Mikunopolis: Hatsune Miku Live in Los Angeles – Concert Report

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...]

Anime Expo 2011 Detox and Brief Thoughts

Anime Expo this year mostly saw me on my feet as I dashed from one event to the next. There wasn’t much in the way of downtime and by the time the convention was over (for me at least; technically, July 4th is the final day), I’ve found myself utterly exhausted, drained, and facing a whole lot of posts I’ll need to put together over the next few days. Would I do it again in a heartbeat? HECK YES!

As they say, meeting up with people you’ve corresponded with over the internet is the most fun part of an anime convention. Not only do you get the joy of putting a name to a face, the social barriers are greatly reduced, and so, things never really feel that awkward when they otherwise might be. The turnout was pretty huge too. In addition to the regulars like Mike, Rome, Jeremy, and Dan of Anime Diet, Kylaran, Shinmaru, Yumeka, Jan Suzukawa, Mystlord, Benu, and Canon2D, we were joined by the likes of eternal, kevo’, the duo from Borderline Hikkikomori, Toastcrust, Fangzhao, and calaggie and we were even able to re-enact the Madoka fanboy wars which got amusingly heated at times. Also managed to catch omo a few times too! And, of course, I was able to meet up with Jayson Napolitano over at Original Sound Version. Jeez, that’s a ludicrously long list of names and it sure made it difficult to go anywhere without bumping into someone I know.

The hectic whirlwind that was Anime Expo means a lot of material that I’ll be churning out over the next few days, but for those who want a quick rundown, here’s a few brief shots/reactions I had on a day-to-day basis after the jump: [Read more...]

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