The SP5 Part 2 is here! How will the Vocaloid movement evolve in the future? Do we still need Miku? But more importantly, are the P’s more popular with girls thanks to Vocaloid? Find out the answers to all these questions, and more, in this Questionnaire Special!
Vocaloid Ranking SP5 Part 2: Questionnaire Special
Here’s the 2nd part of the five-part “Vocaloid Ranking SP 5”: the long awaited Questionnaire Special. Let’s turn the studio into a setting more fitted to a questionnaire.
Vocaloid Ranking SP5 Questionnaire Special: It’s almost been 3 years, so I asked some serious questions.
We’ll present the uploader’s Special Plan, “Vocaloid Ranking SP5 Questionnaire Special: It’s almost been 3 years, so I asked quite serious questions”. As always, I, Naho, will present it.
Miku Hatsune, since her release 3 years ago on August 2007, has had an impact on producers, listeners and the industry alike, as well as on many other domains. But at the same time, it caused some troubles related to the copyrights of the songs and the characters. This questionnaire is a result of the uploader’s will to ask the listeners about their concerns.
But this questionnaire was also made to get opinions on the actual state of the Vocaloid movement, and the questions, covering several topics, are direct.
Some of you might feel ill-at-ease. If you think you could be disturbed by the questions and answers, I strongly recommend you to skip this part of the SP5. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Well then, let’s explain how this questionnaire will work.
Outline of the Vocaloid Ranking SP5 Questionnaire
Respondents answered a total of 15 questions by “yes” or “no” and explained why they did so. The questionnaire was sent to producers whose songs reached the first positions in the Weekly VocaRan or whose songs originated games or commercialised CDs, and who the uploader could contact.
It was sent to 136 people, of which 36 responded. 3 of them notified us about their refusal, and 1 informed us he couldn’t respond because of an incompatibility with his schedule. Judging from the low response rate (25.7%) and the refusals, it seems the questionnaire was too harsh.
Before publishing the answers, let’s see the preliminary questions. They were asked to the respondents to check their intentions.
Preliminary Question 1: Do you wish to keep your anonimity, or be refered to by your P-name?
15 persons wished to keep their anonimity, and 20 chose to be publicly identified by their P-name. Even though the questionnaire is harsh, I am very grateful to the respondents who chose to be identified. Those who chose to keep their anonimity are big names too. I deeply thank you for your responses.
Preliminary Question 2: During the SP5, your answers and the reasons behind them will be published. How should we deal with them?
We asked the respondents if they either wanted 1) all the answers to be published, 2) only some of the answers, or 3) none of them. 30 people chose number 1), 4 people chose 2), and 1 person chose 3).
So that were the preliminary questions. Let’s now see the content of the main questions and the answers!
Question 1: “To put things bluntly, we don’t need Miku Hatsune.”
What’s that…? Starting with such a question from the beginning…?
This question probably surprised many people. The different Vocaloid characters of which Miku was the first one, and the songs using Vocaloid are closely related. And among the songs that make it into VocaRan, a very large number of videos star such characters.
If you simply look at it from a functional point of view, Vocaloid is a singing software, and originally it was treated as an instrument. The characters themselves aren’t necessarily needed.
We sometimes hear that the characters themselves attracting so much attention wasn’t expected, but one could wonder if there was really a necessity to create the character Miku Hatsune in the first place, and if, for good or for bad, the existence of these characters didn’t bias our views on Vocaloid. That’s what we will ask in Question 1.
VY1, a Vocaloid that doesn’t have a character, has probably been released to satisfy potential expectations.
Well then, let’s see the answers. Since Miku Hatsune was crucial to the development of the Vocaloid phenomenon, we could expect that nobody answered “yes”, but is it really the case…?
Yes, we don’t: 0.
No, we do: 35.
As expected! There’s no way she could be useless! I’m glad there was no “yes”. Let’s see the reasons behind these answers.
“The Vocaloid culture developed thanks to Miku Hatsune. No matter what anyone says, it’s a fact, I think.” (AkunoP)
“If there wasn’t a character that the public could easily recognise, I think Vocaloid couldn’t have gotten as popular as it is now.” (anonymous)
“It’s a necessity that people think a famous idol sings for them. That, and also that I personally love her. w” (PiroriroP)
The others also mentioned that having characters can bring interest, and that aside from singing, they also have an iconic role. There’s no doubt that the Vocaloid phenomenon was created with the characters. We could verify that again.
