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"The boy was too innocent."—Tagline of the sixth song
PANDORA VOXX is a song series created by the composer Kemu (Shota Horie of the band Penguin Research). It mainly uses Vocaloid as vocals for the songs, with most used vocals being Gumi and Kagamine Rin.
The story revolves around a device with an ability to grant wishes and the individuals surrounding its existence. Most of the songs concern an individual having their wish granted, but instead of finding fulfillment, they ended up in misery instead.
The series first started in 2011 with the first song "Jinsei Reset Button" getting uploaded in the video broadcaster site NicoNico Douga. All of the songs that were uploaded so far are generally loved within the Vocaloid fandom, with all of them entering the Hall of Legends. The series would later receive more songs and three album releases until finally ending in 2013 with the song "Haiboku no Shonen", leaving its fans with empty feelings...
Or so it seems. After 2 years of mostly silence, Kemu posted a short video consisting of a short piano arrangement of Haiboku no Shonen and a message "Thank you for waking me up." The project would fall into silence again for about one and a half year (mostly attributed to Kemu's business in his band), until the end of May 2017, when without much warning, Kemu uploaded the song "Haikei Doppelganger", effectively resurrecting the series.
The songs that are broadcasted through NND:
- Jinsei Reset Button (2011) - First song of the series, concerning an individual who wanted a Reset Button.
- Invisible (2011) - Concerning an individual who wished to just be invisible.
- Ikasama Life Game (2012) - Concerning an individual who wanted to cheat death by seeing his future.
- Roku Chounen to Ichiya Monogatari (2012) - Concerning a lonely alienated boy who suddenly found happiness.
- Chikyu Saigo no Kokuhaku Wo (2012) - Concerning an immortal girl who was left behind by her beloved.
- Kamisama Nejimaki (2012) - The "origin story" of the peculiar box and its creator, Maki.
- Reincarnation (2013) - Climax of the story, as Haruka, a girl who had no wish confronts Maki, a god who grants wishes.
- Haiboku no Shonen (2013) - The "ending song" of the story, seemingly about the aftermath of the events in Reincarnation, told from Maki's point of view.
- Haikei Doppelganger (2017) - Concerning someone who met their Doppelganger. Also marks the return of the series after almost 4 years.
- Bokura no Houfuku Seisaku (2012) - A song concerning Ruma, a god of death. It's unique among the album-exclusive songs that it actually received a PV in the album.
- There are also several songs that are album-exclusive and weren't uploaded to NND or YT or having a PV of some sort.
The project itself has spawned 3 albums:
- PANDORA VOXX (2012) - The first album of the series.
- PANDORA VOXX -complete- (2013) - The second album, containing a lot of new songs.
- PANDORA VOXX -REBOOT- (2013) - Released alongside -complete- as a counterpart. It contains the same songs, but instead of Vocaloid, they're sung by human Utaites.
While the main thread of the plot is there, the story is filled with implications and ambiguousness, which seem to call for open thoughts and alternate interpretations of the events happening there.
The first four songs have been adapted into light novels, although even those are said to be "just another interpretation of Kemu's thoughts, and not the "true" representation of the songs", which further encourges alternative interpretations.
The boy wished to read some Trope examples...
- Adaptation Expansion: The novels add more meat to the plot presented in the songs, including several new supporting characters and deeper characterization of known characters.
- Art Evolution: Hatsuko's artwork for the earlier PVs are noticably stiffer in comparison to the ones used for the later songs. By the time of Haikei Doppelganger nearly four years later, her art style has become a lot smoother and the shadings used are deeper. For observation purpose, compare the arts for Ikasama Life Game, Reincarnation and Haikei Doppelganger to each other.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The main premise of the series.
- Bittersweet Ending: Ikasama Life Game. Natsuhiko ended up getting killed by Ruma to shield Maki from her attack. However, during his final moments, Maki decided to give him one last wish. Natsuhiko wished for a reunion with Sora in the afterlife, which is shown to be granted by Maki. This is also the only instance in the series (not counting the "Final Wish" in Reincarnation) where a wish didn't end up going awry).
- Bizarro Episode:
- Mop Heroism. Without context, you probably wouldn't know if this is from the project.
- Kimi ni Motetai is just... Bizarre. Just let a translator speak about the song.
- Chronoscope: Appears in Ikasama Life Game, in the form of a card.
- Deus Ex Machina : Invoked by Maki, who usually came over to people who are in trouble to try and grant their wishes. They also usually don't end very well.
- Doppelganger: The main character of Haikei Doppelganger met with hers.
- Downer Ending:
- Jinsei Reset Button ended with the main character having a Sanity Slippage due to resetting the world too many times, and it's heavily implied that they commited suicide at the end.
- Kamisama Nejimaki has the entire world turning on Maki, who they now labelled as a villain and defiler of humanity.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first two songs (Jinsei Reset Button and Invisible) are notably different from the later songs in that while the song's plot were indeed about original characters, they used the respecitve song's Vocaloid vocal stand-ins designed similar to the "intended character design" for the PV. Starting from Ikasama Life Game onward, the PV used the character designs original to the series.
- The Grim Reaper: Ruma, complete with a Sinister Scythe.
- No Name Given: All of the characters (barring Maki, probably) were given no names in the song series. The closest we got to canon names for those characters are from the novels, and only four of the songs were adapted so far.
- Rapunzel Hair: Haruka's hair.
- Reset Button: Jinsei Reset Button, of course.
- Screw Destiny: The third song's main plot involves someone who wanted to do this.
- Sinister Scythe: Both Maki and Ruma possess one.
- Time Travel Romance: Time Machine to Nyuu Dougumo's story.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Applied in the fifth song.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The ending of Ikasama Life Game.