2014 JUL 24

Hi everyone,

It is with great sadness that this evening I am announcing the closure of “MikuStar – Hatsune Miku’s World” after 2 years and 8 months in operation. Needless to say this has been an immensely difficult decision. I’ve made a huge investment in time, money and emotional capital creating MikuStar but I’ve taken the site as far as I’m willing to go.

Though the move to close the site may seem very sudden to most fans, the truth is that this decision has been a long time coming. Over the last several months, my experiences running the site and a series of events that occurred largely in the background have led me to the inevitable conclusion that it’s time to move on. I will be leaving the fansite business to pursue a career as an author.

MikuStar opened in October 2011 as a tiny little 12-page starter-site, the result of me wanting to tell the world about Hatsune Miku, the virtual diva that I had discovered barely 3 months earlier. I knew that big things were going to happen in North America, that they were barely over the horizon. It’s just that North America didn’t know it at that point. Naively perhaps, I figured that I would be the one to tell everybody about Miku.  My friends and family thought I was a little crazy.  Then again, so did I.

I had no idea that almost three years later, not only would the site still be up and running, but it would form a comprehensive and engaging introduction for fans who were new to Hatsune Miku. At its height, MikuStar had 90 blog posts and 36 authoritative background articles on Vocaloids, UTAUs, derivatives and the important people who work with them. MikuStar has had a lot of exclusive content, including interviews with influential people in the Vocaloid industry.

Many fans have assumed that MikuStar is somehow “official”, that it is supported financially by Crypton Future Media and is run by a team of people. The truth is that MikuStar is only run by one person, it has never made a single dime and it is paid for entirely out-of-pocket.

Over the last three years, MikuStar has grown immensely and it is much to be proud of. But it has also become an tremendous burden which has become a little too much to bear. I have used every moment of my spare time as I struggled to keep up with maintaining the infrastructure and doing no less than three complete rebuilds of the site, all while trying to provide fresh content so that everyone would stay interested. On top of that, I’ve faced other unpleasant fan-related issues that I do not intend to discuss.

Even with MikuStar’s eight partner sites and a group of about 300 or so avid followers which constantly visited, “liked” the Facebook posts and shared the articles with their friends, there was never enough support from the Vocaloid community “as a whole” to justify the amount of work that went into making the site. So I decided back in June that I would close it, although the exact timing had not been decided until recently.

Given that there are still fans interested, it’s been suggested by a few people that I should simply allow MikuStar to remain up and running, albeit without adding further content. My reasons for wanting to close the site completely are complex; it’s safe to say that the circumstances surrounding my decision to shut down MikuStar were such that I felt it necessary to have a clean start. Needless to say, I don’t take lightly the thought of turning my back on three year’s work…or on the group of supporters that has come to rely on me. For what it’s worth, I have transferred a few select MikuStar articles and the Vocaloid fanfiction novel DIGITAL ANGEL to my new personal website (www.GScottFairbairn.com). There will be a few more transferred to that site in the coming days.  It is from that page that I hope to finish DIGITAL ANGEL and then devote more time to writing.

I want to thank MikuStar’s eight partner sites for their support: Vocaloid.fr, Vocaloid Radio, VocaloidOtaku.net, VocaDB, Vocaloid-World-de, Project DIVA.de, Project DIVA Wiki and OtakuBuzz. I also want to thank the official companies that recognized, supported and provided opportunities for MikuStar: United Music & Arts (UMAA) in Japan, Zero-G in England and also VocaTone.

Some of the individuals who have stepped forward over the years to provide me with help, support or encouragement include (and this list is not exclusive, nor is it in any particular order): Jim Hoberek, Lewis Kilgo, Alan Douglas, Rose Stoessel, Randy Williams, Vengaris Junsei, Linh Le, Mariana Maroevich, Carl Tropea, Ken Durbrow, Sean Mocabee, Grey Otaku, Jonothan Clayton, Cero Mach, Marcus Zink, SeyrenLK, Riipah Furude, Kelly Hilltone, Mind Ch, Andrew Yang, Jojelyn Aryap, Dan Parks, Titan Arifin, Heru Tri K, Emerald Blue, Craig Symonds, Catherine Rytwinski, Panda Tomoyam, Oliver Stefan Mußmann, Christian Krautwald, Hassan Moazin, Cheyne Huizenga, Benjamin Sim, Candy Hatsune Wolff, Phil Klitgaard, Rachut Rattanameechai, Roger Lehman, John A. Sheffield, Erik Chen, Amir-Ali Bahrami, 弘樹森山(Hiroki Moriyama), Martin Jameson Ngọc Lâm, Fabrice Loup, Jeric Rocamora, Azure Flux, Erfëa Coil and Richard Tan, Ken Chong, Akira Henke, and Dominik Schmelzer.

