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  • polymetrica 9:53 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , YOSHITSUGI   

    【Illustrator/PV Animator】吉田ドンドリアン / ヨシツギ (YOSHIDA Dondorian / YOSHITSUGI) 

    I’m aliv-

    Hatsune Miku from Crypton's Character Vocal Series. (Click for the larger full version.) Original line art for this available at illustrator's Pixiv.

    吉田ドンドリアン (YOSHIDA Dondorian), also known professionally under ヨシツギ (YOSHITSUGI), is an up-and-coming illustrator best known on Pixiv for her distinctive and abstract watercolour style. She has also forayed into illustrating and compiling videos for Vocaloid songs on niconico, the most recent of which was for river’s アン・イノセンス (Un-Innocence). In addition to illustrating for leisure, she has also drawn artwork professionally for various publications, such as Kodansha’s Faust magazine and Megami Creators, and has made a website, done art direction, drawn artwork, and done CD jacket design for two of Voltage of Imagination’s CDs’ sites. Yoshida’s birthday is on December 21st, resides in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, likes to paint and illustrate with analog tools and techniques, and when working digitally, uses Adobe Photoshop CS3 on Windows Vista.

    Yoshida’s style is of a relatively abstract and watercolour-like style that incorporates many vibrant colours, little to no shading and quite a bit of subtle and faded floral patterns. She almost exclusively draws female characters, but unlike most JPN illustrators, she gives little precedence on characters’ faces and expressions, and rather strives to create a spectacle with the entire picture as a whole, taking more priority in colour, composition, and theme. Her characters’ eyes are very round, and they typically sport only subdued or calm expressions. They are also drawn in static poses most of the time, with characters either standing, falling, or floating(?), but these types of arrangements really do add to the peaceful and calm atmosphere that most of her illustrations give off. The fact that Yoshida doesn’t employ traditional shading techniques is also a unique feature, and as a substitution to the absence of shading, she instead indicates depth by layering darker colours on the lighter ones and melding them together for a gradual and delicate effect. She also uses lightly coloured, sometimes faded lines to enhance this look.

    Macne Nana as depicted in 月ノ魚 (Tsuki no Sakana) by 一本勝負P(IpponshoubuP). (Click for the larger full version.)

    Other than the background-less, single-character style, Yoshida is also capable of producing another style where she often draws an undetailed character put against an near-abstract background splashed with solid colour. In this style, Yoshida usually combines deep, dark colours against vibrant, practically neon shades to make a statement, and in many cases she makes use of only one main colour and their respective shades. The highest recurring primary colour used in these works seems to be blue. Colour coordination is unique, but the contrast in colours may sometimes be a little too strong. As well, Yoshida makes a lot less use of the transparent qualities prominently seen in her character-focused artwork, but when she combines her two styles, the results are quite stunning (See the image above this paragraph).

    It is worthwhile to note that about half of Yoshida’s works are non-digitally done with colour ink, which is why there’s noticeable colour bleeding in most pictures, and why she also seems to have a good understanding of how to emulate the bleed and transparent effects in digital works as well. Moreover, Yoshida’s artwork may be slightly reminiscent of shimeko’s (しめ子 at Pixiv) style at first, but Yoshida’s are quite a bit more natural (in both analog and digital examples) as shimeko’s style has no bleed, more sharp, clean lines, and everything is much softer and blurred – all of which are small clues that hint at the digitality of shimeko’s illustrations. (For two digital examples, Yoshida | shimeko. Note the points at which the soft colours fade into white – Yoshida’s has more spread and dark edges at the end before becoming white.)

    Lastly, Yoshida’s PV style is as creative and sometimes as abstract as her illustrations, but they mostly employ basic animation effects and a high number of static illustrations. Despite the supposed and deceiving simplicity of execution, the PV for Un-Innocence is perhaps one of the most artistic and original Vocaloid PVs out there. Please take a look.

    Essential Works – PV:
    1. アン・イノセンス (Un-Innocence) (niconico link) **Highly Recommended**
    2. Colchicum! (niconico link)
    3. 月ノ魚 (Tsuki no Sakana/Fish of the Moon) (niconico link)

    Website: http://sekitou.sub.jp
    Blog: http://bye.sekitou.sub.jp
    Pixiv: http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=251864
    Piapro: http://piapro.jp/yoshi_nba
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/Hello_World_

     
    • Smankh 2:11 pm on January 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yoshitsugi did the artworks for the booklet of the C71 Voltage of Imagination album “The Borderline of Morning Glow” (vgmdb link : http://vgmdb.net/album/8348). Songs are performed by Chata. I recommend that particular track り・あ・るるる (please listen to the entirety of the track).

