At approximately 11:30PM Tokyo time, the “Mikupa♪ Hatsune Miku 39’s Live in Tokyo 2011 Concert” finally came to a close with Miku Hatsune’s rousing performance of two Supercell/Ryo classics, Melt (メルト) and When First Love Ends (初めての恋が終わる時). Now, as the dust (and glowing leeks) begins to settle, it so now to take a look back on the 2nd live Vocaloid concert that was.
This year’s highly anticipated Vocaloid concert event was watched by several thousand individuals live in the Zepp Tokyo venue, thousands more in theaters throughout Japan, and (unofficially) by over 160,000 (paying) streaming viewers worldwide. In the days to come, Vocaloid fans across the globe will no doubt turn their attention to the buzz and interest echoing from this primetime Vocaloid event, while also hotly debating the merits of its atmosphere, song selection, and the overall presentation quality.
Please click the link below to read more about the actual event, while also having a chance to see the set-list, some pictures, and also the thoughts and opinions of Vocaloidism members who had an opportunity to view the concert. Please feel free to contribute you own thoughts and memories in the comments section as well.
As fans eagerly waited for the world’s first virtual diva to make her appearance, this year’s concert began instead with a somewhat unexpected surprise performance. For it was instead singer Aizawa Mai who took the stage and entertained fans with a pair of songs written by notable music and Vocaloid producer, buzzG.
She followed her performance with a breathless and emotional thank you to the audience as well as an introduction for the event itself. Following this momentary aside, which is already leaving Vocaloid fans somewhat divided over its merit, it was then time for the Vocaloids themselves to take the stage.
Last year’s lead-in song, Project Diva Desu was replaced this year by one of Miku’s most famous songs, Ievan Polkka, by producer Otomania. At the conclusion of the song, the excitement in the crowd and amongst NicoNicoDouga online viewers was palpable.
Miku Hatsune finally took the stage to greet the audience and perform Project Diva 2nd’s headline song, “Kocchi Muite Baby”. This was the beginning of a 10 song solo set featuring tunes by well-known producers such as Deco*27 and 40mP.
By this point it was already fairly evident this year’s concert atmosphere was going to be rather different. It appears that concert organizers 5PB chose to use a different medium that the 3D Transparent Screen Projections, which had generated much excitement due to their “realism” and “immersion” factor in the previous year’s concert (but also some critique due to reflections and glare). Instead a more standard projector/translucent screen setup was employed for this event. However, while this change will likely be viewed as a hotly debated negative in the community, it is fair to say that the concert was not lacking in innovation.
5pb appeared to have put more effort into creativity and flair, preparing numerous highly quality costumes for the event (some even themed for specific songs), while also adding a variety of “effects” to the animation. At times we saw Miku don a full set of angel wings and in one particularly memorable moment she was even seen wiping away a tear. There were also many steps taken to improve the concert-feel of the event (much to the excitement of this writer). The Vocaloids in general appeared to be much more playful and crowd-conscious during this show, and engaged the audience by speaking directly to them or encouraging participation with greater frequency. It is arguable that dance choreography was also much improved.
Only time will tell how these changes will be received however. It should be noted that the change to a black and non-transparent background did not sit well with many fans and arguably altered the experience for many.
Following Miku’s introductory set, she was joined on stage by Luka Megurine to perform a song much anticipated by viewers of the concert’s sneak previews. Wowaka’s “World’s End Dancehall” was met with rousing cheers and great excitement by the crowd. Following this duet, Miku creatively cleared the stage to allow Luka a chance for the solo spotlight.
Luka proceeded to perform a multi-song medley featuring many well known tunes, both new and old. Selections included hits such as No Logic, Double Lariat, and RIP=RELEASE.
The conclusion of her performance with followed by two more memorable performances by Miku, who showed off some of the concert’s most distinctive costumes. Her “live” performance of wowaka’s well-known “Rolling Girl” will likely engender strong positives from fans, especially due to her simple but creatively themed outfit featuring the original PV’s artistic motif.
