Vocaloidism 01 – Introduction

Who’s your favorite synthesizer?

Oh surely you’ve heard of her before. Maybe you’ve chanced upon one of her viral videos on youtube, or maybe you’ve been wondering why leek, of all things, have gained popularity in supermarkets. Yup, she’s Hatsune Miku, the most famous VOCALOID of all. VOCALOID has undeniably played a huge part in crafting the world of J-pop as we know it today. Hello lovely readers! This is Miyu here, sharing with you my love for the VOCALOID culture and fandom in her very first post! Let’s get started, shall we? ^^

 

Background knowledge:

VOCALOID is a singing synthesizer developed by YAMAHA, with each VOCALOID we know today being sold pretty much literally, as “a singer in a box”. By purchasing the software, anyone, anywhere can utilize the software to produce songs – create tracks with different instruments, input the melody, add lyrics to the combination and DUNDUN! There you have it, your very own VOCALOID song! But really, it isn’t as simple as it seems. Different VOCALOIDs will bring a different feel and tone to each song, and that can be further modified and edited by mixing and adding effects such as vibrato and resonate. Also, a good song will usually incorporate a beautiful harmony of piano, guitar, drums and electronic effects. Song producers really have a lot on their hands, but it’s all worth it when they get to see the barrage of comments and praises flooding their videos on Niconico. Niconico commenters are really friendly and passionate about their fandom – it’s a tightly-knit community, and you can be part of it too!

I will be introducing to you guys some really awesome songs that are guaranteed to be stuck in your head for the next week or so. I will also be providing brief story plot summaries for the songs, especially those that have really deep themes. Most songs are up to interpretation, though, as complicated as VOCALOID songs can get. I will be presenting my own take on them, enjoy!~

Hatsune Miku

Let’s start off with the icon of all VOCALOIDs, Hatsune Miku. Let’s face it – every single one of you reading this has at the very least heard of her, haven’t you? Developed by Crypton Future Media, Miku is essentially the crowd favorite who kick-started the entire VOCALOID fandom, allowing it to grow to such a massive size. Miku’s songs are usually cutesy and have light, gentle themes such as love and friendship.

World is Mine

Story plot: A song about the relationship between Miku and her boyfriend – she constantly acts like a spoilt princess and demands many ridiculous things from him, but in her heart all she wants is his unconditional love. It depends on how you view it actually – it can be kind of shallow and all but personally I think the song is adorable and the tune is really catchy. xD This is actually most popular song in all of VOCALOID history, its live performance reaching 12,000,000 views on youtube!

Melt

Story plot: Miku is your typical teenage girl – adorable, shy and nervous around her crush. A song about little things that happen in her daily life around the one she loves.

Ai Kotoba (Words of Love)

Story plot: Miku dedicates a heartfelt song to her beloved, thanking him for everything that he has done. The lyrics are really sweet and touching. ;_;

Kagamine twins: Rin & Len

Their names are pretty literal in explaining what Crypton Future Media envisioned them to be when they created this pair of VOCALOIDs – “Kagamine” translates into “Mirror-sound” and Rin and Len mean right and left respectively. Yeah, I know, how did you even guess they were twins?! xD These two are personal favorites of mine, I love their harmonizing during duets. *___* Unfortunately, their songs are known by many fans to be depressing, usually one or BOTH of them end up dying in a song. Tragic, I know.

Meltdown

Story plot: Rin has a dream in which she murders all her loved ones, causing everyone to disappear in front of her eyes. She wakes up after being frightened that it might really actually happen, and is unable to return to sleep. She begins to countdown the seconds until she has a complete “Meltdown” – she wants to commit suicide (i.e. go into the “nuclear reactor”). She believes that she will be able to enter a world of “pure white” where such horrible things will never happen.

Soundless Voice

Story plot: As Rin is slowly dying, she spends her final moments with her beloved Len. A heartbreaking song – prepare tissues, it will make you cry ;_;

Synchronicity - Looking for You in the Sky

Synchronicity – Paradise of Light and Shadow

Story plot: Miku is a dragon whose memory has been wiped clean – she does not remember her true identity, and thinks of herself as a human. In order to keep Miku pacified and contained, a Diva was chosen to sing for eternity – Rin. However, as Len and Rin are twins, Len learns that “darkness” and “light” were split between them at birth – Rin only has “darkness”, and if she continues to sing, she will die. Thus Len starts on a journey to save Rin, on the way rescuing friends and gaining comrades – Kaito (Punchinello), Gakupo (Academician) and Meiko (Swordswoman). Luka is the empress of the country and is standing in their way.

