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DARTEGNIAN'S MAIN BLOG|WHERE DREAMS ARE PENNED|STORIES ARE WRITTEN|IDEAS ARE BUILT|AND SET IN MOTION

Vocaloid


During the year 2012, I was introduced to the wildest and craziest thing I had (literally) ever heard in the field of music—singing speech synthesizers. Now, speech synthesizers have been around for some time and most of us use it for day-to-day tasks; I use Cortana on my Windows Phone and PC, several folks use Alexa, and a sizable amount of people use Siri. But to have those speech synthesizers sing thousands of songs, release albums, and even have concerts of their own is almost entirely unheard of. Today, I will be taking you down my musical rabbit hole, the world of Vocaloid.

My high school (and current) best friend Jean introduced me to the genre when I was just starting out my freshman year in high school. The songs she introduced ranged from various voice banks, here on out referred to as "Vocaloids," like Miku Hatsune, Rin and Len Kagamine, and Luka Megurine to name a few. To be completely honest, I didn't really give much attention to the genre itself. Some of the songs were able to entice me and I even downloaded a PSP game that focused heavily on them. But I was in high school at the time, K-pop was dominating my musical landscape and Girls' Generation came out on top.

Truth is, I never really liked Vocaloid that much in high school.

My fondness for Vocaloids and the genre itself remained completely frozen in time and kept on a shelf of old high school memorabilia, never to be touched or even looked at. That seemed to be the case until November of last year. I broke down in my college's library and a flame was rekindled inside of me, burning with a passion for old high school memories.

I tried to remember some of my favorite songs and, whew, did it take me down memory lane! Now, I've incorporated the genre itself into my daily life and I'm going just spazz about my favorite Vocaloids. (Forgive me for spazzing, as I have few to no friends at all with whom I can tell my current musical interests to. I have no mouth, and I must spazz.)

Miku Hatsune

At this point, Miku has basically made herself the mascot of Vocaloid as she is the most famous one out there. She has her own concerts and world tours in various cities across the globe, she has several albums featuring her voicebank, and she even has her own game franchise. She is currently Vocaloid's biggest pop star and a virtual diva. And, honestly, I quite like her.

Being a person who plays Project Diva on a weekly basis, I have taken a liking to a lot of her songs. Some of my favorite songs are "Yellow," "Rolling Girl," and "Torinoko City." There is one song from her that seriously, seriously tugs my heartstrings, a particular song that makes me shed a tear every time I listen to it; the song I'm referring to is called "Once Upon A Me" and it is a wonderful piece of musical art.

I was able to get a perfect song on the song "Yellow" in Project Diva F2nd! Yaaay! (Though the song itself wasn't that difficult.)

"Once Upon A Me" was introduced to me by my sister and it tells the story of how the singer, Miku, started out and her struggles. That description alone may sound like the story's tailored to her, but you'll soon see that it could be applied to just about anyone. The song touched me because it reflected my life. A few months ago, I was told by various people that I'll "never get anywhere" or I'll "never find a job and just be doomed to work as a security guard." I was quite a sob at the beginning of my journey, someone very spiteful, but now I've got the courage to lift my head up and head toward a tomorrow gleaming bright. I highly recommend you give the song a listen, I'll link the video below this paragraph.



I could write an entire post dedicated to her and her songs, but that'd take me all day. Onto the next Vocaloid, shall we?

IA

Straying from the normal order, the last Vocaloid on the picture is the one we're going to talk about next—IA. (IA is the one on the far right of the post's image.)

IA is a relatively new Vocaloid for me to like. She was briefly mentioned to me by my best friend a few months ago, but I have never taken a liking to her songs. That was the case until I picked up her game for the PS Vita. Her game, IA/VT Colorful, basically pulled me out of depression this past June. It provided me solace in a time of despair and gloom, it gave me a rainbow on a rainy day.

Suffice to say, I have become addicted to several of her songs because of this. "Yuukei Yesterday," "Kisaragi Attention," and "I'm Sorry For Liking You" are some of my favorite songs from the game, to name a few. I have yet to unlock all the songs in the game and I've got all the DLCs to go through. I'm pretty sure that I'll add more songs to my "top songs of 2018" playlist.

I don't think I'm that good at playing this game, sadly. But I'm getting there.

IA's voice sounds more realistic (when properly tuned) compared to the other Vocaloids on this list, and others can attest to this. She's also seriously underrated and lives in the shadow of the more prominent Vocaloids. Honestly, I just hope that she will attract a larger following in the future.

