Today marks the first birthday of our frog-voiced friend, Gachapoid, and its avatar named Ryûto! Let’s take a look back at the history of Gachapoid and notable events from the past year.
In August of 2010, Yamaha Corporation, Fuji TV Kids and INTERNET Co., Ltd. announced the creation of a new collaborative Vocaloid featuring the voice of Gachapin, the baby dinosaur protagonist of popular children’s show Hirake! Ponkikki which ran from 1973 to 1993. The Vocaloid, titled Gachapoid (a pun on “Gachapin-like”), would be voiced by the original TV series actor, Kuniko Amemiya, and released with an anime-style avatar, coined as an “eternally five years old” boy (based on Gachapin’s age). While the official illustrations for the avatar were made public at the same time as the software’s release, his name, Ryûto, would be revealed only months later, on March 8th, 2011. The copyrights over Ryûto’s image are held by Fuji TV Kids and YAMAHA — a reference to the latter can be found on the young boy’s shoes, which feature an XG logo.
YAMAHA, Fuji TV Kids and INTERNET Co., Ltd. hoped to capture the buzz around Gachapin by releasing a kid-friendly Vocaloid, packaged with a free six-month subscription to V-Talk Editor, an online editing tool based on YAMAHA’s VOCALOID-flex technology which allows users to make Vocaloids speak naturally as opposed to sing, and a water-insulated CD case for the first press limited edition.
While Gachapoid has taken some flack since his release for the hoarse quality of his vocal timbre and limit in range (F2 to A3), his voice was not intended to be like other Vocaloids, or imitative of a human at all. Instead, Gachapoid’s voice was intended to align more closely to his familiar anime persona, Gachapin, than any of the “Vocaloid artist” voicebanks of INTERNET Co., Ltd., which are drawn from the voices of popular singers, not voice actors. Despite not having the same nostalgia-based cultural cachet outside of Japan, certainly Gachapoid has introduced many to this important character in Japanese popular culture.
Like other Internet voicebanks, Gachapoid will be importable to VOCALOID3 for free.
As part of his first birthday celebration, INTERNET Co., Ltd. has announced a contest on Nico Nico Douga for music videos, MMD videos, and image submissions for a chance to win a VOCALOID3 Editor, VOCALOIDTM3 Starter Pack: Megpoid Complete, and an MCR-040 Stereo System by Yamaha.
Here some of Gachapoid’s most popular songs from the past year:
For more songs using Gachapoid, you can search this tag on Nico Nico Douga.
Let’s take a look at the variety of user-created images for Ryuto since his release.
Here’s to a great year of Gachapoid and many to come!