Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2012)

typed for your pleasure on 25 January 2012, at 3.28 am

Sdtrk: ‘Romance fatal dentro de un auto’ by NON

Bringing you Tomorrow’s news Yesterday… Today.
See, that’s what we call an effective baffle. I throw a sentence out like that for you, you read it, and you’re so confused by it that you’ve not noticed I didn’t write a proper introduction to this, the first ‘Shouting etc etc’ post twenty-five days into 2012. And we’re off!

+ Did you lot have an enjoyable, carnage-free holidays? Ours were placid, for lack of a better term, but personally speaking, they were better than the ones at the end of 2010, so I’m not complaining. One nice aspect was that my father wrote me a cheque for $150, and as I’m a firm believer in Irony, I promptly sent that dosh to, spending the entirety of it on books about Dolls and Gynoids, two subjects that the man despises. Ha!
My spoils were volumes 4-8 of Pluto, a manga by Naoki Urasawa, which is another one of his psychological thrillers; a copy of Hiroshi Watanabe’s Love point, as detailed here; and The Sex Doll: A History. I have to apologise for the last one, as the cover isn’t just awful, it’s godawful. Nevertheless, all the books were highly appreciated! Thanks, dad! *proceeds to snicker like Muttley*

+ Speaking of, I now see that they actually have not just a listing, but cover art, for the ‘My living Doll’ DVD set I’d mentioned last November, with a street date of 20 March. Again, I’ll believe it when a copy adorns my own overloaded DVD shelves, but that’s fantastic news!…

+ Back in November-December of 2011, photographer/iDollator/jetsetter/Maki Nomiya lookalike Azusa Itagaki had a showing of her photographs of our crowd in Italy. It was well-received, by her accounts, and she told me it was even mentioned in La Repubblica, one of the nation’s major newspapers. As always, she does us proud!


If you can read Italian, you lucky bastard, you can peruse a page about the show and see more photos here. Machine translations don’t count.

+ Do you recall Ricky Ma Tsz Hang, the bloke in Hong Kong who built an affictitious version of Kelly Chen? Yes you do. He’s not been resting on his laurels though, as he’s recently completed Aiko 2, a head for a new Gynoid! Again, might I remind you, he’s not a corporation; he’s just one man, making alluring animatronics in his own home. HARDxCORE.

For that new robot head, I have tried to use different material and design new structure. It is smoother than previous one. It applied 2 small servos and 4 micro servos only and it has detection camera inside her eyes. She can smile, eyes (blink, up and down, left and right) open and close the mouth. More than that, it will have a intelligent computer brain. She can talk to you and detect who are you! Moreover, she can analyse objects (over 13000 data). The facial expression will be controlled by the intelligent brain. It may be very interesting!

She’s listening to Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. But can you blame her?

That quote is from an Email that he’d sent me. Ricky went on to say that he’s developing Aiko 2 in conjunction with Le Trung, that bloke who put some servos inside a CandyGirl and named her Aiko, so hopefully Ricky will steer that particular project into something more original and successful.
Not only does Aiko 2 have improved sculpting — did you note her dimples? — but the ability to analyse and identify objects is a impressive skill. Sure, we have object recognition programmes in things such as Google goggles, but combining technology with beauty enhances both, and benefits everyone.

+ Isn’t it time for a new batch of Sinthetics photos? It certainly is.

Left, Monique doesn’t know the meaning of the term hay fever; right, Celeste, following up on Aiko 2’s eargoggle trend

Enticing new pics of Tawny, Monique, Kimiko, Celeste, and Yuriko are now available on their site. Stare, stare. And with good reason!

+ Finally, back to television: 2012 looks as if it might yield not one, but two decent programmes having to do with Synthetiks, so that’s something to look forward to! As long as they’re not along the lines of the robot snuff film known as ‘A.I’, that is.
According to a post on, NBC has ordered a pilot for a series entitled ‘Beautiful people’, and as they describe it,

Beautiful People is really dark, and more than a little sadistic at times. It’s not at all subtle, though — it’s in the grand tradition of dystopian “what if” scenarios in which a terrible injustice is being perpetrated throughout society, but somehow most people don’t see it. The audience will be left in absolutely no doubt, at the end of a single episode, that these androids, or “Mechanicals,” are people who deserve human rights. […]

We see how the Mechanicals are enslaved. They’re constrained by Asimov’s good old Three Laws of Robotics. They’re destroyed if they show the slightest sign of emotion. They’re even given a weird drug, called Compliance, to prevent them from having any nasty mood swings. They all have bar codes on the backs of their necks.

And yet, they’re clearly people in every way that matters. They have family units, like Tina and her parents. They respond to things with real emotion. Their children have to go to school, so they can learn all the nuances of human society. (The high-end “Mechanicals” like Tina and her family have no metal parts — instead, they’re more like cyborgs, with some silicon chips and plastic, but also organic parts grown from the DNA of John Does, and possibly federal prisoners as well.)
the entire article is here

They’re still in the process of casting it, so airdates are still in the far-flung future (pun intended), but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it, as you suspect. Overall, Beautiful people sounds promising and thought-provoking! Which means it probably won’t be on the air very long. You’re all familiar with how network telly in the States works.

