordered V5 of Lucky Star (the Manga) and was excited to get it... (I havent finished yet... taking it slow... Wanna enjoy my fav manga...)
I then proceeded on by going through great lengths to order a Gundam Figure (I consider this tough cuz many online sites for stuff like that dont ship to Canada). Now if that doesnt proove enough that im Otaku, then here is my last card, I have completely tricked out my Desktop, it covered in  anime related apps including a Miku pic thaat sings along with the songs, so I`m happy about that, I also have a lil Konata icon that tells my how well my computer is running, and another one of Konata dressed as Haruhi that indicates my computers power level, I got  a clock thing with Mr. Anizawa on the inside (manager from Lucky star).... all of this has been thrown onto a big background of Haruhi!
Please lemme know if you would consider me at all Otaku.
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Would YOU sign up a loved one for robot therapy?

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