It's a sad state of affairs that we totally managed to miss the birthday of Miki, Sensei and Yuki without even much of a blip on the top #100. Oops. Fortunately, despite the start-of-week controversy, the rankings picked up enough to deliver some decent tracks, a couple of good solid bits of MMDery, and the announcement of MMD 6th Cup.
Poker Face (yucha, Gumi, Rock)
No, not that Poker Face. One of the high rollers this week, Gumi throws out a percussion-and-bass filled rock track that's smooth and sublime. Yucha's Gumi is well done, and the accompanying video by HND is gorgeous.
SheSaw Day (神無月, Len, Spanish Guitar)
This track's got two main advantages, for me: first, I get some of the best Len coding I've heard in ages, set against some fantastic spanish acoustic guitar and a lot of latino-ish style. Second, I get to listen to Floor freak out about the bad quality of the spanish in the middle of the video.
Nonexistant Youth Bill (koushirou, Miku, Big Band Rock)
Debates on politics notwithstanding - the song is named after and largely about the bill being currently re-debated in the Assembly - this track is great, with a ton of powerful piano and brass instruments and the odd bit of twisted self-censorship.
【初音ミク】 能く在る輪廻と猫の噺 【オリジナル曲PV】
The Story of the Reincarnation and the Cat (骨盤, Miku, Pop)
Hot damn. Scop, is that you? It might as well be - this is a swinging and fantastic track, full of little orchestral touches and great accordion, of all things, with a dark edge to the premise and a brilliantly executed video. I find it impossible not to bop along when the clapping kicks in, the track carries you along with it in expert style.
【巡音ルカ】 Thunder Girl 【オリジナル】
Thunder Girl (yuyoyuppe, Luka, Emo Screamer Rock)
This thrashing, thumping track from yuyoyuppe is nothing too far removed from the rest of Luka's screaming angst rock songs, but is worth it thanks to very solid guitar solos and a distinct difference to most tracks this week. Luka's tuned well, but perhaps a bit high in places - it seems like a lower register would have suited this a lot more.
nothing but (AGP550, Miku, Emo Rock)
Oh, I lied, here's another one. It's not exactly a screamer - this is far more of a coherent tune with coherent lyrics than Thunder Girl - but it is a very angsty rock track with a lot of distortion in places and a definite undercurrent of emo. I prefer it to Thunder Girl mostly because I'm not a fan of the deep raw throated screaming segments.
Cold Wintry Wind (仕事して, Iroha, Ethnic)
Shigotoshite continues to amaze and astound, taking to Iroha like a duck to water. This immensely relaxing and gentle track is perfectly set, and catbot's singing is pristine.
Honey Merry-go-Round (mayuko, Len + Rin, Crazy)
Did you think we'd go a week without a creepy, creepy submission from mayuko? Sorry, no, here it is - a wild staccato ride through a black and white landscape. The twins are pitched way-up-there but it plays well with the musical style, and for once such high voices didn't leave me cringing.
Vague Distance (yuzuhiko, Luka, Chiptune Rock)
Try to forgive Luka in the intro here - she sounds a little like she's at the bottom of a well, but will improve a little way into the song, and meanwhile you've got some driving chiptunes backing up a solid rock track. Got to admit, I'm pretty fond of square waves, and they blend well with the frontal guitars here to prop up the song sufficiently until Luka gets her act together for the second half.
【初音ミク】 流星サウンド 【オリジナルPV】
Shooting Star Sound (nana, Miku, Pop)
nana is always a pleasure to spot on the top 100, and while this track is perhaps not playing to Sevencolors' strengths, being a full on twinkly cutesy pop spectacle - I would much rather listen to nana's club, as a rule - this is still a very strong and traditional song in the archetypal Miku style, sprinkled with enough little touches to make it stand out this week.
Jingle Bells Star Song (doddome, Len, Christmas Rock)
Oh, yes. This is only the start, you realise - as Christmas approaches we're going to see more and more of this sort of upbeat seasonal stuff, and the halls of nicovideo will ring with the sound of bells and guitar. Which isn't a bad thing, if they're all as pleasant as this Len track out of nowhere; watch out for the wailing, soaring guitars near the middle.
