Thinking of an Opera brings an image of pristine costumes, elaborate backdrops and possibly a large orchestra. But what about when an Opera contains no people, no orchestra, but none other than Hatsune Miku?
“The End”, is an Opera containing no humans, no orchestra, just Hatsune Miku and her “rabbit” friend, Yuru-Chara. It debuted in 2013. Other characters include “Eyes”, and in the start, there is a shot of a Miku-like alien, the only way I can describe it, who Yuru-Chara describes as an almost “Miku-Wannabe”. It was created by Keiichiro Shibuya, who created the music, and Toshiki Okada, who wrote it, and the team brought Hatsune Miku to the eyes of the crowd in Japan and even Paris. This incredible, 90 minute long Audio-Visual spectacle had costumes designed by Louis Vuitton and Graphics by YKBX.
The plot of this Opera is ambitious to say the least – It focuses on a fictional beings’ urge to discover the meaning to life. Our Protagonist questions “What is Death?” and it leads on to “What is the meaning of being alive?”. Subsequently, there is a prominent theme of death within it. It focuses on Miku getting to a realization everyone dies, and so will she. It truly makes you consider these questions yourself. It goes from question to question in quite a confusing story line, occasionally going off topic, I felt.
In the show, Miku is the same 16-year-old singer she has always been. Blue pigtails, and seemingly pretty innocent. As mentioned she spends the duration of the show questioning her life, life in general, and death. Yuru-Chara on the other hand, is portrayed as a rabbit-like creature, cute and all, who helps Miku come to terms with the significant rite of passage, death.
The music of the show had a basic and straightforward approach, with the same tune being carried throughout. It has such a full sound to it. But I cannot disagree with the beautiful soundtrack to it. Assorted sounds are added to give it a more mysterious feel. Being the core of the show, the musical aspect did not disappoint, with songs such as Aria for Time and Space, Aria for the end and Aria for death. The Characters had magnificent voices, Miku has her general high pitched voice, Yuru-Charas being a cute, innocent-sounding voice with bad Japanese grammar.
The Visuals of the show were projected in a cube, with holograms like Mikus’ concerts. Mikus’ appearance varies throughout the concert, going from her numerous costumes, to shots of her hair, and even eyeballs flying around. It is truly eye-catching, especially in the climactic musical number. The Prodigious visuals display Miku and the other characters perfectly, thanks to YKBX.
The subtitles in the show were accurate, but since the show is in Japanese, an English dub was also added. I felt this was a horrible addition to the show and a real negative point, the subtitles were enough, and the English dub and multiple voices got confusing sometimes. Not only this but the English voice dragged on with no definition to it, and it did not match the subtitles.
Not only this, but at the theaters the show debuted at, a life-sized Miku figure was also produced.
To conclude, this show portraying Mikus’ paradox of existence is an once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that you do not want to miss. Personally, it gave me a new way to look at the world, as Okada wrote it so flawlessly. It also helps you to consider Mikus’ life differently too. I would definitely love to see this show, and I have only seen it on YouTube. If you cannot make it to a live event, be sure to watch it here.
Also, you can download the soundtrack, here on MikuDb – http://mikudb.moe/album/atak020-the-end/