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Xingchen (Simplified Chinese: 星尘; Traditional Chinese: 星塵), also known in English as Stardust , is a Chinese VOCALOID developed by Shanghai HENIAN Information Technology Co. Ltd., in collaboration and distributed by Beijing Photek S&T Development Co., Ltd. for the VOCALOID4 engine in April 2016. She is the first VOCALOID for the Voicebank Customize Project and was later part of the Medium⁵ cast.[1]

In March 2019, it was confirmed that she may receive English and Chinese voicebanks for Synthesizer V depending on the differences between the new voicebanks and the VOCALOID voicebank. If the difference is too great, the voicebanks would be known as ZERO instead.[2] She was finally announced for Synthesizer V Studio as Xingchen Infinity in late August 2021.[3]

She is voiced by Chalili (茶理理; Chálǐlǐ), a Chinese utaite.[4]

Concept

Xingchen was originally a mascot for the doujinshi group and series Quadimension.[5]

According to the Quadimension 3 album artbook and November's design concepts, Xingchen is capable of flying to Earth by using her hair. However, it was noted that she does not necessarily need to flap her hair while flying in space.[6]

Her birthday is August 12.[7] She is listed as a Leo.

One of the most prominent aspects for Xingchen's character and design is that she carries a yellow star tetrahedron (also known as a "double tetrahedron"). This shape is also present on the left corner of her dress and as the third stroke of "星" in her logo. The star tetrahedron represents the human body, heaven and earth, or aether, and is a shape found in Metatron's Cube.[8] This may be an influence to her design and name. In the artbook for Fairytale released in 2019, the attribute for the star tetrahedron was labelled as "sacred" or "holy" (神圣).[9]

In March 2019, Xingchen was revealed to be part of the Medium⁵ cast and was one of the girls who derived from a single being known as ZERO who possessed Metatron's Cube.[10] It was noted that out of all five derivatives, Xingchen looked and sounded the most like ZERO.

Etymology

Her name, Xingchen (星尘; Xīngchén), means "Stardust" in Chinese. "Stardust" is her official English name as it appears on her boxart, numerous promotional material, and is utilized on her official social media accounts.

She was originally known as "Quadimensionko".

Appearance

Xingchen's initial VOCALOID design was based on her original Quadimensionko concept. There were notable minor changes as she was given a skirt, shorter pigtails on the lower side of her head, and a different top. This design was drawn by November.

However, due to the Chinese fans' worries about her appearance looking similar to Hatsune Miku, Xingchen was later redesigned.[11] Her final design was drawn by ideolo but was conceptualized by November. Her quad-tail hairstyle was still kept but worn in a different way. She also wore a new one-piece dress and her arm-warmers were replaced with long gloves.

Xingchen's quad-tail hairstyle was created to represent "Quadimension".[12]

Relations

History

Xingchen was originally conceptualized as "Quadimensionko", a mascot for the Quadimension doujinshi album series and group.[13] She was later renamed to "Xingchen" upon announcement of her VOCALOID4 voicebank production, which was developed by Shanghai HENIAN Information Technology Co. Ltd. in collaboration with Beijing Photek S&T Development Co., Ltd. (then known as "Quadimension"). Throughout her development and time as a VOCALOID, Xingchen received a complete redesign and a character biography. She was later noted to be a part of MEDIUM5.

2019

On March 28, 2019, Ddickky posted on Weibo that two Xingchen voicebanks were being planned for Synthesizer V. These voicebanks were labelled as "Xingchen/ZERO English" and "Xingchen/ZERO Chinese", as the character would be determined based on the differences between the new voicebanks and Xingchen's original VOCALOID voicebank. If the differences were too great, the voicebanks would be known as ZERO rather than Xingchen.[14] However, due to contractual issues with Chalili, Xingchen's voice provider, Xingchen could not be produced for another voice synthesizer engine for the time being, greatly delaying Beijing Photek's Synthesizer V plans for her. Instead, another character was created with a similar, yet villainous image to Xingchen, which led to the release of Xingchen Minus, who was instead voiced by Sawako Sui Hua Zi.

