Today’s post is borne of a trying personal experience for me. See, I’m a person who relies on music. If I accidentally leave my earbuds at home when coming to school, I feel like I’m missing an arm. Or a leg. Or a beating heart. For this very reason, my phone is always loaded with 300+ songs and almost always has a pair of earbuds wrapped around it. You know, for safety.
Still, accidents happen, and a few months ago my phone’s SD card corrupted unexpectedly. I managed to recover most of the files, but when I tried to put a new SD card in, that one corrupted too, and the next one too… and soon enough I figured it was my phone that was the problem. In the time period between realizing the problem and fixing it, I was without my handy dandy collection of music, so I ended up having to rely on YouTube and other non-SD card reliant sources for my daily fix of tunes.
I started out just listening to my regular music, but then, unexpectedly, a related video link led me down a path I swore I’d never walk again. I relived a time period in my life I tried to forget – my Vocaloid phase.
For those completely uninitiated, Vocaloid is a voice-synthesizing software created by Yamaha. It allows users to create their own songs by putting in lyrics and notes, the former of which are sung by a synthesized voice. These voices are generally given appearances and names, although their personalities and details of their stories are usually dictated (or not) by the people who use them, meaning that they can play many different contrasting roles in many different stories presented by many different songs.
The most iconic and easily-recognized Vocaloid is the Japanese Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, who has become such a recognizable face in Japan that she’s also appeared in many other places all over the world. For your convenience, she’s pictured to the left, although to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if you recognize her, because she’s appeared in a few Toyota commercials here in the West recently.
Anyway, I was really into Vocaloid in middle school. It actually led into my embarrassing weeaboo phase… actually, if I’m being honest, it was my embarrassing weeaboo phase. As I got older, I lost interest in these songs, but my phone breaking led me back into the world I left. And actually, I found a lot of great stuff. The songs I used to love were still just as good, and now there was a host of new songs to enchant me.
The cool thing about Vocaloid is its versatility. The fact that the “singer” is not real means that the producers who use them have a lot of leeway, and a lot of power. A lot of the Vocaloid characters’ most recognizable traits and quirks came from the fans who use them to create music. In fact, officially licensed Vocaloid products reference and use songs made by fans. There are huge hologram Vocaloid concerts that perform these songs. It’s absolutely wild, and something I really would like to see make a more worldwide impact in the years to come. (I’m not ashamed to admit I would definitely go see a Vocaloid concert.)
So here’s my Top 30 favorites. Before I start, though, I should mention a few things. The songs in this list are organized as follows:
Title – Producer (Vocaloid Used)
A lot of Vocaloid songs are attributed to the Vocaloids that “sing” them, which is ridiculous, because the real work is done by the producers who actually use the Vocaloids to create music, so I list them first.
Secondly, if I ever refer to a “PV”, that simply means the visuals in the YouTube video I’ve linked. Vocaloid music is very tied to its visuals, because usually the producer gets a heavy say in what they look like. PVs range from still images to fully animated music videos, but all of them are important and fun to take note of.
Thirdly, for all the songs I’ve tried to link to a subbed version if possible. I will also usually try to link to dubbed versions I enjoy, if they exist. There are also two totally English songs on this list, so if you’re worried about language barriers, don’t.
And lastly, (I promise I’m almost done), a lot of Vocaloid songs deal with some… ahem… sensitive material. I’m not in the business of disturbing anyone, so anytime there’s something suspect in a video or song I will say so after a “TW:” underneath the video.
And all that aside, enjoy!
30. Virgo – Nantoka-P (Megurine Luka)
I start out this list with a song from my favorite Vocaloid, Megurine Luka. I have to say that outright because if you go by the composition of this list, you’ll think it’s Miku. (I do love Miku, though. Who doesn’t?) This is a weird song, but it’s undoubtedly catchy and has such an atmospheric, spacey sound that I just love. Also, this version isn’t subbed because – surprise! It’s not Japanese. Or any other actual real-life language. It is total gibberish. Cool, right? No? Okay, fine.
