Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat

月·西江 – or Hatsune Miku beats Jay Chou

Wow, you don’t come across Miku-chan singing a Chinese song all the time. Probably not at all in fact, given the drama that accompanied this one. But I really, really like this piece. It’s a beautiful song, very poetic, very melodically emotive, and very Chinese. I also really like the simple but effective video that accompanies it, but what surprised me most was how amazingly well Miku sang it. Her voice and tone quality was nearly perfect – just that right balance of detachment and engagement to bring out the song’s sighing, gently wistful quality. Damn, I think she did this song better than just about every Japanese song I’ve ever heard her do, though I admittedly haven’t heard many.

This piece does have a somewhat tragic story though. Apparently the author put it up on NicoNico and got flamed into eventually removing it by a horde of anti-Chinese NicoNico users. Seems like there are Japanese out there who hate the Chinese as much as some Chinese hate the Japanese, at least in NicoNico. If you have a NicoNico account you can drop by the now defunct video page here to have a peek at the carnage. Frankly, I think it’s plain ridiculous. As a chink myself I’m aware of the Sino-Japan history of conflict, and if people want to take that seriously, fine. But where is the rationale in getting hostile over a musical work – a good one at that – just because it is written in the Chinese language and performed by a Japan-invented Vocaloid?

Although I haven’t heard many Vocaloid songs I really like the Vocaloid idea and find the effects of its adoption into popular culture very interesting. And I’m very impressed at how surprisingly well a Vocaloid programmed to only pronounce Japanese syllables is able to perform a Chinese song. Of course, she doesn’t pronounce very well, but I won’t expect a regular Japanese singer to be able to do better. I’d really like to see more such experimentation with the Vocaloids. So Mr Author if you’re anywhere out there, I hope you don’t get too discouraged. And to the folks who flamed this video out of NicoNico, random kittens explode in violent despair whenever you do inexplicably unintelligent things like that. THINK OF THE KITTIES!!

Btw, yes, I haven’t walked off a cliff. I’m still battling my Final Year Project for my life and sanity though, but assuming I don’t get slain in the next one or two weeks, I have a couple of posts I’d like to write, so yeah, this blog isn’t quite dead yet :) For anyone non-chinese who might be interested, the name of the song translated is “Moon. Xi River“. I’ve contemplated translating the lyrics too, but decided against it. Poetic lyrics like these are nigh impossible to translate without completely mangling it in the process, not without some decidedly ingenious (and likely inaccurate) ad-libing anyway.

PS: yes, I do think she did this song better than Jay Chou did comparable songs.

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  1. Faved!

    It’s a pretty song, it’s a shame that our world is filled with such xenophobic asshats. I know of a handful of those sort here in america for sure, although I can’t imagine it would be as bad as Japan. I threw some of the comments in the youtube into a mechanical translator and none of them looked like flamebait so that’s good.

    Anyway, sounds like you are working hard, so good luck to you.

  2. Jason "moofang"

    Yeah the youtube comments are fine. The majority of the flaming is in the NicoNico one.

    I finally finished my final year project :3 now on to address the pile of work I pushed back thanks to it.

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