Thanks to Boing Boing for introducing me to this kind of stuff. It all started with this Haruhi Suzumiya dance, I watched the YouTube clips and sure enough, that was enjoyable. Exactly as predicted by the BB poster, the song stuck in my head for a week.
Then just recently there was this: “Software creates songs, vocals from text“. Woah, cool. You gotta hand it to the Japs!
So I followed the links, listened to the demos, and I was thrilled. Will this “Vocaloid” ever be available in English? I’ll buy it!
Something about the “anime song generator” stuff got to me, I feverishly searched for more demos. Soon, I landed on this YouTube video – a song called “Go My Way”. Yes, the vocals are computer generated!
This was getting better! Although the video quality is terrible, the choreography, the cute anime characters and the CGI camera moves really got my attention. My, what a catchy tune! Little did I know that this song and dance was going to turn me into a crazed file-downloading j-pop-tune-humming maniac over the next two days or so.
Digging around for the source of the video, I came to learn about this Japanese arcade game called “iDOL@MASTER“. The game is about building the career of a cute anime “Japanese Idol” contestant you get to choose at the start. This Wired blog post has details on the gameplay.
So apparently in the game, once you are done with the mini-games and the sim gameplay, you sit back and watch as your precious teen idols take the stage and perform. I’ll probably never have the patience to play the whole game, but the computer generated performances and one particular song and its choreography is what I am currently obsessing about.
The in-game songs are voiced by humans and the YouTube clip above is just a Vocaloid demo. I watched all the YouTube clips of the iDOL@MASTER stage performance routines I could get and this “Go My Way” song was by far the catchiest. And those dance moves! The glorious cel-shaded animation! The smooth, sweeping camera moves and changes! The super-cute anime girls! The hair and costumes! The stage, lighting effects and sets! Wow. Very soon I had found hi-res versions of “Go My Way” and a couple other iDOL@MASTER songs on the net. Awesome.
So have I gone stark raving mad? In my defense, here is a YouTube clip I found of a grown man showing off his mastery over the “Go My Way” dance moves in sync with the video. Heh.
My cousin will be proud of me, he was trying to introduce me to the wonderful world of Japanese anime a while back and I still have those “Naruto” episodes on my hard disk. Maybe I’ll go back and finish watching them all. So much to do, so little time. *sigh*
Now coming full circle, I explored more about Haruhi Suzumiya – intriguing stuff, maybe will watch someday. But allow me to rave about this one particular video clip from the TV series where the main character and her friends play a rock-song live in a high-school event.
Considering that this is animation, the visual accuracy of how the characters are depicted playing the instruments in sync with the music – is to be seen to be believed. I wonder if the animators did something like rotoscoping, but the video captures the mood of a live band and the pent-up emotion of the lead singer amazingly well. The song is called “God Knows”, you can search for hi-res versions on the net.
In time, I’ll probably look back at this blog post and say to myself “what was I thinking?” but this stuff has so gotten under my skin that I simply have to post about it! “Go My Way” is well and truly stuck in my head and is not showing any signs of going away, I suspect because of the additional visual appeal of the dance moves. Oh help.
“Go My Way” is the best pop song EVAR!
I hope to be back to posting on Java soon. Heh.