      Yes the same Chata that sang Dango Daikazoku.

    • Orcinus 7:11 pm on February 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like I’ll have to start experimenting with neon paints and inks. I’m excited; got a week off tomorrow.

  • polymetrica 9:52 pm on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    【Vocaloid Composer】れるりり (rerulili) 

    れるりり (rerulili) is a very new composer in the Vocaloid scene, with only three original songs posted on niconico, where the first one, いつもより泣き虫な空 (Itsumo yori Nakimushi na Sora/A Sky Who’s Being a Bigger Crybaby Than Usual), was posted in September 2009. However, his first song is of extremely high quality, and is one of the best examples of Vocaloid vocal tuning done right. rerulili is also known as 当社比P (ToushahiP/”Compared to this company’s older products”P) since in the description for NakiSora, he wrote that it was 「初音ミク至高のバラード(当社比)です。」/”This is a Hatsune Miku Surpreme Ballad (compared to this company’s older products)”. His videos are also sometimes tagged with 至高の人 (Shikou no Hito/The Surpreme Person) in reference to that line. rerulili resides in Tokyo, Japan, used to be the bassist for a band called LaBluzu (PV on Youtube), and mainly records songs with a live piano, guitar, and bass, and a synthesized drum. “rerulili” is his own romanization for his username.

    rerulili’s quite versatile, as he tackles different genres with each song he produces. So far, he has forayed into making a ballad (いつもより泣き虫な空/NakiSora), Funk (なんで?/Nande?), pop (朝が来て/Asa ga Kite), and many other genres are covered in the songs currently posted exclusively at Piapro. His work also has a pretty authentic sound when compared to other composers’ songs, and by that I mean that the intrumentals sound a little more natural and real, and this is mostly due to the fact that he actually uses real intruments, rather than synthesizing a whole “band” with midi like most one-man producers. (To be honest, though, the drums sounded pretty real to me, and I can’t usually tell the difference.) Most notable, however, is how he tunes the vocals for each Vocaloid. They all sound extremely natural and has little rigidity, if at all, and it’s this point that makes his work stand out the most, as he can even make the Kagamine twins sing naturally and flexibly, despite the fact that they are usually quite hard to properly tune. He seems to have a large repertoire of Vocaloid2 software, and has so far used all the ones from Crypton – Miku, Rin and Len, and Luka. In addition to letting Vocaloids sing his songs, he also does self covers where he quite skillfully sings them himself. I found his version of Asa ga Kite to be better than the original Miku version, and I hope that he does more covers of his own songs.

    In addition to posting on niconico, he also posts new original songs quite frequently on Piapro, and he has more songs on there than on niconico, since he hopes to recruit artists to provide high quality artwork for all of his videos. He also starts project pages on Piapro enlisting help with drawing artwork and putting together videos for each of his songs. The ongoing one right now is for “JOY RIDE”.

    Essential Works:
    1. いつもより泣き虫な空 (Itsumo yori Nakimushi na Sora/A Sky Who’s Being a Bigger Crybaby Than Usual) niconico link / rerulili self cover niconico link **1st and Representative Work**
    2. スカイペインター (Sky Painter) Piapro link
    3. 朝が来て (Asa ga Kite/Morning Arrives) niconico link / rerulili self cover niconico link

    Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/16274546
    Piapro: http://piapro.jp/rerulili
    Blog: http://ameblo.jp/rerulili
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/rerulili
    Audioleaf: http://www.audioleaf.com/rerulili (Self-covers as a solo artist)

     
  • polymetrica 10:32 pm on December 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Sou at Kunisaki   

    【Illustrator】Sou 

    Finally!

    Sou is an amateur illustrator and doujin manga artist from Indonesia. Also known as Kunisaki on Deviantart, she is currently studying in college, is fluent in English, likes The Little Prince, and seems to prefer drawing with pencil than with her Wacom Graphire 3 tablet. Her birthday is on December 2nd, and uses SAI, Photoshop CS, and Painter X for digital illustration. She also releases her own short original manga and sells it at conventions, usually in Singapore or Malaysia, and participates in anthologies and other doujin publications with other artists on Deviantart.

