500https://i.yt.com/vi/IKKar5SS29E/maxresdefault.jpg GHOST is Hoshimachi Suiseis 2nd single and 6th original song. Suisei debuted GHOST on her 4th YouTube live concert titled SPACE for Virtual GHOST on 13 Apr 2021 and it was made available for sale approximately 2 hours after the concert ended. In less than 24 hours since its release at 00:00 on 14 Apr 2021 JST GHOST topped the store rankings on both iTunes Japan and Amazon Music Japan. In the same week the song charted at 1 on OTOTOY singles and 5 on Billboard Japan Top Download Songs. Thematic significance The night after her 4th YouTube live concert Suisei talked about the behindthescenes of her live performance and gave some brief comments on her newest song. Suisei already had the theme of Ghost in mind long before she wrote the lyrics as she had long thought that virtual YouTubers are entertainers who cannot appear on variety TV unlike real idols. In her views VTubers were niche and even when VTubers have the freedom to talk about all sorts of things regular idols cant there is some sort of distance between the VTuber and the audience. Since VTubers only exist virtually and not in the real world she thinks of her existence as something akin to an apparition I had to use a synonym for ghost as she used here instead of the English loanword . GHOST is likely an accumulation of all her past thoughts fear and uncertainty to her identity and activities as a VTuber some of which could still persist to this day. Lyrical significance and composition Honestly when Suisei debuted GHOST at her live concert I thought it was an absolute banger with the same agaku motif prominent in one of her previous songs Tenkyuu Suisei wa Yoru o Mataidehttps://anilist.co/anime/119944. However after deciding to write this review and doing a comprehensive dissection of the lyrics I cant help but shed a tear upon realising how much suffering she has gone through silently. Please note that the text below is my interpretation of the song lyrics and composition and just like any other creative work the content is open to interpretation and you may disagree with my take on this song. In the beginning the passion of becoming a VTuber sparked within Suisei but she was nave and innocent about how much work it takes to actually become one. Her viewer count did not reach her initial expectations as a VTuber content creator and she comforted herself by lying to herself that at least someone is watching her videos and it is already good enough. As time went by hatred stemmed from her jealousy of others who were basking in the spotlight. Again she seeks solace in her own belief that she is fine with being unknown and she gradually grew accustomed to this thinking. She knows that everyone has their fair share of naysayers but she cant help feeling downhearted whenever someone leaves a passing remark on her videos. Although each refrain differs in lyrical content a similar motif repeats in the chorus yet evolves together with Suiseis state of mind as it changes from anxiety when she first started out to being hopeful once she gained a little audience to becoming desperate for any form of attention when her reach started to grow stagnant. Despite her insecurities and selfdeprecation she persisted against the odds without knowing if what she was doing could actually get herself noticed. The most striking thing that stands out from her previous songs is that the musical composition is orderly chaotic. Chords blend into each other in their progressions as well as in between sequences and as such there are very little audio cues of when lyrics start and end. I think that this is a clever design choice since it complements the thematic significance of GHOST beyond the lyrics. By having false rhythmic changes on the same lyrical line and continuing on the same rhythmic sequences and motifs onto subsequent verses it symbolises the confusion that may occur when an apparition appears or disappears or moves to another location without the person even knowing. As such the instrumental is moderately difficult to sing to for the first time. The streetlight that do not know troubles... ...lied Youre enough for me. The light that I utterly resented and... ...the shadows that grew meaningful. I felt like crying at your speck of words that passed by indifferently. ? Can you see me? Can you hear my voice? ? Are you seeing me? Is my voice reaching you? ? Notice me... Can you hear my voice? Even if my silhouette is transparent and undoubtedly ugly but... ...at least let my voice wither away even if I cling on desperately to the proof that Im here... / Hey notice me... / Tell me... what is the answer? Significance of genre classification This is the first song of Suiseis that is not categorised as JPop in music stores and instead is under the Alternative genre. This may not seem so significant but avid listeners of Japanese music may have observed that most Japanese songs are categorised in music stores under JPop even if the songs sound is not one would expect of a Japanese pop song. This is due to a marketing decision to maximise the reach to audiences both within and outside Japan who browse new Japanese music regularly since the definition of what JPop can be is so broad and the only defining factor is the Japanese language. Not only are VTubers e.g. Tenjin Kotone progressive metal guilty of this but so are bigname singers e.g. LiSA alternative rock and bands e.g. Ningen Isu heavy metal. By categorising GHOST as Alternative it closer reflects its alternative metal sound but at the same time hinders the discovery of this song by those just browsing the JPop genre. Whether this is Covers marketing decision or Suiseis personal choice is unknown but one thing certain can be observed from this move Suisei is done following behind industrys common practices to compete with others on the same stage. As an artist she is evolving with her music and is now carving out a path which better defines her. Music video The animation for the music video has a starry sky and constellations as the background with windows of handdrawn depictions of Suisei in various situations being invisible to the people around her. We see Suisei enveloped by a sense of bleakness hapless against her situation as nothing she does could get people to notice her. There are references to her first live performance as an unannounced guest at AZKis first live concert and her perfectionist nature is portrayed by her feeling dejected and tearing up song lyrics that she recently wrote. The accumulation of personal attacks and criticisms from people who didnt understand VTubing hurt Suisei as the only thing she could do was to hold her only comfort a glowing blue star close to her chest crying out Dont make a mockery of my heart She is shown standing dangerously on the rooftop of a skyscraper in between scenes with an extremely dark underlying hint of contemplating suicide likely a metaphor for giving up her VTuber career which she has talked about in the past. As she sits at the edge of the roof she clenches her fist as she finally reaches her decision. At the same edge where Suisei sat on stands a translucent red phantom resembling her staring into the city. At the end of the music video a red Suisei stands contrastingly yet unnoticed amongst the blue pedestrians with visual glitches on her avatar suggesting Suiseis acceptance of her identity as a virtual ghost which no one could see. The handwritten animation for the lyrics gives a wonderful personalised touch to it since writings by supernatural entities are usually depicted as handwritten rather than printed as seen in mass media. Personal thoughts I found GHOST to be a well thoughtout embodiment of Suiseis past struggles as well as a tiny window for us to look into the raw unfiltered side of Suisei behind the faade of a cute avatar who is almost always jovial on her streams. I feel that consumers of media often forget that entertainers public figures and the like also have feelings as all human beings do and often put them to higher scrutiny and this song serves as a reminder to how much effort and suffering it takes for one individual to be put into societys spotlight. All the hard work and determination Hoshimachi Suisei put in has paid off for the YouTube channel bearing the name Suisei Channel has become an exclusive space for this virtual ghost. Proofread and edited by hoshino
100 /100
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