Before the reign of YouTube, and before the song and dance covers of our favorite anime music, there was VOCALOID — a voice singing synthesizer software engine created and developed by Crypton Media and the YAMAHA Corporation. Vocaloid became super popular among otakus due to its virtual singers, like Hatsune Miku, KAITO, Megurine Luka, the twins Kagamine Len and Rin, Meiko, and Kamui Gakupo. The franchise then expanded to more voicebank characters and even fanmade ones were created. The software has been used by many music producers and composers to share their work and also convey their message using the voice of these virtual singing icons.
We’ll take you back down memory lane as we list the popular VOCALOID songs that made our otaku playlists almost 10 years ago. Prepare for a nostalgic ride!
1 – magnet
First on the list is the famous yuri duet magnet, sung by Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka. The song was produced by minato (music and lyrics) and Yunomi-P (illustration). The song is about the forbidden love between girls and reveals the emotions of two individuals who are madly in love with each other and realizing that their feelings are real.
The song inspired many duet covers, remixes, and even choruses. Many people were introduced to yuri through this song.
2 – Just Be Friends
Don’t let the catchy beats fool you, because this is a break-up song! Just Be Friends is considered one of Megurine Luka’s most popular songs, and has inspired many covers and remixes. The song was first published in July 2009 and was produced by Dixie Flatline (music and lyrics), 630 (chorus arrangement), Yunomi-P (video and illustration), and Piroriro-P (encoding). Although the song is performed by Luka, fans claim the interpretation of the song is based on a guy’s point of view.
The song tells the tale about a relationship that is going nowhere and the realization that their love for each other is slowly crumbling down to pieces. The singer (Luka) officially calls it quits and breaks up with her partner.
Another VOCALOID song titled Answer was released in 2012 as an “answer to Just Be Friends,” three years later revealing that the girl (Luka) has officially moved on from the break-up. A whistled tune of Just Be Friends can be heard at the end of the song.
3 – Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder
Butterfly on Your Right Shoulder was released in March and May 2009. The first version of the song was performed by Kagamine Rin and the second one by Kagamine Len. Len’s version of the song stands out as a fan favorite.
Aside from the catchy beats, the song is also notable for having a lot of interpretations. Such as claims that it is a song for Rin’s love for Len (they’re twins) or vice-versa, or a song that tells a story of a person who dated someone but felt empty in the end. Regardless, it’s one very popular Rin/Len song and the intro part will get you every time!
4 – Romeo and Cinderella
Uploaded in April of 2009, this powerful and fast-paced song is performed by Hatsune Miku. It tells a story of a girl madly in love with her “Romeo,” but her parents don’t agree with the relationship. Hence, the girl kept it a secret. If you go through the lyrics, it does hint that the relationship just ended up in a fit of passion and nothing genuinely romantic happened between them. The girl only wanted a “Romeo” in her life and only wished for a “Cinderella” kind of ending.
5 – Black★Rock Shooter
Okay, this song was released in 2008. I made an exception and included it anyway.
Remember the time when the Black★Rock Shooter art and video were mistaken as an anime series? Before the OVA and anime series that was released in 2010 and 2012 respectively, this franchise was based on the popular Vocaloid song of the same name performed by Hatsune Miku. The song is created by ryo (part of the group supercell) and the illustrations were are done by huke.
The song is notable, mostly for its unique art and character concept of a black-haired twin-tailed girl with a flaming blue eye. Aside from Black Rock Shooter, huke has also drawn other characters into the franchise like Dead Master and Black Gold Saw. The popularity of the song and art also caused a wave of fan art, song covers, and choruses.
These are just a few of the many nostalgic VOCALOID songs. What is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!