AX 2014: Vocaloid shows off new music (panel report)

vocaloid anime expo

The long-awaited annual Vocaloid panel “Mirai no Neiro” was once again a popular event as usual at Anime Expo this year. Attendees–much like last year–maxed out the giant room the panel was scheduled in. This year, two Vocaloid panels were scheduled. Part 1 was more media-focused, where producers and staff screened and previewed new songs and introduced a little about themselves as artists, while Part 2 was more cultural, focusing on how vocaloid fits into and influences our current society, international and otherwise.

The guests of honor this year featured vocaloid producers buzzG, 綿飴(wataame), Utata-P and illustrator wogura, Kagome-P, sunzriver, and MMD producer Masataka.

Rinaldy Syah Dampsea Love (44)

buzzG started off the panel this year, stating that he is very happy to see so many people gathered at the panel and sharing an interest in vocaloid. For the panel, he has brought a video of a new song that will be uploaded sometime in the near future for the fans to preview. buzzG states that the song is based off the Japanese creature “bakaneko”, also known as “ghost cat”.

Our next producer, 綿飴 (wataame), reveals that he is only 19 years old, and is currently attending college while producing on the side. He first found Vocaloid back when he was 14-15 years old back in 2009, and was very happy with this discovery, because while he can write and produce music, he admits that he is not good at singing. Wataame’s first claim to fame was through the song Shiki Toki Uta, which he screened at the panel. The song reflects upon a love that suffers through the trials of the passage of time, similar to how the four seasons come and go. wataame uses the old classical Japanese poetry style as his lyrics, which conveys an even more touching sentimentality.

Utata-P reveals that he had come to the US 13 years ago to study English because as a gamer (ex: Diablo, Age of Empires, etc), he wanted to be able to communicate better with other players. Quite relatable, judging from the cheers of the audience. He had initially planned on staying for only 6 months, but he ended up staying much, much longer than that. His new song Uragiri Module was posted just a few days ago during AX on July 4th, and features a mix of dubstep and techno.

Wogura has been an illustrator for utata-P since 2007, and sketches her pieces by drawing as she listens to the demo music. At the panel, she brought drafts of her illustration for utata-P’s new song (shown above), showing how she did each layer (line, color, shadows, special effects & background, and then a version without the headpiece) to result in the final masterpiece we see in his videos.

Kagome-P was very enthusiastic in greeting the audience, creating a very energetic atmosphere perfect for his new EDM song Welcome to DQN Style 2. The concept was to create music DQN might listen to. It definitely engaged the audience as they clapped along with the song as indicated. He also announced a new upcoming compilation album release, also called Welcome to DQN Style 2 at Comiket, and tells fans that they are most definitely welcome to stop by and say hi if they happen to be at Comiket this year. Check out one of his past collaborative compilation album demos below:

Sunzriver was unfortunately unable to attend the panel session due to unexpected illness and had to return home the night before. However, he did leave a message to the fans and a song he had been looking forward to screening for the past two years. He had originally created the song after visiting LA for the first time 2 years ago, and had since been holding onto it unreleased. He regrets being unable to see its debut live, but wishes that the song will connect with the audience. Watch for Rokugatsu no Mado, featuring Rin Kagamine, Luka Megurine, and Miku Hatsune on vocals, and Len Kagamine on chorus.

As a MMD (MikuMikuDance) producer, Masataka uses the MMD animation program to create Promotional Videos (PVs) for vocaloid. The software allows users to move and animate imported 3D models accordingly as they desire. Unfortunately, due to a lack of time, Masataka had to cut his portion short, but was able to bring a remixed video of various clips to screen. He also–acknowledging that it isn’t MMD–brought Minna Miku Miku ni shite ageru to show, closing off the panel.

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Keira Truong
Keira Truong 143 posts

A Los Angeles based writer, she has been a long time fan of anime and manga, film, and music.