So Shoka made a post about his favorite Vocaloid songs, and he dared me to do my own list. Here are my top ten Vocaloid songs.
Being an anime reviewer, you’d be surprised how many shows use these virtual idols in their OST. You’ll also be surprised how many Nico Nico Douga composers that start out creating Vocaloid songs have now composed amazing OSTs for anime. This is what I like about Japan. They recognize talent, and you can actually start a career just “try singing” a Vocaloid song. Creativity and talent is something their industry values, and I’m glad to actually experience it as a part of my 1000 anime review goal.
For this list, I won’t be including actual OSTs from any anime. I think I can make a list of that by itself, since I discovered many Vocaloid songs and artists this way. I don’t like the entire roster of virtual singers though, so I only stick to mostly Miku and IA. Some really good artists prefer them as well, for some reason. I have never heard a Kaito song, and most songs sounds so synthetic that it puts me off.
This is my list anyways, so it is super subjective. I’m not really that well versed in discussing music as well, so this is really just my personal favorite.
10. Pantsu Negeru mon – Kagamine Rin
Yeah, this sh*t exists and…yeah *sigh* I like it.
I mean, it feels like a gawd damn theme song for TPAB. It’s weird. I’m not really a fan of the Kagamine twins, because their voices are very synthetic. A lot of their songs are also jailbait-ish, which makes me uncomfortable. They’re the youngest vocaloids, so you can expect them to sing weird sh*t like this. But, this one is actually about a girl that wants to be free from nagging adults, hence taking her panties off.
You might be asking if the TPAB persona was inspired by this song, and the answer is no. I only discovered this song exists a full year into my blog’s existence. I don’t like the twins, but this song is just stupid fun. I like stupid fun.
9. Just be Friends – Megurine Luka
It’s one of Luka’s famous songs and one of the first Vocaloid songs that I listened to. It’s an ear busting techno song about a break up due to a stagnant relationship. Back in 2009, when this song dropped, it was honestly a refreshing change of pace since Miku dominated the scene then. It’s 2018 and the song is still so good. It also hits home a bit too deep, since a “Let’s just be friends” line after a break up is basically like slowly sliding a knife in a guy’s chest, watching him hold back his emotions and then twisting it while the girl leans in closer to see if any tears come out.
Apparently, the song is from the guy’s point of view but I’m not really good at interpreting songs so I can’t really tell. Whoever is speaking the lyrics, you can tell they are not taking the break up well. If this person had a twitter account, I bet it would’ve been fun to see them meltdown in real time. But three years later, Dixie Flatline (the composer) actually released a reply song titled “Answer” showing the girl has completely moved on.
8. Close and Open, Demons and The Dead – Miku Hatsune
I love the aesthetic of this songs, since it kinda emulates Japanese folklore and traditional children songs from way back. Japan loves gore for their cautionary stories, and this song captures just how f*cked up traditional Japan is. I love the shamisen instrumentals and Miku’s playful song about something dangling by their collar in a pine cone tree. What the f*ck?! It completely unnerves me.
But you know the fun part? Since a composer’s interpretation can be different from the listener’s, some people theorized the song is actually about prostitution. Close and open is about the legs of the prostitutes, the “belly full of skulls” is them aborting their babies, and it just adds to the already f*cked up backstory of this song. The original MV also freaks me the f*ck out, because it reminds me Yama Shibai. I’m never really to relive that show in any form.
7. Yurufuwa Jukai Girl – Miku Hatsune
Ishifuro is one of my favorite composers, because he just knows how to make catchy music. I first heard one of his songs in an anime called Recorder to Randoseru when he had IA sing the ED, and it was awesome. I was hooked instantly. Upon further digging, I was actually surprised this song is his most famous piece. I first heard this as a cover by Lon, and I hated it. I just hate Lon in general. I don’t know why. Ishifuro is a guitarist for a real band, so his talents really show. His guitar skills are evident in his songs, and he just has a distinct style because this is the most subdued song I’ve heard Miku sing.
A lot of his lyrics are strangely fascinating as well. They’re often about the inside thoughts of a very timid girl with slightly suicidal tendencies. If you listen to his new releases, you can actually feel the girl slowly lose her mind. The anime ED I mentioned before is actually his only positive work I personally like as the girl looks up at the sky and enjoys life even if she’s alone. In this song, she is sick of her quiet life and she contemplates on how dull it is. Her inside thoughts even joked that the heat killed some girls at a train station. And yet the song is so catchy, I can’t get enough of it.
6. Kaisei – IA
Look at this song boasting an impressive instrumental, like a full minute before the song actually plays. It’s such an earworm for me, and I am a sucker for summer songs. Literally one of my fave YUI songs is called “Summer Song” because they just evoke a laidback and nostalgic vibe that I enjoy. This one is done by Orangestar and it was released just last year. It has a very laidback feel to it, and they did a good job making IA sing such a soulful song.
This is apparently a love song, about two people overcoming distance, and the singer is reassuring the one she loves that distance doesn’t matter. What they have is special, and it’s interlaced with the catchy rhythm and IA’s laidback performance. It’s a recent one, but it kinda gives you an idea how professional the Vocaloid landscape has become.
5. No Thank You – Miku
This song is about adulting and how to properly rage quit it. It portrays the everyday struggle of a working man, and it often just builds up, culminates, until you just have to throw your hands up and just quit. Seeing Miku just practically break down is pretty fun, and it does help me relieve some of my personal stress. I also love this song because one of my students sang the chorus to me suddenly one time. She sings it in a crowded hallway, surprised the f*ck out of me, and then I was told she had a mental breakdown the following day. I just saw someone rage quit in front of me, and it was pretty awesome. She needed heavy counseling afterwards, but it was certainly an experience for both of us.