    Sou’s illustrations are very easy to recognize as they all have vibrant and lively colours, an incredible amount of detail, very elaborate and elegant clothing designs, and a lot of original accessories that go with the clothing. Her subjects are usually of female or young male characters, and draws mainly original art, sometimes fanart. Her style is mostly of the anime-type style, where characters have relatively large, glossy eyes and undetailed faces, but Sou is capable of diverging from this and can also detail actual noses and lips. She usually draws solid lines (usually in pencil first) with lots of detail, showing actual strands and layers in the hair and many folds in clothing, and she usually colours in the lines digitally. The detail on Sou’s pencil drawings are astonishing as even her supposed doodles (or scribbles) look absolutely lovely, complete with light shading and distinct lines.

    Her colouring style never sticks to one palette, and even uses normally clashing shades in many pieces of her artwork, but are always extraordinarily well-coordinated. The colouring for hair is usually smooth, has quite a few of highlights, and is clearly layered, but the rest, like clothing, are coloured with coloured, rounded spots that give it a bubbly and floaty look. It’s really hard to describe, but the result is very pretty and unique. Unlike a lot of artists nowdays, though, Sou doesn’t abuse those white spots to add shine, and instead skillfully places and slightly blends the lighter colour shades with the darker ones, giving it a natural and more gradual shine. The general composition of her artwork is really incredible too, as it’s always varied, has different themes, and her characters seem to have a wide array of expressions and poses, which I immensely appreciate since it really gives life to her work and distinguishes it from the work of other artists. This attention to composition seems to apply to her sketches too! Furthermore, she can also draw really nice backgrounds as well as design monsters, in addition to the usual humanoid subjects.

    All in all, Sou is definitely an artist to look out for, and is fast becoming one of my favourites, if she isn’t one already. I really wish that she was more popular on Pixiv as I honestly never tire of seeing her art, and that she would be as well-known in the Japanese illustration scene as other international artists such as kl and Kurot. Just really superb work. Please take a look, and comment on her art blog if you like her work! The descriptions above will never do her artwork enough justice.

    Art blog: http://community.livejournal.com/papermachina/
    Deviantart: http://kunisaki.deviantart.com
    Pixiv: http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=236775

     
    • kaye 10:58 pm on December 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ahh, I really love her illustrations! *___* I follow her on deviantart and livejournal, so I’m always excited to see something new posted there haha. Her work is just way too pretty! (She’s super nice, too. |D)

    • Kitsune 11:13 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great post! :) I like how you describe the qualities of an artist you want to highlight and link them – it is easy to browse the pictures this way :) She is a good artists, especially I like her colors and composition :)

  • polymetrica 9:44 pm on November 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , shiuka,   

    【Illustrator】しうか (shiuka) 

    Image used in the video for PutinP's きみに、わたしに。(Kimi ni, watashi ni./To you, To me.). Features Hatsune Miku.

    しうか (shiuka) is an illustrator best known for his(?) illustrations for various Vocaloid songs on niconico. His most significant contributions are for doing the artwork and videos to most of プーチンP (PutinP)’s songs, most notably for きえないひとみ。(Kienai Hitomi./Unvanishing Eyes.), and also for this piece of artwork done for mothy’s 悪ノ召使 (Aku no Meshitsukai/Servant of Evil) video. His works are mostly Vocaloid-centered, and especially heavily feature Kagamine Rin and Len. shiuka likes a strong and tough Len (“Ikeren”) the most, and just adores Rin in general. He also uses a computer (without an LCD monitor) running Windows XP, draws with a Wacom Intuos 3, and uses SAI for drawing and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 for further image editing. His blood type is A.

    shiuka generally has two different styles. The first one is quite anime-like, with huge eyes, bright, pastel colours, sharp and minimal shading, and undetailed hair. They also usually feature light-hearted content. This style is most prevalent in his older illustrations. As for his second style, it looks very solemn and serious, with almost no smiling characters, muted, cold, and dark colour themes, and quite a few usages of grungy textures in the background. In this style, shiuka also draws strands of hair, uses illuminating highlights, and sometimes even details actual noses and lips. He also sometimes has a mix between his two styles to a very aesthetic effect.

    Image used in the video for PutinP's ねむりたいのに!(Nemuritai no ni!/Even though I want to sleep!). Features Kagamine Rin.

