The Japanese instrument has taken YouTube by storm.
Image: Screenshot via GooglyEyes/YouTube
There's a strange musical instrument out there called an Otamatone that you might have seen in a YouTube video. It comes from Japan, is shaped like an eighth note, and has a mouth on the bottom that you open and close so that it appears to "sing." One can be had on Amazon for around $35, and there also appears to be some sort of "jumbo" version out there, though I'm not sure where you can get that guy.
Until today, I was only vaguely aware of the odd music-making device, but then I learned about the thriving, overwhelmingly talented Otamatone subculture on YouTube. My friend Damon began berating me with video clips, which at first annoyed me:
But then I realized the true magic of the otamatone, and it's quack-like song:
Now, I am convinced of the Otamatone's goodness, and have become a connoisseur. Give me a hit song, I will give you the Otamatone version performed exquisitely by one of the internet's most masterful players.
Smash Mouth's "All Star"? Hell yeah:
Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"? I got you:
Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer?" Yah:
I particularly want to draw your attention to this man, Nelson Tan Yan Cong, a Singaporean fellow who I would argue is one of the best Otamatone players out there. He often appears to do his thing in some sort of sound-proof studio, indicating he is a true professional.
You will be blown away by his cover of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You":
He also did "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables:
One commenter replied to that video "...Oh...my...I'm crying…" which, honestly, I understand. To weep is the only rational response when you hear Nelson shred the Otamatone.
Soon enough we will all die, but, in the meantime, I will pray that the last song I hear is played on the Otamatone, the most magical instrument of all.