Origin of Black Rock Shooter: How Hatsune Miku got her groove on.


As a history major it has always been important for me to look at all the agents and the series of events that led to the culmination of an outcome. In this post, I will be talking about an upcoming anime, scheduled for January 2012, titled Black Rock Shooter, stylized as ブラック★ロックシューター in Japanese.

Typically anime are based on manga or originally created. More recently since the boom in the late 80s, anime started to broaden its base of creation, ranging from light novels to games to even pachinko (yeah, that’s you, Rio Rainbow Gate…) Considering what I have mentioned, Black Rock Shooter is an original even in its origin.

To understand how Black Rock Shooter came about, we need to go back in time. I will set 2007, for the upcoming Black Rock Shooter anime series, as its the birth year. Why 2007? Because everything happened in 2007 for Black Rock Shooter.

My attempt at Black Rock Shooter

In the summer of 2007, Cypton Future Media released a vocaloid software based on the Yamaha Vocaloid singing synthesizer. What made this event significant was that Crypton had utilized an originally created anime-style character to market the product. This product was titled Character Vocal Series 01 Hatsune Miku.

Meanwhile, across the Tsugaru Straights and in Kansai region, a man by the name of Yutaka Yamamoto had just recently been fired from Kyoto Animation. Yamamoto had been a veteran at Kyoto Animation and had been the director for Lucky Star and had only finished working on the first four episodes. Having climbed corporate ladder at Kyoto Animation, Yamamoto had previously been credited for choreographing the dance sequence for the famous ending theme for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as the series producer and had finally got his directorial debut with Lucky Star. Despite this setback, in the summer of 2007, Yamomoto was quickly on his feet and established Ordet, his very own animation studio in Osaka, about an hour ride on the train from his former employer.

Near the end of 2007, in the vastness of the Internet, an amateur song writer with the handle name of Ryo started tinkering with the Hatsune Miku vocaloid software. On December of 2007, ryo uploaded his original song, Melt, to the Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video share site much like Youtube. Ever since Hatsune Miku was released, many fan artists started to produce vast amount of fan art based on the character. So, for ryo’s first video song upload, he included fan arts but did so without giving credit to this artist. Incidently, this turned out to be a crucial event as what started as a correspondence of apology to the artist, culminated into the creation of a doujin (fan art, to be general) music group now known as Supercell.

Some, if not most of you, may know of Hatsune Miku and the character’s popularity. From this point on, I will refer to Hatsune Miku as a character and not the software.

[note: I’ve retained the Japanese form for first and last name order for Hatsune Miku due to it being a product.]

Non sequitur Dead Master

In 2008, inspired by an illustration of Hatsune Miku as a warrior of sort, clad entirely in black with a giant gun by the artist of handle name Huke, Ryo created the titular song, Black Rock Shooter, again using the vocaloid Hatsune Miku. Huke soon joined Supercell and his illustration was featured in the first music video for Black Rock Shooter uploaded unto Nico Nico Douga.

In 2010, strangely enough, Nagaru Tanigawa, the author of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, collaborated on the production of the 50 minute OVA of Black Rock Shooter produced by Yamamoto’s Ordet with music by Ryo using Huke’s character designs. Thus, all the elements for the foundation was set for the upcoming series.

At the moment of this writing, the 8-episode Black Rock Shooter is scheduled to be featured in the Noitamina late evening anime programming block for Fuji TV in January of 2012. With the exception of Nagaru Tanigawa, all of the collaborators from the OVA will be returning for the series. This will be Ordet’s first fully credited production series and the three main characters will be voiced by Kana Hanazawa, Miyuki Sawashiro, and Kana Asumi as Black Rock Shooter, Dead Master, and Strength, respectively.

You may have noticed that I have not mentioned anything about the content of the show itself. Well, that’s for you to find out, eh? If you have already seen the OVA, you will finally be able to figure things out as the OVA left the audience in the dark on just about everything.

Don't let this image fool you, the show is much more badass.

Action scenes are something to this level.

Nonetheless, the action sequence is promising to be quite dazzling. If the series retain what the OVA had on the level of artistry and action, this show will definitely be a success. Okay, readers, this is when you open up your favorite video sharing site and start watching the original black rock shooter music video.

That is all for now. I hope you will be able to join me for my pre-pre-pre-preview of the last episode of One Piece, which I am guessing will happen in about 20 years. Stay tuned.


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