    Of course, being a collaborator with PutinP certainly means that nothing is ever what it seems, and the best examples of shiuka’s serious style have been from gravely hilarious and near-classic (Please click on this) pieces of art. He also designed the now relatively-well-known Russian Rin (Nicknamed プーリン/Purin as a joke to プーチン/Putin) who is always the subject of PutinP’s videos. He also designed Russian(?) Luka and Miku McDonald, both of which are used in PutinP’s songs as well.

    In addition to illustration, shiuka has also helped out some niconico producers with putting together videos and has even uploaded a 51 second song (niconico link only) where he personally tuned an UTAU Vocaloid, 欲音ルコ (Kokune Ruko) to skillfully sing Silent Night in English.

    In conclusion, shiuka is a very good artist (with other talents!) who is only getting better and better, as can be seen from his older to newer works, but has already established his own slick and definable style. I personally just can’t get enough of his serious style.

    Website: http://agatek.web.fc2.com/
    Blog: http://agatek.blog27.fc2.com/
    Pixiv: http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=92560
    Piapro: http://piapro.jp/agatek
    Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/5959414
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/shiuka

     
    • HappyGoLucky 7:05 pm on November 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      fffff did I mention I love you? <3 lovely blog

  • polymetrica 8:45 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: buzzG, , ,   

    【Vocaloid Composer】buzzG 

    From the PV for AGAINST. Click to enlarge. (Image: meola)

    buzzG is a Vocaloid composer who is pretty new to the scene, with his first niconico submission being from July 31, 2009. His best known works are AGAINST, Flashback, 赤い雨 (Akai Ame/Red Rain) and name of memory. His most popular work so far is AGAINST, a GUMI song with a PV done by artist meola, with 2,900+ Mylists. buzzG resides in Tokyo, Japan, and made his first song within only one month of learning how to use midi and Vocaloid.

    buzzG composes mostly rock songs and occasionally ballads, and as a result his songs always have an electric guitar and bass playing significant parts. All his songs sound high quality since there’s a quite a lot of depth with all the intruments playing different parts at once, but is well arranged in that it doesn’t sound messy. The flow of his songs are usually relatively predictable, but don’t sound boring as there are enough twists, and the main melody isn’t repeated over and over. buzzG’s Vocaloid tuning is quite impeccable in that even his first work with Vocaloid is easy to listen to and don’t sound rigid and robotic. In AGAINST, his latest song, GUMI’s vocal tuning sounds so natural and well-done that a lot of commenters on niconico say that it sounds nearly human.

    All in all, buzzG composes some consistently well-done songs with very good vocal tuning. Looking forward to hearing more works from him!

    Essential Works:
    1. AGAINST (niconico link)
    2. LAST YEAR (niconico link) **First Work**
    3. name of memory (niconico link)

    Blog: http://buzzg.blog84.fc2.com/
    Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/13954828
    Piapro: http://piapro.jp/buzzg
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/buzz_g

     
  • polymetrica 8:35 pm on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Umemiya Hina   

    【Singer】梅宮雛 (UMEMIYA Hina) 

    梅宮雛 (UMEMIYA Hina) is a relatively well-known niconico singer best known for her rendition of wowaka’s 裏表ラバーズ (Uraomote Lovers/Love & Lovers). Her titles always start with “人知れず”, which means “secretly”. (So the whole template title translates to something like “Tried to Sing in secret / Umemiya Hina”). As well, she gets other people on niconico to help her with mixing her songs. Also, Umemiya Hina is most likely not her real name.

    Umemiya is capable of hitting extremely high notes without straining, wavering or straying from the note, and can sing in many different voices, though the usual one she uses is slightly cutesy but not at all annoying. Some of her “other voices” sound like Kagamine Len and even INOUE Marina. (See her rendition of Nanairo no NicoNico Douga). She also seems to have really good breath control since she can not only switch between voices quickly, but she can also keep singing a lot without gasping for breath (See her rendition of Uramote).

    Essential Works:
    1. 裏表ラバーズ (Uraomote Lovers/Love & Lovers) (niconico link) **Most Popular Work**
    2. 炉心融解 (Roshin Yuukai/Meltdown) (niconico link)
    3. いつもより泣き虫な空 (Itsumo Yori Nakimushi na Sora/A Sky Who’s Being More of a Crybaby Than Usual) (niconico link) **Recommended**

    Niconico Profile: http://www.nicovideo.jp/user/10862349
    Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/10657771

     
  • polymetrica 12:46 am on October 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , UmiNeko   

    【Singer】UmiNeko 

    I don’t usually listen to male singers for unknown reasons, but this person is far too great.

