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V3 - Good, Bad, and Ugly

OtterJiang December 24, 2014 User blog:OtterJiang

I just couldn't help myself. There are so many varying opinions, and I just want to put mine out there too, just to see what happens. :'D

Mew - She had potential, but because of the bland design (I love the fashionista/modern approach, but monochrome was just a poor choice for boxart, even if it was original/unique), and the fact that her voice wasn't anything spectacular, she didn't have much hope for being amazing. Her first demo blew me away, to be honest, but when she was released, she just couldn't compete with other VOCALOIDs, unfortunately. At least she received a Neo release, unlike some V3's *cough**cough*Rion*cough* 6/10

SeeU - Back in 2011, when her design was first revealed, I was so inspired I went and grabbed my little seventh grade notebook and started to draw fanart. Of course, I apparently was the only one who felt this way, because the next thing I know she's getting bashed for being a Miku clone by weeaboos and Japanese VOCALOID fans, alike. Even though the two are so different, it still sucked to see the fans treat her the way they did. Of course, SBS claiming that she could sing English, and the first demo released with that scandal, it didn't help her release. It saddened me terribly to see her getting treated the way she was, and the fact that her sales got stumped didn't help, either. But, she did pull through, and with a strong, unique voice (especially in the low-ish range), a cute, captivating design and plenty of live performances, she outshone plenty of other VOCALOID 3's, and continues to be one of my favorites. Even if she'll probably never get anymore updates unless ST Media does another concert, I'd say she'll always be one of my favorites (slightly biased because I bought her myself, and I still use her for music).

In the end, despite all the drama and the trouble, SeeU still ended up being one of the most popular VOCALOID 3's. Don't believe me? Well, let's think; Who had five *count'em, five* live performances, compared to other V3's who got one or two, or none at all? She had more live performances than GUMI, following her V3 release. She has more fanart than any other V3, at least, on deviantART. She trails behind a bit on Pixiv, but needless to say, she's a lot more successful than we like to give her credit for. So, disregarding all the backlash and negative attitudes I see here on the wiki, I'd say SeeU ended up being one of the biggest success stories of the V3 era (as for sales, she ended up having all her units sold on eBay and Amazon, as were released by SBS Artech. They earned their money back, especially when they released the cosplays and the hats). She did good. 7.5/10

V3 Megpoid - I was so excited for this release, especially when they called her new voicebanks  "Extends". I thought it was cute, and interesting, and also unique. Her "Sweet", "Adult" and "Whisper" voicebanks were all my favorites, albeit the least popular among them all. Her new design was great, but I found it hard to get past the under-boob thing going on with her too tiny bra. The design was cute and fun, and once you get over the top half (which isn't even that big a deal anyways), she made for a successful, great addition to Internet Co.'s line up. I considered purchasing some of the extends (because Lord knows I couldn't afford the $400.00+ bundle). 8/10

VY1V3 - While the lack of design makes VY1 unique, and allows people more opportunity to be creative with songs, it helps to have a basic character to base new ideas off of. And while the design is allegedly a "minor" part in selling a voicebank, it definitely affected how VY1 and VY2 were received (notice the influx of songs when they were given designs and characters, moreso VY2 than VY1). Regardless, I have always loved VY1's voice, and it's disappointing to see the lack of songs for her/him, especially with the falsetto. I rarely hear a song with her falsetto. Regardless, I've always appreciated how the voicebank quality is a huge step up from the other VOCALOIDs that get released, especially when used in demo demonstrations. 8/10

Tone Rion - I was actually excited for Tone Rion's release when I heard her first demo, and I saw her design. I always considered her cute, and I was hopeful that she would do well. At the time I was a bigger anime fan than ever, and with my naive, innocent 12-year-old eyes, I thought she was the greatest thing ever. Of course, everyone else had a starkly different opinion, and were happy to forget her when she was released. The fact that her nasally voice and slightly muffled voicebank attribute to the more basic, lower quality software, definitely didn't help her chances. Not having a powerful voice to set her apart from others didn't help, either. This is, of course, shown with the lack of a Neo update, and the apparent cut of the Moe Stage plans. 3/10