And fellow iDollator Euchre tipped me off to the other programme from Sweden, a show called ‘Äkta människor‘, which translates to ‘Real humans’, which actually premiered on the 22nd of this month. It seems like it’ll be taking nearly the same approach as Beautiful people — can the term ‘human’ apply to artificial beings, etc — but with a less homogenised approach than you find in television from the States. Skip to 0.55 if you don’t get what I’m inferring.

What happens when robots become so human that they can barely be distinguished from real people? When they can even be our lovers? Real Humans takes place in a parallel world to our own, in which people’s lives have been completely transformed by the new generation of robots, the Hubots. […]

They’re used as servants, heavy laborers, company for the lonely and even sex partners. But Hubots also create conflicts – within families, in places of work and among those concerned about public safety. Their intelligence exceeds our own. Are there any jobs left that are not best carried out by a robot? Can they develop feelings of their own? Can a Hubot harm a human being?
the entire article is here

I love shows and films like this! They’re priming the pump.
Some additional good news: they say the production companies involved have made a deal to distribute Äkta människor internationally. Which more than likely means just Europe, but that’s why god made region-free DVD players!

And there you have it! O, and I’m due to enter discussions with another documentarist; this one would be from France. More on that later!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2008) on January 13th, 2008

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (July 2011) on July 23rd, 2011

12 have spoken to “Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2012)”

  1. jill writes:

    It’s amazing how bang on the expressions of Aiko 2 are. If you’d sent me those screen caps and told me it was a real girl, I’d believe it. She doesn’t have a faraway gaze or anything like that. Amazing craftsmanship.

  2. Euchre writes:

    Watching Ricky’s Ma’s demo was cool but at the same time kinda creepy with “Deck the Halls” playing in the background, but *shrugs* who am I to judge?

    I’m interested in watching an ep or 2 of Real Humans. Hopefully someone will translate it. The NBC show, agreed, it won’t last. I mean, who wants to THINK while watching tv? /sarcasm

  3. Jinx writes:

    Davedavedave, all the beautiful links and I am at work D:

    Thank you for the research; I’m really curious for both series (but somehow more for the Swedish one)

  4. Davecat writes:

    Jill —
    You’re right! Ricky seems to have a knack for sculpting! Aiko 2’s dimples really surprised me; in my opinion, they make her face…

    And it’s not just ‘Deck the halls’; it’s this weird atonal version where some of the notes are kinda… off. It sounds like something from Silent hill, to be honest. Just do what I did: mute the video, and hum Glen Campbell’s ‘Wichita lineman’ at an elevated volume.
    And I might have some inroads to, at the very least, the first two eps of ‘Real humans’…

    Jinx —
    I’d remind you that ‘Shouting etc etc’ isn’t exactly a work-safe blog, but I always follow that statement up with ‘it depends on where you work’!…

    You’re welcome for the research! I’m hoping both Beautiful people and Real humans have long enough episode runs to satisfy, but not so long that the scripts start getting ridiculous. It’s a fine line!

  5. bbbjjjttt writes:

    Great news! And of course, I LOVE how you spent the Christmas-gift money. (Reading well is the best revenge?)

  6. Davecat writes:

    I like that quote! I will steal that quote. 🙂

  7. writes:

    Great news about this Swedish serie. I have got to see them. The photos of the Sinthetics are great too. Thanks!

  8. Davecat writes:

    If you get to see ‘Äkta människor’ before I do — which I’m sure you will — let me know how it is!

    And glad you like the Sinthetics pics! Their lasses are entirely alluring!

  9. writes:

    Ok I will let you know Davecat. Have a nice day!

  10. Andy writes:

    “Äkta människor” / “Real humans” is on French/German culture tv channel “arte”. Last Thursday ran the episodes 1 & 2. The next two will air this Thursday (April 11, 2013 8:15 pm).
    It also seems to be already available on French DVDs. German DVDs scheduled for June.

  11. Davecat writes:

    So now you and Amy will have to let us know how it is, from the perspective of an iDollator (and his Synthetik companion)!
    Thanks for the heads-up! Hopefully they’ll broadcast it in the UK, so I can get my hands on actual DVDs…

  12. Andy & Amy writes:

    We find it very promising indeed! The “hubots” – as they’re called – are depicted only by using make-up and acting, without any CGI – so far I can tell. And it works very well. They really look like walking and talking Real Dolls, with just the right subtle amount of “robot-motion”.
    Apart from the hubots all other technology is absolutely contemporary or even a bit older. Perfectly understandable considering the otherwise enormous production costs. This is explained by it being not the future but a parallel universe, which is perfectly fine with me.
    Apart from the hubots employed in factories and as domestic help there is a group of “hacked” hubots on the run. (Hacked apparently means free and probable able of feelings)
    This group is let by two cyborgs – I think, who could be son and wife of “David” – either a late hubot maker or the hacker? This isn’t clear yet – at least to me.
    One important character is Mimi, former hacked hubot friend of “cyborg son”, who was damaged, stolen by thugs, sold to phoney hubot salesman, reprogrammed and sold as domestic help to a family, where the mother first has strong objections to her, but at the end of episode 2 she seems to come round – while Mimi (now Anita) seems to rediscover her enhanced feeling capabilities over time.
    Mimi/Anita is a very lovely Asian lass, who – I’m sure – you will like.
    Looking forward to next Thursday for more …..

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