This manga sort of functions like a compilation of short stories, each short story having a different setting and set of characters than the last. The only characters that are consistent between chapters are the Vocaloids (and even some of them are missing in certain chapters.)
There is a wide variation of story lines between each chapter. The plots can at times be very hard to follow, but other ones are relatively straightforward. None of them are very well written, they're amusing at best and confounding at the worst.
The art is done by the original character designer of Miku and I have to say, he(?)
does not disappoint.
However, the series is nothing beyond some decent art and some silly stories. If you're a Miku fan or you want something that's a little bit out of the ordinary, then it might be worth your time. If not, much better manga out there than this.
The artist "KEI" should be familiar to all Hatsune Miku fans. Not only is he her father/designer, he frequently draws covers for the PSP/Vita/PS3 games as well and even has art books dedicated to Miku. He made this manga with a very simple goal in mind: To please "Vocaloid" fans. And that's what he did.
The manga starts with Meiko returning from work, when she suddenly notices a green-haired chibi-girl in an orange box at the street, just like a lost kitten. Meiko returns home with her, teaches her to talk and puts on a collar (Obviously a DearS reference). A great start for a good
Every major Vocaloid characters are present here. But the catch is, they are completely out of character, every single one of them:
- Miku is overly stupid, but cute.
- Rin is a Tsundere girl.
- Len is a lazy, no-good scumbag.
- Meiko is Miku's parent, always drinking alcohol.
- Kaito is a replica of Koizumi from "Suzumiya Haruhi". Absolutely carefree.
The personalities fits extremely well though, as the "Hatsune Mix" Manga is a comedy gag-manga. When it tries to get serious or dramatic, it ends up really cheesy, proving that comedy is what fits this artist the most. Everything from the usual facial expressions to the stereotypic personalities, there's something here for everyone to love.
The art-style is very interesting too, as this is made by a very popular artist. The drawings are pretty amateurish, but shaded in such a way that it looks impressive. There is a lot of weird expressions and chibi drawings though, so you can't help to feel that mangaka is pretty lazy sometimes. It reminds more of a doujinshi from a first-timer on "Comifest".
There are only 14 chapters scanlated, but if you're a fan of Miku, it's available for purchase and as huge as a phone book for a really cheap price. If you like jokes connected with personality traits, Vocaloids, or are searching for a good manga to pass some time with, this is the right choice. If you are looking for breath-taking art or a deep story, just watch Hatsune Miku music videos instead.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interpretation of the Crypton Future Media idols: Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Megurine Luka, Meiko, and Kaito. For those who are new to the Vocaloid franchise―DO NOT read this manga before you play the Project Diva games. There are many inside jokes and references that might seem confusing if you're new to Miku and her friends' adventures as voice-synthesizer idols.
• I read the Dark Horse publication of Hatsune Mix and the back of the book introduces the manga to those who have vaguely heard of Hatsune Miku. DO NOT listen to the misleading synopsis on the back of Dark Horse's
omnibus! KEI's doujin-like interpretation of the characters are for those who already are attached to the characters and have pre-formulated opinions of them and their relationships! The Vocaloid canon is very similar to the canon of the Touhou (東方) games; all of the official character personalities are based on fan interpretation.
• The stories are told through short stories, erratic humor, and referential mayhem―causing many Japanese and otaku-based paroxysms to appear along the way; examples being things like itasha, daifuku, and even several nods to Hatsune Miku being Sega's cash-cow with the profitability of her merchandise. The meme-heavy, internet-based humor is faithful to many of the music videos that the Vocaloid franchise has released in the past like ggrks-ググれカス- ("Go Google It").
• Although KEI is a famous designer in the Project Diva sphere―I had issues with the way that the art looked in the first few chapters. The characters had large, black, beady-looking eyes and I was not a fan of it AT ALL. Towards the middle of the book, the art improves. The characters retain a more normal look and have a cute, sparkling, child-like glimmer in their expressions; and the panel layout later becomes smooth and less jarring.
