The words “toxic” and “toxicity” are often employed to describe player behavior problems in online gaming. In spite of their over-saturation within the esports lexicon, the terms themselves are apt in encapsulating how negative behavior comes in varying amounts and diffuses outward to affect other players in the same match, or even on the same team. In chemical or biological toxicology, even things that we consume every day can be toxic depending on dosage, with water being the easiest example. Figurative toxicity comes in doses as well. There’s a large gap between someone telling you to go kill yourself, and someone simply offering advice when it is neither needed nor wanted.
Gatchaman Crowds speaks of how one’s personal context directly relates to how toxic their actions can be. Hajime Ichinose stands on one side, with her bubbly personality as a panacea, and her opponent, Berg Katze, poisoning everything he touches. Put them together and one has the emotional state of the average human being, with all of the highs and lows to follow. How one acts in game is directly related to what happens to them outside of the game. Takane Enomoto of Mekaku City Actors is one such ordinary person, who also happens to be heavily invested in online gaming.
It is impossible to spend any amount of time blogging about or discussing anime on the internet without running into a mention of Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloid program. Miku’s visage is ubiquitous in many social media circles. This is thanks, in large part, to an aggressive marketing campaign from her Crypton Future Media creators, who developed her character using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3 software. Armed with a cute character design from manga artist Kei Garou, Miku exploded onto the scene with professional and amateur producers alike. Her image is peppered frequently throughout various anime, which is how I came to know of her. In spite of learning who and what she was, it never inspired me to seek out music made with the Vocaloid software.
This all changed with the recent production Mekaku City Actors. Little did I know that this series would be the catalyst for my personal descent into the world of Vocaloid.