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I'm gonna just jump on this bandwagon so here we go. I don't mention my least favorites very often and I didn't do this last year so whoever's on that list might come as a surprise to some people? I dunno, let's see.
For every Vocaloid I didn't mention, if you want to know exactly where they stand, just comment and I'll write about them in a response.
(these all actually ended up being long and I practically wrote my life story in these I'M SORRY)
Favorites (In order)
This comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. I'm not sure how much I should say -- Kiyoteru isn't my favorite in design (despite me drawing him the most), but he's my favorite in every other category. Since I've been in the fandom since 2009, right before he released, I've always hoped for an update for him. Being a Vocaloid fan in the V3 era was suffering because everyone was being updated left and right and Kiyoteru was just... sitting there. I heard a rumor at one point that AHS had actually flat out said that they were never going to update their vocals (which... surprisingly didn't discourage me that much), but then V4 happened and here we are.
Even if Kiyoteru had the worst update in Vocaloid history, I'd still be all over it. What we got wasn't perfect, no, but what we did get was pretty darn good for what it is? The number one thing I wanted from his update was an expanded range, and that's exactly what I got. The only thing I'm mildly disappointed about is that he can't go as high as V2 can without shifting to falsetto (and I'm talking about mostly Rock here since the whole point of his Natural bank was to incorporate falsetto), but that's alright because it still allows me to use his V2, giving me purpose to use all three of his banks. (Which Yamaha seems to not want me to do now but oh well)
He's the only Vocaloid I've ever preordered, will probably remain the only one, and I don't regret any of it. I love both of his V4 designs, I love both of their tones, and his V2 isn't rendered useless unlike the other AHS updates. I can't even complain about him being unpopular since he was never too unpopular to begin with except for when he first released (and being a Vocaloid fan back then was suffering too due to all the "he sounds like KAITO" comments which did eventually die out as time went on), so... Kiyoteru made it. Yeah, he still doesn't have a song with over a million views. Maybe he never will. But he constantly sells out at events AHS goes to (which he even did today! AHS' president literally tweeted a few hours ago that Kiyoteru sold out again), so he has been -- and still is -- doing well.
I mentioned above that Kiyoteru isn't my favorite Vocaloid in design. That honor goes to Yukari. I loved her V3 design to bits and I love her two new V4 ones even more. I don't really like buying updates of Vocaloids if they're imports (hence why I'm not buying AHS' other updates or Rin/Len -- the latter which only has new recordings in their English banks, which I'm... very much not a fan of. More on that below) and I didn't actually buy Yukari V4 myself. She was a late birthday gift from a very dear friend of mine (she actually got me Yukari's complete starter pack, so I got the V4 editor with it, and the reason she got that for me is so I didn't have to pay as much for Kiyoteru since Kiyoteru V4 would be the first Vocaloid I've ever bought with my own money. I... still don't even have the proper words to say about that).
When Yukari Onn was announced, we all knew that wasn't going to be it for Yukari. Right after that announcement there was a teaser with a silhouette for Lin's design, and while we didn't have any proof that there was another bank announcement incoming, it was pretty obvious. My opinion of Onn was... alright? I thought she sounded wonderful, but I really thought that Yukari would benefit more from a power bank than a whisper one. Then, a month later, Yukari Lin was announced. It... wasn't exactly the power bank I'd been hoping for, and it was more nasally than I would have liked, but it still has its uses, especially in the higher ranges where Yukari's always been weak at.
Actually using her trial made me love her even more (considering Luka V4X's trial had come out earlier, I... needed it), and I resolved to buy her after using it when I could save up enough money, though my initial plan was to get Kiyoteru V4 first since he was the higher priority and I was going to buy his update even if it ended up being horrendous, lol. But then the aforementioned friend came in, and... that's it. Yukari V4 and Kiyoteru are the two Vocaloids I love the most, and I use them the most often too. Yukari is very high quality, she's smooth, and while I do run into some issues with my tuning due to her endbreaths, it's not too bad and she sounds fantastic all the time. I'm very glad she's AHS' most popular Vocaloid and that she's only been gaining more and more popularity. She deserves it.
