The two day back-to-back Vocaloid concert set that occurred on 3/8 and 3/9 respectively have been viewed by tens of thousands. It’s time for someone from Vocaloidism to highlight what we’ve seen, and to weigh the impact. Have a look after the break.
As one of the many online viewers who paid the $40 fee to view the livestream of both MikuPa and Saigo no Kanshasai, and as one of the ones that wrenched himself out of bed at 4:30 AM to hook up my HDMI cable to the TV so I could watch it on a bigger screen, I think it’s time to weigh in on what I saw.
The day started with the two MCs of the concert coming out to say hello, do introductions, and announce all of the rules and audience interaction sections. This is fairly standard for a MikuPa, and I’m quite familiar with the one that Danny Choo gave us for Mikunopolis (camera shy my butt).
What occurred after was a show that is what I would call a staple of the Vocaloid concert franchise in the last year, spectacular visuals and effects that really exhibited what the virtual technology is capable of. There were two performances of this concert, each with about 2,500 people attending. The detail level had been upped significantly since Mikunopolis. There were some excellent electronic-glow effects that seemed to be a theme throughout the concert, and they used the second screen, lasers, and props to put on a spectacular light show.
Many of the Vocaloid Ps were there to perform, some for the first time:
• Agoaniki (Double Lariat)
• OSTER project (Marginal/Love Colored Ward)
• tokuP (ARiA)
• buzzG °
• LamazeP (Popipo)
Each of these were called out in turn, and got some mild camera time. Many of the Ps were live-tweeting the concerts before and after their sets. I’d go into detail of each one individually, however since I’ve got two to review, I’ll be sticking to a select few reactions. For the full playlist, follow this link: http://mikubook.com/setlist/mikupa2012inTokyo.
When the lights went down the crowd was pumped like it was the first concert all over again. And for the start, it was just that, highlighting some of the best of the overlooked in past MikuPa. OSTER came out on Keyboard for Marginal, and then stayed for Love Colored Ward. Love Colored Ward was, I felt, a mistake.
Originally LCW and the outfit were introduced in Singapore, but this time, they introduced those gigantic pink balloons, which got in the way of the camera during this song and the next. Also, I’m not completely sure why this one was chosen specifically, as OSTER has plenty of more popular tunes than this to her name.
Despite my complaints, it did start the costume-change portion of the show, the gray Rolling Girl outfit making an appearance, a new kimono during My Time, Popipo, and Hello Planet (if you look carefully, the fan on her back says Hatsune Miku on it). The Rasetsu to Mukuro outfit for Mitsunde Hiraite followed. Everyone knows that I’m not a fan of that song, however the crowd went crazy, and that I really loved. The Infinity outfit came with the Intense Song of Hatsune Miku, which was essentially a carbon copy of the Singapore concert, from what I understand.
From there we hit the guest star section, starting out with what I personally thing was one of the best and most unexpected songs of the night, RIP=RELEASE. Following that up with Double Lariat, and a new blue Chinese dress for Luka Luka Night Fever ended a great set.
The twins were next with Melancholic leading some of the more vintage of their compositions. Daughter and Servant of Evil turned out to also be a carbon copy of a past concert, except with some red drapery surrounding the stage (nice touch though). Len’s feature of the night was the full version of Fire Flower, and the only thing that could have made it better was having Halyosy there to perform. That lead into the big surprise feature, which was actually teased in graphics days before the concert, Kaito took the stage singing Pane Dhiria. I thought it would be 1000 Year Solo, but I was proved wrong. A shame they chose such a short song for his performance, but he looked great performing it.
Miku returned to the stage for the rest of the concert, performing more of the staple songs from past concerts, including Yellow and Kocchi Muite Baby, also displaying some of the staple outfits as well.
The encore was a four-set, featuring ColorfulxMelody, Uta ni Katachi (the carbon copy of the Singapore version), Melt (a fan favorite), and a modified Starduster that I could listen to every day for the rest of my life and never get bored of. All the performers appeared on stage to say farewell, and that really was a great moment.
When the house lights went up, and I turned off the lights to go get more sleep, I came away from it impressed with what was shown for the most part. I know a lot of it was essentially a reshowing of old material, but it was in a way that felt fresh. Miku didn’t take up the entire night, and the guest set was one of the best put together of all of them. The Ps could have gotten a lot more screen time than they did, but at least they announced who was there as they were performing. The only major gaff was Love Colored Ward and those damned balloons.
3/9 Saigo no Kanshasai
This concert was also sold out for two performances, about 2,500 attendees each. I started the stream right in the middle of the introduction by the MCs, who were the same as the day before. However to get the crowds warmed up, they brought out all four girls in Danceroid to do a set of four songs, including their staple, Luka Luka Night Fever. Now I’m familiar with the two that came to LA for Mikunopolis. They were staying in my hotel and we ran into each other in the elevators quite a few times, and I also saw their warmup performance. Comparing then to today, it felt like their choreography was off somewhat. It felt like they were either out of step, or didn’t have enough stage room to work with (the curtain was down, so there wasn’t much forward or back to use). After they finished, the MCs returned to do their standard messages.
When the house lights went down, the curtain didn’t go up, instead a projector displayed the opening credits, in English, with a summary of all the concerts around the globe thusfar. The original team had been assembled, happy drummer and all, as well as the strings that came to Mikunopolis, and a brass section that was a new addition.
