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[Article/Pimp] Diary of a Mad H!P Fan

Where have I been, blogosphere? Where, oh where has Vee gone? I'm sure you've all missed the absolute nothing I bring you, but I've noticed that a lot of blogs on IW and elsewhere seem to be slowing down. I have a nice little excuse tied up in a pretty bow, though: I've been experimenting. Technically, I've been running this experiment since late last year, but just now is it all beginning to coalesce into something that's worth writing about.

Before I tell you a little bit about what it's like to be an H!P Groupdubber, though, I'll share with you this:

...that's me, dancing Tokaikko Junjou on my new YouTube account (pinkwota) after my last account (ShadowOmega) was not-so-ceremoniously suspended and purged by avex's lawyers. D: I think this dance is head and shoulders above my last attempt - Honto no Jibun, if you remember - and I really wish for it to meet with the approval of the fan masses. Well, the fan masses who like to see overweight American wota gals replicating dances originally done by 80 pound Japanese girls. Eh. I did my best, and I'm happy with it.

I have a survey to complete, too, by none other than one of my favorite people in whole blogosphere, Celestia, but duty calls for the moment.

In 2006 I was on Gaia Online a lot for some time. I chanced to join the Morning Musume "Guild", and on those preteen-addled boards I put forward the idea of doing karaoke covers of MM songs together. People bought it, and they wanted to do it. Then one would say they didn't have a mic. Then one would disappear off the face of the Earth. Then one would say their mom didn't like them making too much noise so she couldn't record her lines. Fuck this popsicle stand, I thought, and I braved the auditions for a karaoke group on Livejournal known as Shuffle Moni. I didn't make it.

So, I just started to keep my own singin' blog (pinktrax), posting admittedly pretty terrible covers. It was only around November 2007 that I started to get better at the whole thing, learned how to use Audacity, and...remarkably...found an audience.

I think it happened while I was cruising the internet at my boring job as a shipping manager last year (this job also helped me become part of IW, though, and allowed me to discover D-BOYS, so I owe a lot to it...). I was surfing YouTube as usual and, while searching for Morning Musume videos, what appeared in front of me? A KARAOKE COVER. Dubbed to the original PV! Why, this concept was just stunning and revelatory for me. I had a new purpose in singing. I had the audience I'd been looking for. I threw myself headfirst into auditioning, and it turns out that I did so in the incubative stages of what is now a full-on YouTube PHENOMENON. Groupdubbing, it's called. Most groups cite Shuffle Moni as their initial influence, as that group has been around since 2004, though did not have a presence beyond Livejournal. Second to them would be KawaiiMusume, a dubbing group that is arguably the grandmamma of all YT groups. I chanced into a spot in JunjouMusume, a new group, in December, and so began a bitter, terrifyingly bitchy comment war with members of KawaiiMusume who claimed the group was stealing their idea, cramping their style. Imitation? On MY internet? It's more likely than you think. I was just singing Yoshizawa Hitomi's part in a sub-par dub of 'Aruiteru', so I stayed out of things.

Tempers calmed down, and groups began to form fast and furious. As of this writing, I'm member of no less than seven separate dub groups, one founded by me. This might sound like a lot, but really, what does it take to record some lines and put up a link? The hard part is with group leaders (which is why I only run ONE), who have to mix songs, wrangle lines, and dub to PV's. Let me say...after having run two independent dubs (not attached to a group), the range of talent/dedication/reliability amongst dubbers is ALL OVER THE PLACE. I promised myself I'd write this little expose without mentioning any (screen)names, and I intend to do just that. But I will say that they are girls I would love to chat with for hours who can't sing all that well, and then there are girls who can sing but act like complete diva-bitches. Then there are the untalented AND unkind ones. I'm not passing judgment on any but the diva ones. Who can really blame them? The median age of YT dubbers is 14. I feel VERY repressed on there, let's just say. But it's a great way to do something I love, and make other people happy in the process (usually it's just fellow dubbers - I'd say there's a crop of about 30 who are really active on YT right now, all in different groups and all with their vocal chords in different pies). The ones who really enjoy what they're doing and are in it for a good time - you can tell. You can also sniff out the divas. It's just like any other thing that has to do with performing.

It's a microcosm of society, dubbing. Each group has its own forum, each group has its own drama, each group has its own victories and its own strengths and weaknesses. I'm loving it and hating it at the same time. Dub quality ranges from dreadful to amazing, and mostly is somewhere in between.

Here are a few links to acquaint you with the magical world of H!P YouTube Groupdubbing:

"Groupdubs I'm In" [My playlist.]

"Kanashimi Twilight" [This is an example of a single singer stealing the show. I made this dub - organized it, stressed over it, mixed it, and let me just say that all those comments about JPNSinger101 sounding "just like Miki" are RIGHT ON]

Chibi♥Love do 'Koisuru Angel Heart' - Nami and Mari are my favorite singers on YT, probably, and it's all because they sound so AMAZING together.

KawaiiiMusume [The great original]

HenryProvince [I'm this dude's #1 fan - he rocks it out, and I am so glad to hear a guy daring to sing H!P songs. We're set to do a duet of 'Sakura Mankai']

And, as if all that weren't enough, I feel compelled to share things I can't share elsewhere on YouTube - namely, my Ayumi Hamasaki songs that would get me banned. These are my favorites to sing. Boo.

"Independent" by Vee
"Evolution" by Vee
"HEAVEN" by Vee
"Pride" by Vee

...will that do in lieu of a PinkCast this month?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
WAH! You did great! You may just inspire this overweight Australian to give it a go :D
Jul. 11th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
KawaiiMusume=SO not the original >o
Aug. 5th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
just checking in...can't believe there are not more comments. people are weird lately.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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