Luka Megurine

Luka's songs, wow, they just like to leave a mark on me, don't they? First was "Just Be Friends," then "Answer," next "Interviewer," and eventually "Hello, Worker." Luka's composers must have some kind of phenomenal talent, attracting me to her songs and leaving a mark on me unlike any Vocaloid before.

Around my 3rd year of high school, I religiously listened to "Just Be Friends" while my friendship with Jean was crumbling due to me being rejected by her and it was just the most heart-crushing breakup song I have ever heard (even though Jean and I were never a couple). This year I played the song again when I realized the horrible truth with a recent love interest of mine. That song is definitely not a "feel-good song" and invokes heartache, pain, as well as deep-rooted feelings of rejection and inadequacy every time I listen to it. I hate what the song reminds me of, yet I love the story behind it.

"Answer" was the catalyst of my newly-formed friendship with Jean. As I have briefly mentioned in this post, November was the time I broke down and "Answer" was basically my theme song throughout that whole episode. The song is about remembering past heartaches and moving on from all that while keeping fond memories of the past. That song "personified" my friendship with Jean at the time (a friendship long gone that yet still lingers), and it honestly helped me realized my mistakes towards her. You might find this preposterous, but the song actually spurred me to become a better person. I was able to make a promise because of this, a promise to Jean. This song was also featured in the website I made for her.



"Interviewer" and "Hello, Worker" are both wonderful songs that perfectly describe my contemporary life. The song "Interviewer" fits in the context of the realization of my self-loathing and other personal (mostly romantic) issues. Meanwhile, "Hello, Worker" fits well in regards to my free time and finding enjoyment in the workplace; as such, I label it as "a ballad of the modern office worker." The latter topic shall be incorporated into a later post of mine.

Luka has, by far, some of the most memorable songs in my Vocaloid playlist. Heck, they are memorable to the point where I can argue that the songs have significantly shaped who I am as a person—and have shaped me for the better.

(Also, "Dreamin Chuchu" is one hell of a catchy song. It's also so cute! It's the perfect song to describe a budding high school romance. Oddly enough, it's also the top song on my Last.fm profile as of posting this. Seriously, check it out.)

Rin and Len Kagamine

Rin and Len have "okay" songs and are Jean's favorite Vocaloids. I don't know about her, but they fall short of the others on this list. Usually, I like them the most when they're paired up with each other or some other Vocaloid, such as Rin and Miku in "Colorful × Melody" or both of them in "Love-Hate," but having them sing their songs solo just doesn't really catch my attention.

I am sincerely sorry, Rin and Len fans ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

GUMI

GUMI has a weird look, I'm not gonna lie, but that's not to say her songs didn't lend a helping hand in shaping my memories. Her song "ECHO" was my "theme song" for my mental breakdown last June. "Cowardly Montblanc" is also a song from her that I like, but those two songs are the only ones I like from her.

Neither Jean nor I like GUMI that much, although I wish there was some way for me to like her more. I wish she had more chart-topping or memorable songs. Until then, I guess she'll trail behind everybody else in my list of favorite Vocaloids.

She seems to have a more robotic voice compared to the other Vocaloids on this list. That, or I just haven't listened to her songs that much.


Now that I've introduced you to my list of favorite Vocaloids, well, there's isn't much left to say, really. Vocaloid is one genre that has replaced K-pop as my dominant genre for this "saga" of my life and I'll only like more and more Vocaloid songs from this point forward. I do wish I could meet more people who are into the genre, as I want to get more song recommendations.

I shall try to open up to more people who are into the genre, maybe join a Discord server or a Facebook group dedicated to Vocaloid and (hopefully) meet someone kind there. Who knows? Let's just see and hope for the best.

If you have (miraculously) made this far into the post without skipping, please check out the songs I have recommended. They're honestly a part of me that I'm willing to share with the entire world. It would mean a lot if you could give them a listen or two.

And with that, I will bid you adieu. I had fun making this post and have missed blogging about my life interests. A blog post from a co-worker of mine spurred me into writing this post. Thank you as well, Nikka!

I'll see you all in the next post and I'll definitely continue blogging, it's one of the things that genuinely bring me joy and allow me to express myself through writing. Check out my alternate blog, The Stowaway Seagull, for more recent (albeit unpolished) blog posts.

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