29. Lynne – Hachi (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Implied self-harm, symbolic strangling, and most grievous of all, wordplay)
If you know me, you know anything with wordplay immediately gets lots of points in my book. Lynne plays around with its title a lot in the lyrics. This fact is what first endeared me to this song, but what kept me coming back was the stuttering yet intense music mixed with the real heartbreak in Miku’s voice. I gotta hand it to any producer that can convey emotion in the voice of someone who is not real. This song has a lot to do with trains, and I’m gonna put a train counter at the bottom of this description. Don’t worry about it. All will become clear in time.
28. Secret Police – Buriru (Hatsune Miku)
If you like songs that get your heart a-pumpin’, look no further than this intense, up-up-up-UPBEAT song. I can’t tell if this is meant to be based on a real life organization, or is just some fantastical storytelling. I feel like I’m not exactly qualified to figure it out… I mean, the Secret Police was a real thing at one point, but somehow I’m not sure this song isn’t actually talking about that. Oh well, no matter. This song is a joy to listen to, exciting and fun, with lots of loud guitar and Miku rapping and singing really fast and high notes and all that good stuff.
27. Cyber Thunder Cider – EZFG (VY1
Okay, so this song is absolute nonsense. Absolute, catchy, dance-able nonsense. I’m not the sort of person who likes to call songs “nonsense,” but listen, sometimes we all have to admit defeat. And anyway, it’s such a jam that I don’t even care. Maybe there’s some super in-depth meaning trapped in endless Japanese puns… I wouldn’t know, but I kind of like that idea. (Also, tiny dancing stickman!)
26. Deja Vu – VocaCircus (Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka)
(TW: Implied abuse)
A fairly recent development in the Vocaloid community is the sudden surge of well-produced English Vocaloid songs. Personally, I think Engloid is a great way for new fans to jump in. I totally understand the learning curve of listening to songs in another language. VocaCircus is not the last primarily English producer on this list, but I highly recommend his work. All of it is deeply personal and emotional, but this one is my favorite. Based on the producer’s real life experiences in a abusive relationship, this song uses the hard, brash vocals of Luka against Miku’s soft ones to protray the never ending cycle of relationship abuse. It’s really sad, honestly, but it’s so admirable to see someone open up on such a tough issue in such a gorgeous way. Plus, there’s a happy ending. As VocaCircus states in the description box of this video:
“I’ve broken the cycle.”
25. Blindness – Treow (Megurine Luka and Hatsune Miku)
Luka and Miku have my two favorite voices in Vocaloid, and gosh is this song beautiful for it. The swelling piano and grand, ballet-like instrumentation. Plus, the faltering melody keeps the listener engaged. It’s lovely! The PV is also abstract and lovely. I wish I had more to say about this song besides it’s loveliness, but… it’s just so lovely!
24. Matryoshka – Hachi (GUMI and Hatsune Miku)
Okay, so, this song is weird. It’s got weird lyrics, weird visuals, and in fact seems to celebrate the idea of weirdness in its meaning as well. Still… it’s just such a good song. Look past the creepy dancing Miku and GUMI and the Japanese wikipedia article copyspam in the PV and take a moment to enjoy the dense layering of the vocals and the instrumentals. It’s also super catchy. It’s good. Give it a chance.
23. There’s Supposed to Be a Cheat Code for Happiness? – Utata-P (Yuzuki Yukari)
(TW: A character puts a gun to her head at the end of this video. It startled me on my first viewing, so jusssst letting you know. Obviously, by extension, suicide.)
I realize that TW is probably alarming to a lot of folks out there. I would say it’s not as bad as it sounds but I actually did jump at the end of this song. It’s a testament to it’s quality that it still made the list! I’m usually not all that forgiving of songs playing with my trust like that. I hate to call this song relatable because it’s very depressing and very negative, but I can’t help but understand what the singer is going through – likening the careful balance of life’s stress to a long, complicated cheat code. This song is intense and darkly funny. There’s something deeply critical about it also – a harsh look at the way modern society stretches the limits of many to a breaking point. It’s worth your time, but if the themes within are disturbing, I totally understand giving it a pass.
