Sometimes, out of all of the nonsensical and electronic Vocaloid songs, you just want an uplifting, peaceful listen. This week we’re listening to one of my favorite Vocaloids for her clear and pretty darn close-to-natural voice, Gumi. Her new song Going My Way by 40mP is just that, complete with a colorfully animated PV below the cut:
People that have heard 40mP songs usually think of Torinoko City or my personal favorite, Karakuri Pierrot; songs that gave him the title of achieving the most No.1 weekly song rankings out of any producer (with 18). Even his least popular songs still have tens of thousands of views. Going My Way has now over 100k view on Niconico since its upload on April 24th, which is a modest success in 40mP terms.
Those people would also recall 40mP’s trademark use of heavy piano instrumental accompaniment, if the piano can be called heavy at all. Going My Way does not follow that acoustic trend and has a pop-y sound with a band and electric guitars. In fact, it has a very light pop-rock sound to it that could have easily been written by many anime insert song artists. Gumi’s voice is also tuned to match the encouraging mood the song strives for. With a little bit of vibrato and a lower/clearer voice, the song resulted in a warmer tone than Miku could have pulled off, making Gumi an appropriate choice.
Going My Way was written for GUMI’s five year anniversary project titled “HIGH SCHOOL GUMI 2014”, which explains the very basic PV storyline of simple scenes going to and from school (with 50% more of every anime high school’s staple, cherry blossom petals).
Though the lyrics go for the same uplifting feel, they aren’t really special and fall under the category of normal anime/pop-fare about “Going My Way.” I can’t really tell about the Japanese composition of the words (apart from rhyming “way” with “afraid”), but from the translations, they follow a singular direction. As Gumi’s high school self is pondering her future, she decides she’ll keep chasing her dream no matter how many times she falls. To express this, they have her literally running throughout most of it.
The camera basically follows a typical high school student Gumi through her typical high school day – running and missing the bus, then passing a railroad crossing and other scenic views on the way to school. She gets distracted by a cute Shiba Inu while in class and gets comically knocked on the head by her teacher with a book. Overall, pretty standard PV for pretty standard lyrics.
One aspect that first drew me in was the animation. On first glance, it seemed like the PV was detailed and well-drawn with relatively smooth movement from Gumi. In contrast to the background, Gumi looks flat and simple, which is a little jarring. On closer inspection, I realized much of the scenes are “animated” with the help of some real life images.
It seems like for a lot of the scenic panorama, the animation team merely took shots of real life things and briefly drew over or photoshopped them to somewhat look one with the animation. It works pretty well for the most part, but it is a little disappointing that the beautiful PV is not rendered from scratch. As for Gumi, she doesn’t move a lot apart from some repetitive motions like running or talking, which also appears as good as can be expected, though not amazing.
In the end, if it weren’t for the song’s dedication to “High School Gumi”, the lyrics and sweet but commonplace beat don’t really stand out enough to make it a song that would get that much work put in to making a PV to begin with. Going My Way is best suited for background music to cheer up and enjoy a cliche with. When all is said and done, the elements don’t have to be especially stunning to make it an enjoyable song. Going My Way has also ranked No.1 on Niconico’s Daily Vocaloid Total ranking for its first release date, despite falling to second place two days later. Although Going My Way might not be able to push 40mP to even higher ranks, it will undoubtedly attract many listens for its widely appealing replay-ability.
-The PV gives off a clean impression.
-Gumi’s tuning fits the song’s mood.
-Song overall a good listen.
-No story in the PV, which lacked truly talented animation.