Stealing Angel's blog. 。(⌒w⌒。) Here's my wrap-up feelings on V3.
Mew: I loved Mew's new approach to boxart, but I could see why it didn't inspire a huge amount in fans. However, to have a classy and fashionable face to Vocaloid is something it's nice to have to show people that it's not just an 'anime thing'. Voicewise, I enjoy her a lot. I feel similar to her as I do IA, a clear and pleasant to listen to Vocaloid. However, I understand how her difficulty level may have hindered producers.
SeeU: Oh, SeeU. A dramatic story from start to finish. Beginning with the backlash caused by false advertising in her demos and English capabilities, and ending with the first jailed voice provider; SeeU's drama often seemed to eclipse her voice. Despite this I see her as one of the most popular V3's in the West, at least during the first half of the era. SeeU really struck a chord with a lot of fans, despite selling less in her target market than SBS anticipated. To this day she retains more fanart than breakout IA on DeviantArt. However, apart from the obvious points of interest stemming from her infamy, SeeU never caught my curiosity. Her voice has a rough almost grainy texture which I dislike, making her one of my less liked voices of V3.
V3 Megpoid: Whoohoo! Despite never being truly fond of Gumi's original voicebank, I genuinely like the Adult extend this package brought to us. I can now buy Gumi merch without regrets. Sorry wallet.
VY1 v3: I didn't like VY1 for a long time, until I heard Kei's works featuring her. Now I look forward to any work using her, so I am glad to see her crossing through the generations.
Tone Rion: An overworked design and a voice which just didn't take off. I don't know if I just saw opinions at a time when disliking high pitched Miku-esque voices was in vogue for sections of the community, but I seem to remember she got a lot of flack for catering too obviously to a certain set of fans. Nowadays people seem to have taken pity, and most react to Rion fans like they would a sad puppy advert.
Oliver: Engloid marketing seems to be almost on the way to doing it right. Although they played it almost too safe with the blonde boy look, when the Len accusations died down what made them both popular kicked in. Oliver had flaws, but hit it off with the fandom in a way that with a few tweaks shows a bright future for English Vocaloids.
CUL: I'll mention her because she might be my least favourite V3. Not that it's her fault, but I have the same issue with her as I do SeeU. I wouldn't call her voice raspy, but it does have that rumble to it. Quite a few power voices fall into this category for me.
Yukari: Yukarin one of my first favourite V3s. I like her voice for it's ability to reach for the potential of realism in Vocaloid. I am quite sensitive to her tuning, though. In general I favour realistic voices over voice acted. Her design is one of my preferred Vocaloid designs too.
Bruno: Perhaps my favourite non-Japanese male, I felt he contributed a solid start to Spanish Vocaloids.
Clara: Her design is just so funky, I love it. Whatever criticism their original artist got (and although it has gone down in history as an example of the close mindedness of fans, I feel some of it was justified) I love the new clothing style he bought to Vocaloid, and am glad they didn't get a complete redesign. I have no special feelings regarding her voice.
IA: The first time since Gumi a Vocaloid finally broke through into the Gr8. And I like her. A voice that could reach heights of realism whose clean intonation was nice to listen to. I particularly enjoy her lower range, so most of my complaints regarding songs featuring her stem from my views clashing with those of popular producers, haha. I feel her ROCKS voicebank was also a good addition that rounded out the original's flaws. People can complain about IA's popularity, but I'm so happy there's a finally a voice I like out there who gets a significant amount of songs and fanart. I don't like any of the Gr8 to any great (heh heh) extent, so for me IA was a very welcome occurrence. I wish other companies would act a little more like 1st Place at times when it comes to marketing.
Lapis: Best colour scheme of V3. Not significant but it means a lot to me, okay.
V3 Lily: Biggest improvement from original voicebank. Internet.co did a good job.
Tianyi: Kind of nice. One of my preferred voices that falls into the 'cute' category. Wasn't stunned at first but she grew on me.
V3 Gackpoid: I'm only a major fan of his Whisper bank, the others fell into Cul/SeeU territory, unfortunately. But I like his Whisper bank a whole lot.
Galaco: The prize version didn't grab me. However, her updates make her appeal to me more. The elements of her design aren't to my personal tastes, but I think it did well in terms of being striking. Although her NEO design was more stylish and refined, I felt it lost some of the memorability of the original.
VY2 v3: I like the falsetto more than his original voice, but I don't have much else to say. A SeeU/Cul situation.
Mayu: Nice to see designs going in a different direction, but her voice never made it into my top Vocaloids.
Avanna: One of the best female Engloids out there, but still isn't quite enough to get into my favourites. The robotic pronunciation Engloids still retained in V3 works great in some songs though, Sad Machine is one of my favourite Vocaloid songs of the past few years. Didn't quite mesh with the fandom as Oliver did, but stood firmly in terms of popularity nonetheless.
Kaito V3: Miku not being the first update proving that Crypton isn't entirely a slave to the teal pigtails. He sounded alright, and has surprisingly remained one of the better JPN to ENG voicebanks out there.
Megpoid English: Bought a voicetype that was needed in English Vocaloids, to the happiness of quite a few. Now if only we find someone without that choppiness...