And now, next question!
Question 2: “Honestly, I never thought of Vocaloid as ‘CGM’.”
Like the first question, here’s another hard question…
Since I think many never heard of the term “CGM” itself, I’ll explain it simply. “CGM” stands for “Consumer Generated Media”. It can cover a host of different things. Let’s give examples of representative CGM-based sites: information source and trends (Ameba, mixi, wikipedia, 2ch, etc.), video sites (Youtube, NicoNicoDouga, etc.), image sites (Pixiv, etc.) Another type of CGM site would be Piapro, which deals with images, music, texts and 3D models.
But all these examples may have confused you. Simply put, CGM is an environment where the makers are also the consumers. You just have to understand that it’s about sharing one’s works easily with others.
We can also think of doujin activities as CGM. Since “CGM” is a term used in regards to Internet, we tend to think of it as an Internet-only phenomenon, but it doesn’t differ much from what doujin circles have been doing from the beginning, namely content created by the consumers. In a CGM environment, the different creators work really close to each other, and so they greatly influence one another. Many of these creative activities coming from the users originate large movements.
Since the popularity of Miku spread from CGM sites (mostly NicoNicoDouga), we often hear the term “CGM”. But maybe CGM doesn’t really apply to the Vocaloid movement. Maybe it was just people creating songs and PV’s on their own, with listeners stumbling across them on the Web…
Technically, we can consider it CGM since the “maker=consumer” equation holds true, but some people may find it uncomfortable labelling it “CGM” and emphasising this aspect. Maybe there are even people who don’t think of themselves as consumers in the first place. And there’s probably a big difference in how the consumers (listeners) and the Vocaloid producers think of CGM.
So let’s see if the respondents, who play a key role in the Vocaloid movement, think of it as CGM, and if they do, what they think about it. Here are the answers.
Yes, I don’t: 26.
No, I do: 9.
Ah, we didn’t see that one coming! A majority of the respondents doesn’t think of it as CGM. Let’s see the reasons.
“If we speak about NicoNicoDouga, ‘video uploader=consumer’ doesn’t come to my mind.” (millstones)
“Well, I don’t even know what ‘CGM’ stands for. Sorry, I’ll study harder.” (anonymous)
“I don’t know what ‘CGM’ means.” (Nashimotowe)
Surely, considering the current situation in NicoNicoDouga, the users are clearly separated in two groups: the makers and the viewers.
Most of the answers were along the lines of “I don’t know what ‘CGM’ is”.
“It’s Vocaloid that made people start to borrow works from others with their permission on NicoNicoDouga.” (Re:nG)
“Now that it’s become so popular, I come to realise it’s CGM.” (BocariodoP [noa])
On the other hand, those who chose “no” provided us clear answers. Maybe that’s a problem of awareness of the term “CGM”.
Well then, next question!
Question 3: “I don’t want my songs to be considered doujin music.”
I think there are many people who definitely think it is doujin music. But since the Vocaloid movement has reached beyond the frontiers of Internet, I feel it’s important to ask this question.
The word “doujin” is often used for anime and games, but if they were asked what doujin means, how many people could give a clear answer?
The word “doujin” itself means “people who share a common hobby, interest or way of thinking”. When doujins gather, they can write books or discuss a particular topic to find answers for instance: that’s what we call “doujin activities”. Doujin circles have a long history, and date back to the Meiji period* when people would gather to write tanka** or literature.
*The Meiji period lasted from 1868 to 1912.
**Tanka is a traditional Japanese form of poetry.
Even my grand-mother was part of a haiku doujin circle! This kind of literary activities were thriving until the end of WWII, but with the new generations, the diffusion of manga during the Shouwa period* and the beginning of the Comiket, the focus of doujin circles shifted rapidly to anime and manga.
Nowadays, this term has come to be used for any work derived from anime or manga (fanfiction, etc.) made by amateurs. Of course, the use of this word is often erroneous, and it is debated.
In the Vocaloid movement, apart from Internet, many producers rely on doujin networks (e.g. consignment in anime shops) and doujin conventions like Comiket or Vocaloid Master to sell their work. That’s why the definition we gave earlier of the word “doujin” can apply, and that Vocaloid music as a whole is often considered doujin music, which is an extension of anime and games.
Since there’s no other way to sell CDs, or that if there are other ways, they’re difficult, the use of doujin networks became common. But still, there are probably people who disagree with the use of the term doujin as applied to Vocaloid.