Trivia: Synchronicity is actually a series of songs, and these are part 1 and 2. Part 3, the finale to the series has not been released yet.

Megurine Luka

She has been portrayed by many song producers as the pretty, mature VOCALOID. Crypton Future Media has created her voice such that it has a kind of sophisticated depth to it, and her songs usually have meaningful themes such as love and hurt/comfort.

Just Be Friends

Story plot: How do you know when it is time to say goodbye? A touching song about the relationship between Luka and her childhood sweetheart, of how it came to be, how it progressed and eventually, how it has to end.

Double Lariat

Story plot: Luka’s friends are all better in her in many different areas – and seeing this, she says she does not want to give up on life, and focuses on self-improvement (i.e. “spinning” further and higher). But while doing this, she is at the same time pushing her friends and family away from her. At the end she realizes that it’s okay to not excel at everything in life, because people around her will love her regardless.

Toeto

Story plot: Luka sings about Toeto, the shy, timid part that exists in every person. She eventually accepts that Toeto is a part of her that she loves, and begins to slowly take steps of courage towards life.

Gumi

She is known for having the best voice bank out of all the other VOCALOIDs – she has the most life-like voice and pronunciation, carefully crafted by Internet Co. Ltd. That being said, Gumi often plays the role of a child or a teenager in her songs, and has an adorable twist to her voice. Her trademark accessory is the pair of goggles that somehow look absolutely cute on her.

Aitai (I want to see you)

Story plot: Gumi sings about her long distance relationship with her boyfriend. She wants to tell him so badly that she misses him and wants to see him, but is afraid that it won’t reach him since they don’t see each other face to face any longer.

Shiryoku Kensa (Eyesight Test)

Story plot: Gumi is facing an identity crisis and goes for an “eyesight test”. Her boyfriend takes on the role of an “eye-doctor” (who also happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain doctor in DRRR!!). She feels as if she is losing herself, unable to find her true self, she does not want him to love her the way she is. In the end, he tells her that he loves her, who exists in his heart no matter what.

Goodbye to Alice

Story plot: As Gumi grows from a child to a teenager, she experiences many changes in her life. The song is centered over a fairytale book her mother once bought her, and how she views it at different stages of her life.

Note: And phewww that marks the end of my first post ever at Metanorn! *dances around* I hope you’ve gotten some new songs to download into your iPod today! 8D I would love to hear your opinions on the songs and your take on their meanings~ Stay tuned for next round, in which I will be covering Niconico Utaites! ^^

About

A stressed-out jyoushi kousei doubling as Metanorn's loli with a soft spot for sappy romance animanga. She will watch anything with bishies in it. :3
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56 Responses to “Vocaloidism 01 – Introduction”

  1. Toori-chan says:

    Welcome Vocaloid to Metanorn!!! (Someone needs to bring in Touhou as well) I learned about Vocaloids about two years ago and started my fandom with Miku (where I also started my BRS fandom). Soon I also picked up Rin/Len and Luka due to Exit Tunes Albums. I cried when I watched Kokoro’s PV (seriously…) and got stuck up with Luka’s Just Be Friends. After some time, I downloaded ‘Gumism’ featuring Gumi and fell in love with her songs. ‘Aitai’ reminds me a lot of the moments when I had a crush on a person but has moved to another school. So now I’m a complete Gumi fan.

    • T.K. says:

      Hmmm, it would probably take several pages to list down all that Touhou fandom. Trust me, I tried, I gave up and just threw keywords for my friend to google. XD

      I actually came about Vocaloids when there’s only Miku, I’m not that much of a fan but I love it when actual human voice lends their authenticity as covers to all these great songs.

