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My thoughts on Vocaloid Designs... Part 3

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So due to my service provider messing with the local internet, I can't go back and easy correct my previous post and I'm writing this one on hope it goes through....

Vocaloid2 cont.

  • Hatsune Miku Append; this one is a touch and go subject for me because I don't "get" the attraction to this particular design. From the random cable sticking out of it to the hips (which are a awkward mess), its a design that was 1 single step away from being "good" and then it took a U-turn and went the wrong why. The design suggests elegance and makes Miku look more mature, yet I can't help but stare at the weird things around her hips. The design is a step above the original for what it does right to separate Miku from cliches and tropes that make the original design "boring", which is the biggest shame of all. The visible strip of flesh to the groin is kinda a step too far I feel, luckily a lot of versions of this design censor this for obvious reasons. The design itself also leaves black and grey to a accent level and is done with white for the most part which is an improvement over the darker tones of the original design and compliments the colour of her hair much better. Miku overall looks "frozen" or like a porcelain doll. Honestly if the annoyances were fixed this would have been a lot higher on the rankings for me. 6/10
  • Tonio; Tonio's stock image vers. is overall the "best". Its 1 step above Miriam's and gives enough to work with. And a bonus, due to the fact the model has a bunch of images related to him, you have a expansive pool of possible influence with it. So we start off by noting that the reason why Stock Image never get rate high by me is because of what they are. "Stock Images", i.e. images that anyone and everyone can use for their projects. So "Tonio" can appear on many things if someone wanted. It feels like it is trying to use the same sort of concept as Prima did to portray a classical/opera singer, but it does it differently. We have a young, elegant man in a suit.... Even the choice of using the Black and white image can be seen as a good choice over the coloured vers because it runs the idea of "classical" more. So.... 5/10
  • Tonio (taiwan); And then we get this... I kinda get what they were going for, they made a "Lord"/"noble" level design and took influence from Oriental opera houses... It was the same for Prima's.... But this is a awkward design. Taking away the oni/ogre/maguical being horn, the design tries to be one thing and is off because of its problems with confusing theatre based lordship with actual lordship. One part suggests that they got it right and make Tonio feel like "Baron tonio" (as they put it), the other makes him feel more like a paid jester or "pretend" lord, basically a entertainer in a costume. It amazes me though, that despite its flaws, quite a number of the fandom DO choose to use this design over the stock image, so it isn't awful because of how "fun" it is.... But it falls back to the whole "unique does not mean useful" issue. 5/10
  • Lily; Lily's design is a mess! I've expressed this before. I'm not sure what to make of it off the bat and I don't think its that good. Its a shame because its only the top half doing this, the rest is fine. If the jacket... "thing" was better designed it would be brilliant. But I've expressed before I don't know how that thing is staying together. I remember seeing her provider in an interview wearing this same outfit.... I've seen her in a few interviews, and while she normally sits in a "defensive" position and not a "open/confident" one, she was sat with her shoulder forward, pushing the entire top half of the outfit into a "safe" position. And this was a MODEST version of the outfit with adjustments to it to make the outfit cover more parts of the chest. So someone must *know* this is a poor deigns by choice.... If not just the provider herself. I mean just a light, tight undershirt would save Lily from potential embarrassment as she danced. I know in anime impossible clothes exist for a reason... 5/10
  • VY1; Erm... So this has always brought me troubles. Because its rather "basic". The hairpin is pretty but the fan is boring. The soft colours and choice of pink and pastel colours are fine, but give the impression VY1 is a lot softer in tone and perhaps more innocent... When in reality its more inline with Miku-esque Append type voices. 3/10 for the fan and 4/10 for the hairpin.
  • Ryuto; Oh brother where to begin. Its the type of design that is very stand-out and he reflects what the producer is basically buying... a Kids cartoon character. From the droopy eyes to the bright greens and buck teeth, its not really "cute" and is kinda "creepy" to a point. But you can tell what its based upon at least. ^_^' I'll give it a high-ish 7/10
  • Nekomura Iroha; So Iroha is more or less in a similair vein to Ryuto, a cartoon character-esque design. Iroha's character often has the problem of being overburdened with accessories and it spoils a lot of versions of her. Fortunately the Vocaloid V2 design doesn't do that. I kinda like the Megaman-esque design as well because it is different to the other vocaloids and still invokes a sort of "future" theme but like Gumi, its a alternative take on the idea of "future". Iroha's choice of red as well, due to this being Hello Kitty's main colour choice anyway, still makes her stand out due to its brightness the same reason Ryuto's does. Overall its a cute and "fun" design that is well balanced. There are a few poor design choices but those are real nitpicking. The thing little this design down? Amounts to what lifts up Ryuto's, you can tell this is a Hello Kitty Vocaloid whereas Ryuto you need to know Gachapin's design first and it might not strike you the first time. 7/10
  • Piko; I find Piko's design really falls flat. So this design invokes many tropes the other vocaloids have and is kinda in the spirit of miki's or Miku append (maybe) while not being too obivous and looking as dull as possible. I thought this was a bad design overall when I first saw it and was surprised when fans liked it. Its sort of like if you design a character based on the concept of something like "poop" you don't expect it to be popular and are shocked when it does get fans. I'm actually aiming that at Digimon, if you want to know, as it does have at least 1 digimon based on this and it does have "fans" as per say. I can't remember which one though... But hey, Muk and Grimer from Pokemon have fans... And I like Trubbish and its evolution because I find them "so hideous its cute + wierd" and yet find Chopper from One Piece "uncute". Back onto the points of Piko though, a lot of it falls to the sum of a bunch of things. Like with Miku Append, a lot of it falls down to the hip area, the design of the 1 one piece shirt/outfit is kinda ugly and looks more like a bell then the shape of a human being. A lot of fanart doesn't remain "faithful" to the design and I note that this goes for MMD models too. He basically looks... "Stiff", like there isn't a lot of movement potential to him as the outfit doesn't allow it. He barely has a visiable human shape, though judging by the arms it suggests he is super skinny, but then this means the outfit is hugging air past his chest area.... And the USB cable suggests he isn't that big, which is fine at this stage we have Merli and Lapis who are tiny anyway. What the design basically amounts to as being hard to find something good to write about it, as there is a lot wrong with it to begin with. 5/10, mostly I feel this design "falls" to really achieve much. I love the detail on his boots, and the cyber-glow is nice... But the detail just makes things look uglier and the cyber glow feels like its there for the sake of it. Basically, Gackpo does a lot of the concepts better, so does Miku. And at least Miku Append has a "feel" to it that is compliment worthy. There are a few things the design gets right, its just all unbalanced.
  • Kagamine Append; I love the Kagamine Appends for what it gets right. Okay off the bat, I'll give the rating of 8/10 which is the onyl V2 case to achieve this rating. So all the issues with the Miku Append are not present and the design is both aesthetically pleasing and visibly "balanced". Black and grey are present, but they are baclanced out by the brightness of yellow and the white. You can still tell who the characters are and it feels more "mature" or that the two have "progressed". the flaws with the design amount to how undaring it is compared to other vocaloids and it still uses the same tropes... But being formulaic is never a bad thing, so long as you can balance out the design with a fresh lick of paint. And unlike Piko's, the cyber-glows compliment the designs. Most show up the shape of the vocaloids and the belts let movement be made more noticeable, feeling less random and more thought after. Overall, considering the kagamines are my LEAST favourite vocaloids, they have some of my favourite designs.
  • VY2; 4/10 its a nice sword. Its got detail and is "balanced". Its just its a nice sword. This is the problem. Unlike VY1, you have just the sword. >_<

And tomorrow we're onto V3! :-D

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