Have you ever imagined that somewhere in the world there exists singers that are loved by millions and that are not human? That concerts are held, whose tickets are quickly sold out, yet the audience comes to watch an holographic projection? Well there does exist such a thing; they are called Vocaloids. They are singing voice synthesizer that gained a great deal of popularity. They are a voice bank of sounds, taken from a real singer, meant to be used by music producers and fans to create music. Vocaloids gained popularity through their CV singers or Character Voices, ones that have characters that come with the voices. They became so famous that some vocaloids that were only meant to be voice banks, such as VY2, gained a fan made character that was soon adopted by the company in some of his music videos (like in Fools from The Stars). 66 Roro has been used as the VY2 ‘mascot’, even though he is not the official character of VY2 he does tend to be the face that accompanies the voice.
But I am not here to try and explain what vocaloids are. I feel a little bad that many westerners look at this and call it stupid, without giving it a try or even some respect. You may not like it but that does not mean the people from whom this was made did not put in effort. Any ways getting back on point, I personally love VY2 as 66, and most of all I love vocaloids. I have known of them since I was a child. They are wonderful and brilliant.
My very favorite vocaloids include: Iroha Nekomura a cat girl developed in collaboration with Sanrio (creator of Hello Kitty), Flower the mascot of V flower, and 66 Roro the mascot of VY2.
What makes vocaloid so special? They sing many genres. You can find screamo, punk rock, ballads, traditional, techno, funk, up beat songs, and very sad ones. They also come in a variety of voices. The cast is so colorful (literally) that you can find at least one that you like.
These just so happen to be the most famous ones, the ones you are most likely to come across. The stories are the best part of the music video. They are so well done, and so much detail is put into them. They push boundaries, many of them being really really creepy and many of them being so sad that you may just start to bawl. (I recommend the Daughter of Evil and Servant of Evil. They are two songs from a collection of songs that make up one story. The entire story makes up one of 7 parts in the Sin Series. They are just so amazing). But really though, I wish I could explain every single song and the MV, they are just so beautiful. But I will not, instead I will list my ten favorites. If anyone wishes for an MV to be reviewed or explained, or you want more details or have questions, leave them in the comment section I will gladly answer and explain.
With no further ado I will now list my top ten favorite vocaloid songs:
10. Party x Party
This is sung by Miku, Kaito, Len, Rin, Meiko, and Luka. This song is super fun. As it is fairly new, the animation is amazing even switching through 3D style and little cut out figures. The song is wonderful and jazzy, which is always a plus. But best of all the story line is a play on the name. Miku is a girl at home who is bored and wants to throw an awesome party, so she decides to go on a quest to do just that. At the NicoNico Pub (I loved that tip of the hat!!), she creates a video game party of a diverse cast and travel with them to the boss level. There it is revealed that she is the boss and a large party is hosted. It ends with Miku offing her video game and going to sleep. The idea is super creative making this song loads of fun.
9. Tailor Shop on Entoizaka
This song is one from the series of Sin. The Tailor Shop on Entoizaka represents Jealousy and is sung by Luka. The song has an alluring oriental sound that also feels a little sad. It begins with Luka, a tailor shop girl, who believes her lover/husband is cheating on her. So she kills his lover (Meiko) and takes her kimono. Then she spots him with another woman (Miku), kills her and takes her green sash. She repeats this with a third, younger girl (Rin) he was with and takes her yellow hair pin. Finally, she wears the outfit and visits him, killing him with her scissors. It is then revealed that a family of four had been murdered and that the man had no idea who Luka was. Really Luka had killed a man’s wife and 2 female children before killing the man of her obsession. The song is well made, and seriously messed up. All of which makes it great. 😉
8. God is an Energy Cheapskate
God is an energy cheapskate is sung by Gumi in the perspective of the god who created the world as if she had a budget she had to keep to. The song is cute and catchy, if not a bit creepy at first. Gumi is a goddess who created the world and is constantly thinking about the money it consumes. Through out most of it she mentions how cheaply made earth and humans are and that these faults make them difficult to manage. Somewhere at the end of the second 3rd of the song Gumi explains how these faults also create beauty such as love, which she becomes embarrassed after two humans kiss (I bet they did more than that). Anyways, she decides to sell the planet and go on a vacation. The animation was super cute, and even though the video was green and gray the entire time, it was still super wonderful and gorgeous. I loved the story, which was really funny, and Gumi’s henchman was a Kappa, the coolest mythological monster in all of history.
Witch is sung by Len and Rin Kagamine, but the MV features Luka, Gakupo, and Miku. The song is great (mostly at the parts were the narrators, Len and Rin, echo the word Repent), but what makes it so great is the story in the music video. Luka is a young girl who has fallen in love with the Prince Gakupo. Miku, a priestess, sees this and tells Gakupo that Luka is believed to be a witch. Gakupo. a strong follower of the church, helps Miku bring Luka to the stake even though he loves her. The best part about the story is that there are many interpretations. I interpreted what happens afterwards in two ways. Luka escapes growing large black wings flying away. Either Miku was right, and Luka was a witch that was trying to trick Gakupo into falling in love with her; or Miku loved Gakupo and lied about Luka being a witch, and Luka ends up being an angel. I personally like the second one more, mostly because the way she was crying, I could not see Luka as an evil witch.
