The other day I was riding the train to the suburbs of Tokyo with a colleague to pick up some cuts for the show in production, and on the train I saw this (maybe junior high?) girl reading a book.

Now, I thought, what can make a kid read nowadays? I can rely on my own experiences in the matter even less that with other stuff, since when I was junior high age, my favorite book was (drums, please) Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Note that wouldn’t change until I discovered Neil Gaiman after I entered university.

Anyway, the point is I got curious about what she was reading. I’m pretty sure I freaked her out in the process, as I guess my eyes fixed in her direction (as I was trying to figure out what the book’s title was from the other side of the train) isn’t exactly reassuring (remember we’re talking about a bearded foreigner in Japan).

But after a while of glaring and googling, I figured out that she was reading the Bookmark of Demise (終焉の栞) light novel. I never even heard about it before, but that’s nothing to be surprised about considering the sheer amount of light novels on the market (and my lack of interest in them). Apparently it’s part of the eponymous project ran by a Vocaloid producer and team.

This rang a bell. I’ve heard about something like that before: Kagero Project. That’s centered around a dojin musician utilizing Vocaloid to tell the stories of characters through songs, light novels, manga, and as of this season, anime (Mekakucity Actors).

Made me wonder if this is the new (?) trend out there. With the advance of technology, even very few people can now create complete multimedia franchises like that, even without any significant involvement of major labels etc (underground-online). To be honest, I don’t know of any other such projects, but I’d sure be interested to check some out if I got recommendations.