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OtapediaTHE END (Hatsune Miku opera)

Vocaloid Opera "THE END" was a theatrical opera that was first held on May 23, 2013, in Bunkamura, Shibuya, Japan with a second session on November 13th and 15th, in Paris, France. The opera has since been shown on theater screens around the world including the United States and Australia.
It was a collaborative effort among musician Keiichiro Shibuya, producer/playwright Toshiki Okada, and filmmaker YKBX.
It was hailed as a new form of opera in that it is without a human singer or orchestra. It is a contemporary work, full of surreal worlds and visions that offers challenging concepts and sensory overload. The impact from the one-and-a-half presentation left many in attendance awe-inspired.


The story progresses through arias and recitatives by Hatsune Miku, with sound and video all generated via computers.
The opera used 10.2 channel surround sound and seven high-resolution projectors exceeding 10,000 lumens.
The story begins with Miku realizing that she can not be human and asking the question, "Am I dead?" Her journey towards self-realization is marked with impressive visuals and intense music. It follows the traditional tragic structure of an opera such as what is death, and what marks the end, and puts Hatsune Miku as the mediator who approaches the themes in a more modern way.

Providing costumes for Hatsune Miku was esteemed Louis Vuitton's artistic director Marc Jacobs.
Based on the 2013 Spring/Summer collection, Hatsune Miku's body shape and original work were designed in accordance with her unique atmosphere in the opera, and she wears an impressive Damier costume in a modern style that shows a Hatsune Miku image that has never been seen before.

A representative of architect Rem Koolhaas's New York office was responsible for stage art.
Yuni Yoshida assisted in art direction for the key visuals that convey the story, as set out by YKBX.

The event was first held on May 23, 2013, in Shibuya, and then in November in France.
At both locations, limited edition merchandise was available for purchase such as T-shirts, CDs, and the guide for the opera, while a life-size figure of Hatsune Miku in the Marc Jacobs-provided costume was on display for all attendees.

The End

The End begins with computer-generated strings that play behind glitch-like computer noises. Miku appears on stage and faces towards the audience, as if she were aware of their presence. The dialogue is a mixture of Japanese and English with captions provided for both on the sides of the screens. With the assistance of two new characters, one an ill-tempered rabbit and the other a disfigured Miku clone, Miku is informed that she is similar to humans, and that she will eventually die. Miku struggles with this sudden realization and delves further into the world in which she lives to seek answers. The rabbit acts as a spirit guide and expands in size before leading her away from her room. She transforms into a dragon soaring through the sky while a ball of fire forms below her. Miku then enters a room filled with blinking and staring eyes. She inquires to them about what her life means. Upon its conclusion, Miku transforms into a radiant light and approaches the audience why intense music plays. The light consumes her and we are transported back to her room where she floats motionless before fading away. We do not know whether she is dead or asleep.
The opera concludes with "The End" against a pitch-black background.


The End received mostly positive reviews. Fans of opera applauded the new form of storytelling and were enamored by Miku's journey from innocence to seeking the truth about existence towards the final moments of the performance. The opera was noted for taking "us out of our comfort zones" with sequences that include diving into Miku's mouth. Japanese text speeds through on-screen with various phrases that Miku recites herself. One of the phrases, "You will die, too," had many in the audience taken aback by its directness. Some of the reviews indicate that they were initially displeased with the style of music as it did not fit traditional opera but appreciated that it did flow well with the visual presentation.


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