Neutral (no order)
Fun fact that only two people in the entire world know (at least, as of me writing this. Now more people who actually bother to read my long essays know): Gumi was my most hated Vocaloid for a long time. It was only late 2014 that I actually started to like her. Why did I hate her so much? I have absolutely no idea. I couldn't give anyone a reasonable answer back then, and I still can't now. It wasn't that I hated her voice, I thought it was fine. I thought she was really ugly, but that also probably isn't why I hated her so much (I thought Len was even uglier and I didn't hate him as much as I did Gumi). I... really don't know why I hated her so much. It couldn't have been due to her popularity since I've always liked Miku. And it couldn't have been because of her fans either since all the Gumi fans I've met were actually really nice (and I've never seen anyone who hated Gumi as much as me, anyway).
The reason my opinion about her started to change is because I met someone who really liked her. Gumi wasn't their favorite, and she still isn't, but they liked her a lot nonetheless. And it's because of that person (the same person who bought me Yukari V4's starter pack, actually) that I started to like Gumi. And funnily enough, that person actually hated Kiyoteru when we first met and now they really like him. Funny how that tends to work out.
So, fast forward to Gumi V4. A lot of voicebanks. It wasn't really the bank count that bothered me. My first impression (and I still think this) was that her designs were... ugly. While I did use to think that Gumi herself was ugly, that changed when I actually started to like her, though I was never really fond of her older designs. But her V4 designs manage to be the worst out of all of them, in my opinion. As for how those banks sound... they're actually really good. They're high quality and they sound good in just about everything I've heard them in.
But... I still can't bring myself to call Gumi one of my favorites. I don't like her that much, and I don't know why. My entire opinion of Gumi and it's reasoning has always been "?????" and it's still that way. I just can't bring myself to care about her that much. But I don't hate her anymore, not at all. So that's probably the biggest improvement I could ever hope to achieve with her, but maybe someday things will change again.
I guess I should mention right now: I like Rana. I really, really like Rana. But I don't feel comfortable calling anyone other than Yukari and Kiyoteru as a favorite because... I don't actively seek out their songs, and I don't listen to them that often. I always thought Rana was super cute, and her voice is really unique! It's high quality, clear, smooth, and powerful. I've always wanted to own her. And now I can. But I don't have the money to do so yet so I won't but that has nothing to do with the rest of this
Rana's always been "that one Vocaloid" ever since she released, at least for people living ouside of Japan. And that's for an obvious reason: you couldn't permanently own her if you live outside of Japan. I never thought it was stupid or unfair; I'm not going to pretend a Vocaloid doesn't exist just because I can't buy her (which I've seen people say about her and other private Vocaloids). That won't stop me from following people who do own her and see what they make with her. And Rana has some pretty good originals.
I guess the reason why I'm neutral on Rana and why she isn't a favorite is due to this: her high range. I don't like it. I think Rana sounds her best in a mid to low range, and unfortuately most songs I've seen her used in has her singing in a higher range, which hurts my enjoyment of her. Unlike Yukari and Kiyoteru, where they can be singing in any range and I'll still enjoy listening to their voices (though I will acknowledge that before V4, Yukari's high notes were the weakest and Kiyoteru's low notes were the weakest).
I still want to buy her some day. I just don't really know what to do with her, or if I actually have a use for her. But in the meantime, I'll still listen to her when I come across her and enjoy her voice.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who isn't crazy about VY2. He's high quality, clear, smooth... and that's it. His voice itself isn't anything special to me, and he sounds pretty much dead in everything I've ever heard him in. He's so expressionless that I just don't really have any strong feelings towards him.
I used to like him a lot, but my opinion of him has decreased over time. And even then, the only reason I liked him, like everyone else, was because of Roro. I'll admit that I'm one of the people who primarily sees VY2 as Roro, mainly because that's the only design I've seen for him that I actually like. Yeah, he has a sword on his boxart, but I don't like any of the fanmade samurai designs I've seen. We already have a samurai in the form of Gackpo, so... we don't really need two of them. What VY2 does have, however, is a unique voice. No other Vocaloid sounds like him.
Unfortunately, that voice doesn't really amount to anything for me.
