New toy alert!
If you’ve ever lived in Japan you’ve most likely enjoyed karaoke on more than one occasion. With this new product called “Hi-kara”, brought to you straight from Japan by TheJapanShop.com, now you can sing Karaoke at home with friends as often as you like… and even download the most popular songs from Japan as you need them. This Hi-kara gadget is a pretty serious high-tech toy.
Here is a Hi-kara commercial from Japan.
The video mentions it at the very very end of the video (テレビでも！), but you can also pipe the video and lyrics to your home television set with an A/V cable, and sing with an external microphone. Information on how to set this up is on the JapanShop webpage. While doing Karaoke with the small 2.4-inch Karaoke box monitor would be fun, hooking it up to a real TV makes Hi-kara the ultimate Karaoke party toy.
This is a new product in Japan, but there are already 1,000+ songs available for download (official Hi-kara link, Japanese only). Songs by X Japan and Gackt are available, as well as Ayumi Hamasaki and YUI. Unfortunately (for Mac users like me) the software required to download songs to the Hi-kara device requires Microsoft Windows to run.
All of the instructions and controls for the Hi-kara karaoke machine are in Japanese only, but TheJapanShop has taken the time to write up a helpful English explanation on how to use the device. Of course, all of the lyrics to the songs you will be singing are in Japanese as well (except for those Engrish phrases that pop up here and there), so don’t let the language barrier stop you!
I don’t know about you, but if I were a teenage Japanese-studying kid into Japanese pop culture, I would be all over this like white on rice.
Personally though, I suck at Karaoke. (All the more reason to practice?) I’ll stick with my Japanese RPGs.