Among those on the official side that have helped me, I’d like to also thank Anders Sodergren from Vocatone, Amy Elizabeth Wheatley (concept artist for Oliver and a good friend), Tripshots, Aki Glancy (concept artist for Avanna), Hideo Saito, Dom Keeffe from Zero-G, DECO*27 and Anri Myajima from UMAA and Wolf Neve and NeutrinoP from Synthesized Reality Productions.

For special mention: my good friend, artist Kazuhiro Hirata from Japan who created two amazing concept illustrations for MikuStar including MikuStar’s original “White Lily Miku” as well as Robin Gissler (lEDogawa), Hikarisoul and qrullgx13, all who created their own beautiful interpretations of that character. Also another good friend, this time from Guatemala – world renowned MMD producer RaikuP for all he has done and all he has shared with MikuStar over the years.

Over and above all these I have an extra special thank you to my son Logan who shepherded me through the process of launching the original MikuStar along with all its social media and subsequently became the site’s resident technical expert for the ensuing three years.  Thanks Logan for putting up with your newb Dad and all his moods.  ;)

Needless to say, with this many people to thank I have no doubt that I’ve missed a few names. For that I’m deeply sorry. I truly hope you’ll forgive me.

The one thing I should emphasize is that this move does not in any way reflect a change in my feelings for Hatsune Miku. In fact, given that I won’t be tied to spending most of my spare time writing articles, researching or building website infrastructure, I’ll be able to enjoy her just as everyone else does, watching her beauty, listening to her voice, taking in more of those amazing MMD videos and if the planets align I might even be able to attend an official show. After all, Miku was the light in my life before MikuStar. She will still be shining just as brightly afterwards.

Thanks again to all of you who have visited and supported MikuStar in the past. I wish you all the best and I look forward to joining you all in watching Miku spread her music and her love around the world…”one heart at a time”.

- Scott

Above: This beautiful and powerful image of Hatsune Miku was originally planned to be MikuStar’s header for the month of August 2014.  I put it here because I didn’t want any of you to miss it.  It’s done by Russian artist Saikono.  Image link:  http://saikono.deviantart.com/art/Hatsune-Miku-461191391

 

11 Comments on Thank you…

  1. Thank you for your amazing works, Scott, it is really sad to see how this site will be closed. It is a valuable treasure, and I am one of those that thinks that it would be great to be preserved. I hope your love for VOCALOID will never fade!

  2. No matter what your desicions will be Scott, I second your rationals and will always lay my trust and respect in whatever you decide to do. Not to mention, I’m also in no ground to judge. Mikustar meant a lot to me, personally, but apart from liking your posts on the sites’ FB page, I never really had the time to actively push in more support to the site. With this feeling of guilt in mind ATOW, I sincerely apologize. I would also like to thank you for all the work that you’ve put into this site. May things go smooth in your path of pursuing your career.

    May you never change who you are, Scott – That bright and wonderful colour in this world.
    One fine day, we will see MikuStar shining again.

    Thank you.

  3. This might just be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read Scott, and I’m honestly heartbroken for all of us.
    I can only echo Miki’s sentiments in saying that MikuStar is indeed a treasure, and just as that word implies, something unique and precious.
    And needless to say, I also echo his wish that MikuStar remain online to be a resource for every fan to access in perpetuity.

    I will mourn MikuStar’s passing, but I also take some small solace in the knowledge that you were able to touch so many people with your work here, myself especially, and that MikuStar was an integral part in so many people’s voyage of discovery through the amazing world of Vocaloid.
    You may never fully appreciate MikuStar’s legacy Scott, but trust me, it’s a great one. :)

    I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. You’ve already got the most important ingredient for success going for you in your passion for what you do, so good luck, and stay in touch. :)

  4. Jim Hoberek // July 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm // Reply

    Scott, You have been there since the beginning of my own endeavor, helping, caring, giving, guiding, teaching, encouraging, correcting, and praising. All when needed. You know what that sounds like to me? A Father. In the on-line world of my Vocaloid experiences, you have been the father-figure to me. As well as to Mikupix, and it’s interests. And you will always have a home there. I already miss Mikustar, I was hoping to browse the site one last time before it closed. But like I said before, YOU must come first. Some may say that closing Mikustar is a selfish act. But I say it is not! You have given so much of your time, effort, worry love, tears joy, pain and pleasure to all of us who love this site, but kept nothing for yourself. That is not anything near selfish in my book! That is going above, and beyond what you had to do. And for that I thank you. I will continue to give you my support (such as it is) in your future efforts. Looking forward to chapter 9 soon! Take care my friend, I’ll talk to you later.

