Crypton Future Media
Crypton Future Media
The blue-haired virtual diva Hatsune Miku has become a worldwide phenomenon. What we are witnessing is the magic co-emergent capacities of both its initiators and fandom elaborating, expanding and diversifying the initial successful story of the most celebrated Japanese Vocaloid super star yet to grace the concert halls. Hatsune Miku brings with her the promise to harness the limitless and continuous creative reproduction of its avatars and variants, making it a renewable form of cultural fuel for its mother city.
What is the story of Vocaloid? How did it all start?
“Hatsune Miku” is a software for singing synthesizing for Windows. It was developed based on the voice of Saki Fujita, a voice actress. Hatsune Miku enables users to create the singing voice (vocal part) by entering lyrics and melodies on the PC. This software was developed by Crypton Future Media using a singing synthesizing technology called Vocaloid by YAMAHA, and it was released in the summer of 2007.
How did Mikubook start? What was the idea behind this very successful online sharing platform for the Vocaloid fans?
The beta version of MIKUBOOK was launched as an official website for international fans at the same time as the first overseas show “MIKUNOPOLIS in LA.” The reason we started it was because we wanted to make a platform where fans can easily find new songs or information in English, a language that is internationally used. Now we have been working on new functions and improvements for the website, related to the users’ reactions.
At the end of August, Sega launched the game “Project DIVA f”, and the game was very well received. Can you tell us a few words about this game?
We are very pleased to hear that the game has received positive feedback. This game involves the participation of several creators. There should not be other games with such an approach.
What was the feedback you received from the fans for the 5th birthday of Miku?
Happiest of all, so many fans not only in Japan, but also from overseas celebrated Hatsune Miku’s 5th anniversary. We received so many opinions that express their hope for the future of Hatsune Miku. We would like to make every effort to respond their expectations.
Of all the other CFM Vocaloids, which was the most successful one? How would you explain this choice?
Other characters are also getting popular as Hatsune Miku’s popularity grows. Each product has its own feature, so the creators seem to use the products in different ways, depending on the concept of the song.
Streetcar exterior designed by Putidevil, SNOWMIKU 2012 costume designed by Nanaka
What can you tell us about Karent (independent music label)? Who can take part in it?
Creators who produce songs using Vocaloid software can take part in KARENT. We select creators who are not affected by trends and have their own policy in music making.
In the “Project DIVA f” game, Miku wears various costume versions, several made by fans. How did you come up with this idea and how do you make the costumes selection?
“Project DIVA” series has been conceived from the very beginning as a game created in collaboration with the fans. As for the selection of costumes, we took into account the compatibility with the worldview of songs, and also the originality of the design.
The 3D Miku concerts are always a blast, gathering a huge audience and amazing the entire world. What is behind a Miku concert? What does it mean to organize such a concert?
We think it’s epoch-making that songs made by a lot of creators, regardless whether professional or amateur, are played in front of big audiences. We also regard the live performance as an opportunity to show their works. Having concerts is very meaningful, because it links the Internet world to the real world and it’s the time when fans share “Hatsune Miku”.
What does CFM mean to the Sapporo community? Which are the community’s projects you are involved in, and what are your future plans regarding such projects?
We hope to use the artists’ creativity power for Sapporo as well. Using our experience in Hatsune Miku, we would like to join projects related to City of Sapporo or Hokkaido as much as possible, and make efforts to build a creative city.
Beatonica step-by-step instructions
Beatonica is a future instrument created by human connection, which also won the Grand Prize of the competition of web contents presented by LIFENET INSURANCE COMPANY. Can you give us some more details about the Beatonica online project?
Lifenet Insurance Company presented an offer for us as one of 5 Japanese cutting-edge web corporations to celebrate their stock listing. They asked these 5 companies to create “something” that would cause a “buzz” and decided to award the prize to the company that made the biggest buzz, so we prepared the application Beatonica. We don’t think you know Lifenet Insurance Company’s commercial song if you are outside Japan, but it is often aired on the Japanese TV. Beatonica was born out of the idea that infinite patterns of the commercial song can be produced depending on the individual and it would be interesting if the patterns are spread via social media. It does not need language because it is a musical instrument application, so we made an English version in order to allow much more people play with Beatonica.
Can you tell us a few words about your collaboration with Google Japan? Do you intend to have such collaborations in the future too?
We think we had a great collaboration with Google Japan. If we have other opportunities in the future, we would like to have other fruitful collaborations for creators.
How do you see the Vocaloid project in 10 years?
During these 5 years since Hatsune Miku was released, so many works have been created within a chain of co-authoring involving creators and fans, and Hatsune Miku has been spread as a new phenomenon to the world. People’s motivation and ideas for creation never run out, and we believe that they will bring new chemical reactions as the technologies develop and the age progresses. The principle of enjoying creation and sharing it for more fun would never change, even if their entertainment means change.