Hello, and welcome back to my slow descent into madness. Last time, I did vast amounts of research into the super-kawaii~♥ world of Hatsune Miku and her Vocaloid friends in order to understand a volume of vignettes inspired by the dangerously high cuteness level of Miku’s friend Rin from lyricist sezu and illustrator Hiro Tamura. I wrapped up my review with this observation:

It would be even better if this resulted in subsequent manga or anime series that actually featured full-length story arcs.

Oh, sweet summer child that I was, never had I seen a winter-themed AMV.

To be honest, I should have had more accurate expectations based on the tens of thousands of videos on YouTube touting collections of terrifying/creepy/nightmare-inducing Vocaloid music videos. Acute, a song by KurousaP is probably not on one of those lists, but the way it is interpreted by Shiori Asahina is quite dark and more than a little disturbing.

The song itself is about two girls who fall for the same guy even though all three of them have been friends for a long time. The manga takes a lot of lyrics from the song and creates a story where the three Vocaloid characters used to make the song- Miku, Luka, and Kaito- are childhood friends, Kaito being an orphan with a troubled childhood, and Miku and Luka making a pact in middle school to never reveal their feelings for him lest someone be left out when the trio became a couple + third wheel.

Some things, like Miku’s hyper personality and Luka’s quieter, almost motherly presence, carry over from the characterizations I saw in Rin Chan Now! However, in this short story there’s a lot of room for the three characters to take on fleshed-out personas outside of the “recording artists who are all friends” thing they had going on in the other volume. It was also way more adult in its themes than I expected… although after watching a few more music videos I really don’t think I should have been surprised.

(How old is Miku supposed to be? 16? So many people are going to hell probably.)

On the one hand, I get how Vocaloids are a great tool for creating music as an amateur or independent creator, and how the Vocaloid characters are largely blank slates that can be adjusted to fit a wide range of stories and scenarios. On the other… I am still very confused. My expectations for any subsequent Vocaloid manga are that they could be vampire stories, or regular old high school comedies, or sci-fi- honestly, the only thing that’s for sure is that I won’t have seen it coming.

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