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

Introducing Songs by YOASOBI, ZUTOMAYO, Yorushika, and Other Bands (Ayase, Miku Hatsune, 100kaiouto, n-buna, Sangatsu no Phantasia, supercell, and Nagi Yanagi)! | “Racing into the Night (English Ver.),” Yakousei / Yakosei / Yoru-kei, J-Pop


In recent years, the Japanese bands “YOASOBI,” “ZUTOMAYO,” and “Yorushika” enjoy enormous popularity among people in their teens and twenties. Those music listeners are characterized as “Yakousei” (or night-loving), and consequently, those bands and tracks are called “yoru-kei” (or night-oriented), because the names of those bands have the word “night” (“yo” in Japanese) in them. This classification may be appropriate in the sense that they all share emotive lyrics, songs, and anime music videos that remind us of night or shade.

However, there is a more fundamental similarity. Ayase (who is the arranger and composer of YOASOBI), 100kaiouto (who helps arrange songs for ACAne, who is the vocalist, composer, and lyricist of ZUTOMAYO), and n-buna (who is the arranger and composer of Yorushka); all are VOCALOID producers (aka VOCALO-Ps). That is, they edit voice data stocked using voice synthesis software (sound sources such as Miku Hatsune) and make the computer “sing” songs. Because they don’t need to have connections with singers or pay for recording fees, they have been able to produce music at their own pace and express their talent to the fullest. In this article, we shall focus on Ayase, 100kaiouto, and n-buna, the arrangers and composers who have been VOCALOID producers, and shall introduce “yoru-kei” music and related songs.


YOASOBI / Ayase

1. YOASOBI “Gunjo”

With the help of vocalist Rira Ikuta’s soft but clear voice and the chorus by the members of PLUSONICA, to which she belonged before the formation of YOASOBI, Ayase’s talent as a melody maker and keyboardist overflows and overwhelms the listener. This is a song that must be repeated.

2. YOASOBI “Racing into the Night”

Appendix A. YOASOBI “Racing into the Night (English Ver.)”

This is the first single by YOASOBI, which is not only immensely popular in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and other parts of Asia but also has worldwide appeal. The English version of “Racing into the Night”—the translation of which is superb—is also available! This song is representative of the “yoru-kei” music. The strumming keyboard sounds pleasant.

Appendix B. Rainych ft A V I A N D “Racing into the Night”

This movie is Indonesian YouTuber Rainych’s cover of “Racing into the Night.”

Rainych is also mentioned in the following article. Please take a look.

3. Miku Hatsune “Fiction Blue”

One of Ayase’s most popular songs before YOASOBI’s debut. This tune has a melancholic tone that shows a glimpse of the future YOASOBI’s style. Generally, the arrangement by Ayase is characterized by the lively keyboard accompaniment, and that song is no exception.

4. Miku Hatsune “Cinema”

One of Ayase’s most popular songs after YOASOBI’s debut and the release of its first album. His talent shines through in this song and dramatizes the plain melody line and drums by the technical obbligato, composition, and arrangement.


ZUTOMAYO / ACAne / 100kaiouto

5. ZUTOMAYO “One’s Mind”

That piece is composed and sung by ACAne aka ZUTOMAYO and arranged by 100kaiouto. The vocalist’s sentimental singing, the rushing rhythm section, and the string orchestration are all emotive to the utmost. This is the first song on ZUTOMAYO’s second album, “Gusare,” which draws the audience in and keeps them going for the rest of the songs.

6. ZUTOMAYO “STUDY ME”

This song, as well as that mentioned above, is arranged by 100kaiouto and composed by ACAne from ZUTOMAYO. The melodious vocals, dynamic bass, and piano solo in the interlude all evoke an emotional atmosphere.

Appendix C. 100kaiouto “NANIMONO Nimo Narenaiyo”

Vocals, arrangement, composition, and lyrics by 100kaiouto. Despite the shocking artist name (“100-time vomits”) and piercing lyrics, his delicate voice and arrangement are optimistic. His music is catchy enough to support the super-popular soloist ZUTOMAYO. What kind of mindset does he have when he sings such a two-sided song?


Yorushika / n-buna

7. Yorushika “That’s Why I Gave Up on Music”

The steady, rather than dynamic, singing and band sound of Yorushka has the potential to captivate all the J-pop fandom. “That’s Why I Gave Up on Music” is one of the most accessible songs by Yorushka, which is composed by n-buna.

Appendix D. Sangatsu no Phantasia “Seishunnante Iranaiwa”

This song by “Sangatsu no Phantasia” is arranged, composed, and written by n-buna from Yorushka. It has the nostalgic feel pertinent to n-buna.


Sangatsu no Phantasia / supercell

8. Sangatsu no Phantasia “Sangatsu Ga Zutto Tsuzukebaii”

From the beginning of this article, I have introduced the numbers by YOASOBI, ZUTOMAYO, and Yorushika. From now on, we’d like to suggest related or similar songs that the “yoru-kei” listeners may like. Now, this song is also by Sangatsu no Phantasia, which was introduced just before. The arrangement, composition, and lyrics are not by n-buna but by Akita Horie aka kemu, another VOCALOID producer. By utilizing a plain vocal style and the contrast between sounds and silence, the song successfully expresses the slight naïveté of adolescents’ minds.

9. Nagi Yanagi “Melt”

This song is a self-mix of the immortal VOCALOID masterpiece “Melt” by a pioneering VOCALOID producer “ryo” of “supercell.”

10. Ann and gaku “#Love”

After having played a role as the originator of the VOCALOID boom for 10 years, supercell produced that immensely emotive track.


In the first half of this article, we presented “yoru-kei” music of “YOASOBI,” “ZUTOMAYO,” and “Yorushika.” In the second half, we featured songs of a similar nature that “Yakousei” listeners might like. It should be emphasized that VOCALOID producers are no longer underground as they were around 2010. They are rather captivating a myriad of young listeners.