What do the respondents think about that?
Yes, I don’t want: 0.
No, I want: 35.
Oh, I see… Let’s see the reasons.
“As for me, since it’s music made by amateurs, as long as people like it and listen to it, I don’t pay attention to details.” (KuraP)
“What we do is meant to be doujin music.” (Anonymous)
“Since I participated in Comiket, for me it’s ‘no’. Now, I probably sound like a spoiled P, calling myself a doujin while being signed to a major… (Anonymous)
The other respondents mentioned that they were fine with being labelled as doujin music, that it was doujin music from the beginning, and that they don’t care about more precise classifications.
Well then, next question!
Question 4: “Contrary to the videos, I only publish the MP3 or the karaoke version because people expect me to and that I fear a backlash.”
Since it has to do with manners, this is a hard question to answer. In order for people to listen to the songs on NicoNicoDouga, the video alone is enough. There’s no doubt that having the MP3 or the karaoke version uploaded somewhere else relies solely on the producers’ good will. But sometimes, the video gets filled with comments asking for the MP3 or karaoke, producers receive a lot of emails, and in the end some get blamed for not uploading them.
What do the respondents think about that? Here are their answers!
Yes, I do: 1.
No, I don’t: 34.
Let’s start with the “yes”.
“Since the intrinsic value of a karaoke file is low, basically I have no problem uploading it. But in the case of a regular MP3, I always fear that uploading it might render my work worthless (because, since it’s free, the possibility to listen to it is taken for granted).
In 2007, while I was in a trial and error phase, I uploaded a video without the MP3 and it got filled with comments like “upload the Mp3!!”. But now, since the song can only again this important value only if people listen to it and like it, I try to find the best compromise, and try to upload the MP3 as much as possible.” (sososoP)
As expected, on a site like NicoNicoDouga where the comments are so visible, it can become quite a serious problem.
“Simply because people want to listen to the song without having to watch the video, and that I want them to sing my songs.” (Anonymous)
“I was just happy with the comments asking for the MP3 and karaoke, so it was a pleasure to do so.” (Anonymous)
As for the “no”, many answers were along the lines of “I was simply happy”, “I wanted to see derived videos”.
Question 5: “Honestly, Vocaloid is just a kyaku-yose panda* to get more people to listen to my songs.”
*”kyaku-yose panda” (客寄せパンダ), literally a “panda that attracts the customers”, is a Japanese expression describing someone or something (e.g. an idol, a performance, etc.) that serves to attract customers into a shop or an event.
Yet another straightforward and hard question… I was scared they wouldn’t answer.
Miku Hatsune’s popularity is huge. Vocaloid itself can be used easily by anyone. Because of that, it came to be used by amateurs and pros alike, transcending the barriers of genres and industries, and many producers became able to share their Miku songs. But amid this, some people are probably using Miku’s popularity to gain attention for their songs. Of course, this isn’t bad in itself; sometimes, by using Miku, hidden talents can be discovered. But still, many people are probably against this use.
Miku is a combination of music, a character and what users make of her. What do the respondents think of it?
Yes, it is: 11.
No, it isn’t: 24.
Unexpected results again. There are more “yes” than I could have thought…
Let’s see the reasons for the “yes”.
“Even though I don’t really like the term ‘kyaku-yose panda’, surely there’s a bit of that, but I just think it’s one of the advantages of Vocaloid.” (Travolta)
“Using Vocaloid saves time, work and money, and it’s made by people who like Vocaloid for people who like Vocaloid, so it’s different than in the case of other artists because it’s for people to listen to their beloved Miku Hatsune in the first place.” (Kumarobo)
Other respondents mentioned that they considered the character as part of the vocals, and that there’s no doubt that many people using the same singer is a good thing. But while it may be a good thing, only a few people have achieved success with it, even though several tens of thousands of Vocaloid packages have been sold: the sole fact of using Vocaloid can’t guarantee success.
“For me, as a male, it’s really fascinating to be able to add the finishing touch to my songs with female vocals.” (anonymous)
“At first, it was only an interest, but now it’s because of the ease of use and my personal affection for Vocaloid.” (anonymous)
As for the “no”, respondents listed several reasons, including that they like Vocaloid because of its functions, or affection towards it for instance. But surely the kyaku-yose panda aspect of it plays a role…
Let’s continue with the next question!
Question 6: “I think NicoNicoDouga’s singers are irritating.” (except the ones I like)
Ah, what a straightforward wording…! But first let me be clear: slandering directly certain singers or genres is not the purpose of this question.