22. Clockwork’s Swallowtail – Kots Beirne (Hatsune Miku)
The most notable thing about this song? It was the first Vocaloid song I ever listened to. Okay, that’s probably not entirely true, but this is the first Vocaloid song I listened to separate from the animated videos I so often watched as a kid. I love the hard rock feel of this song, and the way the music itself seems to suggest some sort of mystery. I’m actually not sure what this song is about, but judging by the police tape in the PV, it probably is something mysterious? Ah well, who knows. Also, interestingly enough, this song has so many different English names I went back and forth on which one to use in this post. I first knew this song as “Mechanical Butterfly” but soon learned it was actually “Clockwork’s Swallowtail”. Then, while doing research for this post, I found this song listed simply under the name “Swallowtail.” So… I have no idea.
21. 1925 – T-POCKET (Hatsune Miku)
But anyway, how about some actual history. Who here likes history? Of course you do, history is interesting. This song, interestingly enough, describes the changes occuring in Japan after WWI. I’m… not an expert on this topic by any means beyond just stating that that’s what this song is about… but, uh, it’s interesting, right? It’s hard to describe exactly what I love about the instrumental – it kind of sounds like something you would play on a pirate ship, minus the vocals, of course. I feel like this song is an epic voyage in itself.
20. Drop Pop Candy – GigaP (Kagamine Rin and Megurine Luka)
GigaP is well known for those fun, danceable feel-good songs he makes, and Drop Pop Candy is probably the most pastel of them all. I cannot lie and say that my enjoyment of this song has nothing to do with the super cute PV – I mean, come on, look at the colors! The shapes! It’s all just so adorable! Plus, the song itself is upbeat and bouncy. Rin and Luka’s voices aren’t a very common pair, but they work out really well in this song. A good time for all.
19. Unhappy Refrain – Wowaka (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: I think implied suicide? I’m actually not sure on this one. There’s a gun though.)
(Note: The version above does not have subtitles, but this particular PV is important to the meaning of the song. I feel the other PVs don’t do it justice… but if you want english lyrics, there’s a version here.)
One of the biggest problems in the Vocaloid fandom, one I was unaware of when I was younger and have come to realize with age, is that the Vocaloids aren’t the creative minds behind these songs. I know that seems obvious, but when you’re young, it’s easy to associate these songs more with the Vocaloids who sing them because in all other ways they might as well be the “artists” as well. Yet, this leaves many of the real talent in Vocaloid, the producers, in the dark. “Unhappy Refrain” is one producer, Wowaka’s, struggles with being recognized for his work.
The ironic thing is, for the longest time I had no idea that this is what the song was about. The original PV I used to watch all the time for this song was just a still image. It was only when I got a little older and stumbled upon the PV I linked above that I realized I had been just as bad as the ignorant fans the song is referencing. All that being said, this is a great song even without it’s meaning.
18. Death Should Not Have Taken Thee! – Jesus-P (Kagamine Rin and Len)
(I… can’t actually find the PV with the original audio on YouTube at all?? It’s weird. Although this English dub version has the PV and English lyrics so)
I’m not the biggest fan of the Kagamines – they’re probably two of my least favorite Vocaloids mostly because I don’t usually like how they’re used. These two were packaged as a pair, and their voices are meant to be together. Story-wise, it’s unclear whether these two are meant to be siblings, lovers, or mirror images (or sometimes a combination of all three), but for some reason these two always seem to be used in the most cliche, melodramatic songs possible. Plus, Len specifically has a legion of young fangirls who like him just because he looks twelve…
All that being said, I really love this song. I usually find myself liking the Kagamines more when they’re played as bickering siblings, and while they don’t play this role specifically in this song, it’s close enough. Plus, the lyrics are humorous and I gotta love that video game flair.
17. All You Need are the Things You Like – PinnochioP (Hatsune Miku)
PinnochioP is a new favorite producer, and this will not be his only appearance on this list, mark my words. I love his songs because they’re super real. Even his most out-there premises are so grounded and honest that I can’t help but find myself relating. This one is probably one of his more fantastical works, but the philosophical question it centers around is still awfully relatable. So, what would happen if everyone in the world only got what they liked and wanted? Well, the world would surely explode. Yes, this music video and song are a little silly, but I love that this song also mixes in elements of unrequited love and loneliness to give the more ridiculous parts of it a little depth. Plus, it’s got a fun 8-bit flair to it that I enjoy.