6. A Classy, Tactful Fire Extinguisher
Number six on my list is also sung by Gumi (many of them are actually). This song is really nice: it is upbeat and the guitar makes it fun to listen to. The story is about a girl who may be dating a fire extinguisher. He is really good boyfriend, and they make promises to each other. In the end only the fire extinguisher is able to keep his promise and dies doing so. It ends up being so sad. This song starts silly and ridiculous and by the end, you cannot help but like and respect that fire extinguisher. He does not seem as silly then. The art style is the best part. The color scheme is mainly pink and blue, and the fire extinguisher’s face is reminiscent of older shojos. I loved the song so much, and the art style, and the story. It is super cute, and super silly, and even more sad. That part where she sings and it coincides with her crying is just so well done.
5. Tokio Funka
Tokio Funka is sung by Gumi. To be honest, I have no idea what the story could be. I loved this song for the song. It is a mix of traditional japanese music and Techo or Dubstep (I am not a person who knows a lot about music, sorry). It is super awesome. And the art work is so lovely. The mix of traditional japan with those weird alien like creatures was just too cool and Samurai Gumi is too cute.
4. Children’s War
Children’s War is sung by Rin and Len Kagamine. They are portrayed as an annoying sister and spoilt brother combo who get under each other’s skin and declare war. The entire song is them fighting with each other and in the very end it is shown that they end up in a draw. The song is really catchy. The upbeat rhythm and repetitive words and phrases add to the chaos that is their battle. The song is entertaining, boisterous, and a cluster of fun.
3. Fools Among the Stars
I may be cheating with this one, but it is actually 3 songs that make up one big story. But there was no way I was going to pick between them. The songs tell the story of the myth of Tanabata, a sad story about Hikoboshi VY2 and Orihime VY1. The myth says Orihime, daughter of the Sky King, meets Hikoboshi and they fell in love. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for the Sky King, and in anger, he separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa. They were only allowed to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month, but they cannot cross the river when it rains (This is a shortened version. The myth is really gorgeous and I suggest you look it up and learn the full story). In the first song, Hikoboshi is trying to to find a way to cross the river while it is raining. The notices that Kappa are the only creatures able to cross, and decides to become super strong so that if he can defeat a Kappa he can then cross the river. While doing so, he goes through a bunch of funny scenes and ends up forgetting what his main goal was. Finally, he goes to the Milky Way and spots a Kappa. They fight, Hikoboshi is no match, and he is thrown to the other side of the river. In the second song, Orihime is dealing with her sadness and accidentally comes across very dumb yokai and help them tie their shoes. At that point they become devoted to her, and she sets up a mafia type business made of dumb monsters. Her business also causes her to become distracted, and at one point a Kappa comes to her seeking work. When she finally goes to the Milky Way, she asks the Kappa to help her and sends him to bring Hikoboshi to her. She is really surprised to see them begin to battle. Finally the last song is told from the perspective of the Kappa and is sung by Gumi. The Kappa desperately needs a job, and goes to Orihime (who he has heard is hiring dumb monsters) for one. She asks him to help her get Hikoboshi, and he agrees because he needs the job. When he goes to the other side to fetch him, Hikoboshi attacks and they begin to fight. During their fight the Kappa hits Hikoboshi to the other side of the river where he is able to meet Orihime. The Kappa at first is saddened because he knows that the two banks have different flows of time. Orihime has aged a lot, but the couple is still so happy to be together. The Kappa cannot believe that they are not more sad that after finally meeting it had to be in this way, but the couple explain that they are happy because they are in love and finally got to hold each other. The Kappa then begins to cry.
I could not separate these songs because they are great together. And there was no way I was not going to include them. The art is so beautiful, the colors are magnificent. The story is beyond charming. Not only is it based on mythology, but it was super happy go lucky at first and ended up being very sad. The sadness is made even more poignant when the audience, just like the Kappa, find out that the two characters are too happy to feel upset that time passed, because they love each other. I cried, for sure, and I have a feeling others did too.
This one is also cheating at some point. This song is sung by IA (a Vocaloid) and Namine Ritsu (an Utauloid). An Utauloid is the exact same concept as a Vocaloid. The difference is that it is the free version of the program with premade voice banks. Ritsu is a fan made Character Voice that has been officially accepted. In this song IA’s voice is a little drowned out, which is fine, because I loved how Ritsu sang the song. There is no video but the song alone is what was so beautiful and powerful. I liked how the chorus swells and how desperately Ritsu seems to be singing. The song, itself, is gorgeous and that is the reason it is number two.
1. A Teacher, Detained
This song is my all time absolute favorite. It features v flower as the voice, and the Flower mascot shows up in the MV slowly infesting. The MV and song were designed by HoneyWorks. I love the song, I love the art, and most of all I love the story. The blonde boy, younger one who is in dispute with the teacher, has shown up in other HoneyWork songs. In this one I am not 100% sure how he is related to the teacher. He could be a childhood friend or a brother, but what ever the case it is apparent that the teacher and the boy knew each other from childhood. The boy and the teacher do not get along, as the teacher treats the boy like a little kid. But then it is shown afterwards that the teacher as he grew up and gained responsibilities lost his friendships most likely becoming estranged from the younger boy and misses him. So the boy in the end tells him that he doesn’t have to put up a tough guy act and be alone, that they are still friends. I just loved the song.
Anyways, those are my top ten. Now I am no music expert, I just said what I liked and they are only my opinions. I would love to hear yours as well. Please tell me your favorites in the comments.