I allowed myself to ask this because I want to further investigate all the issues surrounding the singers, like their popularity and their reputation. I deeply apologise to the singers who were offensed by my question.
Let’s get into the heart of the matter. On NicoNicoDouga, the popularity of utatte mita videos has grown over the years. In the last Daikaigi, some singers even came to have an activity of their own.
Vocaloid songs are often sung by those singers; they have rapidly become popular among singers as Miku’s popularity increased, because they’re not comparated to the vocals of preexisting songs, and that the songs can be legally used without troubles. And many songs resurface in the VocaRan thanks to covers by famous singers. But as the use of Vocaloid songs became wide-spead, reports of troubles with singers began to be heard.
Troubles like the modification without permission and way of singing irrespectful to the original songs, but also the use without permission of these songs in live performances for instance: many problems concerning copyrights have developed.
Of course, there’s only a few singers who cause troubles, and a large majority of them behave respectfully and have a good relationship with the producers. We musn’t think of the whole utatte mita genre as problematic.
As of now, utatte mita is a genre that is as influential as Vocaloid songs. In this question, I used the word “irritating”, but surely some will start being more crude in the future…
So let’s see how utatte mita are viewed… Needless to say, it’s not about the singers who behave properly, or with whom the respondents collaborated or that they appreciate. Well then, let’s see the results.
Yes, I do: 3.
No, I don’t: 32.
I see, there were indeed some “yes”. Let’s see the reasons.
“I guess there are people who boast with other peoples’ songs… But we can also think that the ones who are irritating are those who listen to utatte mita songs.” (anonymous)
Rather than opinions on singers, it seems there were more answers about the people who listen to utatte mita.
“Honestly, I’m between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Sometimes, the songs that some singers upload are treated as their new song, and it honestly makes me sad. Even when that’s not the intent of the singer, that’s how their fans react, so it really makes me sad. I think there’s got to be mutual respect between the producer and the singer.” (BocariodoP [noa])
“It’s those who only listen to utatte mita that make me feel bad.” (Anonymous)
This trend can also be seen in the “no”. While they really enjoy having their songs sung, they also want people to behave properly. It’s about building a good relationship through mutual respect. Of course, the problem of manners isn’t restricted to utatte mita. In the Vocaloid fandom, there are some too easy criticisms and excessive reactions, like “it’s not for humans to sing!” We have to take a look at the big picture, and consider these problems as a whole.
Question 7: “Vocaloid music is now very popular, but I don’t think the disparity with what we call ‘major music’ has decreased.”
Some would object that, rather than it being more listened to, it is Miku who conquered the majors. It’s true that seeing or hearing her outside the Internet isn’t rare. Vocaloid CD’s can now be found in the shop fronts of big companies, and they top the Oricon charts. Apparently, Vocaloid songs are quite popular in karaoke too. In terms of sales, Vocaloid CD’s are equal to CD’s issued by majors. But in reality, isn’t there a disparity in terms of quality? That’s the subject of this question.
I simply used the term “disparity”, but these disparities are felt differently from one person to another. There are all kinds of disparity: profits generated or position in rankings, mixing or arrangements, talent, expression, overestimation because of the popularity of the character… “Disparity” can have a lot of meanings, and I expect that to be reflected in the answers.
Well then, let’s see the answers. Everybody, how do you perceive this “disparity”?
Yes, I don’t: 18.
No, I do: 17.
Oh, it’s almost a tie! Let’s see the yes!
“Indeed, I really don’t think it has decreased. The musical disparity is huge. I hate the feeling that the competition in the Vocaloid movement is only internal. Even though I’m truly amazed by the quality of other Vocaloid producers’ works, I just can’t understand how you wouldn’t feel desperate because of the works of the artists you listen to everyday. I do think the disparity in terms of business has decreased, but that aspect doesn’t interest me.” (Dixie Flatline)
“After all, Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid) is still closely linked to NicoNicoDouga. I want it to get out of this, and become widespread.” (anonymous)
“Rather than speaking about the disparity, what’s important is that majors are majors, period. The impression that they belong to another world is strong.” (AkunoP)
On the “yes” side, the fact that there’s still some way to go on the technical aspect was mentioned, and the feeling that it’s a different music than the majors’ is strong.
