That’s right, Kasane Teto, practically the figurehead of the UTAU fandom, will be in Project Diva as a playable character!
I figured I’d go ahead and share my thoughts and feelings on this, though I’ve yet to play any of the PD games (not for lack of wanting) since they’re pretty mixed. On one hand, I’m super excited for Project Twindrill and Teto for being included in this, on the other… well, continue reading.
This event pretty much solidifies Crypton’s support of UTAU, and of Teto, which is both good and bad. If you’re wondering the negative repercussions, just look at people’s reaction after Crypton/KarenT posted news of the Graduation from Lie CD: “OMG! TETO-CHAN IS VOCALOID NOW?!?!!!”
When that’s completely not the case. And it won’t be until certain things come to pass, if they ever do.
Teto, unlike other fanmades recognized by Crypton, has her own voice used in a software SEPARATE from Vocaloid itself. Her counterparts Haku and Neru, as well as Sakine Meiko, Hachune, and Tako Luka, lack “officially set” voices or Vocaloid voicebanks, and are merely character derivatives of existing Crypton series Vocaloids. Haku and Neru are typically Miku (or Rin, in Neru’s case) voice-edits (if they have a voice at all), and the other three are easy enough to guess.
Teto is different in that she is an UTAU, but her IMAGE (design, art, etc.) is not by default connected to the UTAU software in any way. Ameya, the programmer of the UTAU software, does not “own” her image. Twindrill, the team that develops her voicebanks, owns her image and apparently has either collaborated or has licensed it to Sega/Crypton for Project Diva. Does this make her a Vocaloid?
Teto’s voicebank is still UTAU-only. Until she gets a commercially developed voicebank for the Vocaloid synthesizing engine, she will REMAIN as such. It is only her image that is connected to Crypton through both Project Diva and KarenT, her voice remains useable in freeware. Vocaloid is its own software, therefore calling Teto a Vocaloid because her image is being used in a Vocaloid game is like calling Mario a Pokemon because he was in Super Smash Bros. with Pikachu and Lucario.
Now, facts aside, this honestly has me a little worried. I don’t think Twindrill plans at all to have Teto become a Vocaloid (as in commercial voicebank using Yamaha’s engine and all), nor do I think that she could easily become one at all, considering a legal mess it would create for copyright of Oyamano Mayo’s voice (she’s Teto’s voice source). But it sure opens the door for a lot of fandumb and makes me a bit apprehensive. It’s quite an accomplishment for a character related to the UTAU freeware, but I’m just not so sure I’m ready to accept a Teto contracted in any way to Crypton just yet. Call me a stick in the mud or a purist or a hipster, but it feels really, really weird to see this happening.
tl;dr – Teto’s still not a Vocaloid yet, get the fuck over it.