16. Campanella – sasakure.UK (GUMI)
If you look up “subtle” in the dictionary, there’s a link to this song right next to it. “Campanella” is beautiful in just how simple it is. The instrumentation is quiet, and the innocence in GUMI’s voice is played up to match the tone of the song. Subject-wise, this song is probably the most likely of any of the songs on this list to make me cry. After all, it’s the tale of a young girl who has lost a best friend and is trying everything she can to find her way to him again. It’s heavily implied that her best friend has passed away, and that her efforts will always end in failure… and IT’S SO SAD. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL, BUT SO SAD.
15. AaAaAaAAaAaAAa – Nashimoto-P (Hatsune Miku)
Yes, I know the title is a bit ridiculous, but give it a chance, it’ll surprise you. With it’s heavy guitar instrumentation, this is a gritty rock song through and through despite the title and the… well, Miku. In fact, I don’t think her voice takes away from this song at all. The simple, barebones vocals from Miku gives the instrumentation room to breathe. There’s a lot of heartbreak in this song, communicated through soft verses swelling to the… should I say screaming chorus? I mean, it’s not really “screaming” per se… eh whatever. It’s good. You’ll like it. Give it a listen.
14. Leave in Summer, Yet You’re in My Fluffoughts – Baker (Hatsune Miku)
Electroswing is one of the greatest musical genre fusions to ever exist, and you can imagine my excitement to find a Vocaloid song that fell under this category. This song tells the story of an on-again off-again romance in the best possible way – with alpacas. The whole symbolism of the alpaca’s wool being sheared off to represent getting back into the relationship is kind of genius in a silly way. I also love how interestingly turned Miku’s voice is here. It’s barely recognizable! You could almost imagine the alpacas themselves are singing… and dancing… how adorable…
(PS: My crazy swing dance friend Marie has informed me that the alpacas in this video are actually swing dancing, which makes the whole experience all the better, I think.)
13. Crime & Punishment – DECO*27 (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Blood, bandages, implied suicide, cartoony decapitation)
Since we’re diving so deep into my dark past, I’m gonna let you in on a secret. Does anyone remember the Warriors series? Of course you do, it’s the children’s book series about cute feral kitties murdering each other over territory disputes and the rules of their own starry ancestors. Well, once upon a time, I was really into an animated YouTube tribute to one of the characters in Warriors set to this song. I’ll spare you the gory details but it was really angsty. I’m pretty sure even the cat had emo hair.
And yes, this song is pretty angsty, but it’s still one of my favorites. The little heartbeat sound effect in the background tying it all together along with Miku’s soft vocals as she describes the brutal heartbreak she’s going through… I mean, how can you not enjoy it, at least a little? Come on, bring out your inner emo kid and enjoy this song with me.
12. Love Trial – 40mp (Hatsune Miku)
“Love Trial” is one of my newer favorites, and I found it at just the right time. See, a lot of Vocaloid songs are pretty depressing, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from a lot of the subject matter on the list. A lot of murder and suicide and lost love and horror… sometimes it’s nice to just stumble upon a real feel-good number. And okay, this one is still about a guy under fire for cheating on his girlfriend, but it’s so fun I can excuse it. Maybe it has something to the swing-y sound and brassy instrumentation. Maybe it’s Miku’s cute little judge outfit. Maybe it’s listening to Miku sing “Oh Jesus!” No matter what it is, though, this song just brings a smile to my face.
11. Meltdown – iroha (Kagamine Rin)
(TW: Symbolic strangling, implied suicide via nuclear reactor??)
I’ve said my piece about the Kagamines, but hoo boy when Rin sounds good she sounds good. “Meltdown” is a really emotional song about facing the demons in your past and coming to terms with it, and it’s a gorgeous ride from start to finish. Those pianos, the echoy quality of Rin’s voice… it all comes together to really bring out the emotion in its subject matter. This song is one of my oldest favorites, and it’s not hard to see why I keep coming back to this one.
10. Sweet Devil – Hachiouji-P (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Nothing too bad in the video unless anime characters dancing provocatively upsets you. Although, the robot Mikus are pretty creepy…)
Rounding out the top ten is “Sweet Devil”, which I love for very shallow reasons. That’s probably fitting, considering it’s a pretty shallow song. Anyway, when I was younger and I first discovered this song, the music video reminded me so much of the sort of music video you’d see from a real human American pop star, it set me imagining Hatsune Miku as a real human pop star, and that just made me very excited. I mean, come on. I love Miku, you love Miku, the whole world loves Miku. She’s a star.