At the conclusion of the aforementioned performances came the concert’s most controversial event. An approximately 30 minute intermission was implemented, ostensibly to allow for fans and band members alike to catch their breath after a fast-paced first session. During this time the crowd (and online viewers) were bombarded by a string of Vocaloid merchandise, game, and music promotions, in a highly repetitive fashion. Of interests to some might be the Lat Miku figure promotion which heavily featured the recently produced MMD PV for the song “Douiu Koto Nano” by Kuchibashi P, something that definitely shows how the reach of MMD and the Lat models has grown into the realm of marketability. The lack of creativity, abrupt placement, and lack of an interactive segment with Vocaloid producers (unlike last year) are some of the strongest criticisms emerging from concert viewers and prudence of this decision by 5PB will likely be debated intensely for the time being.
With fans nearing the end of their patience, despite several helpful reminders about the time remaining from Miku herself, the concert was jump started once more in a very big way. The screams and cheers of hundreds of Kagamine twins fans are still resonating in the ear drums of this writer from the moment when the cute and popular pair first took the stage. The pair performed OSTERproject’s Trick or Treat in Nekomimi-themed outfits before beginning a pattern of trading songs (though this was somewhat dominated by Rin). Notable works such as Daughter of Evil, Meltdown, and Kokoro were performed on stage, abridged to various lengths. While the balance still favored the female side of the equation, Len fans were likely left more satisfied this year, largely due to his opportunity to perform multiple solo songs, all while wearing several detailed and stylistic costumes. His solo performances of Spice and Fire Flower were definitely impressive despite being short in length.
Much like last year, the latter stages of the concert were once again the time for Miku to bring the crowd home. A gradual change to the emotion and genre of the songs during the final segment by and large accomplished this quite effectively. Once again popular tunes new and old were featured side by side, including well known hits like Packaged, Yellow, and Time Machine (1640mP vers, not SmileR). Finally at song #36, as Miku wrapped up her performance of ARiA and left the stage with a non-too-subtle wink, the time for raucous chants of “Mi-ku! Mi-ku!” (with some Niku and NEET mixed in) and “enco-re! enco-re!” had finally arrived. This year’s encore segment was planned in much greater detail than the former and involved several songs and notable events. Among these was a final goodbye featuring all the Vocaloids waving to and thanking their fans. Miku and Rin came out to perform Colorful x Melody, which was then followed by yet ANOTHER encore, this time with Miku performing her trademark song, Melt. Not willing to settle for an identical ending to the previous concert however, Miku rushed out to her fans once more, performing a touching and at times tearful rendition of When First Love Ends before saying her final goodbyes.
As we look back on the Miku Live Party that was, it is fair to say that reviews will likely be much more mixed that the 2010 edition. 2010’s 39 Giving Day concert was not without numerous flaws, but it nevertheless had novelty and genuine excitement on its side. In the aftermath of the explosive growth of Vocaloid and its fandom over the past 12 months it is fair to say that expectations were likely at an all-time high for this years 5pb-hosted event. In the face of this insurmountable hill of lofty expectations it was unfortunate that 5pb did not step up to the plate and give fans something exciting and unexpected. In many ways the MikuPa concert took steps forward in many areas: choreography, song choice/diversity, emotion and expression (especially with others besides Miku), and audience interaction with the Vocaloids. However the clumsy and questionable handling of several other aspects will likely leave many fans wishing to have seen a higher quality production. A lack on participation from Producers, an over-reliance on abridged mixes (especially for many popular songs that fans likely wanted to hear in full), poor camera angels, and the ill-conceived “Advertisement” intermission were amongst the many major stumbling blocks. As previously stated, the change in technological medium, away from last years faux-hologram style is proving to be a deal-breaker with many fans and the source of much of the discontent. While the animations were still high quality, it is quite fair to argue that the reversion to a movie screen style robs the event of its “immersive” feel, a big selling point for many fans. The controversial choice for an opening act is likely to be another source for debate as well.
