Anime / Kawaii / Vocaloid Music City Pop / Shibuya-kei / Contemporary J-Pop

Organizing All of ZUTOMAYO’s Songs in Order and Introducing Its Popular Anime MVs: Discography and Recommendations | J-Pop, Anime

ZUTOMAYO has been gaining popularity since around 2020, especially among teens and people in their 20s. Its strong influence is not limited to Japan, and its anime music videos on YouTube get a lot of views.

ZUTOMAYO is sometimes categorized as “yoru-kei” or “yakosei/yakousei” music, along with “YOASOBI” and “YORUSHKA,” because of the word “yo/yoru“ (“night” in English) in those names, and because of lyrics, tunes, and anime music videos that are emotive and reminiscent of night and shade. However, ZUTOMAYO is different from “YOASOBI” and “YORUSHKA” in that it has both a progressive rock style.

This article organizes all of ZUTOMAYO’s songs in order from their debut to the present, focuses on those characteristics, and analyzes some of its tracks and related songs by other musicians.

YOASOBI, ZUTOMAYO, and Yorushika (Yakousei/Yakosei/Yoru-kei) are also mentioned in the following article.

1st Mini Album “Tadashii Itsuwari Kara no Kisho”

(1) Byoushin wo Kamu

(2) Humanoid

(3) Saturn

(4) Uni to Kuri

(5) Noriue no Cracker

(6) Kimi ga ite Mizu ni Naru

1. ZUTOMAYO “Byoushinwo Kamu”

2. ZUTOMAYO “Byoushinwo Kamu”

In this age of electronic music, the band format could be an anachronism. However, ZUTOMAYO’s dry bass drum, fresh guitar sound, fast-playing keyboard, and bass groove is almost unparalleled in J-pop and appears to foreshadow a new era.

Appendix A. Eve “Just life

As with “Byoushinwo Kamu,” this song is arranged, composed, and written by Nuyuri. His rigid arrangement makes it possible for vocalist Eve to sing freely. This shows how he is supporting ZUTOMAYO’s vocalist ACAne.

3. ZUTOMAYO “Humanoid”

In the beginning, this may seem a typical high-tempo, standardized Vocaloid song. However, it betrays the prediction of listeners by turning into J-rock. By the time that song reaches the chorus, the listener realizes that trying to categorize it by existing genres is misguided.  It is an eccentric piece of music that refuses to be understood. The listeners cannot help but marvel at the compositional talent of ACAne.

4. ZUTOMAYO “Noriue no Cracker”

The track fuses typical J-Pop and funky styles well. Is it possible that the composition and arrangement of that song are based on calculation after calculation? Or does the composer and arranger let their intuition do the work? Either way, it’s marvelous.

2nd Mini Album “Ima wa Ima de Chikai wa Emi de”

(1) Kan Saete Kuyashii wa

(2) Seigi

(3) Matane Maboroshi

(4) Minority Bunmyaku

(5) Samayoi Yoi Ondo

(6) Mabushii DNA Date

5. ZUTOMAYO “Kan Saete Kuyashii wa”

Appendix B. Gesunokiwamiotome “Killer Ball”

ZUTOMAYO is often grouped together with “YORUSHKA,” and they are called “yoru-kei” or “yakouse/yakosei” (“night-oriented” in English) as their band names include “yo” or “yoru” (“night” in English). Further, they are from the Vocaloid industry. However, they don’t have much in common: while YORUSHKA has released refreshing J-POP songs without a groove, ZUTOMAYO has not.

Rather, ZUTOMAYO is more akin to Gesunokiwamiotome, which fuses rock with other genres, especially blues and jazz. It should be noted that ZUTOMAYO is as melodious as Gesunokiwamiotome (and its music videos are animated), so it suitable for foreign anime fans who are familiar with anime theme songs. Also, ZUTOMAYO is more groovy than Gesunokiwamiotome and more accessible to Western music fans.

1st Album “Hisohiso Banashi”

(1) Noriue no Cracker

(2) Kan Saete Kuyashii wa

(3) Inemuri Enseitai

(4) Haze Haseru Hateru Made

(5) Kettobashita Moufu

(6) Dear Mr “F”

(7) Konnakoto Soudou

(8) Mabushii DNA Dake

(9) Humanoid

(10) Glass to Rum Raisin

(11) Seigi

(12) Yasashiku LAST SMILE

(13) Byoushin wo Kamu

6. ZUTOMAYO “Haze Haseru Hateru Made”

Appendix C. Gesunokiwamiotome “Shiawaseringo”

ZUTOMAYO’s vocals, as well as the bass and keyboard, are melodic, and the whole band constructs a dramatic tale. It uses the same gimmick as progressive band Gesunokiwamiotome.

3rd Mini Album “Hogaraka na Hifu tote Fufuku”

(1) Teiketsu Volt

(2) Obenkyou Shitoiteyo

(3) Ham


(5) Marin Blue no Teien


(7) Saturn (Acoustic ver.)

7. ZUTOMAYO “Obenkyou Shitoiteyo”

This is a clever song: it attempts to gain popularity with J-POP fans who like simple melody lines and at the same time keeps its originality by incorporating blues and funk.


Appendix C. whaledontsleep feat. Ado “Kinmokusei”

Vocaloid producers, such as whaledontsleep, can create mid-tempo songs with the groovy bass lines and guitar strumming that are in demand outside of Japan. This means that the Vocaloid industry has the potential to lead the Japanese music industry and appeal to the rest of the world. 100kaiouto, who co-arranged “MILABO” with ACAne, is no exception. Further, the fact that they don’t exclude melodious J-Pop elements is rather nice, as it guarantees originality.

2nd Album “Gusare”

(1) Mune no Kemuri

(2) Tadashiku Narenai

(3) Obenkyou Shitoiteyo

(4) Kan Gurei

(5) Hava

(6) Kikai Abura

(7) Kuraku Kuroku


(9) Loneliness

(10) Kurikaesu Shuukaku

(11) Kamin

(12) Teiketsu Volt

(13) Okusoko ni Nemuru Roots

9. ZUTOMAYO “Mune no Kemuri”

The  vocals, the rushing rhythm section, and the string orchestration are all sentimental to the utmost. This is arranged by 100kaiouto and  is the first song on the second album “Gusare,” which draws the listener in and doesn’t let go.

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