The Vocaloid Ps were also there to perform, though they were uncredited in the opening movie:
• OSTER project °
• samfree (Promise)
• DECO*27 (Yume Yume/Ai Kotoba)
• tokuP (SPiCa)
• North-T (Time Limit)
• VocaliodP °
• LamazeP (Popipo)
I said they were there, though you wouldn’t know it. They were not recognized audibly like the concert the day before, and they also got little to no screen time.
Once the curtain went up, you knew this concert was going to be very different. The set was toned down from its radical design from the day before, and Tell Your World was the first opening. It turns out it was symbolic, because a new project was announced the same day. The next song was essentially to remind everyone about Project Mirai, with Yume Yume. This continued into what came as no shock to anyone, World is Mine, which hadn’t changed a lick since the first concert. Sadly, that was the tone with this entire concert, things we’ve seen before. Clover Club was identical to Mikunopolis, down to the Red Ridinghood outfit (that dog hasn’t changed its >_< face in nearly a year, and my face was T_T the entire time).
A semblance of new content appeared with the American Outfit design, which looked much shorter than the original drawing by a lot.
The only problem was the accompanying song was Popipo, and not just that, but the Mikunopolis version of Popipo (both languages). Didn’t we just hear this yesterday, and got tired of Lamaze’s goofy dance then? Once again it degenerated into a copy, with the same Romeo and Cinderella I saw a year before.
Considering the playlist so far, I wasn’t surprised when Ura-Omote Lovers came on, however what they did with it shocked me, as they used a modified version of the PJD Extend choreography, and some very well-coordinated camera work to put on an actually very good performance. It was definitely Miku’s highlight of the night. The next three didn’t even have a costume change, and Moon was as bland as at Mikunopolis. Seriously they should have done better choreography on that by now, but all they did was project a moon above her.
While Miku rebooted after Disappearance, the second hinted-yet-surprising guest showed up. Meiko, singing shu-t’s Change Me, in the red ballroom outfit. She was very well received, just like Kaito the day before. It makes me wonder why they didn’t bring them in sooner.
Then we get onto the highlight of the night in my view. Len flew it solo for Butterfly on My Right Shoulder, wearing the Negi outfit. This one was all new choreography, and dropping Rin from the performance made all the difference. Len was more expressive and free to move around, and it gave the entire rendition new life.
After that came the biggest gaff of the night, which was Just Be Friends. Why would you put Luka in the slutty streetwalker outfit for JBF?
It just doesn’t make sense. The choreography doesn’t match, the lyrics don’t match, nothing about it matches! You could have at least used the blue outfit with the jeans from Extend. That would have made sense, right?
Moving on from there, Miku and Luka donned their Yukatas for magnet, which was a far better song than Mikunopolis’s Worlds End Dancehall. Speaking of which, WEDH was next, with Miku in her Ura-Omote outfit, and Luka debuting a new wowaka-themed outfit that looked perfect on her.
A well-done introduction to be sure, and I hope that becomes a PJD Extend DLC. After Rin did an unsurprising performance of Meltdown, I thought that would be the end of the guest portion, but they pulled a surprise move of returning her in the Negi outfit and a guitar to do Kodoku no Hate.
I actually kind of wished they had Len there with her, because she was lacking some of that interaction that the Extend video brings. But she wasn’t done there, because Promise came up next (same choreography, different outfits).
The rest of the night featured Miku and props. Mainly a microphone, but she did break out the guitar for Puzzle. No costume changes came around for this one, and nothing new was introduced. The fans had to really work for the encore. They were chanting “Miku” for a good five minutes before the band took the stage again, this time in MikuPa T-shirts. Ai Kotoba brought out Melt… which we heard the night before… and then The First Sound, which lacked a lot of the emotion that I felt during the Mikunopolis encore. The second encore took much less effort when everyone kept yelling “Mou iikai!” They brought out Project Diva desu, and the Danceroids and some backup dancers to perform and exhibit the band, before lapsing into the second major gaff of the night, another identical performance of World is Mine. What, seriously? Couldn’t have ended it on a higher note than that? Maybe a new dance? Anything?
When the house lights went up, I realized I nearly fell asleep sitting there four different times. The theme of this concert was, without a doubt, musical rendition. Orchestral and Live remixes of the classic Vocaloid tunes took over the stage. It breathed new life into some, but detracted from others. But despite the new horn section, improved choreography in two places, and two never-before-seen outfits, it felt like I was watching Mikunopolis all over again. I found myself to be very bored with the performances, as they toned down the special effects and said goodbye to the second projector screen. And in the end it was only Miku who said goodbye. This was the Kanshasai finale, one meant to blow everything before out of the park, to leave on a high note. It failed, pure and simple. What they did was not enough to impress me, and I almost wish I had my money back for that day.
The Two Day Event
Overall, the event was a mixed bag of greatness and meh. MikuPa was a show of lights and colors that really shows the potential of the medium, while Saigo no Kanshasai exhibited more low key, musical arrangement changes to the classics of Vocaloid concerts thusfar. The former felt fun and mostly fresh, the latter felt boring and more laid back. However neither of them did what they should have for the Vocaloid Ps. Their appearance was only highlighted to those in the audience, and got very little screen time. It was like the producers of the event forgot where the music they were playing came from, and why Miku got popular in the first place. It was a shameful display, a lack of consideration that should never have happened, and I am sorely disappointed. They need to be reminded of these things before the next concert, if one ever happens, because moving away from the core of what makes Vocaloid special will only serve to doom it. That’s something I never want to see happen.
° I did not see this artist shown at the event proper, either due to their absence or failure in the videography to display them properly. Though many claimed to have seen them, I certainly missed them.