May 222018
 

Preorders for the official Miku Expo 2018 USA & MX concert glow sticks are still available, if you’d like to grab one early and avoid the battle of the merchandise lines at the venues! Sets of swappable glow stick sleeves illustrated by Yooani are also available.

Preorder page: https://mikumerch.com/

Event visitors are also advised to avoid use of non-approved electronic glow sticks. Non-approved glow sticks can be too bright and disturb the experience for other concert-goers. Glow sticks sold for, or at, any official Miku concert events are approved. Chemical glow sticks no longer than 6″ in length are also approved, but please avoid the super-bright variety.

Miku Expo 2018 USA & MX official page: http://mikuexpo.com/usamx2018/

May 202018
 

Goodsmile Racing finishes at 8th place in Super GT round 3 this weekend at the Suzuka circuit. The team started off at 3rd place in the beginning of the race, and rose to the 2nd before the last few laps. It was all in that very few instances that we were overtaken, and everything happened in a flash. Despite the result, the team says it turns out to be a very interesting race for the team.

The next round will take place abroad in Thailand at Chang International Circuit on June 31st~July 1st. Below is the Round 3 cheer illustration by Kanzaki Hiro, the official Racing Miku 2018 illustrator. Fight, GSR!

May 192018
 

Left picture via doramata on Pixiv

We’d like to share news of a new Hatsune Miku MikuMikuDance model released today by Dotto, a 3D modeling artist known for his previous work on the beautiful Bless You styled Hatsune Miku model.

This well-made model is styled after Hatsune Miku’s iconic V3 design, and is available for download beginning today! Just be sure to follow the model’s included usage guidelines if you intend to use it in a video production.

Model Download: http://seiga.nicovideo.jp/seiga/im8145682

May 182018
 

It’s not too often that we here at MikuFan will offer our criticism on a particular topic, but we do when we feel it’s well-placed and justified. And in the case of Goodsmile Racing and their Personal Sponsors program, we feel there’s issues that need to be addressed.

Starting in 2012, Goodsmile Racing opened their personal sponsors program to overseas applicants, and this year marks the 7th year since they allowed this change. And this year also happens to mark the first time that I (the writer of this article) pledged the top Figma course of 70,000 Yen in the overseas personal sponsors. You can see MikuFan.com’s name on the overseas sponsors list as a result of that pledge: http://www.goodsmileracing.com/sponsors/user_data/sponsor_list_en.php

It always bothered me a little that they separated overseas and domestic sponsors to different lists, but I accepted that. However, I was naturally also very much looking forward to the personal sponsor benefits, and reviewing them for our followers.

Sure enough, the green personal sponsors card arrived, along with the acrylic keychain and ticket holder. But I remembered something about Goodsmile Racing offering additional benefits, such as different colored cards depending on the tier you pledged, or amount pledged over time on qualifying goods. And sure enough when double checking, I was right.

Not only that, there was a very large list of goods available only to Japanese sponsors, and not overseas sponsors. The cards were only the tip of the iceberg. Here’s the physical items excluded from overseas sponsors and their required tiers:

Cards
Gold Card – 50,001 Yen or more
Platinum Card – 100,001 Yen or more
Black Card – 300,001 Yen or More

Goods
Sponsors Pin Badge – 3,000 Yen
Can Badge Voucher (redeem at circuit) – 3,001 Yen or more
Original Sponsors business Cards – 5,000 Yen
Clear File – 50,001 Yen or more
Rucksack – 300,001 Yen or more

There’s even more benefits offered, such as chances to be a GSR staff member for the day at the race circuit, a turn at waving the team racing flag, and more. All of which are excluded from the overseas sponsors page. I can see the benefits for 300,001 Yen or higher being excluded from the overseas page, since no options higher than 70,000 are offered (an issue in itself, but not the issue right now). But GSR, in theory, should have no reason financially or logistically to deny their overseas sponsors the benefits up to the 50,001 Yen tier. I sent GSR an email inquiring simply about the gold card, since I was a 70,000 Yen sponsor, and this was their response:

Dear MikuFan.com,

Thank you for contacting us.

We’re very sorry, but the Personal Sponsors Ranking System is currently not available for our international sponsors.

We’re very sorry for any inconvenience and hope for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Goodsmile Racing Customer Support

Simply put, if you don’t live in Japan, you’re not entitled to the same benefits as the sponsors living within Japan. Even though overseas sponsors pay the exact same amount (actually more, since we have higher shipping costs!) for personal sponsors and the benefits, GSR thinks its perfectly fine to give us less. Unequal treatment of their sponsors is perfectly acceptable.

In the 7 years of accepting personal sponsor applications from overseas, they couldn’t find a way to make benefits equal to everyone? I find that simply unacceptable. Based on this, GSR had two different ways to prevent this problem, rather than segregating their sponsors:

– Not opening personal sponsors overseas at all (worst option)
– Not offering Japan-only exclusives until they figure out how to make benefits equal for everyone (best option)

Due to Goodsmile racing’s current stance in treating their sponsors unfairly, we can no longer recommend overseas sponsors using the English version of GSR’s sponsors website. Instead, we recommend sponsors register accounts and pledge their sponsorships on the Japanese Goodsmile Racing Personal Sponsors website.

Japanese Personal Sponsors page: http://www.goodsmileracing.com/sponsor/personal/

Simply set up an account on the Japanese site, and set your address to either a proxy service, or the home of a friend if you have one, to finally enjoy equal benefits.

Of course, there’s likely to be fans that would like to pitch their pledge and show their support for GSR, no matter what the benefits in return would be. And that’s okay. However, we feel GSR’s diverse and unequal treatment of their sponsors is not okay. And the fans in Japan I’ve spoken to also agree. To quote one friend and sponsor from Japan:

“As long as we are recruiting sponsors from overseas, everyone has the right to equality. I strongly tell you that the feeling of supporting Racing Miku is common to all the world.”

We hope Goodsmile Racing will take this feedback into consideration and fix their system sooner rather than later.

May 162018
 

While we previously helped announce a May 18th JST release of Hatsune Miku Expo 2018 in Europe live event tickets, it looks like the ticket sales date has been postponed according to the official Miku Expo twitter. Stay tuned for further updates!

Hatsune Miku Expo 2018 in Europe Official Page: http://mikuexpo.com/europe2018/