After initially considering discussing the J-Pop producer as a sub-culture, an invisible entity propagating the industry, I found myself drawn to a link of sorts with my group assignment which explores the culture of the 100% manufactured J-Pop star Hastune Miku. We have been doing research into the production programs used to create her, both animation and vocaloid software and not being independently wealthy I was investigating free options for the vocaloid software. Vocaloid software enables the user to create an artificial singer by either downloading packs, (Hatsune Miku being amongst the most popular) or alternatively turning yourself into one through recording phrases. In investigating free options I came across someone asking for similar help on Yahoo. The answers to the question gave me an intriguing glimpse into the sub-culture of people who use the software. I was taken aback at how vehemently they defended buying the software and actively dissuaded against downloading it illegally as programs known as pocaloids. One response explained that it was a major issue if you wanted to join the community through use of a pocaloid and the serious ramifications of exporting and publishing content from a pocaloid if you are discovered, which seemed to be quite severe online discrimination. This user linked me to a forum where the community is strongly based simply entitled the vocaloid wikia,where I had the opportunity to explore pocaloids further.
I was initially presented with this banner at the top of the page, but as stated was nonetheless given a detailed description of the illegal software and presented with strong discussion at the foot of the article. It seems however that the community is quite welcoming however if you take the honourable path with detailed instructions and help in getting started with vocaloids. These instructions were in English as well which is important, as it was only recently that they introduced English versions of the software, originally in Japanese only.
It is interesting that I was so confronted by this discussion on illegally downloading programs, a practice which wasn’t discouraged to such an extent in my experiences with similar software until this point. Perhaps it is because of a sense of professionalism that I found in investigating the community. I have also concluded that it might be because the phenomenon is at an earlier stage of exclusivity, the programs having a high cost? Or perhaps the noted importance of the commercial potential of the content produced? These questions definitely warrant a further investigation in our group assignment.