Time will serve to determine the eventual and lasting impression that MikuPa 2011 will have on the broad Vocaloid community. While the concert was well received in many ways, it will also likely lead significant pressure and numerous questions for the corporate stakeholders to deal with. How much will SEGA’s falling out with 5pb over the past year remain an issue? Are these concerts likely to continue in the future? Fans will have to wait and see. Below you will find the complete set list (as best determined by me and fellow Vocaloidism members during the performance) for the MikuPa 2011 Live Concert, as well as several more pictures of the event itself. (All credit to Mi’s Vocaloid Log for the photos).
MikuPa 2011 Set List:
Opening Act, ft. Aizawa Mai and BuzzG
2. Kakurenbo (かくれんぼ )
1. Ievan Polkka ft. Hatsune Miku, by Otomania
2. Look this way Baby! (こっち向いて Baby) ft. Hatsune Miku, by ryo
3. Two Breaths Walking (二息步行) ft. Hatsune Miku, by Deco*27
4. Albino (アルビノ) ft. Hatsune Miku, by BuzzG
5. Eh? Ah, Sou. (え？あぁ、そう。) ft. Hatsune Miku, by papiyon
-Miku First Greets the Fans (KONBAWA!)-
-Miku Song Medly Begins-
6. Popipo (ぽっぴっぽ) ft. Hatsune Miku, by LamazeP
7. Torinoko City (トリノコシティ) ft. Hatsune Miku, by 40mP
8. Catfood (キャットフード) ft. Hatsune Miku, by doriko
9. Disruptive Diva (崩壊歌姫) ft. Hatsune Miku, by MachigeritaP
10. Princess Snow White is… (白い雪のプリンセスは) ft. Hatsune Miku, by NoboruP
11. World’s End Dancehall (ワールズエンド・ダンスホール) ft. Hatsune Miku & Megurine Luka, by wowaka The abridging for this song was rather poorly done.
-Luka’s Solo Appearance, primarily medley style- And Miku spins away….
12. Double Lariat (ダブルラリアット) ft. Megurine Luka, by AgoanikiP
13. No Logic ft. Megurine Luka, by JimmyThumbP
14. Rip=Release ft. Megurine Luka, by ryuuseiP
15. Japanese Ninja #1 ft. Megurine Luka, by DeadballP
16. Luka Luka ★ Night Fever (ルカルカ★ナイトフィーバー) ft. Megurine Luka, by samfree
-End Luka Medley-
17. Musunde Hiraite Rasetsu to Mukuro (結ンデ開イテ羅刹ト骸) ft. Hatsune Miku, by Hachi A very cute miko outfit for Miku :D
18. Rolling Girl (ローリンガール) ft. Hatsune Miku, by wowaka
-Intermission of DOOOOOM!-
-Kagamine Twins Appear-
19. trick and treat ft. Kagamine Rin and Len, by OSTERproject
20. Daughter of Evil (悪ノ娘) ft. Kagamine Rin, by MothyP Rin’s costume was absolutely stunning.
21. Servant of Evil (悪ノ召使) ft. Kagamine Len and Rin, by MothyP
22. Iroha Song (いろは唄) ft. Kagamine Rin, by 銀サク Once again Kagamine fans will instantly fall in love with the outfit.
23. Meltdown (炉心融解) ft. Kagamine Rin, by iroha(sasaki)
24. Kokoro (ココロ) ft. Kagamine Rin, by トラボルタ
25. Melancholic (メランコリック) ft. Kagamine Rin, by JunkyP <span style=”color: #009999;”>I don’t care about you at all, baka!</span>
