As I mentioned in my quick run-through of Anime Expo 2011, there wasn’t any event that left me quite as befuddled as this year’s Mikunopolis concert. The Mikunopolis concert was far outside my usual realm of experiences and I came out of it with more questions than answers. First off, the very concept of rendering a judgement of a concert headlined by a voice synthesizer is already fraught with peril. Unless the song selection was terrible, the concert itself marred by technological glitches, or the choreography half-assed, could any Vocaloid concert be deemed to be less than perfect?
I may have to defer to the crowd reaction for this one since I’m not the most qualified person to answer such a question. And based on my observations, the crowd was thoroughly entranced; the overall consensus would probably be an enthusiastic “YES!” From my initial vantage point on the balcony, I could see the audience participating wholeheartedly in the performance and, in doing so, putting their own stamp on the whole Vocaloid phenomenon. During the concert, their glowsticks would be moving frenetically during the explosive rock tracks, gracefully during the more flowing songs, or excitedly without care for rhythm when Miku or her other cohorts appeared.
But me? Somehow, I wasn’t able to break through the mental hurdles of fully embracing the notion of a virtual diva. Part of the problem was that the Mikunopolis concert doesn’t have the same sort of unifying feeling that most other concerts possessed. And by that, I mean that I don’t think there was one single reason as to why people attended and enjoyed this concert. [Read more…]