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What the heck is a Vocaloid?

I’ve crawled the internets enough to be familiar with the Vocaloid characters, which I’ve seen mostly through fan art and youtube clips featuring bouncing chibi versions doing caramelldansen.  I always assumed however, that they were simply characters from a manga or anime or video game.  My BF mentioned them to me in passing and realizing I didn’t know what they were, showed me this video:

My reaction:

I’m still not sure 100% what exactly the vocaloids are – from what my boyfriend can tell me they are copyright free idol characters that someone created, and there appears to be software you can buy that you can use to make songs and videos of them in.   The vocaloids are treated like real celebrities even though…they’re fake.   I don’t know who owns them or who puts on these amazing concerts, or how those vocaloids characters on stage are created – screens? Holograms? Projections? ROBOTS??

While this is beyond cool, I also find it extremely freaky.  It’s like someone took an anime plot and turned it into reality.  What’s next, gundams?  Are AIs going to take over the world a la Summer Wars?  Is this really a plot by another intelligent race of beings to infiltrate our society through music, the web and popular entertainment???

Until I figure all that out, I’ll probably just watch a couple more videos and marvel over it all, lol.

All about Morning Musume

As someone raised in the US, it seems to me that Japanese pop bands are more similar to our sports teams than our own pop bands.  After all, it’s not very common for an American band to have twelve constantly changing members and hold auditions for new members each year.  But that’s how it’s commonly done Japan, though technically they aren’t just bands of singers, but ‘idols’, who are expected to sing, dance, act and basically entertain.

After finding the videos from the other day of Morning Musume performing Cinderella I went on youtube and Wikipedia to find out some more about them.  They’re a very cute group, focusing on mostly bubbly, upbeat dance songs.  They started out back in 1998, and are currently on their 10th generation of singers.  When they first started out they consisted of only 5 girls, today there are 12 girls in the group.

The music video for their first ever single:

The music video for one of their newest singles:

There’s quite a bit of difference between the two videos, but then, they were made practically 14 years apart.

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