【初音ミク】 君と夜景を 【オリジナル】
The Night With You (kyoki, Miku, Ska)
Yep. Ska. In some ways I think this track's been hard done by, because ska is one of those genres I think is kind of whimsical and wonderful, and with the delightful video included it really should have done better. At the same time, it feels a bit dull and lifeless in places, and at one particularly bad point sounds as if it's been lifted straight from a midi.
【巡音ルカ】Jest of Six【オリジナル】
Jest of Six (myriad, Luka, Jazz)
It's certainly the week for unusual genres, with Luka adding a lounge-y jazz track to the mix. This song's a little scattered - it's good, and fun to listen to, but isn't particularly tuneful or comfortable as a song, the flow of the music regularly getting broken up by new styles and breaks into empty solos. Can't fault the piano or the splendid double bass, though.
C17H14C12N2O2 (作, Miku, Piano + Drums)
Mm... this gained a fair degree of popularity on Nicovideo this week, but I have to admit I'm not feeling it. Ostensibly it's a soft, floating pop track, primarily relying on some light violin chords and a lot of staccato backbeat, with some piano and acoustic guitar thrown in. Which isn't bad on its own, but Miku's voice completely ruins it for me, far too high and empty.
Disco ☆ Chocolat (90% Cocoa Remix) (kagome, Yuki, Electro Trance)
This remix of one of kagome's more popular yuki tracks might be a little too dark for me (hurrr), but then I've never really been a fan of the original song, which I found kind of plodding and slow. It's certainly a very original remix, though, far from the norm in terms of sound and style, a pounding bass and electro track.
【miki】 Twinkle light 【オリジナル】
Twinkle Light (shaa, Miki, Club Pop)
Let's finish up with this lovely, cheesy, poppy track. It's a genre I absolutely adore, and while this track has some problems and isn't the best thing ever, it'll fit nicely in as both a salute to miki on her birthday and as a perfect song to stick into the obligatory sparkly-pop final link of the update.
Calc. Piano Version (JimmyThumb / koman, wotamin, Piano Pop)
I am totally stealing this from the Utattemita Hour post, because I simply can't wait to link it. It's been on repeat nigh-constantly since first hearing; absolutely beautiful piano married with wotamin's frankly astounding voice, I doubt anything will ever top this version in my mind. The ending is perhaps a little bit too showboaty, as the piano flings off who knows where, but the whole thing is just fantastic.
On Japan's Side (ao, Kaito + Gakupo + Sensei, Cover)
Sensei still makes for a lovely young lady.
【第6回MMD杯】MikuMikuDanceCup VI BREAKTHROUGH【開催告知 + テーマ発表】
MMD Cup 6: BREAKTHROUGH Announcement (MMD Exec Committee, Len + Miku, MMD)
Are you excited? I'm excited. MMD Cup is the bi-yearly contest to see who can pull off the best animations and spectacles using what is surely by now Nicovideo's pet animation tool. The themes this year are 'E', 'emotions' and 'rising up', and it's the first Cup to incorporate MikuMikuEffect, as this completely ridiculous OP video makes a point of showing.
Dark Alice (samfree, Piko, Angst Pop)
The first of two official demos for Utatane Piko, soon-to-be-released vocaloid (demo page here), based on the utattemita singer of the same name. I don't mind the voice and the demo is really rather impressive for a new robot, but I can't help but feel it's a straight copy-paste of a slightly manlier Luka, and certainly has a very nasal quality to it. I also can't get over that design.
Nurunara Mayonnaise (honjamaka, Futoshime Niku, Parody)
Or, to give the title the full translation, 'Fatty Meat sings Spreading Mayonnaise by Supercellulite', a clear parody of 'Sayonara Memories'. I realise I am a deeply terrible person by linking this track but in my defence, a) I'm a fat bastard myself, b) this song and also the video makes me grin like a maniac, and c) at least you didn't get Cendrillolion, which I'd also been considering linking.
Vocaloid Christmas (a( )a, Ensemble, MMDPV)
A ridiculously cute sampling of Christmas shenanigans in the 'dumb family' vein, set to Mariah Carey. The animation's kind of delightful, and I have to admit that if we're going to be assaulted by christmas songs right out of the gate I'd much rather it be Mariah Carey than yet more Slade.
Yellow (masterball, Home Haruka, MMDPV)
So, er. It occurs to me that it's been so long since I linked a Home Haruka video, we're in desperate danger of half the community not knowing what the hell I'm talking about. Let's... let's fix that, shall we?