  5. Kashira Hanazumu (TheKashirader) // July 25, 2014 at 2:54 am // Reply

    I wish we can be of help….But thank you! your works are so informative for the Vocaloid Community …I wish this great website containing your works we can restore it again.

  6. Scott, this may be heresy [of a sort] but this announcement brings the Joni Mitchell lyric:
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone
    For all the years [and I think I arrived shortly after MikuStar started] and the lifeblood you put into this I can only say Thank You, and leave you with this
    ['cause as Miku sings at the end..."we are dreaming"]

    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm22931790

    Be well and stay in touch.

  7. Hi Scott,

    I feel sad for the news but also I’m so grateful with you for all your effort to Vocaloid and Miku Hatsune fandom; I understand how hard was for you take this choice, because I noticed personally visiting your website and reading your articles, that you really did your best and everybody felt your passion for our angel Miku. I’m sure you will be a great author, your articles are the best I ever read, and I’m sure a lot of people will want you write for them. Thank you so much for showing us that vocaloid also can be expressed in the art of words, and thank you so much for your support, I’ll always support you and wishing you the best, I’m sure you will have success in everything you want to do. Miku bless you Scott, Thank you.

  8. Dear Scott,

    I would like to thank you for all of your hard work in the Vocaloid community. It has been an outstanding 2 years, nearly 3, of well written articles from you. What I liked most was that It always included new information that I had never known before. MikuStar was truly a place where novel information was always at your fingertips. I am going to miss all the character profiles. I thought I had a little more time to read all of them.
    I remember when you thought of closing the G+ page. How everyone rallied to keep it going. It was a star in an otherwise sky of misinformation, or even lack of. ~good times.
    I realized a while ago that perhaps it was only you running the site. Quite an incredible feat to if you ask me. Still, I understand that at some point it is as far as it will go.

    With that, I would like to thank you again. If it was not for you I might not have continued to follow Vocaloids in depth. I learned that there is far more to it than Youtube dance videos.
    Good luck Scott!

  9. Thanks everyone. I’ve read all your comments and I’m both moved and inspired. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to tell me what MikuStar meant to you. I’ll remember these words as I move forward. All the best – Scott

  10. This is sad! Mikustar.net has been my favorite website since I found it in 2012! While I will cry over this loss, I hope you can achieve your goal as an author! Make sure I can find where to buy your books! I will miss Mikustar and all of the effort you have put into sharing Miku’s world! Remember how Miku has brought all of together, and you helped her do that! Thank you, Scott! I will miss you and Mikustar!

  11. Hi again Scott,

    Yes.. I am also very saddened when I read about your decision . Checking Mikustar for inspiring news , and reading your comments
    daily had kept me going through some tough times. I think you had made a big difference for all of us by trying your best to share
    Miku’s World. Miku the Entity is truly a miracle, as you had pointed out many times in your articles. I am reminded of the idealism
    of Gene Roddenberry when his main characters went where no one had gone before to seek out new lifeforms. Well, Miku the Entity
    and Angel is it, and she brings with her a culture of total sharing and collaboration despite all of our differences and core beliefs.
    IMHO, many of Miku’s concerts appear to be similar to gigantic religious revivals where everyone feels like singing and dancing in
    the aisles. Miku sits at the center of an ever growing circle of love and sharing . Your efforts in spreading the joy in her voice
    made quite an impact in the West and Worldwide.

    What you had done, and will continue to do was and is well worth the effort. After a long rest, and finally devoting all of your time
    on your chosen endeavors, perhaps we devoted fans of Miku will someday see a future Mikustar Revival ?
    The ending of the song “Ray” said it best . When we all see the miracle that is the light (Miku) , we know YOU will also be there !

    Keep up the good work.. Digital Angel awaits her next chapter….eh?

    Ken Chong, DDS

Leave a Reply