Just when I was about to give in and review yet another Miku song, subs came out for a recent Kagamine Rin song! Undead Enemy not only has an exciting beat and intricate PV and lyrics, but is actually a song that, you know, fits Rin’s voice. Producers Giga and Suzumu are back in another collaboration and manage to pin the precise tuning and accompaniment that makes Rin’s voice quirky without the use of heavy autotune. In fact, Rin’s sound is adjusted very close to how it sounds in popular songs like Unhappy Refrain. They’re on their way to quick fame themselves, with 90k views in 6 days. Let’s take a look at all they pack into the 3 minutes the song runs.
Although there are lyrics, this is another song that proves a little incomprehensible in English. Part of the reason is once again the use of rhyming/puns that can’t be translated, but loosely, the song title Undead Enemy doesn’t seem to refer to what it would suggest. Rather, the main character, the boy (whose hair swaps between black and orange), puts on a mask to metaphorically start “playing the lead role he always wanted.” Afterwards, he seems kind and smiling to all, despite his inner repulsion of everyone else. With the imagery of the spinning clown masks, the boy’s jaded take on life is obvious. Yet, what exactly is he protesting?
From the semi-subtle elements in the PV, you can piece together that the boy is actually a student that seems weighed down by the stress around him. With undisguised condemnation, he says, “we’re just dancers in the palms of adult’s hands.” The background people surrounding him are students also decked in clown masks. That, and the repetition of “100 marks? 10 marks? Oh my, a failing mark?” imply a lot of school-related expectations.
Despite evidence that points to that conclusion, the rest of the lyrics are still pretty confusing, with words like “prisoners,” and the opening quote that mentions a “villain.” Looking at the title, the “undead” in Undead Enemy is a word that describes zombie-esque beings, so the song could be one elaborate metaphor for the oppression of life and society, as seen in the school system.
Undead Enemy’s art and animation is already a big plus, but what I appreciate more than a well put together PV is the fact that the song quality is not sacrificed for story. Is it just me, or do a lot of Rin’s songs recently (I’m thinking Childish War and Luvoratorrrrry!) go for the comedic route by having Rin speak phrases. Too often, this just breaks the flow and makes it hard for me to enjoy the song as a straight-up song by itself, seeing as Rin’s voice is very robotic and jarring at places. Not to say those songs don’t have their own merit, but what I appreciate about Undead Enemy is that it makes Rin’s voice sound genuinely good and intense.
Aside from the impressive offbeats, the song does lean more towards the fast and catchy but slightly compressed and crowded mixing for the instrumental. However, the effect the composers are after is very typical of Vocaloid songs and edm beats, so it’s to be expected and not out of place. My complaints are that the song does leech a little too much from the type of songs that Rin is famous for, which can be a little repetitive and electronic. There isn’t a lot of variation or even much of a bridge in this song, though it doesn’t lack compelling emotion. I happen to be a fan of Rin’s voice bank capabilities when drawn out with vibrato, and there might have been a missed opportunity to include one of those cool breathy breaks in the music. Or it might have killed the song by being overly dramatic, if it’s actually just about school.
Overall, I’m very pleased with more great Kagamine Rin hits! It could be that I am too excited about a good release featuring her, but then it is not easy to produce a powerful song with Rin, and I believe this one hit the mark. The only reason why I’m docking any points is because I’ll admit the song might not become a classic of Rin’s, through no real fault of its own.
-Elaborate and abstract PV.
-Great song + tuning.
-Not especially original sound.