I love how the song builds up to its chorus. You see one thing after the other not go Miku’s way, until she just puts on a semicolon 3 face and happily sings the chorus. The melody also sounds sarcastic to me, and it kinda fits my cynical outlook on life. To all of you, I say, no thank you!
4. Moon Viewing Recital – IA
Ah, the Kagerou Project by one composer named JIN. This was a multimedia project, I believe. The songs tell a story, but the succeeding manga and LN explained the plot itself. It also had an anime, made by Shaft, and it was gawd awful. I think there were ten or more songs in this project, and it is named after the Heat Haze Days song (one of the popular songs in the project). It spanned many characters, many stories and it’s basically like a Baccano story except I think Jin himself had no idea where the story needed to go. He is one hell of a composer though. I like a lot of the KagePro songs like Headphone Actor, Ayano’s Theory of Happiness, and Kisaragi Attention. My personal favorite is this one, Moon Viewing Recital, for very simple reasons: this was the anime aesthetic that Shaft refused to adapt.
I am not a big Akiyuki Shinbo fan. I find his works fine, but not really masterful. I am also convinced that “shafting” the Kagepro songs ruined its potential. In fact, a lot of anime doesn’t need the Shaft visuals. I can live with Nisekoi featuring its bulky Shounen Jump aesthetics, and Sasaki@Ganbaranai had a vision that didn’t need to be “Shaftized”. Don’t get me wrong, Sayonara Zetsubu Sensei and the Monogatari series is a classic because of Akiyuki Shinbo’s touch. His later works are the iffy ones. For Kagepro, Moon Viewing Recital is its anime. Wannyapu’s movies are part of the Kagerou Project, and it honestly completes the series. You can feel its fan made, there is sincerity in it, and she totally understood the intention and direction of each songs.
I particularly love this song because of its MV. It follows the events after Heat Haze Days, and Momo is trying to cheer up Hibiya. She spends the entire day with him, but the loss of his very close friend is too much. Towards the end, Momo sings an earnest song to him and it convinced him to move forward. The last scene feature the main character of the overall story (the guy in the red jacket) smiling at Hibiya’s resolve, since it kinda reflects the same situation he has with Ayano’s loss. The entire story of Kagepro is in this video. The red eyes, the explanation of their powers and the strong character bonds that made the series special are represented here. Coupled by IA’s amazing voice and a very catchy song, it makes me smile whenever I hear it. It’s such a positive song and it’s an uplifting one. Kagepro features Jin’s range as a composer. He can go sentimental as f*ck, but also have time to go bloody insane in another song.
3. Melt – Miku Hatsune
Ryo. He made this song.
He’s one of the first to really break the glass ceiling. He made his name with Miku songs, but he is mostly known for a lot of Supercell songs, often sung by Nagi Yanagi. He is such a talented sonofabitch that he was hired by Sony to produce some songs for Bakemonogatari. Those songs are now iconic, sharing the same legacy as the anime itself. I love a lot of his songs. I mostly enjoy those Supercell songs where the PV tells a story about some cute couple, because Nagi Yanagi was still hiding her face at this time. So the PV features an actress lip synching the songs. It’s adorable, and speaking of adorable, MELT is pretty f*cking adorable.
This is a love story of a shy girl with a massive crush on a boy. The first verse explains how shy she is, how she wants him to notice her, and how she contemplated on changing her look so he can notice her. In the second verse, it was raining, the guy invited her to share an umbrella, because doki doki, and she got caught up in the moment. She told him to not let go of her, and she was overwhelmed by such a bold statement. It’s such a cute song, and it’s one of ryo’s earliest works. The man knows how to craft a narrative, and he made an incredible career out of it.
2. A Solution for Jealousy – Gumi
You’ve heard of Honeyworks, because they composed the amazing opening for Ao Haru Ride and, recently, After the Rain. In terms of a professional sounding group, these guys are fiercely known for it. The thing I love about this group is how recognizable their style is. When I heard the Ao Haru Ride OP, I knew it was them. They’re just very distinct, and they’re rocking a career out of it. I mean, even their illustrations and music videos look professional despite still feeling very fan made.
I don’t listen to a lot of their works, but this is one of my personal favorite songs, Vocaloid or not. It just sounds so awesome and it’s catchy to boot. They also made GUMI sound really human, and it always fascinates me how smooth her singing is here. Of course, the MV is also cute. It’s about a guy with a crush on a girl, gets jealous whenever she speaks about her crush, and eventually made a move himself when he asks her to wait in the classroom after class. It’s such an adorable song, and you can bet I have this on constant repeat.
1. Konbini – Miku Hatsune
It’s fairly obvious at this point that I value the MV and the story of the song above all else. It’s really the only way I can appreciate a song, and these kinds of songs are harder to do than a simple emo song sung by Miku. This one is my favorite, and it’s mainly because of its story. I won’t explain it. Go listen to it. It’s adorable. This is a wonderful time capsule to when “fan made” was always attached to a vocaloid song, and it was just something stupid and fun to share with people. The landscape has changed drastically, but the song kinda still captures an innocent time when you can make Miku sing about anything and have a good laugh doing so.
And that’s my list. Sorry for ranting about Shaft. What are your fave Vocaloid songs? Seriously, I need to listen to more of them. I can also silently judge your horrible taste in music so it’ll be fun. Let’s all have fun with this one.
Life is currently hectic, so expect a decrease in my activities. I’ll pump out my reviews and T(a)LK is still a go, but I won’t be doing anything else. I’m in a crossroads and I’m going after a long term goal atm. I guess the analogy would be that I found a road sign in this crossroads that I think I can travel, I just hope no one robs me along the way. But hey, that’s part of the fun, I guess. I’ll happily update you guys about it should everything work out.