OLIVER - His design is unique, cute, and not in your everyday anime style, which just made it all the more refreshing. His British accent was endearing, and when tuned properly, he could be understood. Of course, most people who bought him gave us the muffled cotton ball voice we've grown accustomed to, but Ollie had a ton of potential, and I feel like he realized it, for the most part. Nice design, nice voicebank, overall, a nice contribution to the V3 era, and a sort of breakthrough for Engloids. 8/10

CUL - Not gonna lie, I've never really been a fan of her. The name really threw me off, and I always read it as See-You-El. And then finding out her name is actually "Kuru" (Cool? Cul?), it was another turn off because of the name's implementations when used in other languages (we all know what I'm talking about). I think her tone is grating to listen to (literally, her voice has a grating sound, not aggravating to listen to, but it sounds.. forced, I think? Bottom line, not a great voice quality). Nasally and also a bit muffled, she has a bit of a Rion syndrome going on. Her design is beautiful, and unique, and I think Internet Co. was smart with the redesign, considering how much more unique it is than the original, simpler design. Overall, her voicebank is alright, and her design is fairly appealing. Of course, being released on the same day as Yukari, the superior VOCALOID, hurt her chances at garnering popularity (at least she managed to gain some speed as the years wore on). 6/10

Yuzuki Yukari - For me, it was love at first sight. I barely even recognized the similarities between her design and the Miku Append, mainly because those "similarities" weren't very well grounded in the first place. She's original, mature and has a great voicebank. It's one of the higher quality voicebanks in V3, and the most successful for AHS, which I couldn't be happier about. I always see her as rivals with CUL (head canon), since they were released on the same day. I was more than ecstatic when I found out she was substantially more successful than CUL, and that now I could say one of my favorites was actually well-liked and successful upon release. 8/10

Bruno and Clara - I had high hopes for them, but they ended up pulling a sort of Leon/Lola on us. The weird design at first was off-putting, mostly because it was unattractive (and no, it was not unattractive just because it "wasn't anime hurrhurrhurr", but overall the style was just unappealing). Being the first of their kind, I had lower expectations, but they fell below my expectations, unfortunately. I was pretty disappointed when I noticed how they sort of just sloshed through the Spanish fandom, and even more so when I noticed how the Spanish fandom pretty much ignored their existence. Of course, with basic, not very impressive voicebanks to represent their language, I wouldn't be too happy about them, either. I am  happy to see that they're doing better now, though, and I have slight hope for a possible V4 update for them both. 5/10

IA - When I heard her first demo, I thought it was the original singer who was doing the song. I thought I had clicked on the opening for Air. And then I realize that I'm  listening to IA. Needless to say, I got extremely pumped. IA had a great design, and a great, solid voicebank with an amazing voice provider. 1st Place really knew how to rock their VOCALOID, and the marketing proved it. Getting a couple live performances alongside Jin, an anime based off of her songs, and a very nice figurine definitely helped her popularity soar, and the arrival of IA ROCKS, which is another pretty impressive bank, only made it even more so. She had a great run, from start to finish. 9/10

Aoki Lapis - Ooh, boy. Here we go. *rubs hands together* First time I saw Lapis' design, I thought she was way overdone. They had gone too far with the design, and it felt like they were just trying way too hard with this one. I mean, come on, a fairy?? Really (of course considering other characters and their backstories, it's not that awful, and I know that)?? I just sighed, waiting for a demo to see if I could give her the benefit of the doubt.  And Daydream Flight.. blew me away. For once there was a high-pitched voice that was executed well, made high quality and made me want to buy another VOCALOID3. Having a live performance here and there, a couple contests and a dirt bike definitely helped her move on up in the ranks. 8/10

V3 Lily - Less than impressed with the update, and apparently, so was the Internet; lack of songs, lack of art, lack of overall excitement really shut down Lily's V3 update chances of success. She still remained muffled, and there wasn't much to be offered with the new voicebank. And no, being drawn by KEI doth not a successful VOCALOID make. Not anymore, at least. I loved Lily when she was released for V2, even if that is the inferior bank, so I wasn't all that happy when the update sort of just fell through. 5/10

