A Quick Examination of Select Project Diva F Tracks

I've already written about the game at length once, but given the variety and strength of its soundtrack, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the specific tracks in Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F and their videos. While they are in Japanese for the most part, the lyrics and their accompanying videos are actually quite fitting matches; so much so that in most cases, an English translation isn't required to get at least a basic understanding of the song's subject or intent. On the other hand, it's not too difficult to find translations of songs in the game online. So why don't we take a few minutes to take a closer look at a selection of tracks?

God-Tier Tune

By: Onyuu-P

Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku

This is one of my favorite stages in the game. An upbeat tune, the Japanese lyrics play around a bit with the fact that the word "kami" can mean vastly different things depending on the kanji; god, hair, or even paper. The video takes the song and casts Nendoroid-sized versions of Miku and other Vocaloids as little helpers trying to restore green plant life to a desolate world, but as the plants start to wither and Miku starts crying, Miku the goddess awakens and basically says, "Don't worry. I got this." In a way, it fits with the lyrics' notion of wanting to save and wanting to be saved, as the mini-Vocaloids put everything they have into their work, but need the goddess to come in and save the day. On the other hand, the goddess wouldn't awaken if it wasn't for their hard work and devotion.

World's End Umbrella

By: Hachi

Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku

Before we even discuss the song, you might notice that a majority of the video for World's End Umbrella is actually a short story told using 2D animation; Miku's presence is merely as an observer. This is because the song was originally released with a video of its own that told the same tale:

The song, and the video, tell a story about a boy and a girl that live under the shadow of a massive umbrella-like tower that blocks out the sky, and ironically leaks water in a constant rain. The two choose to brave the tower and escape to the other side to see what the outside world is like. What they see is a beautiful blue sky, but it's perhaps something that they were never meant to see, as it's hinted that the two pass away from exposure to the sun shortly thereafter.

Rin-chan Now!

By: Owata-P

Vocaloids: Hatsune Miku & Megurine Luka

We now journey from the sublime to the ridiculous. Rin-chan Now! is a song that could alternatively be titled The Ballad of the Crazy Fangirls. As one of the game's duets, Miku and Luka sing their obsession with fellow Vocaloid Kagamine Rin, taken to ludicrous, near stalker-like extremes. They sing (at a very rapid clip) about such desires as putting Rin in situations meant to fluster or annoy her just to see the cute looks on her face. Yet, peace is restored when they're launched into the statosphere atop the head of a giant Rocket Rin because why the hell not.

'Tis a very silly song.

Black Rock Shooter

By: Ryo

Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku

Now here's a song with an unusual history. Black Rock Shooter didn't begin as a song, but as a drawing of an original character by an artist named Ryuhei Fuke. He posted the image to a couple of places online, and Ryo, a musician in the band Supercell, used the image as inspiration for a song that he made using Vocaloid. The two made a music video together, and the popularity of Black Rock Shooter the character eventually rolled out into anime, manga, and a video game starring the character. The song also served as the opening theme to the anime TV series.

The lyrics are written as though the song itself is actually being sung to Black Rock Shooter herself, and is about both her and the singer. Though Black Rock Shooter is noticeably absent from the music video.

Stay With Me

By: shu-t

Vocaloid: MEIKO

MEIKO (yes, all-caps) is one of the older Vocaloids, and as a result she's not quite as advanced as Miku and the others, which leaves the high notes in particular sounding a little odd. But what we have here is a song with a very Christmas-y video accompaniment. Though, as MEIKO sings about a love, in the video, she waits (and waits, and waits) for her Christmas date to arrive, only to be stood up. Or, with the way that the box glows near the end, is she? And yes, in case you didn't know, Christmas is celebrated in Japan. Just not in the way that westerners or really Christians in general recognize it.

Well, that's five songs. Should we go for one more? Let's go for one more.

Acute

By: Kurousa

Vocaloids: KAITO, Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka

Two words: Love triangle. KAITO, one of the two male Vocaloids in the game, takes the lead in this one as the song tells of the awkward relationship between himself and the others, which the video represents in a quite literal triangle in its staging and choreography. The song is actually quite dark, with Miku learning that KAITO has betrayed her for Luka, and then the knife comes out. Oh dear. That's kind of a depressing one to end on.

As you can see, it's quite a mix of songs, and it's not all complete nonsense. (Although the game does feature the Nyan Cat song, so there is at least some legitimate nonsense. No, I'm not kidding.) A lot of creativity has gone into projects using the Vocaloid software, and while some are content to just throw up a Miku-version of Still Alive and call it a day, others have put a lot more effort into creating original works with the tool. The end result has been some pretty cool music.

(Thanks to Youtube users TensaiRyuu, fine07f, and vgperson.)

11 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by GrantHeaslip

Thanks for the write up!

