Coming off the heels of our review of “Magical Mirai 2013 Hatsune Miku“ at NYC, we got a chance to talk to one of the promoters for the screening, Jason Vong. While not directly involved with Crypton Future Media or Live Viewing Japan, he was very kind enough to offer his perspective of the screenings’ impact. Enjoy!
1. What was your role in helping to bring “Magical Mirai 2013” to the United States? How did you get involved in promoting the screening?
I am one of the promoters. I started off as a minor street team member for L’Arc~en~Ciel’s WORLD TOUR 2012 in New York and enjoyed the work I have done. I saw the opportunity again to promote GLAY’s screenings and since then helped Live Viewing Japan promote their screenings here in the states.
2. How did the idea of showing “Magical Mirai 2013” at New York and Los Angeles come about?
I imagine the people behind Vocaloid knew they have a strong fan base here in the United States, especially since MIKUNOPOLIS in 2011 was a sold-out event. Since this was Miku’s birthday show, it was only fair that all her fans get to see it. I think it’s great that there were multiple options for that: being physically there at the Yokohama Arena, watching it through a stream courtesy of Nico Nico Douga, or watching it at a select theater courtesy of Live Viewing Japan.
3. You had a sold-out audience at New York and the screening at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles was sold out as well. What were your expectations regarding the turnout for the screening?
I had a feeling that both locations were going to be sold out, but I still had my doubts. I needed to see it to believe it. It was a strange feeling to have people calling and e-mailing you for more tickets even after it was sold out. I got a call 5:30AM in the morning before the show from an eager fan who asked if I could make an exception. Unfortunately, it was beyond my power. I am sad a lot of people missed out, but I’m happy to see that Miku and her friends have such strong support here. Perhaps the next event could accommodate more people.
4. What concerns might you have had about fan reaction to watching a tape-delayed broadcast instead of watching the concert live?
Of course, anyone would love to see the show live, but Japanese concerts are a rare thing in the States. On top of that, this was a delayed broadcast which some fans online expressed their disappointment that they are catching the show at a later time. However, after talking to some of the fans at the LA broadcast, the delayed showing honestly did not stop them from coming and having a good time. The fans had the option to watch the Nico Nico Douga stream LIVE and yet, I’ve met fans who drove 700 miles or flown two states over just to come see the show instead of watching it at home. That’s really amazing.
To them, this is a social event that gives them the opportunity to cosplay, meet fellow fans, and enjoy the show with some old/new friends on the big screen with great sound. I think that’s pretty cool and more people should come to future Live Viewing events for these reasons.
5. How familiar are you with Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid?
I have a basic understanding of Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid. It seems quite overwhelming to learn, but I’m slowly getting there. Actually, my current playlist on my iPod contains “We are POP CANDY” by Runo and “蒼空フリーティング ”(Soukuu Furitengu) by Ritchie. I also got hooked on ryo(supercell)’s “ODDS & ENDS” after the broadcast.
6. Why do you think Vocaloid has become a global phenomenon?
To be honest, it still boggles me how big Vocaloid have become. Vocaloid can be used to create any song and can be used by anyone, so I guess that’s the big appeal. And then there are others who animate the videos around the songs and create dance moves for the models. It’s a big collaborative effort that many can take part of.
Also, I believe social media really helped boost Vocaloid’s popularity around the world. It seems like the fans are the ones who perpetuate the success of Vocaloid, just by sharing these works with their friends with a click of a button.
7. In your opinion, how are the chances that Hatsune Miku will make more appearances in America, after the strong showings at the “Magical Mirai 2013” screenings?
After seeing the turnout here in L.A. and watching the show itself, I have a strong feeling that we will see more of Hatsune Miku and her friends again.
We would like to thank Jason for taking the time to talk to us and to Crypton Future Media and Live Viewing Japan for bringing Miku to the U.S. once more!