2021

On June 19, 2021, Ddickky noted that he would like to create a "Xingchen Infinity" voicebank that would be made for Synthesizer V AI, but could not due to well-known reasons. He was looking for solutions to the issue.[15] On August 13, Ddickky posted the VOCALOID contract for Xingchen to bilibili. At the time, Beijing Photek was discussing the matters with Shanghai HENIAN, working towards having the contract revoked.[16] This voicebank was announced to be in production on August 25, with three conceptual designs revealed. The company announced they were looking for feedback and design proposals from fans.[17]

Marketing

On September 26, 2015, an illustration contest for Xingchen's official artbook was launched and ended in December. Prizes were available to all who participated. Art pieces needed to tag Xingchen's official Weibo page or be sent in to the email address provided.[18] The winners were revealed on January 2, 2016: ORRY Miao, COCYTOPIA, KYURITIZU, Sida, and Lanbaba. They received gold phone straps of Xingchen, a place within the artbook, and payment. Chinese runner ups received silver phone straps, while overseas runner ups received a digital copy of Xingchen's artbook. No physicals were available for the overseas contestants due to shipping costs. The artbook consisted of 30 to 40 pages.[19]

Quadimension asked the fans for suggestions about the name for the official debut album and artbook. The artbook was later named "银河美术馆" (Yínhé Měishù Guǎn / Gallery of the Galaxy) while the album was named Star Wish.[20]

A figure was announced to be showcased at Wonder Festival on February 17, 2016.[21] The finished product was revealed in August 2016 and was made available for preorder on August 29.[22]

Voicebanks

Xingchen
Xingchen is a youthful, deep-toned female vocalist built for Mandarin Chinese.

Reputation

Reaction

When Xingchen was first announced as a VOCALOID, the Chinese fandom expressed deep concern about the lack of male VOCALOIDs and were worried about a striking resemblance to Hatsune Miku, but this was not as important as some fans already knew her as Quadimensionko from her past appearances.[23] In addition, they were accepting of designs that utilized the "twin tail" hairstyle since characters in the past, such as Dongfang Zhizi, followed this concept. Rather than expressing anger against these designs, the fans were calm and peaceful in their reactions. The Western fandom expressed more concern about Xingchen's resemblance to Miku in contrast.

Due to the Chinese fans' concern for her initial design, Quadimension changed Xingchen's appearance. When the new design was first revealed to a certain number of fans, some thought she looked a little more like Yuzuki Yukari, but were happy with the new look. However, when her design was fully revealed at Firefly Con 2015 to a larger crowd, a large number of fans thought that the new design ruined the uniqueness of her first design and felt that she changed too much, as there were people who were fond of her previous appearance. On the other hand, Western fans thought she looked similar to Yukari and developed mixed reactions: some liked this design better than the last, some were fond of the previous design, or some simply disliked both.

After Xingchen was released, she developed loyal and dedicated fans. She also attracted retired Chinese-language producers back into the fandom and they expressed their interests in creating songs for her.

In February 2017, "Deities of Cathaysia" became the first Xingchen song to achieve 1 million views.

Trivia

  • While she is the first VOCALOID developed by Shanghai HENIAN to not be part of the Vsinger project, Xin Hua was the first Chinese VOCALOID to not be part of it overall.
  • She is the first to not receive a Molihua demo. Every Chinese VOCALOID before her, including Zhanyin Lorra, sang the song at some point during their development.
  • In 2019, Xingchen's initial design was later repurposed for ZERO, a girl who carried Metatron's Cube before she split into five: Cangqiong, Chiyu, Xingchen, Haiyi, and Shian.

Achievements

  • First Chinese VOCALOID4
  • First Beijing Photek VOCALOID
  • First Chinese VOCALOID4 developed by Shanghai HENIAN
  • First VOCALOID from the Voice Customize Project
  • First female Chinese VOCALOID4

References

External links

Articles

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