Vocaloid victorious

Asia Vocaloid Festa to be staged in Fukuoka

Vocaloid victorious

Photo by ceasol/ Flickr

First there was cosplay, which really needs no explanation beyond a link to this (yes, there's a real person inside there). Then came para-para, a kind of robotic, almost emotionless dance that took Japan by storm in the late '90s. And now, inevitably, the two have been combined to accomodate the growing vocaloid craze that seems to be taking East and Southeast Asia by storm. Allow us to introduce the Asia Vocaloid Festa (also known, somewhat confusingly, as the Asia Vocaloid Cosplay Championship). The world may never be the same again.

Sit still, now – this may require some detailed explaining. Vocaloid started life as a singing synthesizer application, released in Japan in 2004. It graduated to a genre of sorts later in the decade, when it was put to use by the creators of Hatsune Miku and others of her ilk, relying heavily on synthesized vocal stylings coupled with beats so synthetic they make Kraftwerk sound like a classical orchestra. 'Performances' are often restricted to computer screens, or – in the case of Hatsune Miku, for example – venues that can accomodate the necessary hardware. As such, it's not an easy style for amateurs to recreate.

The Asia Vocaloid Festa, however, encourages fans to dress up as their favourite characters and reproduce their dance routines (and vocals, where possible) on stage. Cosplayers across the region have been taking part in regional heats that will ultimately lead to a final, to be held in Fukuoka on October 23. Participants from South Korea, Taiwan, Shanghai, Bangkok and (of course) Japan film themselves doing their vocaloid thing, then upload the results to YouTube or Nico Nico Douga. Once this has been done, readers of AsianBeat, the event's co-creators, can vote their favourites through to the subsequent round.

While some of the heats (Bangkok, for instance) are already over, vocaloid cosplay wannabes in Japan and Taiwan can still send in their application videos, the deadline being August 31. Full details on how to enter can be found on the official Asia Vocaloid Festa website.

In the meantime, here are our favourite all-singing, all-dancing Bangkok vocaloid cosplayers so far. All hail Nahoya Maki!

By Jon Wilks
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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