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Social criticismsEdit

Validity of workEdit

The VOCALOID software is regarded as a virtual instrument in Japan, while overseas (outside of Japan and its neighboring Asian countries) VOCALOIDs are sold as virtual singers. This small difference in classification can be a controversial issue in the VOCALOID fandom; for example, it brings about the question as to whether Miku can be called a "singer" when she is just a synthesized vocal or an "instrument".

This, in part, has led some music fans to ask if music utilizing VOCALOID is real music when the vocals are not real and if the software is on par with real singers. The VOCALOID2 software was often commented to be far from perfect and was noted to be far from being a top rate singer due to its limitations.[1] At times media will often also fail to report VOCALOID correctly, leading a general confusion as to what VOCALOID is. Some reports label it as a "game" based on Project Diva, others a "band" based on the concerts, and some mistake the PVs for part of an anime. Furthermore, because of Miku's fame there is also a tendency for some reports to presume all VOCALOIDs sing in a similar tone or pitch of voice to Miku. This renders all VOCALOIDs judged based solely on one vocal, causing further confusion.[2]

During his tweets, GazettE's Aoi questioned if VOCALOID and such virtual singers should be compared on the same level when producers and bands such as his own exist.[3] Criticizing the VOCALOID songs and questioning if they were even real music led to fan outburst.

Generally, VOCALOID producers regard their work as "real". Many famous song writers have gone onto other works beyond VOCALOID.

VOCALOID works involve a meticulous amount of work, tuning and tweaks to singing vocals, often involving and requiring highly technical skills and experience that simply cannot be dismissed as a lazy work or illegitimate music (as compared to common uninformed complaints against the nightcore type of music, for example). This is the reason why there are major protests whenever someone of notable significance criticizes VOCALOID works in general.

VOCALOID and politicsEdit

Miku was also the subject of one of the most controversial uses of the legal agreements of any VOCALOID producing studio from the Democratic Party of Japan, whose running candidate, Kenzo Fujisue, attempted to secure the use of Miku's image in the Japanese House of Councillors election of July 11, 2010. The hope was that the party could use her image to appeal to younger voters. Although Crypton Future Media rejected the party's use of her image or name for political purposes, Fujisue released the song "We Are the One" using her voice on YouTube, by simply replacing her image with the party's character in the music video.[4]

Another political issue that has haunted VOCALOID is racism. Generally this comes mostly from the Japanese VOCALOID fandom, although it is not absent from the overseas fandom. Some producers like SolPie and VOCALOIDs like SeeU have failed to completely establish themselves because they were Chinese or Korean, as when they uploaded their work onto Niconico they were met with hate or flame. Some producers have managed to tolerate it, but others have been put off venturing into Japanese websites for it and instead use other websites like YouTube or CreCrew.

The racial intolerance issue has also been extended to VOCALOIDs. While SeeU is largely popular in the Western fandom, she received a negative reception from Japanese fans. Her voicebank has had little use in Japan, despite Yamaha's advertisements and the inclusion of a Japanese voicebank.



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