(Plus, this PV was made in MikuMikuDance, and… I’m not gonna go on a tangent about this, but MikuMikuDance is an animation software that is a laggy, inefficient nightmare and I’m amazed someone could make something look this good in it.)
Though, looking back on this song, there’s a lot more than just wishful thinking and high quality animation to celebrate. It’s super atmospheric and has some really dynamic dips and crests. Miku’s voice is tuned to highlight it’s robotic qualities, and it works out really well for this kind of song, giving it that perfect pop polish. (Autotune, anyone?) It’s catchy and fun and doesn’t make you think too hard, and sometimes that’s just what you need.
9. Coin Locker Baby – maretu (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Implied infant death, implied pregnant woman death, symbolic sexual imagery, trains)
Based on a real type of child abuse common in China and Japan, “Coin Locker Baby” is the story of a teenage mother who, desparate and unsure of what to do with her infant child, leaves him in a coin-operated locker at a train station in the hope that he will be found and taken in to a loving home.
As one might guess, that does not happen. Instead, the child dies and his confused, vengeful spirit is left behind to haunt the train station. Many years later, his mother returns, older now and happily pregnant with the child of her husband. In his rage, the spirit pushes her onto the tracks, and…
I’ll be honest- I established the trigger warning thing in this post almost solely because of this song. I’m sure all of you just read that little synopsis above and gave me a look like, “…Really? This is one of your favorite songs?” But let me level with you. Coin Locker Baby deals with some… challenging themes, I get it. But this song deals with them in possibly the best way it could – with a real attention to the emotional weight of the story.
It would be easy to languish in the gorey details of this very gorey tale, but it doesn’t. Instead, the lyrics concern the conflicting emotions of both the mother and the child. It focuses on the mother’s desparation, naivety, and later regret for the mistakes she has made, and the child’s confusion, loneliness, and rage. I also love the touch of social commentary, how the absent father is constantly ridiculed in the lyrics, but it’s the mother, in the end, who is punished, making the listeners feel she has been unfairly wronged.
Plus, the frantic, almost optimistic sounding beat of the song becomes downright unsettling when the listener understands what the song is trying to say, but the scares never feel cheap. Plus, it’s super catchy.
Also, Trains: 2
(Also, a note: After the music cuts out in the PV, I suggest clicking away from the video. The ending is, from my understanding, based on a Japanese horror movie, and the last minute or so of the video is just a black screen and the… rather gross audio from that movie. If you’re into that sort of thing, keep watching, but it’s not really worth the time or squickiness imo)
8. Two Faced Lovers – Wowaka-P (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Some symbolic sexual imagery and implied abortion.)
One of the cool things about Vocaloid is that it allows for some crazy experimentation with vocals that just wouldn’t be possible with a real, fleshy human being. “Two Faced Lovers” is a testament to that. Many have tried to sing this fast-paced song but most have failed. Don’t feel bad, though. Once the robots take over Earth, not being able to sing faster than them will be the least of humanity’s worries.
Jokes aside, this is actually a really deep and interesting song if you take a moment to look into it. I’ve seen a lot of debate over whether the sexual symbolism in this song is literal or figurative. Personally, I see this song not as a story of one character’s experiences but more as an exploration of the dangers of power imbalances in romantic relationships. There’s some pretty strong ideas about gender roles in romance, especially pertaining to the way women tend to lose out in the end when relationships go sour (i.e. unwanted pregnancy, etc.)
Even without the meaning though, the speed of this song alone is enough to communicate desperation and a lot of feeling.
7. Just Be Friends – Dixie Flatline (Megurine Luka)
“Just Be Friends” is a classic. If you ask me, it’s the classic to end all classics. It’s one of those Vocaloid songs that just about everybody who knows what Vocaloid is knows and also hopefully loves. I mean, after all, there’s a reason why this song is so iconic.
First of all, despite the fact she doesn’t show up in this list very often, Megurine Luka is probably my favorite Vocaloid. She has this really deep register that I’ve always loved listening to. Plus, she was Crypton’s (the biggest most well-known Vocaloid company) very first bilingual Vocaloid, having both a Japanese and near-complete English voice bank. She shows it off in the chorus of this song. It’s maybe not perfect, but hey, when I was younger it was SUPER cool to hear my own language sung by cool anime robots.