• The stories were nice, laconic, and often heart-warming―like the Valentine's Day chapters. Additionally, lesser known Vocaloids like Gackt's and Kentaro Miura's love-child, Kamui Gakupo, and the famous fan-derivative, Yowane Haku (a depressed version of Hatsune Miku), both make cameo appearances in this book! As a huge fan of the "Voiceroids" (another name for unofficial Vocaloid characters), I absolutely adored the scene where Meiko goes out to drink and sees Haku at the bar!
• Overall, Vocaloid is special franchise that is not understood by the majority of people who only see Hatsune Mike's rise to fame as a weird Japanese icon that has a fixation with leeks; but underneath its veneer of superficiality there is a dedicated fanon (fan-canon) that has many different interpretations of characters that are teased in Hatsune Mix; personas that range from angsty and edgy to playful and silly―streaming together in an incredibly large pool of meta.
• The relationships between characters are teased but never explored, often left to the imagination... or a well-written fanfiction. In KEI's interpretation of Miku and Luka, there are even nods to them having romantic feelings for each other, something that has been quietly speculated about since Vocaloid's sudden burst of popularity in the 2000s. Despite my praise of the manga version, I still believe that stories of the Vocaloids are best told through musical interpretation. I believe that Hatsune Mix deserves a 6/10 because of its respect for the characters and the plethora of enjoyable references in lieu of Project Diva and the many fan interpretations that have followed.
The Maker Unofficial: Hatsune Mix is a compilation of short stories intended for comic relief for the Vocaloid admirer. Drawn and written by KEI - character designer for Crypton Future Media's Vocaloid2: Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin/Len and Megurine Luka - it is the ultimate example of "Why let good character concepts go to waste?" After all... Would you be satisfied with creating just a boxart?
Because of KEI's characters being only said five and a story being quite lacking with only 5 characters, KEI has added more of the Vocaloid family (MEIKO and KAITO being good examples). However, because they were not his design, their names
are never stated.
Begin the review:
As a long time admirer of the Vocaloid culture, finding this manga was heavenly for me. But try as I like, there were times I simply could not cope with the story(-ies). Some were cute and light hearted. Some were awkward and weird. But mostly; they were just plain outrageous.
Thumbs up if you like sillyness! Otherwise, TO THE ART!
Yes, the art in Hatsune Mix is very, very good. You can almost feel why KEI was selected by Crypton to present the boxart. It is simple yet gorgeous, two traits which I favor in manga far before heavy, overwhelming scenes.
If you need yourself a good smile or you're looking for inspiration for your fanmade Vocaloid - it's ALWAYS best to check the very heart and soul of the subject.
Let me put this simply: Vocaloid is a program. It has no personality at all, and the only thing you can judge the looks on is the boxart. Because of this fact, KEI must have had some problems with personalities. You should expect to see plenty of stereotypes, but NEVER go around saying that your favorite Vocaloid is out of character - it never had one in the first place. In the stories, however, they don't seem to be interpreted as actual human beings, but as robots of some sort. You will notice sentences like "So she's one of those Vocaloid things... Cool"
A quick list:
- Hatsune Miku: The 16 year old songstress with a vocal range human beings can only dream to match. She is insanely famous and behaves accordingly but as with the others, she is clouded in mystery, being not at all human.
- Kagamine Rin/Len: The 14 year old mirror images (Note: NOT TWINS). They portray Right and Left, and are two sides of the same coin. For this reason they are both polar opposites but inseparable nonetheless. They have a huge twin complex and cannot sing without the other.
- KAITO and MEIKO: Adult father and mother figures of the house.
Although the story was plain ridicule, this manga is a goldmine for every Vocaloid fan or producer. It gives nothing but pure enjoyment to the fandom: No special pairings or anything. It is extremely innocent, light hearted and humorous. Recommended for a late night read, a boring school day, or any time you need a little smile.
A huge 7.
Definitely a must have/read for Vocaloid enthusiasts, but maybe a slightly disappointing for a true fanatic. That is why I chop 3 off; it was fantastic, sure. But it didn't wow me in any way.