“It depends on what is meant by ‘disparity’, but in terms of people listening, I think there’s isn’t any difference anymore.” (anonymous)
“Vocaloid has still some way to go before being largely recognised, but if we compare its recent exposure with that of the beginnings, I think that the disparity with majors has decreased.” (KanimisoP)
On the other side, the opinion according to which there’s no disparity in terms of musical content is strong in the “no”.
Question 8: “I think the flow of money generated by the sales of songs and CD’s should be more transparent.”
It’s related to the first question. Buying Vocaloid music in the form of commercial CD’s isn’t rare anymore and it has become really easy to buy music from iTunes Store or as truetones. But some listeners are concerned about these methods of distribution: “do the creators really get their due share?” Many people don’t know what happens with their money, and mention the lack of transparency as the reason for the JASRAC* mistrust.
*JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) is the largest musical copyright admnistration society in Japan.
Because of this mistrust, many people prefer not having anything to do with this methods of distribution, and instead rely on doujin consignment shops or doujin conventions like the Comiket and Vom@s to get the CD’s that P’s produce independently. It appears they do so for a simple reason: that way, their money goes directly to the producers. There’s a tendency to think that this kind of money-related problems are specific to Internet, but the same thing could probably be said of the music industry as a whole. I hope that the respondents’ answers will reflect this situation. Well then, let’s take a look at them!
Yes, I do: 7.
No, I don’t: 28.
As expected on such a delicate issue, there’s a lot of “no”! Let’s start with them.
“I think it’s normal for P’s to be part of a system, and I think the listeners shouldn’t worry about that. There are probably some concerns though.” (anonymous)
“Surely the producers have some information that is known only to them, but I don’t think listeners need to know these things.” (anonymous)
“People would start getting jealous and stuff, so we need to keep some things secret.” (anonymous)
Of course, since it has to do with private matters, there were many negative answers. It seems that, in order to avoid disputes and criticism, they think there are things that only themselves should know about.
“I think people should know whether we get a fair percentage from the distributing companies. And by the way, I personally don’t have any problem with my current situation or the percentage I get, but I’d like JOYSOUND to implement a system with better guaranties for those who aren’t members of JASRAC! (LOLI.COM)
On the other hand, in both the “yes” and the “no”, the respondents have mentioned the need for the producers to share some common information. It seems that as of now they aren’t able to do so as much as they’d like to.
Question 9: “Honestly, Crypton’s stance towards users is a mixed blessing.”
“Hey you, why don’t you stop asking these horrible questions?”, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”… I have the impression that’s what’s coming at me for always asking harsh questions. I am deeply sorry.
I think that, in the minds of many people, Crypton is a benevolent company that acts in the interest of the users by providing services like Piapro and the KarenT label, or plays an intermediary role between the users and publishing companies when it comes to copyright issues. The fact that they support the users is a good thing, but some point out that in the end it limits the freedom of the producers.
Of course, since the characters and voicebanks belong to their respective companies, it’s only normal to have some kind of restrictions. Still, maybe there are people who think there are more restrictions than needed, and that’s what this question is about. Let’s see the answers!
Yes, it is: 1.
No, it isn’t: 34.
For some reason, there’s only one “yes”… Let’s start with the “no”.
“I think they’re trying hard to help us make our way in this completely new culture.
But, given the nature of UGC, I think it’s hard to please everyone.” (Travolta)
“I think they’re sometimes too cautious, but it’s better in order for them to avoid problems.” (AkunoP)
“It’s like they made a hole in a wall, and that this hole keeps getting bigger. It’s really exciting.” (RedcardP)
As can be seen in the other answers, it looks like everybody values highly Crypton’s stance towards users. But one person answered “yes”. Since he didn’t ask to keep his anonimity, here’s his name and the reason for his answer.
“No comment.” (DeadballP)
I think many of you could have predicted this answer. Well then, next question!
Question 10: “Honestly, weren’t it for the listeners’ criticism, I’d register my songs on JASRAC.”
Finally, we get to discuss this issue. It’s of great interest to both the listeners and the producers. The biggest problem related to JASRAC is how royalties are dealt with when the songs are used in karaoke. The producers didn’t receive any royalties for songs used in karaoke (JOYSOUND for instance) if those songs weren’t registered on JASRAC. That’s because those who work in the karaoke business didn’t have ways to pay the producers directly, and so they had to do it via JASRAC. As a result, Vocaloid songs that weren’t registered on JASRAC were often provided for free by the producers. But as Vocaloid songs gained a huge popularity, some karaoke users began to think it wasn’t normal for producers not to receive royalties just because their songs aren’t registered on JASRAC. Some of these songs are even on the national top 10, so it would amount to a lot of money.
