If you've been to the right places on the internet (like, cough, my tumblr), you've probably run across images of this gal. You may have wondered what anime she is from, which is a reasonable question. The answer, however, is far more weird and complicated than that!
But, while she's made appearances in anime and video games, Miku is first and foremost a Vocaloid.
Vocaloids are a line of voice synthesis programs for music composers. Each voice bank is purchased separately, and is represented by a particular character. The one on the right is Hatsune Miku, who really kicked off the popularity of the software. Many more vocaloids have been released since then by various companies, to the point that even I can't keep up with 'em all. But that's more or less irrelevant, because my fascination with the whole enterprise doesn't rely on any particular voice bank.
Much as webcomics allow people of many various interests and skill levels to create comics and put 'em out there for others to enjoy, Vocaloids enable random guys on their computers to compose songs without the need for a singer willing to engage in their craziness. The result is a lot of crappy music, of course, but also a lot of really crazy stuff you wouldn't get from a major record label.
The other really important part of the Vocaloid scene is the collaborative aspect. While composers use their skills to create songs, artists create music videos. Usually they star the vocaloids that were used in the song's creation, though not always. So you end up with a bunch of crazy songs on all kinds of topics, with interesting independent music videos to match.
That said, lemme pimp some of my favorite composers for anyone I haven't already lost!
|JIN (Kagerou Project) (link to a playlist of MVs) |
|Ryo/Supercell (link to a playlist of select MVs)|
|Wowaka (link to a playlist of select MVs)|
Anyway, that's enough rambling about my strange love of Japanese robot composers! I also have a general playlist of Vocaloid songs I like by all kinds of random people. They aren't for everyone, certainly, but it's really interesting sometimes to see little anime girls singing dubstep or metal songs!
SO NOW YA KNOW