Least Favorites (In Order)
Here we go.
Piko, Piko, Piko. There are... a lot of things I could say about him, and most of them aren't positive. But I don't want to look like I'm actively hating on him without reason, so I will say this: I do feel bad that he'll be the only Japanese Vocaloid left behind. And I'm saying that in definite terms, since I highly doubt ki/oon will ever come back to reclaim him. I know how Piko fans feel; really, I do. I was in the same boat with Kiyoteru -- if AHS ever updated their Vocaloids, why would they ever update Kiyoteru? He's their least popular Vocaloid (which actually isn't true, he's been more popular than Yuki for a long time. But I've seen people say that Yuki's still more popular than him for some reason, so...??? Kiyoteru has more fanart on Pixiv and videos on Nico than Yuki. Then again, Kiyoteru's tag on Pixiv is bigger than all of AHS' Vocaloids except Yukari, surprisingly enough.)
But this is about Piko, so I'll explain why he's my most disliked Vocaloid. First of all, he sounds exactly like Lily. And I don't like Lily either. But that's not why I dislike him; Lily isn't one of my least favorites. So what is it about him that makes him worse to me than Lily? Lily has at least one song I like her voice in. Piko... doesn't. I've never enjoyed his voice. He either sounds completely bored (low range) or like he's screeching and trying to hurt my ears (high range). He's just never sounded pleasant to me, and I've never liked his design either (I could say what I actually think of it, but... I won't go there).
This is also kind of petty, but I've never met a nice Piko fan, either. Even if you like a Vocaloid I dislike, that won't color my opinion of you. But, uh... I mentioned here on the wiki once that I didn't like Piko, and it didn't take very long for a Piko fan to tell me that they were going to find me and kill me. I didn't take that threat seriously (I actually thought it was kind of funny), and I wasn't offended, but... yeah. It wasn't an isolated incident, either; while I've never been attacked like that at any other time, my other experiences with Piko fans weren't exactly pleasant. And I can't ever like a Vocaloid if those are the kind of fans that Vocaloid has. Sorry.
- Kaito (specifically, V3).
If your first thought is "you only don't like Kaito because you're a Kiyoteru fan," then, uh... sorry? But that's not the case. I'll admit I used to be bitter about Kaito for a long time because of everything that was said about Kiyoteru compared to him, but that was a long time ago and it's really insignificant now (and if anyone still tries to compare them in 2015 then I'm not even going to bother listening at this point).
My biggest issue with Kaito is his V3 update. I don't care if a Vocaloid sounds like their voice provider or not, so I don't care that his V1 sounds closer to his VP than his V3 does. That really doesn't matter to me. What matters is if I like the tone or not, and... I don't like Kaito V3's tone. It's very weak (and nasally at times???), and the voice itself is so thin that it's a really big pain to mix. I own his V3, but I have no use for it because of that. I've heard Kaito V3's tone described as "effeminate", and... yeah, that's pretty fitting.
I like Re:nG's songs. I even like his Kaito V3 songs until Kaito actually starts singing. That sounds mean, but... I just really dislike his V3 update that much. Kaito V1? That's perfectly fine! I'm not a fan of V1's robotic twinge, but I'll gladly take it over his V3 any day. Even Kaito V3's English can't be salvaged for me, he sounds like Kermit the Frog. orz
- Nasally voices (CUL, Macne Nana, Ruby, Aoki Lapis, Tone Rion, etc.)
I'm putting this down as a group since I don't like any of them and it's faster this way. My least favorite type of voicebank are nasally ones; I can't stand them. Cyber Diva and Miki would normally fall under this, but I've actually heard stuff with them on default that I really like, so... they're saved. The rest, nope. Gachapoid actually doesn't fall under this because he's a gimmick. For some reason, knowing that actually makes me able to tolerate him more... the rest are sold as serious products, and for that I can't like them for what they're supposed to be.
