MikuFan Interview With Crypton Future Media at Anime Expo 2014

Filed under: Hatsune Miku,Miku News,Other — Written by jrharbort on Sunday, July 13th, 2014 @ 4:39 am

During our visit to Anime Expo 2014, the MikuFan staff had the fortunate opportunity to interview one of Crypton Future Media’s on-site staff, Kanae Muraki, and cover various topics and questions that have been heard throughout the Western community.

Kanae Muraki is the director of Crypton Future Media’s global development team for marking and promotions in Western countries. She has also represented Crypton at a number of information panels at overseas conventions and events.

We hope you will find the interview below insightful and informative. It’s quite long, so be sure to read the full story by clicking “more” below.

Legend: MF = MikuFan, CFM = Kanae

MF: Thank you very much again for taking your time for this interview.

CFM: Oh, thank you, too!

MF: To start off, I had a couple questions of my own. The first being the collaboration with Hatsune Miku as the opening act for Lady Gaga’s ArtPop Ball music tour. The announcement caught many fans by surprise. Can you comment on what it was like working with Gaga for these events?

CFM: The offer from Lady Gaga to have Hatsune Miku as the opening act came very suddenly, just 7 weeks before the first show was scheduled to start. We were already in the process of planning out the next Miku Expo at the time. We did not have much preparation time to decide what the performance would be like, and we could not have a live band during the opening act since the stage would need to be cleared quickly. We had to create everything for each set from scratch, from the video to the music selection. But we knew it would be really boring having just a video, so we had the idea to have other on-stage live dancers.

Hatsune Miku’s opening act on June 2nd at Lady Gaga’s artRAVE in San Diego

CFM: Even though Miku was announced as an opening guest, we knew the majority of the audience would be Gaga fans, so we decided to try something new. We wanted to do something special for the music set list, and the first song I found was “Glass Wall“. It was a really good song, and the English was well done. The song gave me a feeling similar to the first Hatsune Miku songs from 2007, when she first started getting popular. So we first shared that song on the Hatsune Miku Facebook, and it got great feedback from fans. Then we contacted the producer to ask permission, and he was very excited. Another great song we chose was Story Rider by Eleki. It felt more like a Western style song, and Lady Gaga’s fans ended up loving it.

MF: I had noticed that the crowd seemed confused and unsure about Miku’s appearance at first, but they started warming up more as the opening act progressed. I’m glad to see that things went pretty well overall. (more…)

Android App Update: Mikuture (Mikucha) and VocaDB Apps Now on Google Play Store

Filed under: Hatsune Miku,Music,Other,Software — Written by jrharbort on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 @ 3:00 am

The previously announced Mikucha application for Android (now going by the name Mikuture) has finally exited beta testing, and is now available via the Google Play store. The application is still free to use, and now has an English interface option on the home screen. The application filesize has also been optimized, and runs much smoother than earlier versions.

If you previously installed the beta using Deploygate, please remove Mikuture through Deploygate, and remove the Deploygate application if no longer needed. You can now install Mikuture through the Play Store application.

Mikuture, developed by Sorasu, is an augmented reality photo application featuring Appearance Miku, and runs on devices running Android 4.0 and up. An iOS release is planned very soon.

Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sorasu.armiku

If you are constantly using VocaDB.net like myself to search information on various Vocaloid producers, songs, albums or artists, then you may have experienced how inconvenient using the site on mobile can be. Thankfully, a new mobile app has been released for Android, and possibly soon for Windows Phone (iOS is a possibility).

The VocaDB app presents information in a much more streamlined interface, and is a must-have application for any Vocaloid media enthusiast. It is available for free via the Google Play Store, and requires Android 4.0 and up.

Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coolappz.Vocadb

Meet MikuFan.com at Anime Expo 2014, Win Shirts From We Love Fine

Filed under: Events,Merchandise,Other — Written by jrharbort on Friday, June 27th, 2014 @ 2:30 am

I am happy to announce that MikuFan.com staff will be returning to Anime Expo again this year from July 3rd~6th, and we will be hosting another prize giveaway! This year, we are collaborating with We Love Fine to host an event called #WeLoveMikuFan, where we will hand out Hatsune Miku T-shirts to winning participants of the event.

The shirt up for grabs has the “I Am Your Melody” design, an award winning illustration by Krit for the fan design contest. Click the image below for details.