This song is a sad one, the heartfelt story of a relationship ending amicably. It’s actually told in the perspective of the guy, although… I’m not sure why that distinction needs to be made? Eh, anyway. I love how honest and real this song is. It’s basically textbook bittersweet, and ties it all up with a great beat and singable chorus. The PV is colorful and eye-catching and just as iconic as the song itself. It’s well worth your time.
6. Housewife Radio – GHOST (GUMI)
(TW: Implied murder, depicted suicide. Cartoon blood.)
One of the coolest things about Vocaloid is that because the “singers” are essentially fictional characters, it allows a lot of songs to tell really unique stories you wouldn’t see sung by real life people. “Housewife Radio” is my favorite song from producer GHOST’s excellent Communications series. If you’re interested in listening to the whole series (and really, why wouldn’t you be), check out the playlist here. There’s also a synopsis of the story in the description of each video, so don’t worry about having to figure it out yourself. (I also don’t really want to write it all out here, since it’s a multi-part story and I couldn’t possibly do it justice.)
I love the Communications series as a whole, but this part is my favorite because it’s such a complete package. The story told in this particular song is really unique, mixing elements of old timey 50s gender roles with ideas about love and mental health. Plus, the PV is visually stunning, created by GHOST themselves, and is well worth a watch even if you’re not entirely sure what’s going on. Plus, this song is a lot more structured than I feel is the case with the other songs in this series, and while the unstructured feel works sometimes, I like having traditional verses and a chorus.
Plus, that ending? Really emotional. The music plus the visuals just serves to hit you right in the soul.
Also! This song is in English, and most songs produced by GHOST are as well. Like with VocaCircus, if you’re squeamish about listening to foreign language songs, these songs are a good starting point. Vocaloid is primarily Japanese, but in recent times there have been a lot of really good English songs created as well, and they’re very worth checking out.
5. Rolling Girl – Wowaka-P (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Some believe this song is about suicide. I don’t think it is. Doesn’t show anything. There is some cartoon blood, bruises, cuts, bandages and the like.)
I first really got into Vocaloid when I was in middle school, which means it’s a fandom that’s associated with a lot of childhood embarrassment for me. In fact, before this year, I sort of denied ever having been a fan, probably because the fandom was (and continues to be) filled with very young, very… to say annoying sounds mean, but honestly, very annoying fans.
But even in those months I spent denying I was ever a fan, I have always had this song downloaded to my phone. It transcends embarrassment, because every time I turned it on I was reminded of the fact that as weird and awkward as I was back then, I was still a person. I HARDCORE identified with the lyrics of this song.
Vocaloid music isn’t always super up front with its meaning, especially considering a lot of it is in a different language, which means there’s usually a hearty amount of leeway for interpretation. So, I put a lot of personal experience into my interpretation of the song. To me, it was a song about a girl struggling to understand her place in the world. A smart, talented girl who felt isolated from her peers for being smart and talented. To me, the colorful ending was her finding a friend who saw her for more than just her brain and abilities, and let her be herself outside of her studies. To me, this was a song about me.
A lot of people think this song is about a suicidal girl, and consider the ending to be her finally embracing death or something, but this interpretation continues to disappoint me to this day. Is the suicide idea true? Probably. But for me, this song is important because it was the first time I ever placed my own interpretation of something above the accepted one, which is now what I do for a lot of songs.
Art belongs to the people who consume it, and so too do the meanings of art. This song reminds me of that.
4. Mrs. Pumpkin’s Comical Dream – Hachi (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: General spookiness? Idk, this one’s not too bad, but does imply some sort of train-related death? WHY IS IT ALWAYS TRAINS. Also Goat Satan? I’m not really sure. You’re probably fine.)
If you had asked me a few years ago what my favorite Vocaloid song is, I would have told you this one without hesitation. There’s just something so charming about this song – maybe it’s the whimsical Halloween vibe, the practically singable lyrics (even though they’re not, they’re in Japanese, a language I, decidedly, do not speak), the adorably crayon-esque art style in the PV, or the ever-present feeling that something terrible is happening to these characters.