There's only one Cul song I like, and it's by my favorite produer, Peperon-P. It's the only song I can stand her voice in. The others... don't have any songs I like them in at all (except Tone Rion, who also has one song I like that is also by Peperon-P). What I don't like about nasally voices is... I guess, they just try too hard to be "cutesy" (Nana, Rion, Ruby, Lapis) and I dislike vocals like that. The only exception to this is Rin, who is actually one of my favorites for some reason, but I'll talk more about her below (she's not in the least favorites section... I have another section in mind for Vocaloids I have conflicting feelings about).
Overall, their voices just aren't pleasant to me.
I used to be pretty neutral on Yohio until I actually heard more of him. Now I just don't like him.
His voice is very raspy, and I don't like raspy vocals. The reason I'm putting Yohioloid has his own section and not just a "raspy voices" section is because all Vocaloids sound raspy at some point -- even Kiyoteru Natural sounds raspy in certain cases. But Yohio (I don't like the nickname "Hio" orz) sounds raspy 100% of the time, and I don't like it. I've heard his raw vocals before, and he's just... all rasp, all the time.
He also has an extremely limited range. Yohio can sound somewhat decent in low ranges, but at high ranges he just doesn't sound good at all. His voicetype is something I can appreciate for sure; I just wish it was done better.
Back when the Galaco contest was still going on, I entered with Yukari. I became eligible for Galaco's prize version, and got her without too much of a hassle despite me having to send an email to Internet Co. in Japanese. That was probably the most fun I had with the contest.
Using Galaco... wasn't fun. She was dull, flat, boring, and sounded dead and lifeless. No amount of tuning could make her sound good, and when she was about to expire, I didn't even care. Cue Galaco NEO, who... I also didn't like. One of her voicebanks was the same voicebank I had previously used and hated, and her new voicebank... didn't sound any different? I know it was a new bank and it's supposed to sound different, but I just could not hear any differences between them.
Even listening to both of them now, I still can't hear the difference. So while I like -- love, even -- Galaco NEO's design, her voice was still just nothing good for me. So she became another Vocaloid that, over time, I just stopped caring about. I do think that me being able to use her prize version is what made me dislike her. If I never had the opportunity to use her for myself, would I like her? Maybe. But the prize version is why I don't, and I probably won't ever actively like her.
So what's this "special" section you see here and why isn't Kiyoteru a part of it? That's because Kiyoteru doesn't fit here -- I like all of Kiyoteru.
This section is for... well, you'll see.
I mentioned above that Rin is one of my favorite Vocaloids despite having a nasally voice. Why is she the exception? I have no idea. I love her designs and I think she's very cute. Her voice is also something I really like, but... her high notes are ear-splittingly painful to listen to. Idola Circus is a really good example of a song I like but those high notes almost give me a headache every time I listen to it.
So why is she in the "special" category? One reason: her English voicebank. I don't like it at all.
I'm not one of the people who wanted her English voicebank to be reminiscent of her Power bank. Crypton's English banks have always been soft, so I wasn't expecting Rin to be an exception, and she wasn't. The reason I dislike her English bank is because it just doesn't sound good.
I favor tone over pronunciation. If I like the tone, I'll listen to a Vocaloid. Sometimes pronunciation isn't exactly how I'd like it, but it's passable. Rin's English is... not passable. I can never understand a single word she says in anything I've heard her in, even in songs I already know.
She's just as bad as Miku English for me, though at least I like Rin English's tone somewhat. Her pronunciation just makes me uncomfortable.
(The reason why Rin is here and not Len despite me having the same issue about him is because Len is not one of my favorite Vocaloids and he never was. He actually, like Gumi, used to be one of my least favorites but my opinion of him has improved over time. I still don't like him enough to even mention him in "Neutral", though.)
And that's about it. Sorry these ended up being so long -- I would list more Vocaloids, but I have a lot I want to say about... just about everyone. This blog is already long enough as it is, so... I figured it'd be best to write a lot about a few Vocaloids than spend hours writing essays on every single one of them.
Like I said above, if you're interested in knowing my opinion on a Vocaloid I didn't mention, comment and I'll respond. I'm not really expecting anyone to be curious about my opinion, though -- I'll be surprised if anyone even read all of this, ahah.
In general though, I favor female voices more than male ones. Kiyoteru's just the one exception for some reason.
Hopefully next year won't be this long, especially since I've pretty much said all my history here.