How To Participate

During the convention, I will tweet hints to our location at random times. You can see these hints by following MikuFan.com on twitter (@jrharbort), or by following the hashtag #WeLoveMikuFan

After you have successfully located our position, you will be awarded with a voucher that can be redeemed at the WeLoveFine company booth (tables 1219, 1221 and 1223) in the Anime Expo Exhibition Hall.

Prize quantities will be limited, so don’t miss out! See you there!

The History of MikuMikuDance Models Summarized by nhinkptis on YouTube

Filed under: Hatsune Miku,MMD,Other — Written by jrharbort on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 @ 3:55 am

MikuMikuDance has become an integral part of the Vocaloid community since its release in 2008, and has been used for thousands of unique music videos. It even inspired its own 3D animation competition, MikuMikuDance Cup. And of course, many various 3D models of Hatsune Miku were created for the program over the years.

The history of many of these models is unknown to most fans in both the West and East. So the user nhinkptis on YouTube has taken on the task of creating videos summarizing the history of many models that have been created since 2007 and onwards (many pre-2008 models were later converted to MMD format), and are available in both English and Japanese.

The videos are currently split into two parts to cover model releases dating from 2007 until 2013. Enjoy watching below!

Part 1 (2007~2010)

Part 2 (2010~2013)

My Thoughts On The Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed) – Pharrell Williams Remix

Filed under: Albums,Hatsune Miku,Merchandise,Miku News,Music,Other — Written by jrharbort on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 @ 3:41 am

Since I’m a bit late on reporting this trending topic in a news post, I felt I would instead give my own personal impression on what I thought of the recent music video for Pharrel Williams’ remix of Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed) by kz(livetune). If you have not yet heard of it yourself, check out the video below before reading so that you will have an uninfluenced opinion.

Now, outside of knowing his name and what he does in the Western music industry, I personally did not know much else about Pharrell. Primarily since I do not follow or listen to much Western music. It is not out or hate or distaste, but rather a personal preference. So you can say that I am hearing and seeing this from an uninfluenced point of view.

Of course, when I hear people speak of Pharrell Williams, he is spoken of as an “A-class producer”, so there was of course some surprise and expectation when I saw the title of the music video. After listening, however, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the sheer simplicity of the remix.

I’m by no means a music producer, but I do communicate with other Vocaloid music producers on a regular basis to promote music, and I have a decent understanding of music production methods and styles. I’m not too sure what it was I was expecting, but when I think “A-class producer”, I don’t think of a repeated drum loop with a single synth cord progression. Oh, and don’t forget the looped breathing sounds. The sense of deep emotion from the original song feels completely absent.

As a result, the remix comes off as feeling lazy, or at the very least rushed or incomplete. The most exciting part of the music video was the video itself, which surprised me by featuring visual art from the studio of Takashi Murakami. This is the same visual artist and studio responsible for the creation of the Redial PV last year.

We get to enjoy the same Hatsune Miku from the Redial PV in a different outfit, along with the 3DCG personification of kz(livetune), Kurage-bo from the movie “Mememe no Kurage“, and Takashi Murakami himself. The overall theme and art style of the video was visually exciting, as expected by work from Takashi, but it also felt a bit confusing in comparison to the song’s original video.

The feedback from Vocaloid fans in the west has been mixed, with some people praising it, and others quick to say that Pharrell has ruined what was otherwise a beautiful song. Some even go as far as to say that Hatsune Miku should be kept away from high profile western musicians altogether, for fear of the publicity “tarnishing her image”. I, however, will remain neutral and continue to see how the interaction between Vocaloid and Western music artists plays out. It was just last month that Lady Gaga’s North American tour with Hatsune Miku was announced, and now this. The future possibilities and outcomes for Vocaloid’s expansion in the West are endless and unpredictable, and seemingly inevitable.

As for you, what do you think? Did you enjoy or dislike the music video? How do you feel about high profile Western music artists collaborating with Hatsune Miku and Japanese producers, or even creating their own original Vocaloid songs?

As a final note, the Pharrell Williams remix of Last Night, Good night is up on iTunes and AmazonMP3, if it is something you wish to have in your collection.

The official music video for Pharrel Willaims’ remix of Last Night, Good Night.

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