Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hatsune Miku will soon be available in English, collaborates with landmark Ueda Castle

The day that many Vocaloid fans in the west have feared (or anticipated) is fast approaching - an English language version of Hatsune Miku's vocal software will be available this summer. This certainly shouldn't be surprising, as it's been discussed plenty of times in the past, but the announcement itself is somewhat interesting.

... mostly because there was a complete lack of fanfare from Crypton Future Media for the news.  This has lead a few of the more paranoid in the Vocaloid community to fear that perhaps Miku's English voicebank won't be as clean as it should be.

Vocaloid producers have forced Miku's limited phoneme database to approximate English ever since her software became available for private use - but a full English language release of Miku is supposed to clean up the unavoidable 'engrish' and allow producers to create songs that sound more natural to a native English speaker's ear.

Only time, and the final release, will tell for sure whether the English language Miku database is worth getting excited over, but early results are not very encouraging.

In other Miku-related news, Kurousa-P / WhiteFlame's immensely popular Miku song Senbonzakura is being used by the landmark Ueda Castle in Nagano, Japan (above) to celebrate the castle's annual Senbon Zakura cherry blossom festival.

The promotional tie-in is a natural one, as the title of Senbonzakura (a disarmingly nationalistic little ditty) refers to the cherry blossoms which are viewed by many as a symbol of all things Japanese. AnimeNewsNetwork reports that the promotional collaboration between Ueda Castle and Senbonzakura will feature feature themed posters and pamphlets which will be handed out to visitors between April 5 and April 21.

Festivities will culminate with a special promotional video which will feature both the song and the castle, as well as a dance performance to be held on April 21.

If you're in the Nagano region next month, this definitely looks like something you won't want to miss. For those who can't make the trip, there's nothing wrong with blasting Senbonzakura from your iPhone while around Washington DC's cherry blossom festival to bring a bit (more) of Japanese culture to proceedings.

If you're looking to download WhiteFlame's amazing Senbonzakura you can drop $0.89 over at Amazon.com and download it today.