    UmiNeko is an amateur singer from niconico who is becoming more well-known recently for his unique voice and consistently high quality works. His most popular works are his renditions of DixieFlatline’s Just Be Friends, with 1906 Mylists, and におP’s (nioP) 蜜蜂 (Mitsubachi/Honeybee) with 1536 Mylists. He almost always provides MP3 downloads of his songs, and the majority of his songs are mixed by madamxx and encoded by various people. In addition to singing, he also has a radio show hosted on niconico live stream sometimes.

    UmiNeko’s voice is, to put it in one word, soulful. It is mature, emotional, and has weight as he retains all his notes completely and fully, which makes him extremely suitable for songs of the Soul genre. Despite having a pretty specialized voice, he sings many songs from different genres, including Jazz, R&B, and Pop, to name a few. UmiNeko usually sings in a relatively low voice, but he has absolutely no trouble transitioning to really high notes quickly and smoothly. He also likes to do a lot of really well-done scat singing. Lastly, UmiNeko also songs quite a bit of English songs (which I think he is best suited for), and his English pronounciation is quite good.

    Please give his songs a listen! His voice might take a bit of getting used to at first, but it is absolutely incredible from his first songs to the most recent ones. I had a hard time picking only 6 songs to list here.

    Essential Works – Vocaloid Covers:
    1. 蜜蜂 (Mitsubachi/Honeybee) (niconico link) **Representative Work & Highly Recommended**
    2. 少年銀河 (Shounen Ginga/Boy Galaxy) (niconico link) →Recommended
    3. つよがり (Tsuyogari/Bluff) (niconico link) →First work

    Essential Works – Original/English:
    1. Losing game (niconico link) (Original song; Collaboration with におP (nioP)
    2. You Give Me Something (niconico link) (English song; James Morrison) →Recommended
    3. What’s Going On (niconico link) (English song; Marvin Gaye)

    Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/9247970
    niconico Community: http://ch.nicovideo.jp/community/co71841
    Youtube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7EA54D231EF07449

     
    • Alice 1:35 am on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I just want to say ILU so hard for doing an UmiNeko feature 8D. He’s way too underrated :(.

    • lelangir 3:18 pm on May 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      How does Honeybee still only have 40K views? Such a great song.

    • ragunaru 8:04 am on March 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Just discovered him on the Vocaloid Jazz Sessions vol. 4 album, absolutely loving his voice. Very very very good. And thanks for the short bio!

  • polymetrica 4:18 pm on October 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Annabel, bermei.inazawa, Chata, , , Hanatan, Katakiri Rekka, M3, , , , Shibayan, , , Usa   

    Things I Am Excited About 【Fall 2009 M3(24)】 

    Click to go to the M3 Homepage.

    M3 is a one-day, biannual, music-only convention held in Yokohama, Japan, and its name stands for “Music + Media-Mix Market”. It’s kind of like Tokyo’s Comiket but for doujin music artists only. The Fall M3 event for 2009 will be held on October 11th, and is the 24th iteration of the event. This post will briefly highlight only the circle releases I am watching for (22 releases in total are profiled here). Click on the banners for a link to the site, all of which include demos unless otherwise stated. Info is listed BELOW the banner.

    Entries are loosely ordered by genre:
    1. Original, xx-based (ie. Story-based, Light Novel-based, etc)
    2. Original, Pop / Original, Pop-rock
    3. Original
    4. Touhou Arrange
    5. Cover
    ★★ entries are the ones I am most excited about.

    Copy and paste the stars or genre titles into CTRL+F to find them.

    I know the doujin music scene is a pretty uncommon/obscure subject in most anime-related blogs, but if you have an interest in finding out more and discovering new artists and such, M3 is seriously the best place to start foraying into this niche-ish sector. Hopefully this post will be helpful for doing that too.

    Official M3 Circle List: http://www.m3net.jp/m3_24/circles.html
    M3 Circle Releases List at BLACK ANGEL: http://blackangel.main.jp/event.php

    (More …)

     
    • Hrie~!! 8:53 am on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      A music version of Comiket? I’d hate to sound like a weeaboo or something but the Japanese have it all, no? OTL

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