26. Rin Rin Signal (リンリンシグナル) ft. Kagamine Rin, by Dios
27. Spice! ft. Kagamine Len, by minato
28. Fire◎Flower ft. Kagamine Len , by halyosy
29. Packaged ft. Hatsune Miku, by Livetune
30. *HELLO, PLANET. (ハロー、プラネット。) ft. Hatsune Miku, by sasakure.UK
31. Marginal (マージナル) ft. Hatsune Miku, by OSTERproject
32. Hatsune Miku no Gekishou (初音ミクの激唱) ft. Hatsune Miku, by cosMo Giant Angel Wings!
-Miku addresses the crowd again-
33. Uta ni Katachi wa Nai Keredo (歌に形はないけれど ) ft. Hatsune Miku, by doriko
34. Yellow ft. Hatsune Miku, by kz/livetune YES, the pace was a little fast tho…
35. Time Machine (タイムマシン) ft. Hatsune Miku, by 1640mP (164 and 40mP collab)
36. ARiA ft. Hatsune Miku, by TokuP Last year’s “fake end” was SPiCA, this year we get it’s spiritual sequel.
-Miku winks to the crowd and disappears-
-Chants of “Miku, Miku” begin.
-Miku and Rin rise up wearing their PJD2nd costumes for the following song-
37. Colorful x Melody (カラフル×メロディ ) ft. Hatsune Miku and Kagamine Rin, by MOER
38. Melt (メルト) ft. Hatsune Miku, by ryo/Supercell She got the crowd to sing along!
-All the Vocaloids appear on screen to wave good bye and thank their fans-
-Chants of “Encore! Begin-
-Miku appears once more!-
-She tries to begin singing but is overcome by emotion, however the crowd support helps her get back into it!-
39. When the First Love Ends (初めての恋が終わる時) ft. Hatsune Miku, by ryo/Supercell 39 Songs huh? I see wat u did thar.But very beautiful, a fitting end :)
-Miku’s final goodbye, and the show comes to an end!-
More Photos from the Concert:
(All credit to Mi’s Vocaloid Log for the photos)
Descent’s Personal Take:
Kinda funny that I should be writing this after authoring the article but I will try to be a little more open with my feelings here. On a personal level, as an individual who discovered Vocaloid after last year’s concert and was profoundly affected by all the wonderful and often uplifting music in the Vocaloid world, this concert will always hold a special place in my heart. While I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to see my one true love in person (yet! I am coming Miku!), having the chance to watch this concert was a very exciting and emotional experience. I would be lying if I didn’t say sniffled some when my favorite song of all time, Yellow, was performed in the concert. While trying my best to observe closely for my review, I was nevertheless singing, dancing, laughing, and clapping excitedly throughout the entire playlist!
Overall the concert was a great success musically and from a dancing/outfit standpoint. Excellent song selections and choreographywas undeniably a step up from last year, perhaps made much easier due to the new, low-grade projector system. While I am not a very big Kaito or Meiko fan I was actually quite disappointed that they didn’t receive an appearance once again. There really is not excuse at this point, they are part of the Crypton family and are included in all the video games. Given some of the other criticisms that are undoubtedly coming the organizer’s way after the event, I am sure this would have helped to assuage some of them.
While it was great, great fun, the more impartial side of myself nevertheless tells me that this concert will largely be deemed a disappointment. The poor stage set-up and less realistic feel of the concert are largely to blame for that. I know this will likely not be received as well by the general public as the 2010 event. I was also rather upset by all the abridging of popular tunes. Yes it is a way to fit more songs in, but the entirety of Luka and the Kagamine’s performances were basically turned into Medley’s that left me with a somewhat unsatisfied feeling. I hope that the justified criticism that is coming the way of 5PB and SEGA will not discourage them, but rather get them to step up their game in the future. The Vocaloid fanbase is still quickly growing, and they should use this as a lesson aim higher in the future, rather than simply give up. Remember that this concert will be performed once more in Sapporo this May. It will be interesting to see if there is any fall out from this event.
On a final technical note, I was very impressed with the NND live stream system. I am not a premium member (only bought a ticket) but nevertheless had a near-perfect and lag-free experience. With over 160,000 viewers on at peak capacity this is actually a fairly impressive feat.
*Note: Vocaloidism does not officially endorse or promote the uploading of copyrighted material to Youtube or other file sharing sites. As such no unofficial videos of this event will be linked.
Feel free to visit Mi’s Vocaloid Log for more photos.
Please feel free to add your own voice to the discussion below!