Hello, and welcome to “Obscure Vocaloid.” In this article series, I will cover one obscure Vocaloid every week. This will include some fun facts, their history and some good songs that you can listen to that feature them.
This week we have Iroha Nekomura (猫村いろは.) Iroha was a Vocaloid originally released for the Vocaloid2 engine in October 2010 and eventually was ported over to the Vocaloid4 engine in June 2015. She was created in collaboration with SANRIO and is part of the Hello Kitty to Issho! Project. Initially her voice provider was kept secret but was later revealed to be utaite signer Kyounosuke Yoshitake (佳館杏之助.)
Featured song is P.a.r.a.l.y.z.e.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywugmT4yNfw
Iroha Nekomura’s name has several special meanings behind it. Iroha is the Japanese equivalent of “ABC” in the Japanese Iroha poem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroha,) and Nekomura translates to “cat village,” calling back to her origins.
Due to her belonging to SANRIO, she had some restrictions on her. Until May 2011, no AH-Software Vocaloid works could be sold via KARENT. However, Iroha remained under this ban until January 2012 due to her being owned by SANRIO.
As of her Vocaloid4 release, she has two voices: soft and natural. Her natural voice is the more versatile of the two, allowing for powerful and clear vocals, however it has been criticized as being too strong for some genres. This is remedied by her soft voice. It may only have half the vocal range as natural, but it makes up for it in being better at handling slower genres of music.
Unfortunately, there has only ever been one album released with her in it, and that is “Hello! Iroha,” a compilation album consisting of 17 tracks of her music. It can be found on the site here: http://mikudb.moe/album/hello-iroha-feat-nekomura-iroha/
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Vocaloids! Next week, I’ll cover a more recent addition to the scene.