Songs with story lines featuring all of the Vocaloid characters set to grand theatrical music are usually the ones that break a million views. Fans love intricate character designs and well-animated PVs, and even more so when they’re in a series. When Bad ∞ End ∞ Night debuted, it combined just the right amount of madness and mystery that characterizes the cast. In the thrilling conclusion of the ever popular series, EveR ∞ LastinG ∞ NighT reveals the “True enD” of the play.
The dream duo for large-scale Vocaloid Eight collaborations, Hitoshizuku-P x Yama△, are back again with the last installment of this strange mansion mystery. If you haven’t already watched the three previous videos or would like a refresher, I’d suggest watching them here. Rather than saying they’re sequels or in a strict chronological order, Bad ∞ End ∞ Night, Crazy ∞ Night, and Twilight ∞ Night feel more like alternate endings from different perspectives. Going with the “bad end” concept of games or visual novels, the last song’s “True enD” can’t really be seen as…a necessarily “happy end” either:
You’d expect a series with 4 different songs and PVs to be a bit more expansive on what is happening, but the generally cyclical and cryptic lyrics/images reveal very little progression. Overall, the story tracks Miku, a girl that happens to be caught wandering lost in a forest late at night and gets invited to shelter in an old-fashioned mansion overnight. After a night of “merry-making”, she finds herself trapped in the mansion’s “play” that is cursed to act out eternally until the proper ending is found. Miku meets several tragic fates in each rendition, ending with “try again another night”.
It’s impossible to really discuss the song in isolation to the events of the previous few, which it references. Although the wiki offers the most direct and plausible conclusions, I’d like to briefly run through my personal interpretations of the intriguing “Crazy ∞ Night” play curse.
Instead of summarizing exactly what the wiki has, here’s my take:
What we get from Bad∞End∞Night is a Miku stumbling upon a mansion in the middle of the night and being “cast” into the role of the Villager, an “uninvited guest” in the course of the evening. She seems unaware of the script they are acting out until she finds the coffins, tries to trade her sanity for freedom and kills the cast. This, however, triggers a “bad end” and the story restarts.
Crazy∞Night introduces the knowledge of the missing page in the play’s script. The cast members are revealed to be cognizant of their “roles” (when in their respective roles, the kanji for ‘role’ becomes part of their name). Miku also realizes that it is up to her to complete the script in some way and release the curse, but killing the others was not the true end.
In Twilight∞Night, the cast’s suspicion that the newcomer, Miku, is behind the missing page leads them to take the letter she had brought with her. In joining it to the original script, it completes it, but the page is blank. A “blank” ending does not satisfy the mysterious audience, nor give directions in completing the play.
Everything leads to Ever∞Lasting∞Night: Miku finally takes matters into her own hands by ignoring the script and opening the letter to find the End Roll, which is their best shot of rewriting the play and finding release. However, she listens in and hears the inhabitants plotting. Each of the cast are essentially “dolls,” unliving beyond the fake reality they exist in.
In the coffins hides the fake Miku that would be a substitute Villager for the real Miku we see in repetition. The cast consider killing Miku and reawakening the a replacement. Instead, Miku kills both versions of herself, and her blood spills onto the blank final page to render it readable.
The key elements appear to be the letter, the broken hands of the clock used as knives, and mysterious perpetrator of the script. Even adding all of these clues up, it’s still difficult to discern whether Miku’s decision to sacrifice herself and deviate from the script was actually following the “true” script, as opposed to the assumed ending of killing the others. Who is the Mastermind, in the end?
Personally, I am a little let down that the only best ending was Miku’s death, and not the downfall of the mastermind or a happier conclusion. I would encourage everyone to draw their own connections from the subtleties in the text and illustrations.
As for the songs, they draw on each other wonderfully in order to mesh the cyclical tone and growing desperation of each advancing night. EveR ∞ LastinG ∞ NighT begins in a particularly strong way with its footsteps and whispery dark tuning (along with the mysterious “mastermind’s” voice) to set the mood. Some parts, like Miku’s “mitsuketa!” are used throughout the videos.
The PV once again incorporates a 2D revolving stage setting for the play along with special video effects. The overlays of tuning and exclaimed interjections that fit each Vocaloid’s voice and personality. It gives it the feel of a musical with a brass orchestra accompaniment. Each song sounds distinct with different overtures, but the chorus has a similar refrain that connects each song as if they were part of different acts. There’s not much more praise to be added that hasn’t already been sung for this song series and Hitoshizuku-P x Yama△’s brilliant handling that is the core of what Vocaloids are for to most fans.
-Elaborate PV animation, designs, illustration.
-Involved story plot and lyrics.
-Unique yet series-suitable song and tuning.
-Some leftover loose threads with open to interpretation ending.