Luo Tianyi - Her first design was adorable, unique and creative. While the redesign was more complicated, a little more "Miku-esque" (heaven forbid she have a skirt, boots and tights), and her voice was higher pitched (like Miku and eight other VOCALOIDs, oh no!), she still ended up being one of my most favorite VOCALOIDs. She's still unique, her voicebank has a lot of potential and isn't as soft as you might think, and she's very successful thanks to the massive fandom in China she had to work with. Because, unlike with SeeU, China realized that since this was all they had, they might as well work with it. And work with it, they did. 8/10

V3 Gackpoid - No new design, but that didn't make him look any less appealing. The new updates were definitely impressive, and I love listening to all three of the new voicebanks. Not much to say about this one, except good job, ICL. 7/10

galaco - ...Less than impressive voicebank, I found it near impossible to find a song she sings that I actually enjoyed. Save for her updated voicebank, with red and blue, now that was a great redo. This one was low quality, and not worth the trouble. At least her design was interesting, including the updated version. Her success faded, and that was a bit disappointing. I'm not sure if anyone still talks about her, these days. 6/10

VY2V3 - Not much to gripe about here, of course I think we all know how I feel about the lack of design. The Cendrillon demo that was released blew me away, especially with the killer usage of his falsetto voice. I love the voice, it's clear, crisp, deep and powerful. Definitely one of my favorite V3's, design or no. 8/10

MAYU - I really wanted to like MAYU, and when I saw her design and who illustrated her, I couldn't have been more excited. But her voice rolled around, and it wasn't really anything to write home about. Personally, I think her yandere nature is very interesting in that it's unique and she's the only one with a set "personality", of sorts. Of course, again, I seem to be the only one who feels this way (save for the cool producers who use her yandere-ness in songs). It's similar to what a lot of people say about her; There was a lot of build up, a lot of excitement, but then she sort of just happened and not much was left to say about her. Little to no marketing after her release didn't help with her sudden drop off, either. 6/10

AVANNA - I have always loved Celtic culture, and her accent is incredibly endearing. AVANNA was announced, and I got excited. I saw her design, but I didn't really think much of the anime design. Personally I would've preferred the originally planned boxart, since the red lineart used and the strange, sort-of-anime style that AG uses isn't particularly appealing to me, at all. It looks very amateurish. And I understand that a lot of work goes into making art like she does, I do it myself. But the soft voicebank and not overtly appealing design didn't do much for me. I wanted AVANNA to be very successful, but in the end she ended up being nothing short of mediocre. I hope that as she carries on, she'll be more popular, because in all honesty, despite all my gripes, she's one of my favorite VOCALOIDs (believe it or not). 7/10

KAITO V3 - Brilliant update. Love the new design, love the new voicebanks. English is rough, but that was to be expected. The powerful, higher quality voicebanks that came in Japanese blew me away, and it's needless to say that it rekindled the flame of my massive crush on the VOCALOID. KAITO V3 is an impressive update, and was marketed extremely well. And considering how popular the bank was at release, I'd say it was a great move on Crypton's part. 8/10

Megpoid English - I wanted this to be great. I really, really did. I think her English, at times, is better than Miku's. While it's not as smooth when it comes to transitions, it's definitely better with pronunciations (at least, in regards to L's). The design for English is cute, though I can't help but wonder why they didn't use it for the boxart.. Regardless, it's still a better bank than Miku English, and when tuned with love and care, she can be one of the stronger English voicebanks out there. Marketed fairly well (save for two demos, whose lyrics are cringe worthy ), I'd say she had potential to be very successful. If only the Western fandom felt the same way. 7/10

ZOLA Project - One of the first culprits of the "kind of just happened" syndrome that many late V3's exercised. When they did the DBZ opening song, I was impressed, but when you got the three of them apart and compared, there wasn't anything special about the banks. They were generic, male voices, with little difference between YUU and KYO (is it bad that I thought YUU sounded manlier than KYO?), and the strange designs that they used which were borderline creepy. They definitely made me question what I was looking at a few times. The only thing that really saved them was when YAMAHA proved you could take designs and make them your own thing, by inviting other VOCALOID illustrators to draw them. Overall, they were decent voicebanks, and they had the most unique designs, for sure. Popularity wise, they were alright, as they were with successfulness. 6/10

