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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogSinging Souls: Exploring Vocaloid Characters in Anime and Manga!

Singing Souls: Exploring Vocaloid Characters in Anime and Manga!

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
June 01, 2023
A bunch of Vocaloid anime characters with blonde, pink and blue respectively.

It’s unbelievable to think that Vocaloid characters debuted nearly 20 years ago. The singing and dancing music sensations have exploded globally, ushering in many new fans yearly. The Vocaloids, initially known for their music, have ventured into anime and manga, showcasing their versatility beyond singing!

What is a Vocaloid?

A Vocaloid is the product of a voice synthesizer software. When users input words and melody into the software, it is played back as music. The synthesizer software offers multiple voicebanks.

Users can choose from various options to create their desired sound and music. These voicebanks can represent both male and female Japanese singers, providing versatility for the users. These voicebanks are called Vocaloids and are characterized by anthropomorphic characters.

What are some famous Vocaloid characters?

The most famous Vocaloids is Hatsune Miku, the blue-hair, twin-tail pop sensation. The full roster of Vocaloids is enormous, but some other Vocaloids include Megurina Luka, Po-Uta, Meika Mikoto, Mirai Komachi, and Aoki Lapis (among many, many more.) Each Vocaloid has a different vocal style and is associated with different styles of music. This means that there’s a Vocaloid for everyone!

Vocaloids and Characters in Anime/Manga

So much more than just music programs, the countless characters born from the Vocaloid software have jumped into various light novels, manga, and anime. Here are some of the anime and manga that Vocaloids can be found in:

Mikagura School Suite and their Characters

Mikagura School Suite is a 2013 light novel series written by Last Note and illustrated by Akina. The series is based on songs Last Note wrote using the Vocaloid program. The plot follows Eruna Ichinomiya, a third-year middle schooler who prefers to waste time and play games instead of focusing on which high school she should attend. 

A red head character from Mikagura School Suite.
Mikagura School Suite is a well-known light novel series! Image via Wallpaper Abyss

One day, Eruna learns of Mikagura Private Academy from her cousin, Shigure Ninomiya. Eruna decides to attend Mikagura Private Academy, only to learn that cultural clubs dominate the school. To make matters even more complicated, the students at Mikagura Private Academy all gain special powers and must battle one another as representatives of their clubs.

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Confession Executive Committee: Love Series

Confession Executive Committee: Love Series is an exciting entry on this list. It primarily exists as a song series created by HoneyWorks. The series started when the Vocaloid Gumi sang “Hatsukoi no Ehon” on Nico Nico Douga. The song’s popularity propelled the Vocaloid into two anime films and a six-episode series. 

A bunch of characters from "Confession Executive Committee Love Series". They are all dressed in school uniforms.
The songs in this show center around high school romance! Image via Vocaloid Fandom

The early plot of the series centers around six third-year high school girls. Their names are Natsuki Enomoto, Yu Setoguchi, Sota Mochizuki, Akari Hayasaka, Mio Aida, and Haruki Serizawa. As the series unfolds, it expands to include other characters connected to the girls. However, the plot’s primary focus remains on young love and the potential conflicts that arise!

Torture Tower Doesn’t Sleep

“Torture Tower Doesn’t Sleep” is a song by the Vocaloid VY1. In 2013, Mothy released Torture Tower Doesn’t Sleep. It was a unique promotional creation for the first novel of its series, Torture Tower Doesn’t Sleep: The Three Daughters of Sir Torture. The story is set in a tower built by a polluted lake. Inside the tower, three sisters named Gibbet, Rack, and Maiden prey upon people who enter.

Their father, Sir Torture, left a will to them, commanding them to sacrifice people to a god to grant their wish. Torture Tower Doesn’t Sleep is a very dark and graphic story perfect for horror fans. It might not be every Vocaloid fan’s cup of tea, but if dark and spooky things are your forte, it’s worth checking out.

Black Rock Shooter

Black Rock Shooter is the result of a joint effort between multiple artists. It began as illustrations by Huke and became noticed by the music producer Ryo. Ryo worked with other Vocaloid collaborators known as Supercell to write what would become Black Rock Shooter. 

One of the characters from 'Black Rock Shooter". They have black hair and are against a checkerboard background.
Black Rock Shooter has a fiery blue eye! Image via Wallpaper Abyss

The anime involves multiple universes that exist over one another, but the single binding element between them is the girl Black Rock Shooter. As Mato Kuroi begins her first day of middle school, she becomes friends with a young girl named Yomi. What the two girls don’t realize, however, is that whatever happens between them affects Black Rock Shooter’s world as well.

Hatsune Mix! Unofficial Hatsune Mix

Hatsune Mix! Unofficial Hatsune Mix focuses on the adventures and exploits of the titular Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku. The Vocaloids are famous for their music. They have expanded into the realms of anime and manga, showcasing their diverse talents beyond singing.

A pastel illustration of Hatsune Miku.
This book focuses on Miku and her friends! Image via Breaking It All Down

Written and illustrated by Kei in 2008, Hatsune Mix! Unofficial Hatsune Mix gives fans a look into the personal world and life of Hatsune Miku. Perfect for newcomers to Vocaloids and diehard fans alike, Hatsune Mix! Unofficial Hatsune Mix is a must-buy for fans of all interest levels. Which Vocaloid characters are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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