Sonika’s New Look May Not Be So New

Source: Zero-Gs product page for Sonika
Source: Zero-G's product page for Sonika

This is a bit of a tale, so listen closely.  Cy Ross was browsing through the Synthesizer Festa catalog when he caught a glimpse of this box art.  The Hatsune MikuMiku blog (who translated our Vism Award article, which is totally cool, and we’re eternally grateful to them) got a hold of Cy’s article, and the whole thing has sort of blown up.  This would normally be no big deal–after all, Zero-G just finished off a fanart contest–but SynthFesta ended on the 28th, 2 days (and several time zones) before the contest ended.

What does all this mean?  We discuss below.

First, a bit about the picture.  If I may put my journalistic integrity aside for just a moment, I must say that Sonika is now a smoking hot babe, which is exponentially better than the original offering.  We have Mario Wibisono to thank for that.  This young Indonesian has a portfolio and a DeviantArt page littered with similar and equally-attractive women.  I have no doubt that Mr. Wibisono is the originator of the picture.

Now comes the big question why: Why was this made?  If this was a contest entry, then we may have an interesting predicament.  It’s a little unfair to call a winner before the deadline.  It’s possible that this is just a photo-manipulation of Mr. Wibisono’s entry into a box form (or his own box design) and the contest winner is/was still undetermined.  Again, that’s a little unfair.

There’s an alternative explanation, which my money’s on (which mean it’s completely wrong): it’s a commissioned artwork.  It’s quite plausible and would be absolutely kosher within the bounds of the New Look Contest.

The rules for the Sonika's New Look contest, as taken off the Sonika website
The rules for the Sonika's New Look contest, as taken off the Sonika website

Nowhere within that page does it state that the winner of the contest gets to be on the box.  Rule 7 is a standard-issue waiver making sure that Zero-G isn’t liable if someone isn’t happy with the results or how the company treats the submission.  That is not unique for competitions of this sort.  Granted, it does say “promotional purposes,” but to assume that immediately means the box art is, at best, wishful thinking.  The only thing you are guaranteed is a copy of Vocaloid Software, and even that can be subject to change.

I’m sure some of you are wondering “Let’s say you’re right, and Sonika’s New Look was already pre-determined. What was the point of the contest?”  One word: promotion.  This contest, like the comic strip, the Twitter account, and anything else Sonika-related, is meant to promote the software in the hopes that you buy it.  Since Zero-G already planned to change up the box art, they could have easily whipped this contest up to coincide with it while staying within Sonika’s character.  Fun AND profit.

So, in my humble opinion, this is at worst Much Ado About Little, but we don’t have all the facts yet (and probably never will).  Until things play out, let’s all relax and soak in the hotness that is Sonika’s current New Look. 🙂

About: Joe Mello

18 thoughts on “Sonika’s New Look May Not Be So New”

  1. Oh, jeez. There's no competing with /THAT/. No matter how original a design may be, most of the "real" submitters aren't on that level of epic..

    1. … Oh man, anime stuff on PENNY ARCADE of all things?! Granted it's mostly about how to dig himself out of the hole he's in but I still find that pretty surprising.

  2. Well, apparently the whole thing was just one big set up. Check out entry and the link near the end. And now reading Vocaloidism…apparently there was no point in the contest.

    Though I am glad to see more Sonika fanart (some really cute ones too)… I just dislike how underhanded this all seems. I would have bought Sonika regardless of a makeover. Her new look doesn't fit how she sounds at all.

    1. What do you mean there was no point in the contest? The contest was never for box art in the first place; it was never stated anywhere that it would be for box art. It was only a new look because on her twitter she kept talking about how she needed a new wardrobe for winter. There's still going to be voting and still going to be a winner who will get Sonika.

      1. The contest was never for box art in the first place; it was never stated anywhere that it would be for box art. . . . There’s still going to be voting and still going to be a winner who will get Sonika.

        This, this, a thousand times this. As stated before, I personally think that the contest coincided with Mr. Wibisono’s new box art and the fact that the character of Sonika has always been fickle about her wardrobe. Genre savvy.

        One thing I did not put in the article is a question to those who thought the contest was about the boxart. Did you honestly think a company would gamble something as important as a product’s appearance on a fanart contest? Even Wheaties boxes use shots done by professional photographers.

        1. Well, they used that 3D model didn't they? 😛

          To be fair they weren't exactly clear that this was only a fanart contest. They name is "Sonika's NEW LOOK" as opposed to "Sonika Fanart Contest", they mention that they have the right to use it however they wish (not everyone out there is as familiar with legal mubo jumbo as you are).

          Also, this is VOCALOID we're talking about here, having fanart shape the continuity isn't a new thing. The World is Mine official figurine is based off fanart, Project Diva used fanart designs for most of the unlockable costumes (as well as featuring fanart in their promotional stuff), Yowane Haku and all other officially sanctioned fan characters all started as simple fanart, etc etc etc. Pretty much everything about the Vocaloid continuity is shaped by the fans so I think they can be forgiven for assuming that this would be no different.

  3. As hot as I think the new Sonika is, I don't think the face matches her personality that they've already given her. Oh well, I'll live. I would make out with her. LOL and I'm girl!

  4. To counter my last comment. I am hoping that this is indeed just commissioned work. Though I am still not a huge fan of the design, I have nothing against the artist, he is obviously good at what he does.

    ZERO G should really explain things before they act, because having Sonika's artbox switch on the site, with no explanation, is not good.

  5. Sonika's twitter says the image is not the winner, and in the listing of all the entries, I don't see this. So, therefore, there is still a chance..

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