YANHE - She was definitely a sudden release, with two or three demos, the design contest winner and the final illustration revealed, and an album upon release. I was really worried that the sudden release would hurt her sales, but thankfully there were multiple millions of Chinese VOCALOID fans who saved her from fading into the darkness. Over here, people could've cared more or less since she was Chinese, but I was super excited that she was released for the same reason (that, and I'm just a sucker for white-haired characters). Refreshing, unique, and a powerful voice that no one really expected, she's higher quality than Luo Tianyi and plenty more dynamic. One of my all time favorites. 8/10

Miku English - Not much to say here other than the fact that I was plenty disappointed. I was going to buy this voicebank, and use it to make English songs. Then I realized how bad she was, and how her voice being so soft and her pronunciation so botched, it would be a real challenge that I wasn't ready to take on. The strange boxart that was apparently Westernized(?) was a bit of a turn off, considering they went for a more mature look for Miku that didn't match the voicebank much, if at all. Here's hoping that the new English update Crypton  has planned will improve drastically, because while she was successful (only because she's one of a kind), I fear that just being Miku won't help her out much if the quality's still low. 5/10

YOHIOloid - High hopes, crushed immediately. Strange accent in English and Japanese, mostly thanks to Yohio being Swedish. The design is interesting, and I like it overall. The voicebank needs work, as I've noticed he trips over vowels in the same way GUMI English does, and it makes his voicebank sound much less than desirable. He was released, kind of just happened, and his popularity definitely dropped off following his release. Thankfully he was overall successful, and is one of the more popular Engloids, for sure. 7/10

Miku V3 - I was very happy with this update, not gonna lie. I loved the updated voicebanks, I consider them a dramatic improvement. Of course, adding Light and Vivid later only made me happier, considering Vivid is my favorite voicebank for Miku. The new design is a bit more complex, but is definitely appealing. iXima does the VOCALOIDs justice, and thanks to her success in the new update, I only hope that her popularity continues to grow, and not wane like everyone speculates. 8/10

MAIKA - Powerful, unique, and Spanish. What more could you want? I like how flexible her voicebank is, in that it's easier to make her sing in other languages. Even though she still has the Spanish accent in every other language she sings in, that's expected. It's only one voicebank, after all. So, I'm not complaining too much. Her design is lovely, and I was very happy with the winning entry. The smooth, more mature and powerful voicebank was definitely what won me over with MAIKA, and I hope that she continues to be a winner and successful for the Spanish fandom. 8/10

Merli - Lots of build up with Merli, and I'm happy with the final result. While not as clear and crisp as Lapis, she definitely has that power factor that sets her apart. She's got a stronger voice than any other VOCALOIDs to date, and she had a lot of commercializing and promotion leading up to her release. While not as popular as Lapis, she's definitely a successful voicebank, and I'm happy to report that she's growing in popularity too, thanks to multiple app and contest releases. 8/10

Macne Nana - There was a lot of potential here. I really wanted Nana to do well. But the demos that they gave us were less than impressive, and the English voicebank wasn't all that great, either. I guess the only thing that makes this forgiveable was that they embraced the Japanese accent, and attempted to use it as a tool for cuteness instead of just pretending like her English was perfectly fine, R's and L's and all. Soft voice, not much to write home about, and the design is different considering how they went for cute/petite/boobs all at once. Unforunately I'd have to say I appreciate the UTAU bank more, just because there's more umph to it compared to the VOCALOID banks. 6/10