      • Miyu says:

        Oh, Miku is good, but you should definitely try to check out the other VOCALOIDs. ^^

        Yup, that’s what I will be covering next post! 8D I really love Niconico Utaites and I actually have around ~5 different covers for each song because each of them has their own distinct style and it makes it so worth downloading *_*

    • Miyu says:

      Yesss Rin & Len’s songs are always so saddd ;_; WHY DO THEY KEEP DYING?

      I really like Gumi too! Deco*27 has a ton of beautiful songs featuring Gumi, but I will most probably be covering them in the next post in this series, along with covers by Niconico Utaites! >D

      • Toori-chan says:

        Do cover for the Vocarock musics too.

      • T.K. says:

        Incidentally I found out about Deco*27 when I was googling Iwasawa (Girls Dead Monster) singer voice marina, since then I’ve been waiting for their next album. XD

  2. Tofu says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in vocaloid xD But my favourite vocaloid has to be Luka. I fell in love with her voice after listening to Just be Friends and Magnet with Hatsune (if my memory serves me right…)

    Also is Gumi new? I’ve NEVER seen her before and I just realized that I had a fan art of her in my picture folder for 2 months now without knowing who the hell it was AHAHAHAHAHAHA wow… ;D

    • Miyu says:

      Welcome back to the awesome Vocaloid fandom >D Yup, Luka’s Just Be Friends is one of the greatest songs in Vocaloid history~ ♥

      Gumi is one of the later Vocaloid 2 products, but she has been around for quite awhile now! She’s just not quite as popular as Miku or the Kagamine twins :P How did you like her songs?

      • Tofu says:

        I definitely understand what you mean by a more life-like though all in all she’s a great singer and I do enjoy her songs ;D Thanks for introducing me to Gumi Miyu!

  3. retrace says:

    YAY, finally a vocaloid post! :3
    This is mega mega comprehensive, so thank you for your time, & I love how you specially picked out a few of the more famous (or memorable/meaningful) songs for each of the vocaloids ;A;

    JUST BE FRIENDS <3

    • Miyu says:

      HI TWINNIE I LOVE YOU ♥ Please comment more often!~ AND YOU DE-LURKED FOR ME. I am so touched ;_;
      Yes you are way too formal person, you can just act normally here hehehe.

      Thank you! :3 Yeah I picked all those which left deep impressions on me! You and your Just Be Friends obsession ~.~ But yes it’s a great song.

  4. Namika says:

    And finally, Vocaloid invades Metanorn!!!!!! *0* yaaaay~ ^O^
    Personally, I like Kagamine twins and Miku the most. Gumi also has gorgeous voice, but I’m still in a process of discovering her :D

    • Miyu says:

      -hifives Namika- Vocaloid is awesome ♥

      Yup! My favorites are Rin&Len and Gumi, hehe. You’ll definitely fall in love with Gumi after hearing more of her songs! :3 Mostly she’s featured in songs with catchy tunes and good storylines. Try Mosaic Roll/Coward Mont Blanc :D

      • Namika says:

        Wow, those are so cute *~* I love both of them <3 Though to be honest, at first, I didn't like Gumi, because I first heard her in "Matryoshka", and I HATE Vocaloid version of that song -____- But then, "Aitai" saved her xDD

  5. Yippy says:

    Whoah, wait a minute, their songs actually have stories behind them? Man, what have I been missing!?

    I actually started listening to Vocaloid due to ‘The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku’. Miku’s still my favourite, but that’s partly because I did’t know which other Vocaloid songs were good.

    Now that you’ve compiled these videos, I guess I’ll come out of my Vocaloid hiatus and watch them. Thanks for the post!

    • Miyu says:

      Yup! I only began appreciating Vocaloid songs earlier last year, and ever since then I’ve been amazed at all their deep themes and intriguing story plots!

      Yeah hehe all the Vocaloids have their different charms, and maybe you’ll come to love others too after exploring!

      Welcome back to the Vocaloid fandom, Yippy-chan~ It’s my pleasure! ^^

  6. Trilles says:

    Best song from Vocaloid by FAR is Ura-omote Lovers. GG

    • Miyu says:

      HAHA uraomote lovers, it’ll probably be in my next post ^^ I love how they seem to not require to breathe between verses, it’s crazy.

