Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker To Feature… Vocaloid?

Hideo Kojima has revealed that his upcoming game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will employ the Vocaloid software, which is most famous for it’s role in creating Hatsune Miku. Apparently, Vocaloid will be used to create weapons that can sing and scream. Although more seasoned Metal Gear fans are unfazed by this bizarre announcement, my reaction can be summarized as follows:

Meanwhile, Kojima is engaging in his usual hyperbole while promoting MGS: Peace Walker. Most recently, he claimed that “I haven’t announced this yet, but there’s another feature in [Peace Walker] that will surprise people, to the point where they’ll want to go out and buy a PSP right now!” Hmm, given that the PS3 didn’t make me want to get a second job, I view that claim as rather dubious.

–Via Joystiq

Hatsune Miku Goes Global

Hatsune Miku, Japan’s most popular virtual idol, will be making her first international “appearance” in concert at the Singapore Anime Festival Asia 2009. The act, known as Hatsune Miku LIVE! Performance, will use a projection screen to create a giant image of the Vocaloid singing and dancing. This same technique was used earlier this year in the Animelo Summer Live 2009 Re:bridge concert in Saitama, Japan, where it wooed 25,000 screaming fans. Hopefully, the reaction in Signapore will be just as enthusiastic.

Additionally, the main voice cast from K-On! will also be at AFA09. However, instead of singing, they will be dubbing a scene from the show live and taking pre-submitted questions. I’m don’t know why they’re hesitant to appear in concert, but I’m sure there’s a reason…

–Via ANN

Uncanny Valley, Thy Name Is Miku

Have you ever heard of the uncanny valley theory? It states the following:

As a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong repulsion. However, as the appearance and motion continue to become more distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels. —Wikipedia

Basically, the idea is that we tend to find things that too closely resemble humans, but are clearly not, repulsive. So, for example, a stuffed animal or anime moe girl, due to their stylization, would be considered cute and likeable. A zombie or dollfie, however, would not.

A group of Japanese scientists with the YAMAHA corporation recently debuted their HRP-4C Miimu robot, and decided to dress her up like Hatsune Miku and have her ‘dance’. The result, visible in the video below, falls squarely in the lowest part of the uncanny valley.

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Miku, K-On! and Good Smile Themes for Google Chrome!

Google Chrome’s theme feature recently went live, and among the dozens of themes offered are some interesting otaku-related choices.

These Chrome themes join dozens of others available on Google’s website, including such geek-oriented choices as Super Monkey Ball, Ratchet and Clank and Bayonetta. It seems like the folks at Google are just as big of nerds as we are!

These themes can be activated simply by visiting the theme page in Chrome and clicking on the “Apply theme” button. Here are the relevant links.

Miku Theme

K-On! Theme

Good Smile Theme

Now if Google would only add live bookmarking and Rikaichan to Chrome, I would drop Firefox faster than a flaming vulpine.

–Via ANN, pics via

Black Rock Shooter and Project Diva Trailers Released

The first trailer for the Hatsune Miku / Studio Ordet collaboration Black Rock Shooter has been posted on YouTube… and it looks AWESOME.

As you may recall from one of our previous posts, Black Rock Shooter is an anime project being developed by Yutaka Yamamoto’s Studio Ordet, and is based on the popular Hatsune Miku song of the same name. It is currently slated for a Spring 2010 release. The project will be directed by Shinobu Yoshioka, an episode director from Haruhi, Lucky Star and Kannagi, as well as one of the many Kyoto Animation employees who left the company in 2007 and joined Ordet.

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Hatsune Miku… IN SPACE!

A figure of Hachune Miku (the chibi version of Hatsune Miku) is set to be launched in a rocket later this month. The rocket, built by the Social Media Satellite Development Project (SOMESAT) will be taking part in the eXtreme Performance Rocket Ships challenge. XPRS, closely linked to AERO-PAC, involves a group of amateur rocketeers who frequently meet in the Nevada Desert and attempt to win one of several rocket launching contests. Entries into the event are varied, covering everything from minature replica Patriot missiles to Astro Boy.

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Vocaloid Meets K-On! and World Domination Ensues

It had to happen, didn’t it? Sooner or later a MAD would appear that would combine the fan(atic) groups of people who love K-On! and Vocaloid. This fan-made vid stars Hatsune Miku, Rin, Len, and Megurine Lukka of Vocaloid fame singing the popular OP of the K-On! series ‘Cagayake! Girls’. I might point out the obvious and say that they are not only just singing, but have completely replaced Mio, Yui, Mugi and Ritsu (ignoring Azusa) in this version. If successful, this marriage of the two fangroups (Vocaloid x K-On!) will lead to massive internet propagation, fan hysteria, mass foaming at the mouth, rioting, and I am afraid to say, world domination.

Watch this space, it may become a last safe haven…

–Via DannyChoo

Yamakan and Vocaloid Join Forces

Yamamoto Yutaka, the famous director of the first Haruhi season, as well as his studio Ordet, have announced that they are producing an “anime project” for the Vocaloid song Black Rock Shooter. Although the format of the project is unrevealed, speculation is leaning towards an animated music video for the song. The anime is due for release next April, although a “pilot version” will be released on September 30th. This pilot release, which includes a CD single and a booklet with anime artwork, also includes a DVD (or Blu-ray) that may contain a preview of the anime.

Here are some screenshots from the project, which can also be viewed on the Black Rock Shooter website.

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