A Question for Yuu

So it’s been three weeks since Anime Central’s been done, and we haven’t had anything to show for it. Well, maybe a few pictures, but we have more material recorded than that but we’ve been too lazy to upload and talk about it.

Anyway, one of the highlights for me during Anime Central this year was Yuu Asakawa’s reaction when I asked her a question regarding what she would do if her job security was in danger of being compromised:

I also specifically worded my question the way I did because it’s pretty much common sense that nobody likes it when someone, or in this case, something, takes over the job they’ve spent most of their lives learning the skills required to perform it. Yuu Asakawa gave me her predictable knee-jerk response instead of actually answering it (which sucks), but I wouldn’t have asked if there wasn’t stuff already out there trying to accomplish this. One example that has been a product available in the Japanese market for a few years already is called Voiceroid, and it can perform a “good enough” job when it comes to natural-sounding dictation. As a matter of fact, there is one voice bank out there in the market today that can be either used as a Vocaloid for singing OR a Voiceroid for character dictation. The first 30 seconds of the video below shows off the prowess of Voiceroid, while the rest of it demonstrates what that same voice bank can do with Vocaloid and a skilled music composer:

The Yukari voice bank is a glimpse into the future Yuu Asakawa is deathly afraid of and fortunately for her, this attempt wasn’t as successful as when Hatsune Miku’s first voice bank was released to the Japanese market. If we learned anything from the success of Crypton Future Media’s endeavors however, all it takes to alter the landscape is to execute a clever marketing campaign in order to convince the right people into creating interesting content with Voiceroid or another similar product that can accomplish what Yuu Asakawa’s been working on for most of her career.

Perhaps when something like this does actually happen Yuu Asakawa will be able to finally tell me what she’s planning to do in this brave new world.

– Carl Dayagdag


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