Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Animated Events: Miku Expo 2023 VR

Well Miku Expo 2023 VR was last weekend and I have to say that it did not disappoint. Afterwards, I was left with a lot of fond memories of seeing Miku for the first time at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit back in 2014 and then the full Expo in Toronto two years later. While the in-house experience they've been doing since the lockdowns is definitely different from the "live" performance, I have to admit that I do like watching a show in the privacy of my own home and not having to deal with travel and crowds. But, as in 2024, Miku Expo will be coming to Detroit, I do see a short road trip in my future.

The program was streamed live on Twitch and YouTube, however only Twitch had the opening act. Like last time, the concert was shown three times and there was a pre-show of Miku videos and commercials. This was followed by a show of one of three musicians. I was in a videoconference so missed out on the opening act but did get to catch the pre-show. My favorite video was the thoroughly enjoyable "Music Like Magic!" by OSTER project, music video by Milo, with visuals that looked like cut-out animation -- though was most likely digital cut-out. Fortunately for all, since this was the official music video for MIKU Expo Europe back in 2018, the video was still online:

This year's performance took place in a virtual circus setting complete with castle and ferris wheel. I have to admit, I found the patchwork of colors and shapes to be a little busy, visually. But after the first couple songs, the setting changed to this fantasy underground venue complete with crystals and an on-again/off-again field of grass and flowers--a setting I much preferred.

The setlist they followed was as follows:

  • Knife, Knife, Knife - KIKUO
  • Acceleration (Breeze Remix) - Clean Tears
  • Frauline=Biblioteka - nyanyannya
  • Literacy - wotaku
  • Midnight Surf - asicacamosica.
  • 1+1 - doriko
  • wanterlast - sasajure.UK
  • vivid - YuyoyuppexUtsu-P
  • Karma - CircusP & Creep-P
  • Ego rock(long ver.) - Three
  • Shindeshimautowa Nasakenal! - WONDERFUL*OPPORTUNITY!
  • Plaything - Mizu
  • Tell Your World - livetune
  • imaginary love story - Synthion

So a lot of songs I haven't heard but some classics that I love, like "Tell Your World".

The music for the show was performed by the following musicians:
  • Nao Nishimura - Keyboard
  • Yuta Sasaki - Guitar
  • Hikaru Yamamoto - Bass
  • Masafumi Eno - Drums
Miku Expo sounded like it would be really fun to watch in VR, but unfortunately I'd need to wear  my eyeglasses in order to see the mini screens in the headset. Pretty sure it would end up being a rather uncomfortable experience based upon the animated VR short I saw at Ottawa this year. Fortunately though, Miku Expo 2024 is going to be showing in Detroit, so there's a definite possibility that I'll go back to watching Miku and friends in person.

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