Vocaloid – supercell feat. Hatsune Miku
I was first introduced to Vocaloids and their music – specifically Hatsune Miku’s (初音ミク) – about two years ago but didn’t really pay attention back then asides from the fact I quite liked Miku’s character design. It was only last month that I really got into the music through supercell thanks to a fellow New Zealander who’s also a fan of Miku. supercell, who were responsible for Bakemonogatari’s ED – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari – have a self-titled album supercell, where ryo makes use of the Vocaloid software to create arguably some of Hatsune Miku’s best songs.
So you may have seen them around but what is Vocaloid? Asahi Shinbun’s report in the Youtube video embedded above explains this well. The creators’ aim was to produce singing software that had a cute and likeable character singing. The Vocaloid program allows for anyone to synthesise their own songs, sung by any one of the now numerous Vocaloids. Although this can result in some rather “weird” songs such as The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku (referred to some at Nico Nico Douga as “godly” due to the insane 240BPM); it has also resulted in talented everyday people becoming songwriters and creating beautiful masterpieces with some amazing video animation that doesn’t lose to HQ anime. The 3D videos by Tripshots are notably worth mentioning here for those effects are truly impressive. Whilst this type of music still has its own niche market, it certainly has gained in popularity (not just in Japan) with the increasing number of Vocaloids and the production of an anime this April.
Black★Rock Shooter was originally a song sung by Hatsune Miku, with design by huke, which is now being produced into an anime by Ordet. Whilst not an anime about the actual Vocaloids themselves, but seeing as there is already a game (Project Diva for the PSP) and B★RS coming, I think it’s only a matter of time before it happens. For the meantime, this B★RS anime is looking good from the PV.
There are around 17 different Vocaloids right now (some English and some Japanese) with Miku being the first of the Vocaloid2 series. I’ve yet to listen to many of the Vocaloids other than Miku, but Megurine Luka appears to have also been very popular, dominating Nico charts at one point if I recall correctly. My favourite songs by Miku would have to be 恋は戦争（Love is War) and ワールドイズマイン (World is Mine) from supercell. Although Miku has been compared to being less realistic than newer Vocaloids, her songs are still nonetheless awesome and supercell is an exceptional example of this.
This type of music is unique and I find it quite refreshing to listen to something different as this. Like I said earlier, this does have a niche and and I can’t imagine every person liking it instantly but I would definitely recommend supercell’s album. Give it a try, you never know?