Zola: Their high quality voices quickly made them some of my favourite male Vocaloids. Oops, Yahama made an expensive mistake with the first design though. It didn't appeal to a lot of fans. A good addition to V3 for those in need of more male voices.
Yanhe: Definitely one of my favourite V3s. Her deep, powerful voice checked off all my favourite vocal traits. And a good colour scheme on her design, too. A little obscure overall, but since there was only two Chinese Vocaloids, not suffering too greatly.
Miku English: Not good in terms of pronunciation, but predictably popular. People just like Miku, yall. I can't help but hope she doesn't become the face of Vocaloid in the West, if only for the reason that she wasn't exactly built to appeal to the wider Western market; so I feel she may limit rather than expand Vocaloid.
Yohioloid: A good voice provider opportunity hindered by a plain design and blocked-nose voice. Whoops.
Miku V3: It happened. Man...triphones, huh.
Maika: Lovely voice. Another of my favourites. Smooth, extremely realistic and low pitched. So all the things I enjoy. Her design isn't going to inspire the hearts of Europe, but was a safe call that appealed to much of the fandom. I can't really blame the company for going that route. Ona was too wonky as a design to make waves either, but having her as a counterpoint to Maika's otaku-ness was an idea which I can appreciate the theory of.
Merli: Aaa, favourite V3 Japanese voice helloo. If you've read this far you probably know my tastes by now. Great voice, a shame she never took off. She seemed to spark a lot of interest in the beginning, but it just petered out.
Macne Nana: First software jump Vocaloid. Not my type of voice, and her design is a little plain, to say nothing of her bodice which is apparently holding lemons. However, a good case study for future software changes all the same, and not a voice I dislike either.
Meiko V3: Deserved the update. It was nice to see some V1s make the leap.
Kokone: My opinions on her never amounted to anything more than 'sounds nice enough'. Really, I liked her voice, she just didn't inspire a huge amount of excitement in me. Her colour scheme though. What is going on there. Her top half looks good on it's own, as does the outfit's bottom half; but together it clashes like nobody's business. Oh well, with a little adjustment I'm sure it turns out alright.
Anon and Kanon: Colour scheme trauma, the sequel. Their design has all these clever little details too, which made me sad I couldn't like it. I can see the appeal of their dance-suited voices though. Neither was for me, and I felt they had some quality issues too, but I pitied their fate with some of the more rabid the Kagamine fans.
Flower: Continuing the theme of dubious quality, but I think this time it added to her appeal. It created that 'unique' voice which some fans had been craving for. I don't see her taking off in a big way, but she has a pretty good niche to build on. I liked the gothic approach to her design for its virtue of being a little different. Her lisp (is it a lisp, or is it slurring?) does kind of bother me though.
Zunko: A sweet whispery voice. Although voicebanks this soft aren't my thing, I think AHS pulled it off.
Rana: Last minute cutie, sneaking in on a rainbow beam. I don't actually have any extreme feelings for Rana. She's alright, not something that appeals to me, but we hadn't had a voice like her in a while.
Gachapoid: The Vocaloid out there that proves no other Vocaloid is completely devoid of hope when it comes to an update. Whenever a fan shall suggest an unlikely voice be updated, people must remember to think of Gachapoid. Anyway, he's unique and green as ever.
Chika: If Kokone's voice was as interesting as plain bread, Chika is the beige unpatterned kitchen surface beneath the bread, probably bought for a reasonable price from Ikea. She's not a voice I mind listening too, but so extremely, loudly, unavoidably – unnotable. A great range wasted on a tone whose market was already taken. I like the style of her design though, it's sophisticated without being offputting to anime fans. The outift itself seems a little plain, however.
Epilogue of the unreleased:
Ring Suzune: I genuinely liked her voice, so I found it a shame she was never released. It was also interesting to see an unexplained disappearance of a Vocaloid that was so heavily part of all the V3 buildup. However, I think even if she was released now, her space in the Vocaloid lineup has been filled; I feel she has lost her relevancy. The market is perhaps too crowded for Ring for thrive.
Anri Rune: Similar feelings about her voice to Ring's. I was quite fond of it. But like Ring, it wasn't anything that will have me petitioning for a release. I think it would set fans' minds to rest if we knew whether she was ever intended to go commercial, or was just a private Vocaloid. These loose threads where nothing is officially cancelled probably cause more stress on the fandom than companies are aware of, haha. Other than that, her design was for me one of the worst of the V3's, feeling simultaneously cluttered and boring. However, she had a sweet hat.
ALYS: Not much to say other than Voxwave really shouldn't have labelled her a Vocaloid if it wasn't something they could guarantee, not before they'd got the licence from Yahama. It's especially unprofessional to do this when you're running a competition, as this involves working on speculation, an already risky venture for entrants. Saying they 'hoped to make her a Vocaloid' would be fine, but implying it was guaranteed what the funding would go towards was bad practice. That said, not entirely giving up was an appreciated effort.
I got gradually more sleep deprived while writing this. Anyway, that's my roundup. (｡´∀｀)ﾉ