The manga attempts to do a new story each chapter. There are mangas that can do this well, but this is not one of them, each story was half baked and never really followed a real story line. A repeat story within the manga was always that the main Vocaloids, Miku, Rin and Len, were always broke. One of the recycled plots was the three of them attempting to make money in different ways, only to gather just enough money for the concert that they wanted to have, but surprise, the money is used for Meiko and Kaito’s concert. The characters were always just
all thrown in so they could all be there, there were one or two good stories, but they were far and few in between. Even the good stories tended to have recycled plots, as the good chapters often focused on the characters developing slightly as a person. The stories also had the feeling that they were just thrown in so that you could laugh at the characters or feel bad for them. For mangas that do a new story for each chapter, the chapter needs to be more than a few pages long so that the story can have a clear beginning, middle and end, without this the stories are often muddled and leave the reader confused and dissatisfied.
The art in the manga was rather good. Where the story falls flat, the art was able to make the manga at least bearable. The art was also constant; there were no times where the art would feel out of place. The characters were all different from one another, so there was no confusion between them.
I feel as though the characters were a bit underdeveloped, much like the stories. Miku was always the ditz, air headed idol, Rin the aggressive little sister, ect. These characters can appeal to many people and they could have worked better within the manga, but how they were presented made them very unappealing and made the characters feel as though they were simple stock characters, and in other words severely underdeveloped. The vocaloid characters are known, and they are known as somewhat like stock characters, but there is a way to make them feel as though they are more of original ideas. There is potential in the characters, they just need to be more thought out, they are currently more of a frame-work rather than a full character.
I did not enjoy the manga, because of the frame-work characters and the frantic stories. I found myself rushing to finish the manga just to be done with it, wanting to move onto a different manga. The art work was good and the one or two good stories that I would find every so often saved this from being a 1, but beyond that, I could not find myself enjoying the manga. I feel that if KEI had spent more time making the stories and more time making the characters a bit more realistic, than this manga would have had a lot more enjoyment in it.
This manga feels as though it was someone’s attempt to try and make some money due to Miku’s popularity. If you see the manga for sale, I would not recommend one to buy it, rather try to find it online if you’re that interested in reading it. If you want to see the art work and try to study from it, again find it online, it is not worth the money that is asked for it. There are other mangas that do the one story per chapter better and have the same characters throughout the entire story line, such as Orenchi no Furo Jijou.
Summary: About Vocaloid named Hatsune Miku and her adventures
Plot: There no say plot in this manga only filled with short stories of there adventures like one is Miku as Santa, one is spin of little mermaid etc. Just short stories no underlying plot.
Art: This art is quite different than most manga in meaning it less stylized like original manga style but still portrays the same look. Maybe a little lighter on lines and stuff. It does take some getting used to at first.
Plus at each section, the title has a type of song before each section.
a. Miku is 16 years and
loves to sing though she may get in trouble from time to time and then again sometimes she pulls through for friends.
b.Rin is 14 years girl and seems to have maybe feeling for one chan but is a strong companion when it comes to her friend and will come down on you if you do something bad.
c.Len is Rin twin brother who can be sometimes being dense to her feeling but overall is a good guy that would stick up for rin.
There are other characters but you have to read the manga to find them out and there a total section dedicated to each character profile so you don't feel left out.
Pacing: The pacing keeps things moving while not slowing you down when reading and seems to end on a joke.
sound effects: The sound effects are very well placed and never going overboard or underboard and makes you feel apart of the journey.
Fanservice: This what you have been waiting for haven't you? Well, this fairly clean manga there are a couple of times talking about girls chest and a scene that has mild nudity and some cleavage but other than that there is none.
Conclusion: This really good manga came out back in 2008 and has little fanservice and no foul language in this manga. Plus this manga is quite beefy manga so it takes a while to get through, with it being 500 pages long so take time with this manga and don't rush through it and enjoy the journey while it lasts.