The Virtual Idol: The Vocaloid

By Chris An

Hatsune Miku Live @ Zepp Tokyo:

YouTube Preview Image

“We could begin with a music called enka,” he said, “although I doubt you’d like it.” Software agents did that, learned what you liked. “The roots of contemporary Japanese pop came later, with the wholesale creation of something called ‘group sounds.’ That was a copy-cat phenomenon, flagrantly commercial. Extremely watered-down Western pop influences. Very bland and monotonous.”

“But do they really have singers who don’t exist?”

“The idol-singers,” he said, starting up the hump-backed incline of the bridge. “The idoru. Some of them are enormously popular.”

– Idoru, by William Gibson. [Read more…]

Chris An

PhotobucketHey! My name is Chris An and I’m currently and undecided transfer student as of last semester, but I plan on entering the business school next Fall. It’s interesting how I became interested in Japan. Like many, it started out with a fascination for Japanese animation, which was so incredibly different from many of the cartoons I watched when I was younger. It all started out with the series Neon Genesis Evangelion. While the show itself was incredibly fascinating, what captivated me the most was the OST. I didn’t have too much interest in music at the time, but it was something what had captured my interest.While my interest in Japan grew, I was met with opposition from both my parents and my grandparents. Being a Korean-American, born in the United States, my grandparents had lived through part of the Japanese occupation of Korea. As you could imagine, my grandparents were not too happy to find out that I wanted to learn Japanese and learn more about the culture. [Read more…]