Spending Far Too Much Time Analyzing Every Song In Niconico's Vocaloid Hall of Myths
So, the Hall of Myths, right? For those who don't know, the Hall of Myths is an esteemed group of songs, and the highest honor a vocaloid song can achieve on Japanese video streaming site Niconico. It's awarded to the select few songs which achieve ten million views on the site, and only hosts, as of the publishing of this article, seven songs. Each of these songs is made by a different producer, and symbolizes something important within the vocaloid community, whether it be a mark of a shift, or the song that started a creator's career, these songs are cornerstones of the vocaloid we know today, so let's take some time to celebrate them, in the order they entered the pantheon.
Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru♪ (Shite Yan yo) feat. Hatsune Miku – ika
There's a lot that can be said about Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru, but let's start with the basics: this was the first vocaloid song to explode. The first one to make it big. It was the earliest published song to make the HoM (published 9-20-2007), and the one that entered the Hall of Myth both first, and the second fastest (entered the on 8-30-2012, 1806 days after publishing). Nowadays, this song is mostly a nostalgia trip for older fans, but for an '07 song, Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru holds up extremely well. It's not a deep and metaphorical song like some of the later entries, but it's good at what it does, and what it does is introduce people to vocaloid. This is honestly probably the first song with good tuning, and what it means for the community will last until its very end.
Melt feat. Hatsune Miku – ryo
I want to talk about Melt, but talking about Melt requires talking about ryo. I do not have enough time in the span of a single article to talk about ryo. I'll leave you with this until I talk about ryo: Melt came out 3 months after Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru. Your favorite producer would not be in vocaloid if not for this song. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Senbonzakura feat. Hatsune Miku – Kurousa-p
Senbonzakura feels almost like an outlier. It entered the HoM faster than Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru at an astonishing 1608 days, and almost entirely on the back of it just being a hard banger. Like this shit just goes y'all. I can wax poetic about some of the later and earlier songs for eons but there's no really deep lyrical or instrumental analysis I can work with here. It takes traditional Japanese instrumentals, modern production techniques, and lyrical themes evoking the Meiji restoration of Japan. It wears its hearts on its sleeves, and sounds phenomenal while doing so. It almost makes me sad that Kurousa-p could never really bottle the lightning of Senbonzakura into songs like Cantarella and ACUTE, but they're so stylistically different from Senbonzakura that it'd almost be shocking to find out they're from the same producer. In all honesty Senbonzakura is a banger with a message that beats you over the head, and it's not trying to hide behind metaphor. It knows what it is, it relishes in that fact, and it worked out real damn well for Kurousa-p.
Matryoshka feat. Hatsune Miku and GUMI – Hachi
Where do we even start with Matryoshka? Probably the fact that this is the first HoM song to feature a vocaloid other than Miku. In the modern day, GUMI is probably the most popular non-CFM vocaloid (Crypton Future Media is the company that owns Miku, the Kagamines, Luka, MEIKO, and KAITO), but I'd be lying if I said it was always easy for her. However, Hachi managed to use her voice phenomenally in his absurdist masterpiece Matryoshka. One thing strange about this song is that it's not really... about anything. It's lyrics are incredibly inconsistent, using nonsense words and incoherent lines as often as it can. It's also the first real rock song on the list. Most of the songs before this have been very Jpop inspired, as expected of someone more marketed as a pop diva. However, later producers like Hachi found incredible strength in using vocaloids like Miku and especially GUMI in more rock and even metal songs. Hachi was already an established name in the scene at this point, with songs like WORLD'S END UMBRELLA and Hold, Release; Rakshasa and Carcasses under his belt, but this song began a streak of four songs that would massively impact the community each time one dropped.
Meltdown feat. Kagamine Rin – iroha(sasaki)
2018 was a strange year for the Hall of Myths. Not only did it feature two songs entering the Hall of Myths, but both of them entered in a span of two months, and, perhaps most significantly, neither of them had Miku in any capacity. The first one to enter this year was Meltdown, and what a fucking tour de force. It's this futuristic-y song that almost reminds me of some of my favorite 3d Sonic the Hedgehog music. It's an absolute banger, and the first song in the HoM to just be overwhelmingly depressing in its lyrics. It also seems to have begun this trend of Rin being a vocalist for more heavy and intense songs. Predating songs like Tengaku and Tokyo Teddy Bear by almost a year. A song about flinging oneself into a nuclear reactor, but, removing the meaning of the lyrics, feels like a song you'd see someone dancing to in the dark, a feeling the Project Diva Arcade PV captures incredibly well
Mozaik Role feat. GUMI – Deco*27
Mozaik Role is another strange song, barring the lack of Miku and it's appearance on the list Christmas day 2018, just under 2 months after Meltdown's 11-1 arrival. In my opinion, Mozaik Role is strange because it's aged the least well of any of these songs, but in a paradoxically good way. Deco*27 is an interesting producer, as he's always either on the cutting edge, or he's making the cutting edge. As such, Deco songs occasionally fall victim to not aging as well as one would hope, but that just means that people have taken his recipe, and altered it. And with a staggering frequency, the person to do that is Deco himself. Mozaik Role is another one of those aforementioned Sad As Shit Songs, this time about a girl killing herself due to her love hating her. I just personally that rock and metal songs about these topics have improved heavily since then. Songs like Tokyo Teddy Bear by neru, Rolling Girl by wowaka, and Ghost Rule by, you guessed it, Deco himself, have all managed this topic in ways that hold up to the test of time much better. I see every single reason as to why Mozaik Rule is as popular as it is, but I feel it's been done better nowadays. However, we have Mozaik Rule to thank for that, so to call it anything other than a myth among the community would be massively understating its influence.
World's End Dancehall feat. Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka – wowaka
Fuck man. FUck. FUCK. God damn it. Shit. God fucking damn it. Hell. FUcking shit aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Fucking wowaka, man. Holy shit. Wowaka is another producer where their my entire analysis of all their works ties into his Hall of Myth entry, and I'd love to talk about it in further detail, but I just don't have the words to write a short overview about it as I have with the other songs. I can't even give a hyper tl;dr like I did for ryo. Shit man. Fuck.
Since 2015, there's been at least one song to enter the Hall of Myths every year. So far, it looks like the next entry is likely to either be cosmo@busou-p's “The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku” or Kemu's “A Six Trillion Year And One Night Story”. Each of these songs have their own importance to them, and I'd love to talk about them one day, but, for now, I have more pressing topics at hand.