It should go without saying that some of the cultural trappings of Japan are a tad bizarre to our prude Western sensibilities. When it comes to music and entertainment, one of the most popular performers is a young girl named Hatsune Miku. She's mostly seen on Japanese video hosting sites doing covers of popular pop songs. Oh, and she's also a computer program.
The character of Hatsune Miku was birthed from a voice-synthesizing program called Vocaloid. The original developers wanted to broaden appeal and add some personality to their software, so they created a cast of characters and gave them an appearance to match their respective vocal abilities. Since her release, Miku's character proved so popular that she's performed in her own live concerts in 2009 and again just recently in 2010. Here's a clip of her singing an original song called "Melt":
Personally, I find Miku's original songs hard to listen to. I have no problem with music if it's digitized or over-produced, but her voice can sound shrill. I guess it's an acquired taste or something for die-hard fans.
This concept of an "unreal" musician isn't anything new, especially here in the States. Brendon Small's comedy band Dethklok of Metalocalypse fame was popular enough for fans to clamor for multiple nationwide tours. The virtual band Gorillaz is also known for doing performances using special effects.
Are there any other "cartoon" artists that you've heard of? Would you ever attend an animated concert?
Lol, my brother loves Hatsune miku. The concept is amusing, some of the character songs are all right. But it confuses me a bit over how you would have a live concert for an animated character. It's...a projected image???
I've heard some cartoon bands, the biggest of which is probably Beck, from the anime of the same name. I would definitely attend an animated concert, though that might just be because I'm already pretty deeply submerged in aspects of Japanese culture that make those concerts seem like a normal thing to me. That, and I heard Dethklok was amazing when they toured with Mastadon earlier this year.
I recently met some avid Vocaloid cosplayers. One girl was a perfect Miku and I met two people who looked just like the twins.
I think I am still confused about what they were created for. But, I'm kinda just enjoying them. Besides, they set it up so Miku can do para para routines, and it's so easy to learn from her than idiots on youtube. =P
common this is similar to the band "Gorillaz" so no need to be frak out by it, if you like the music then I thing the apearancce of the artist is less important regardless if they are fictional or real
@nepenthium@xanga - Yeah, Hatsune Miku looks crappy compared to the newer concerts she's been in.
I'm not personally a fan. I too think her voice is too shrill, although I can tolerate it... sometimes. Out of the named bands/singers that have been named I'd probably just attend a Dethklok concert. At least their first album was awesome.