As dumb as lot of the manufactured controversy about this game has been, it did cause me to see enough of it to realize I kind of wanted to check it out. I never played any pre-guitar rhythm games besides Donkey Konga (which was a bizarre game in retrospect), and this seems to hit the same notes as PS1-era (and arcade-style) rhythm games.

Not sure I'm completely on board with the vocaloid sound (particularly when it gets crazy high and takes on that robotic quality), but I really appreciate how much care has gone into the song videos. My impression of the game before seeing more of it was that it was glorified MIDI music played over re-used backgrounds, and it looks like I wasn't giving them nearly enough credit.

It might be a little while -- my backlog being how it is and Saints Row IV in the mail -- but I will play it eventually.

(Quick tangent: I've started watching Toradora as part of my forays into anime, and World's End Umbrella's umbrella business totally reminded me of that show's closing theme. And hey, if I can enjoy that, is vocaloid music really a huge stretch?)

Posted by Demoskinos

Awesome blog! I enjoyed it. Among my favorites are Freely Tomorrow, Weekender Girl (even though I played that song to DEATH in the demo) , Summer Idol and Tell Your World.

Posted by Aetheldod

:D Awesome write up duder .... yeah never figured that the Vocaloids were somethin more , I wish to get this game asap.

Keep doing this , lets gather more converts ^___^ (worked with me , a metal headbanger fan)

Posted by Hailinel

@aetheldod: @demoskinos: Thanks!

Thanks for the write up!

As dumb as lot of the manufactured controversy about this game has been, it did cause me to see enough of it to realize I kind of wanted to check it out. I never played any pre-guitar rhythm games besides Donkey Konga (which was a bizarre game in retrospect), and this seems to hit the same notes as PS1-era (and arcade-style) rhythm games.

Not sure I'm completely on board with the vocaloid sound (particularly when it gets crazy high and takes on that robotic quality), but I really appreciate how much care has gone into the song videos. My impression of the game before seeing more of it was that it was glorified MIDI music played over re-used backgrounds, and it looks like I wasn't giving them nearly enough credit.

It might be a little while -- my backlog being how it is and Saints Row IV in the mail -- but I will play it eventually.

(Quick tangent: I've started watching Toradora as part of my forays into anime, and World's End Umbrella's umbrella business totally reminded me of that show's closing theme. And hey, if I can enjoy that, is vocaloid music really a huge stretch?)

Yeah, it is a lot like the sort of rhythm games that you'd see in the PS1 days. If there's one thing I really hated about the plastic instrument era, it's that this style of rhythm game really fell by the wayside at that point, which is a shame. It's great to see new ones still being made.

And I can see where you'd be reminded of the Toradora ending! Definitely an odd connection, but it's there.

Posted by YukoAsho

While I'm not really into rhythm games (mostly on account of having no rhythm myself), I'm glad to see you've once again come to the defense of a game the GB crew has casually dismissed. People like you lift my faith in the gaming community up and show that it's not all just a hive mind.

Edited by davidwitten22

Asa kara ban made omae wo miru!

Posted by DonChipotle

I never really understood the appeal of vocaloids or Hatsune Miku despite being an unapologetic anime fan and a lover of crazy dumb Japanese games. Your two topics here about this game have kinda made me consider checking this thing out.

Posted by SuperWristBands

Ha! Meiko's high notes sound a little odd? Her high notes are an enemy to ears :p

Asa kara ban made omae wo miru!

Best song in the game. Secret Police, Summer Idol and Remote Controller would be my top three.

Posted by Hailinel

@yukoasho: Thanks. I'm just happy to see that my posts have at least driven interest in the game where none might have existed. Those sorts of comments are gratifying to read.

Ha! Meiko's high notes sound a little odd? Her high notes are an enemy to ears :p

@davidwitten22 said:

Asa kara ban made omae wo miru!

Best song in the game. Secret Police, Summer Idol and Remote Controller would be my top three.

I don't know, after I played Stay With Me a couple of times, I started digging it! (Maybe I'm just weird.)

Posted by Cephiros

While they didn't take it too seriously in the quick look, it's what push me over the edge for my purchase and I'm pretty happy I did. I think the music is great and the rhythm game is probably the best I've played in quite awhile. God tier tune is probably one of my favorites as well. It's good for diva point grinding as well since I clear 66k diva points each time I play it on hard.

While other parts of the game like raising my affinity with the vocaloids is strange but not entirely boring.

I really hope Sega brings the next game to the west. While I know I could probably have troubles importing it, I prefer not to if I don't have to.

Posted by Hailinel

@cephiros said:

I really hope Sega brings the next game to the west. While I know I could probably have troubles importing it, I prefer not to if I don't have to.

I hope for the same. Or at the very least, if not the next Project Diva, I'd like it if they could give Project Mirai a shot in the west.