There’s no wrongdoing since the contracts that the producers signed with the karaoke industry specify their songs could be used for free, but still, many people think it is unfair. That’s why we started to see producers partially registering* some of their songs on JASRAC.
*The term “copyright” encompasses several legal rights, including the right to reproduce or distribute works. A partial registration is when you only entrust some of those rights to the copyrights companies.
“By the time this video is up, I think my songs will already be registered. Please contact me for further information.” (DeadballP)
As for partial registration, let me show you DeadballP’s answer before the others. Of course, he answered “yes”. DeadballP partially registered his songs on JASRAC via the music publishing company Quake, more specifically the performing rights, renting rights, diffusion rights and licensing for karaoke on demand. According to a recent NicoNico live broadcast survey(*), 90% of the viewers approve of partial registration. It seems partial registration has been made easier on different aspects.
(*)”Debate on musical copyrights – A reflection on karaoke distribution” (lv22568501), broadcast on July, 30th 2010.
Of course, there are some disadvantages in registering one’s songs. For instance, people can’t perform the songs outside clubs with live music without notifying the copyrights owners, and the producers can’t choose who get to perform their songs, but the biggest problem is the listeners’ criticism towards JASRAC itself.
Even though people are increasingly in favour of partial registration, the mistrust towards JASRAC is deeply rooted. What do the respondents think of it?
Yes, I would: 10.
No, I wouldn’t: 25.
Hm, not many “yes”. Let’s start with them!
“I don’t really see the problem with registering on JASRAC… Even if the songs are registered, people can still upload their utatte mita’s on NicoNicoDouga for instance, as one of the big guys over at JASRAC said on the NicoNico live broadcast.” (anonymous)
Many of those who answered “yes” said that, upon understanding what it was about, they wanted to register their songs (or had already done so).
“I’m not popular enough to gain anything from registering my songs, plus, I don’t even have the money to do so.” (anonymous)
“If I thought I needed it, I think I’d register my songs on JASRAC regardless of criticism but as of now, I don’t feel this necessity.” (Udongeruge)
On the other hand, those who answered “no” mentioned several reasons: they don’t think it is necessary, they aren’t popular enough, and expressed the same concerns as in Question 8. Of course, some of them also said they don’t want to do it for personal reasons. But something they have in common is that they said they want to have complete control over their work. Next question!
Question 11: “Honestly, I wasn’t comfortable with the Akatsuki probe and the Shinkansen that was named ‘Hatsune’.”
Miku hatsune’s activities have gone well beyond the frontiers of the Internet. This question is about two things: first, the project to send the Akatsuki probe to Venus with images depicting Miku on it, and the movement seeking to name one of the E5 Series Tôhoku Shinkansen “Hatsune”.
The former consisted in getting the Venus probe Akatsuki to carry plates with Miku images as well as messages. Apparently, she was chosen because the NicoNico Science Department started with the “Miku Hatsune Materialisation” project and the “Miku Hachune Miniaturization War”*. As for the latter, as you can see on the picture, it’s because the colour of the train was strongly reminding of Miku.
*NNSD = A video category and a club on NND, centered around science and technologies.
MHM = A tag that was used for videos where users would try to represent Miku in 3D: dolls, figurines, etc.
MHMW = A tag too; users would try to build the smallest leekspinning Hachune device.
In the case of Akatsuki, there is a link with SOMESAT, the sattelite development project that originated on NND, but as for Hatsune, the only relation is the colour. It has nothing to do with music, even though that’s what defines her the most. The fact that Miku is used in projects that are completely unrelated to her original purpose is criticised by some as blatant opportunism. There are concerns that people will misunderstand what Miku is really about. So, what do the respondents, who use Miku to make music, think of these two projects?
Yes, I wasn’t: 8.
No, I was: 27.
As expected, many of them don’t feel comfortable with that… Let’s see the “yes”!
“It was mostly the lack of connection to space that troubled me. I just don’t get why they had to use Miku. But my biggest problem was people always coming to the same conclusion: ‘Miku is amazing, she even went to space!'” (HikutsuP)
“I think that if that’s what they want to do, it’s fine, but they should do it privately. I’d like them to stop trying to get people to sympathise with them and their passions.” (anonymous)
“Many otakus don’t don’t approve these projects, just like me.” (anonymous)
Those who answered “yes” mentioned that they felt uncomfortable with the efforts by some to get people to sympathise with them, or ask fans to sign petitions.