For real though, for how much I care about lyrics and song meanings and all that jazz, I have no idea what this song is about. Something could be said about how goats are sometimes associated with Satan, and also trains seem to have this weird connection with gruesome death and ghosts, and… really that’s all I have. I mean clearly something is going on in this song, but I can’t bring myself to care what it is. It’s too fun to listen to for me to worry myself on the details.
This song has such a clappable beat, and a really memorable and unique structure and I just love it inexplicably???
And, look at that. Trains: 3. Why are there so many trains in this list? That’s one train for every ten songs! What’s the deal?
3. I’m Glad You’re Evil Too – PinocchioP (Hatsune Miku)
Boy is this ever a beautiful song. I’ve already talked a bit about PinocchioP’s talent for really getting deep and philosophical in his music, and… gosh this song just takes my breath away. It’s a quiet and contemplative love song that explores a concept that really appeals to me – that of two lovers cynical about everything but each other.
It’s a unique take on the ideal picture of love being flawless and good and beautiful. Instead of going along with this very common idea of love making people perfect, this song presents two misfits who struggle to stay optimistic, and find hope and strength in each other. It’s just so sweet.
Plus, I really like love songs with a personal flair, and the listed activities the lovers do together seems to me to come from a real life relationship. It immediately endears you to the subjects of the song, who have a lot going for them considering they’re already loveable rogues (I mean, they’re evil. Just look at the title.)
The quiet piano swelling to its climactic finish, the simple, yet colorful visuals… just listening to this song feels like being in love. (In fact, in some ways, for me at least, this song is me being in love. But, uh, that’s enough of that.)
2. LUVORATORRRRRY! – GigaP (Kagamine Rin and GUMI)
(TW: This whole song is sexual innuendo. It is not shy about it, either. The video doesn’t show anything but cutesy dancing though.)
I think the appeal of a lot of Vocaloid is that it’s just so catchy, and “LUVORATORRRRRY” is maybe the catchiest of them all. Don’t be fooled by the anime flair, this is a genuine pop song through and through, complete with a danceable beat and, ahem, overtly sexual lyrics.
The verses being a bit more rapped than sang sets this song apart from other vocaloid songs, and keeps it driving. This song never slows down for a second (okay, well, it does at the bridge, but whatever).
I love how Rin and GUMI sound together, and the way their voices play off of each other, always keeping the lyrics fast and bouncy. This is honestly such a fun song, and it’ll get stuck in your head, mark my words, and drive you crazy considering you won’t even know the lyrics. You know, except for the random nonsense English thrown into the chorus.
“LOVE ME BABY BABY, GIMME VERY VERY *unintelligible muttering* BEASTY GIMMICK GIMMICK, KNOCK OUT, GIMME GIMME *unintelligible muttering*”
1. Love Me. Love Me. Love Me. – Kikuo (Hatsune Miku)
(TW: Some interpretations say this is about suicide. I don’t personally believe that, but I’ll put that on here anyway. Some cartoony gore. Overall pretty creepy. Also, the music video is very trippy but I love it.)
I first heard this song on the bus coming back from a late night marching competition. It was almost pitch-black and I was tiredly browsing YouTube when, for no particular reason at all, I clicked this video. And when it’s dark and your tired eyes can barely focus on your bright little phone screen, even a few flashing lights can get trippy.
Needless to say, the near constant movement of this song’s PV paired with the frantic xylophone accompaniment stuck in my mind like some sort of curse even after I got some sleep. And then I actually read the lyrics.
If “Rolling Girl” was the song I most connected with as a kid, this song is the one I relate to most heavily as an “adult.” To explain exactly why would take a whole post (one I am actually currently writing), but tl;dr, this is a song heavy in both visual and lyrical symbolism, a lot of which connecting to themes I relate to.
Kikuo is probably my favorite producer because he presents very simple stories (in this one, the story of a young girl struggling with expectations that have been set for her from a young age) but communicates the emotion through unique and often downright creepy imagery. He presents a world that is horrifying because of how much AND how little it resembles ours, and that’s pretty cool. Plus, the tuning of Miku’s voice is dynamic and at times seems filled with pain. It’s haunting.
Hands down, my favorite Vocaloid song.