  7. Arctic says:

    Heheh, you guys have finally covered Vocaloid!

    I’ve always been a big fan of the Vocaloid genre. Personally, I don’t have a favourite Vocaloid – I feel like they’re just there to supplement the producers. And maaan I have too many favourite producers to name. DECO*27, 40mP, jimmythumbP, Dixie Flatline, god that list is endless.

    And haha, World is Mine and Melt. Everyone starts off with those songs. I remember those days, when the only Vocaloid I knew was Miku.

    My favourite Vocaloid song by far is from Y to Y, sung by Miku. The lyrics are really, really touching. jimmythumbP wrote it after he broke up with his girlfriend. :(

    (by the way, you spelled Yamaha wrongly.)

    • Miyu says:

      My very favorite producer would be DECO*27. ^^ I love all of his songs. My favorite song (currently – it changes from time to time) is Karakuri Pierrot, by 40mP, covered by clear.

      Yup hehe I started off with Just Be Friends, Melt and World is Mine too ^A^

      And yes thank you for pointing that out, I overlooked it.

  8. Amutofan123 says:

    Yay! Vocaloid~ Ah, who’s my favorite? Probably Miku, because she was the first vocaloid I started listening too, plus, I love her character design the most.

    • Miyu says:

      Yeah I wish I could have beautiful long pigtails like hers too *__* I also like her costume, it’s sexy hehe.

  9. Samantha Zan says:

    Vocaloidism YEAH!!!!!!!! Awesome post!!! Oh Vocaloid how I love it so, having those moods where I just want to look up every single Vocaloid song haha XD.

    But usually I like more around Miku’s songs. Melt, World is Mine, Love is War, so may nostalgic memories X3. Though I do love Luka’s songs especially Just Be Friends. A sad video, but still amazing lyrics.

    I also like listening to the Nico Nico Singers as well X3

    Amazing post Miyu! Glad your getting comfortable at Metanorn :3

    • Miyu says:

      Thank you! <3
      I know that feel, once I listen to one Vocaloid song, I will just keep on video-hopping and video-hopping, and then end up downloading 20 songs in a day xD

  10. Overcooled says:

    Awesome post, Miyu! When I first got into Vocaloid, I wanted to know all the details about what it was and where it came from. I’m sure this post has saved a lot of people the trouble of looking that up :3 Thanks for the info and the music~

    There really are a lot of vocaloids though, right? As in, more than the ones you listed. Are they all legit, or are these just the main ones?

    • Toori-chan says:

      From the popular ones, there’s still Kaito, Meiko and Gakupo that Miyu haven’t cover. It seems there’s also lots of other vocaloids which names are unknown to me. FYI there are also other vocaloids from other countries.

    • Miyu says:

      Thank you OC! ♥

      Yeah hehe I was thankful for wikipedia and fellow Vocaloid friends on answering all my questions and introducing me to the fandom, so now I’m passing the love on. >D

      Yup, as Toori-chan said, there are many other Vocaloids. The popular ones are only those I mentioned above, + those three ^A^

  11. Moni Chan says:

    Ohh vocaloid post. Quite a win post indeed. Of I where to choose. Ahh crap choosing… I’ll need to come back to that question. Now im going to think 4 the rest of the day :/

    • Miyu says:

      Thank you! ^^

      Yeah it’s hard not to love them all. For me choosing my favorite came naturally as the Kagamine twins were so lovable and ~special~ xD
      You’ll find yours soon too!

  12. Kitty says:

    Yay for vocaloid love!! But no kaito love ;_; regardless Miyu you rock!! and oooo songs I haven’t heard before I must download these later.

    • Miyu says:

      Thank you Kitty-chan~ :3
      Aww I like Kaito too but I’m not really well-versed in his original songs. xD Maybe you could recommend some? Hehe.
      YES DOWNLOAD THEM they will entertain you during train/bus/car rides :P

      • Kitty says:

        He does an amazing song called ‘Imitation Black’ with Gackpo and Len!! ‘Cantarella’ is done with Miku but its stunning. (all can be find on youtube which I’m sure you know your way around) ‘Sweet’s Beast’ is one of my favorites!! ‘True My Heart’ is also pretty awesome. Mostly I like Kaito when he is singing with either Len or Gackpo. I think Len complements him the best.

