Okay so heres the thing, I've always been a MLP fan since I was a little girl. I had a period of time because nothing was happening with the series until about two years ago. But the thing I do note with MLP is, you could mistake any pony within the series for any pony. Only their colours and design changes a lot of the time which means you learn things like a grey pony with blonde hair and bubbles on her rear is Derpy../.. The blue one with the rainbow mane is Rainbow Dash...
Yet up until halfway through last year I never really got bothered about Vocaloid designs. Sure I always had critism but I never held it against Vocaloids.
And now its bothering not because of the design but because everyone criticises those that criticise the design. While its true the software called Vocaloid, designs are starting to become the thing which I am trying to distinct one vocaloid over another with. JUST like with My Little Pony.
Basically this ties in with the previous topic I discussed over vocal comparisons. We're getting vocals with the sae range and tone now more and more and "unique" vocals are getting harder to find. And this is over Meiko's design and vocal. Meiko holds the title of First Japanese vocaloid, she was successful whereas Kaito was a flop, yatta, yatta, yatta, skip to the point I want to make.
Basically I said Meiko's new V3 design is boring. That they missed an opportunity tomake Meiko's simple design stand out a bit more then they did. Istead it missed some minor design aspect that could have lifted it to match some of the other Vocaloids, hell, I think compared to Gumi Meiko's new design is still a little dull. But Gumi has a design which has that "something" which stands out and makes you like her, even with the derpy face. :-/
But... I've got some critism for expressing my POV and now I'm defending it on VO.
I try to like all Vocaloids because, I really like the software. Meiko has all the potential to be one of my favourites like Kaito - but she isn't. Both voice and design always had issues for me in placing where I want Meiko against other Vocaloids. Hell, by the End of V2, Lily came out who shares some traits with Meiko within her voice, which made Meiko's V1 voice weaker within my head space because Lily gave everything I had associated with Meiko's voice and made her stand out.
And despite looking at a design and then filing it so I can focus on the voice, I'm starting to feel this is no longer becoming possible to just do this because I'm nowadays having to defend my criticism more and more of design. I've not inexperienced with clashing with others. The MF stuff has been my darkest hour because that was a page I didn't know how to write, nobody loved and I was trying to fix it and making a mess because the stress was getting to me. And I've had a really had a grudge against those who did that because it involved research that, at the time, I didn't have and no one was giving me that little bit of time to fix up the page.
So yeah, design critism on VO forums leads to criticism over the criticizers. At times I wonder if its even possible to express an opinion without getting ridiculed for it, so with Meiko I thought about how to criticise her design... And then went "sod it, there is no way I can not get critism for saying it so I'll just dive in anyway". Basically, Meiko was getting praise and her fans were getting excited... And heres me, throwign a massive spanner in the works.
Honestly, their being more mature about it then in the past so I think some folks are learning acceptance, but one thing is remaining. Someone else said it and not me, design is something we all are getting stuck on.
And then someone bring sup the "voice before design" aspect.
We've discussed this on VO before in other Vocaloids... And while its nice to take the voice firstly, with more and more Vocaloids having similar qualities to each other, its actually getting harder and harder to really say "yay" and "nay" over the issue of the voice. Kokone is the final straw that broke the camels back for me... Because its yet another females with a bunch of qualities shared by other females. It can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing. but without her design, I can't place her inside my head against other Vocaloids so her stand-out design is helping me file her voice as I consider what I do and do like about her voice.
And think slowly everyone within the "veteran" fandom is starting to feel more and more awakard in deal with anyone who criticizes the designs. So I'm starting to view "voice before design" as a cheap "get out of jail free card", rather then a extensive argument because this isn't addressing any issue someone is bringing up on design matters... Its just sweeping it under the rug. And other time as out develop educated arguments for and against design you start wanting to talk about why you do or don't like a design and how it could have been better, so being swept under the carpet is more of a bother then a solution, especially for someone like me who merely uses design as familiarization and not as a final "end of" for liking a vocaloid... It takes both vocal AND design to make me dislike a vocaloid, with the vocal being the decisive factor, and once this happens I don't use the design as a reason for liking the Vocaloid.
And if you do have criticism for the vocaloid's design, you don't nessecary hate the voice. I've always felt Meiko was a good vocal, just not my tastes... I prefer males, so Meiko... honestly doesn't stand a chance anyway. The top two Vocaloids on my list are Tonio and Big Al - both males and Engloids... So until Meiko got an English vocal, I hoenstly didn't have any interest in Meiko and my only interest was in that she was the first female Japanese Vocaloid and was having a V3 update.
And outside of Kaito, who is in my top 10 list, and Miku - who is compulsive to follow even if your like me and don't like her voice I actually have interest little in CFM's Vocaloids because I don't like them. Never said they are bad vocals, just... Not my taste...
But... Miku's design is pasted all over the vocaloid fandom, there is tons of merch based on this rather then her voice. Its actually impossible to avoid deign because its always used in merch, and when on Youtube.... You watch say, a Miku video, you get a Miku design within the video. Its why Secret and Corruption Garden's pink hair girls get mistaken for Luka... Because think of Luka and think of pink hair. :-/
And thats my full thoughts on designs... I think its getting easier to discuss designs though, in the past this fandom was a lot less forgiving. I think... slowly... The western Vocaloid fandom is maturing and growing up.