“Since the characters are such a big element of what Vocaloid is, I only see these projects through this point of view, namely, a popularity boost for the characters.” (anonymous)
“Honestly, I think these projects are stupid, but what I like about them is that this stupidity comes from the Internet.” (KanimisoP)
Most of those who answered “no” think that, while it helps developing the characters, they just don’t care about these projects. It seems all the respondents don’t think of the issues related to the characters the same way: some see it as a platform, others see it as a product that is composed of different elements. Well then, next question!
Question 12: “Since I started producing songs using Vocaloid, I became popular with girls.”
Finally a light-hearted question! But there’s no doubt it really matters to the producers who want to impress the girls! As you know, there are many girls who listen to Vocaloid music. The truth is, I happen to go to conventions like Vom@s from time to time, and I see lots of groups of fashionable girls. Taking a quick glance at the people there, it seems the proportion of girls is very high. But then, the P’s who participate to such conventions are handsome! So, on one hand, handsome P’s, and on the other hand, lots of fashionable girls…! In the end, it looks like everyone is very popular with the opposite sex! But let’s see what the respondents think of this situation!
Yes, I did: 15.
No, I didn’t: 20.
Ah, as expected, some of them got more popular with girls! Without further ado, let’s see their answers, starting with the “yes”!
“Yes, but only on the net.” (anonymous)
“I became more popular with people of the same sex…” (anonymous)
“I now hear more old men voices cheering me passionately.” (HikutsuP)
Ah well, I guess that counts as being popular too… Anyway, some people answered seriously that they got more popular. Let’s see who they are!
“I think it’s because I look good.” (DeadballP)
“I got popular with married women.” (kihirohito)
” ‘Thanks to this video, I got a girlfriend!’ – 22 years old Vocaloid producer from Tôkyô” (anonymous)
“Until recently, I lacked self-confidence for everything and was very pessimistic, but since I began producing Vocaloid songs, I’ve become able to open my heart to others naturally, and gained self-confidence. Now, I have to say my biceps have grown much bigger, and thanks to that I could get a raise.” (Tomii/T-POCKET)
On the other hand, the reasons for the “no” were quite serious…
“This is an illusion.” (anonymous)
“Since I’m always home, I never get to meet with girls.” (Kumarobo)
“If you think all P’s are handsome, then you’re wrong!” (PiroriroP)
“If I were popular with girls, I’d be much happier! Being a P doesn’t change anything! I want to be popular!” (LOLI.COM)
But regardless of whether they chose “yes” or “no”, many of them did acknowledge the fact that they socialised more and got to know more people in real life since they started using Vocaloid. There’s no doubt being a P increases one’s chances to meet people. Next question!
Question 13: “I’d like the listeners to behave more respectfully and learn about copyrights issues.”
That’s a serious problem. In the Vocaloid movement, where the makers and the listeners have a close relationship, problems that have to do with manners or unauthorised use of the songs are quite frequent. There are laws for that, and people should really learn about what they can and cannot do. Of course, this isn’t limited to the Vocaloid movement; it applies to daily life too. That’s true in the case of JASRAC too: people would benefit greatly from learning how it works and knowing how to use the songs properly. It would be reasonable to say the increase of material registered on JASRAC is due to a better understanding from the listeners thanks to the NicoNico live broadcast. If people stopped acting based on their biases and misconceptions and were more familiar with proper manners and copyrights, it would be better for everybody, but for this to be possible, both sides have to study these issues properly…
I assume the respondents know enough about these issues, so my question is more about the listeners. So, what did they answer?
Yes, I do: 19.
No, I don’t: 16.
As expected, there are many “yes”. Let’s start with them!
Yes: “I find it sad that this kind of question is raised, but I’d like listeners to keep in mind that producers are humans too, and that while the songs may be short, the time they took to be completed is much much longer.” (millstones)
“If people observed good manners, even basic ones, we wouldn’t have this kind of copyrights issues, so yeah, I’d like them to pay attention to manners.” (sososoP)
“The government should create moral education classes.” (GevanniP)
Many of them said that they weren’t expecting the listeners to know everything about these issues, that it would be fine if they just acted based on common sense, and that they should do so on the Internet too. In fact, we often hear the same criticisms about the society as a whole.
