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If you are a VO member and didn't notice it, we are having a beauty pageant for all the female vocaloids up to date. I noticed Sonika won over Kokone. But if the pageant was aimed to the japanese fandom, would they pick Kokone for the winner?
So, here are my thoughts about it. You'll probably call me captain obvious.
It seems the japanese users tend to go on a more cartoon-styled illustration in general. You can see it if you compare the MMD pictures uploaded in seiga and dA; on seiga, the pictures simply showcase the models with few effects, still retaining the "anime drawing" appearance, while on dA in some cases the pics are bombardised with many effects to make the shading look as soft and realistic as possible.
Speaking of, another thing I noticed, MMD shaders can't provide a believable photo-realistic result without using a lot of tweaks. The absence of bump maps and multiple lighting makes it more than hard, which is why west users may turn to other programs like Blender, 3DS max or cinema4D to satisfy their needs.
I think this is part of the cultural differences. Japanese users seems to like seeing an imaginary character in a more cel-shaded style when the western fandom seems to like to a more close to reality image. So, if the pageant was in a japanese board, Kokone would have more chances of winning.
My speculations anyway. Have fun.