For those who don’t know, a Vocaloid is a piece of voice synthesis software, specifically for singing. In 2007, the company Crypton Future Media released the first of their Character Vocal Series, Hatsune Miku. This character became incredibly popular, with tens of thousands of songs written for her in just three years,a 2010 album that debuted at the top of the Japanese charts, and even appearing as a 3D projection live in concert.
In 2011, a video featuring Hastune Miku and another vocaloid was released in which they sang about they affection for Vocaloid Kagamine Rin. This, and the producers’ conversations about how cute the character is, were the inspirations for Rin Chan Now! Vol. 1.
The lyricist for the music video, sezu, sent over 500 tweets to the video’s illustrator Hiro Tamura. Hiro says in the author’s note: “Maybe you know that you can say a lot more in a Japanese tweet than an English one…So sezu would send me all these daydreaming tweets about imagining life with Rin-chan”.
This resulted in a volume of varying length vignettes, some as simple as thinking Rin would look cute in glasses, one involving a picnic, a hike, and an expected steamroller for some reason. These are fairly cute and Rin, Miku, and the other Vocaloids seem to have distinct designs and personalities. However, for anyone not familiar with the Vocaloid phenomenon, this can be a VERY confusing introduction, despite the brief prologue that defines several of the terms and characters.
Overall, this is a cute collection of shorts and gives a peek into a fairly fully formed world. It would be even better if this resulted in subsequent manga or anime series that actually featured full-length story arcs. However, this seems to be mostly aimed at fans already familiar with the Vocaloids, not necessarily newbies.