“It’s true that there are some problems with manners, but I think what really matters is whether the listeners like our works or not, regardless of these complicated issues.” (KuraP)
“I think that, rather than the listeners, it’s the makers who should do so.” (DeadballP)
On the other hand, those who answered “no” think it’s not reasonable to ask the listeners for this kind of things, and that the makers themselves should learn about these issues and set an example. Next question!
Question 14: “To put things bluntly, I think the VocaRan only has a bad influence on the Vocaloid movement.”
Ah, uploader, you even ask this kind of question… As many of you know, “VocaRan” refers to the “Weekly Vocaloid Ranking”, which I’m in charge of. As of now, it’s the most popular private ranking on NND, but it can be criticised on many aspects. For instance, people talk to me about the problems inherent to the structure of the ranking (as exemplified by the “monban”*), and criticise the fact that because of it many new songs don’t get attention, and that there are more and more songs whose only aim is to get as many views as possible.
The purpose of this question is to know how the respondents feel about the current state of the VocaRan. Well then, let’s see the answers! Honestly, I’m scared but I have to publish the results…
*”monban” is a generic term for the songs that make into the rankings week after week, often at more or less the same position.
Yes, I do: 0.
No, I don’t: 35.
Ah, thank you very much! I’m so happy! Let’s see their answers!
“I think it is very important because many people look forward to it every week. When I uploaded my videos, I never thought they’d make it into the VocaRan, but when they began to do so, I was really happy. Also, VocaRan boosts the producers’ motivation (I think there are people who do their best to enter the VocaRan), so I think it’s a great thing that it exists.” (anonymous)
“I think it’s one of the reasons for the gap that exists between the most popular P’s and the others, but personally, I think of the VocaRan as a source of motivation, because people want to enter it.” (PiroriroP)
Thank you! Since continuing the VocaRan without the producers’ approval wouldn’t mean anything, I’m grateful for these encouragements! Of course, some mentioned this gap and competition I was speaking about earlier.
And now, it’s time for the last question! Everybody, thank you for having watched this SP5 Questionnaire. I think that, thanks to all the answers, we could get a better feel of the current state of the Vocaloid movement. The last question is harsh too, but I asked it because I was expecting answers that would bring us hope.
Question 15: The last question. “I think the Vocaloid boom will end in 2 or 3 years, and that it will come to be used only for draft versions.”
That’s what some said 1 year ago, and 2 years ago, and then 3 years ago. It turned out to be wrong, but the thing is, nobody can predict what will happen in the future with certainty. The only way to know is to wait and see for ourselves what happens. Well then, let’s see the results for the last question. I hope there won’t be any “no”!
Yes, I do: 0.
No, I don’t: 35.
Just as I thought! Let’s see their answers!
“I think it’ll find its place as a standard doujin music genre. But if it were to transcend the barriers of doujin music and become mainstream, we’d need more people to be the successors of Ryo and Kz. We need more ambitious people. It’s you, who own Vocaloid and badly want to produce songs, who’ll be the key players.” (Dixie Flatline)
Indeed, it’s you who will play the leading part. It may sound cliché, but since we’re speaking of UGC, it’s true!
“I do think the boom will only last 2 or 3 years (in fact, even 3 years seems unlikely), but I also think the genre itself will last much longer.” (anonymous)
“It’s up to the producers’ creativity, and I think there will be many new developments.” (anonymous)
Many of the respondents think that, regardless of the end of the boom, Vocaloid music will become an established genre.
And that’s it for the questionnaire! I hope it cleared some of your doubts about the Vocaloid movement. For this questionnaire, I received a lot of answers from the respondents, but it was impossible to go over everything they said in this one video. Because of this, I’ll publish the answers of those who agreed to public disclosure in another video. Please watch it! Anyway, let’s get back to our regular studio!
Finally Part 3! Let’s start from number 40. But before that, we have another segment to see… Stay tuned!
That’s it for Part 2! So, was your favourite P one of the respondents? If not, maybe he was one of the Anonymous? I guess we’ll never know! But the Questionnaire is not over, and this time, you, Vocaloidism followers, get to answer!
Question 16: “Honestly, I’d like the other video to be translated too.”
Okay, I cheated; this question wasn’t part of the original video. Anyway…
As you know if you have watched/read the questionnaire, there will be another video covering all the answers that were left out of this one. It hasn’t been uploaded yet, but the point is: would like it to be translated too, and posted on this blog? Say what you think about it in the comment section!