MEIKO V3 - Pretty much the same feelings as KAITO V3. Well marketed, nice redesign (simple, but just enough flare to make it fresh), and stellar voicebanks. The Power bank is most appealing, as is with most people, and the English leaves much to be desired. There was potential for her to be a strong English bank, but they made her softer, which seems to be Crypton's pattern with a ll their English banks. A stronger English bank would've upped her reception, for sure. 7/10

kokone - A perpetrator of the "kind of just happened" syndrome, her voicebank is clear, and sweet. I love how she hits those low notes and high notes with smoothness that would make anyone jealous. And while I appreciate that ICL took the opportunity to add a new character to the fleet, I personally feel like her design leaves much to be desired. There's just not anything overtly interesting about the design, and I feel like they tried to hard with her design, too. Something about her color pallet just doesn't add up, to me. At least she has more original songs than most other V3's, and is a little more successful than I had initially anticipated. Still, there's a feeling of missed opportunity that floats all around her voicebank. 5/10

anon & kanon - Like kokone, these two hit the "kind of just happened" syndrome hard. A single demo on YouTube, a small website, only two pictures of them together, and a couple sound clips on SoundCloud, they were released and that was just it. A couple songs here and there, but nothing much else. Of course they were accused of being Kagamine rip-offs (thanks, weeaboos), and their design wasn't all that impressive, at least, not to me. It was like they tried to take the school uniform idea, and make it unique. However all they really succeeded in was making it a bit too complicated and used colors that aren't overtly appealing. At least they're getting more marketing now, I've noticed with the new contest and a cover of a magazine (compared to so many V3's who get little to no marketing at all), and I hope that people will realize the potential of their voicebanks, which are of good quality, and help them become even more successful. 6/10

v flower - One of a kind VOCALOID, for sure. Brilliant marketing, brilliant design, and brilliant voicebank. v flower falls into a category all her own, and she's the oly one I know of who can cover a rock song as perfectly as her. While her voicebank suffers from the lisp and a strange grating sound similar to CUL's, she still has that strength that I can appreciate, for sure. A little more clarity, and we have a definite winner. 7/10

Tohoku Zunko - I wanted her to be successful, and very much so. Another AHS VOCALOID, made for a great cause, and a very interesting and cute backstory. A unique, refreshing design, and a quality voicebank. Of course people were turned off by the classic high-pitched/soft/sweet combo, and it was a little disappointing when I noticed she fell into that category, too. However, I still found a lot of potential with her voicebank, and with a decent marketing run, a couple well executed demos, she was fairly successful. Not as much as I hoped, but she made off fairly well. Here's hoping she gets a V4 update, too. 7/10

Rana - I love her design. Despite the fact that there's a lot going on with her concept and all the colors (but she's a rainbow, so it makes sense), she's certainly her own character. Her voice is hard to pinpoint. It's a good quality voicebank, definitely smoother than most, and when tuned properly, music to the ears. But it's hard to tell if she's powerful, sweet, soft, or no. It's a strange mixture, and definitely unique. I think it's interesting how she's meant for darker, harder music, but she's designed as this light, colorful character. She isn't as successful as I'd hoped (especially considering how low her price is), and the strange, technical way of getting ahold of her didn't help much, either. One of my personal favorites, if not because of lack of potential, but because of appealing design and very unique voice. 8/10

Gachapoid V3 - I have to give ICL props; At least they follow through on their word, even if it's not exactly something we were expecting/wanted. He's a decent bank, the update was definitely a bit of a curve ball, and the fact that they spend about 2 bucks marketing the poor thing set up for a market flop. Having a disproportioned and amateur looking design for V3 didn't up his chances of success either,  though I doubt having a great design would've helped his sales very much. 3/10

Chika - Where does one begin? She and Gachapoid were the last two released, and the last to suffer from the "kind of just happened" syndrome. We got one demo, a couple cool designs, all in monochrome, and then BAM! released. It was disappointing, to say the least. Being constantly compared to GUMI wasn't very kind of the fandom. It was like rubbing salt on an already searing wound. Didn't get my hopes too high for this one, and I can at least say I wasn't disappointed when she did just as I thought she would; badly. Internet Co Ltd likes to pretend this one doesn't exist, I've noticed. Most of the VOCALOID fandom does too, as well. Poor Chika. 3/10

If you read this entire essay on VOCALOID3, you're amazing. Don't be too bothered if my opinion doesn't match yours. I did my best to keep my personal bias out of this (though comparing my feelings towards SeeU with others, it seems like I'm lying). I hope you enjoyed reading, and I apologize for giving paragraphs for each. I just hope I did them justice, and gave a thorough-ish analysis of the VOCALOID3 era. Here's to VOCALOID4! :)

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