Sunday, October 15, 2017

REVIEW: Hatsune Miku Graphics: Vocaloid Art & Comic, Vol. 1 (artbook) English translation by Jocelyne Allen

Meh. I considered buying this and related Vocaloid titles a while back, and I’m now glad I didn’t. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t have anything in it that I think I’d want to pore over again at a later date. For those who are wondering (because I wondered, back when I was considering getting it), it’s primarily an artbook. There are only a few comics.

Artwork:

There were a bunch of Vocaloid illustrations from various artists. Hatsune Miku was the most common subject, but there were also lots of works featuring Len and Rin and a few featuring Luka, Meiko, and (very occasionally) Kaito. Each artist got a line or two to introduce themselves, and some of them included commentary for the individual illustrations. Unfortunately, each artist only got one or two pages, so the more illustrations and commentary they included the smaller the illustrations were.

There were a couple pages total of Character Vocal Series official visuals for Miku, Rin, Len, and Luka. They included descriptions of the defining features of their outfits and, for some reason, age, height, weight, and music specialty information for everyone but Luka.

There were six pages of Project Diva artwork - mostly character models. It was almost entirely focused on Miku, but there were a few character models for Meiko, Kaito, Luka, Rin, Len, Yowane Haku, and Akita Neru.

There were six pages of information on various popular (?) Vocaloid PVs. In most cases it was “one page, one PV,” with video stills, a short description, and information about the video’s popularity. I hadn’t heard of a single one of them before, but then I tend to focus on a few tuners I really like and that’s it. I don't have any favorite producers.

There were a couple pages of artwork by Nishimata Aoi, after which there were six pages of Vocaloid CD and DVD artwork. I recognized the Supercell and “Magnet” artwork.

Comics:

There are six pages of 4-koma comics created by Ontama and Torikara-P. While Torikara-P’s artwork was adorable, I thought Ontama’s comics were more amusing. That said, neither sets of comics were very memorable.

There was a page of story information about something called “Torabotic World,” which I gather is a Vocaloid PV (yet another one I haven’t heard of). It was followed by an 18-page wordless “Torabotic World” comic by Nagimiso. It was cute, but occasionally a little hard to follow.

The volume ended with two more comics: “May Be Family” by Nagian and “Good Morning, Emma Sympson” by Batako. “May Be Family” featured Meiko and a grown-up Rin and Len (and maybe Kaito? Was the guy Kaito?) suddenly finding an adorable child Miku. This was my favorite comic in the volume - a bit over-sweet, but nice enough. “Good Morning, Emma Sympson” featured a Vocaloid producer hoping to reconnect with a childhood friend via Miku’s music. It was okay, but the emotional flow was a bit choppy.

Again: meh. If I read any of the other Hatsune Miku Graphics books, it’ll continue to be via library checkouts. I don’t feel the need to get them for my personal collection.

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