        Have you watched the Return To Zero song series? You should check it out. Len is all bad ass!! Awesome!

  13. Jenny says:

    Gonna use any of the other, newer vocaloids like that Korean one or maybe even popular Utaus? Teto is my favorite because of the Triple Baka song. And even though I discovered Miku first I still enjoy Rin by herself much more. Kokoro is my favorite song of hers and Gumi is my second favorite vocaloid. I also could never really get into Luka’s songs.

    • Miyu says:

      Probably not, or at least not yet. :)
      Next post will be covering Niconico Utaites, but I’m still considering the theme for the post after that, so let’s see~

      Aww but Just Be Friends is a classic! xD Then again each person has his/her taste in music and different opinions! I like Rin and Gumi too ♥

  14. Hawthorne says:

    Wow, great post! I’m sort of new to vocaloid so I don’t know that many songs. D: I’ve only ever listened to Rin and Len (I really love ‘Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder’), but you posted so many awesome songs, I’m going to have to go delete some stuff off my iPod to make room. xD I look forward to vocaloidism 02! (:

    • Miyu says:

      Hiiii Robb :D Thank you!
      You have been missing out on the Vocaloid world GO LISTEN HEHE (although I do agree that Rin and Len are very awesome)

  15. Gecko says:

    Great post, Miyu!
    I follow a ton of people on youtube who upload things from Niconico, so I ended up finding out about most of these songs along the way of getting deeper into Vocaloid. I’m happy to see Vocaloid getting onto Metanorn, though!
    I’ve got to say that my favorite song is probably M-COLOR or Tear by AVTechno!. Can’t get enough of his songs. Or maybe The Endless Love by HSP… hmmm… hard choice.
    Looking forward to vocaloidism 02! :D

    • Miyu says:

      Thank you! ^^
      Yup hehe, most of these songs are pretty easy to find once you get into the Vocaloid fandom. Next post will cover Niconico Utaites though, so maybe you’ll come across some new songs! (hopefully)
      And yup, Vocaloid culture is invading Metanorn! >D

  16. Alynn says:

    Yay Vocaloid! Speaking of which I went on a Vocaloid music downloading spree a few days ago. Picked up a lot of good new music!
    My favourite Vocaloids are GUMI and Rin.
    Favourite composers at the moment are AVTechNO!, 8#Prince, Hachi, and wowaka!

    • Miyu says:

      Vocaloid music downloading sprees happen quite often, don’t they? xD One song leads to another and– next thing you know it, half the day GONE.
      Same here, Gumi and Rin ftw >D

  17. Kyokai says:

    A true Vocaloid fan shows her colours! Good post, Miyu and welcome to the team. ^^

    • Miyu says:

      Hehe thanks boss!♥
      Yup, crazy Vocaloid fan here proclaiming my love for this fandom xD

  18. anaaga says:

    I’ll get into this
    One of these days

    I-it’s not like I like your post or anything like that, though!

    • Miyu says:

      Hehe anaaga you’re so tsundere \(//∇//)\
      Yuppp join the Vocaloid fandom! 8D then we’ll have another thing to fangirl overrr (but yaoi is still important of course >D)

  19. tatsuya says:

    GUMI

    • Miyu says:

      GUMIすごいですね^A^
      彼女の声はとても特別できれいから、大好きです。あなたは?

  20. I’m still trying to get into Vocaloid but I’ve heard quite a few songs that I really liked. Miku’s Do-de-mo-ii (Whatever!) and Mr.Music I loved.
    You’re right, GUMI’s voice is the cutest~
    I love upbeat and happy songs, what songs do you suggest I should listen to?
    Great post ^^ I actually have never heard of World is Mine before xD (OTL fail as a vocaloid fan in training)

    • Miyu says:

      Yeah Mr.Music is awesome!! >D the Niconico covers are so HNGGGGG worthy. <3
      For happy and upbeat songs, try Ponpon, Suki Kirai, Senbonzakara, Uraomote Lovers, Matryoshka! I can tweet you more if you want hehe.
      LOL I too, only found out about world is mine later on. xD my first song was Just Be Friends ^^

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