Credit to Meta for translating the “story” behind each song!
Kagerou Project is a Vocaloid series about “One’s Eyes”, and as you watch the videos, you’ll see that it’s a reoccurring theme. It eventually stemmed into a novel (Kagerou Days -in a daze-), which later became a manga! There’s a second novel, too (Kagerou Days II -a headphone actor-), and a third novel (Kagerou Days III -the children reason-) has been confirmed.
The first song in the series that was released is Artificial Enemy/Man-made Enemy, a story about Looking Away. The girl that appears in this is Ene (Takane Enomoto), but the song is also about Shintaro Kisaragi— a hikiNEET who hasn’t left his house in two years. I’ll talk about him later. Ene is a computer virus that was sent to Shintaro’s computer through a mysterious e-mail, and I’ll explain more about her when we get to the fourth song. Shintaro can’t delete her, either.
This song is really confusing— I’m assuming because it’s the first in the series— but my theory is that it’s about Ene wanting to keep Shintaro away from the outside world, but in the end, Shintaro gets tired of her and gets rid of her. It makes sense much later on, I promise.
There’s no PV for this, but someone made a really nice fan-made one with subs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DvGoqFH7kwo
The second song is Blindfold Code, a story of Hiding One’s Eyes. The character that appears in this one is Kido (Tsubomi Kido), and… this song is pretty confusing, too. ;_; It sounds like she’s on a mission, but it’s never specified what that mission is…? It might just be a standard one.
Kido is the leader of Mekakushi Dan/Blindfold Gang, a group that can use Eyes. Ene’s power is immortality, although I’m not sure if that’s just because she’s a computer virus instead of her having the Eyes (which is symbolized by the character’s eyes turning red). Kido’s power is to hide herself/anyone/anything within a two meter radius of her.
The person that talks in this song (“Hey, hey, are you almost here yet,” “Now, now, that wasn’t so bad.”) is Kano (Shuuya Kano), but we’ll get into him later.
The third song is Heat-Haze Days, a story of Dazzling Even One’s Eyes. The boy that appears in this is Hibiya Amamiya while the girl that’s mentioned is Hiyori Asahina. Hibiya’s power is to “focus one’s eyes”, but… I have no idea what that means. ;_;
The Heat-Haze mentioned in this video is assumed to be Azami— another character I’ll get into later.
I should mention that there’s another PV that isn’t canon, but it’s very popular! If you want to see it, it’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7KNYk4f3XQ
The fourth song is Headphone Actor, a story of Doubting One’s Eyes. The character that appears in this is Takane Enomoto— Ene before she comes, well, Ene.
The ending to this song makes no sense at all, though. Throughout the song, you’ll see that Takane says that she hears her own voice, but towards the end you’ll see Ene’s silhouette? So there’s some time shenanigans going on there.
Takane’s eyes are red in this video (and are shown to be brown in a later one), meaning she’s using her Eyes in this. No one knows what her power is, but most people assume it has to do with evading/speed because… well, watch the video for yourself!
If it’s still a little confusing, here’s a little summary: Actor was living in an experimental facility, which she had no idea about and thought was the real world. When Ene tells her to run, she ends up at the scientists’ facility, which is where she’s told her life was a lie, and the town is destroyed by a bomb (the “end of the world” that was predicted in the very beginning of the song). It’s heavily implied that she’s turned into an experiment (Ene) afterward.
The fifth song is Imagination Forest, a story of Meeting One’s Eyes. The girl in this song is Mary Kozakura, and her power is to freeze people. She was told by her mother that she would turn anyone into stone if she looked at them directly in the eyes, which is proven to be untrue.
Mary is 1/4 Gorgon (or Medusa, whichever you prefer)— a race that can petrify people with their eyes. Mary’s mother is Shion Kozakura, and her power is the same— although if she uses it, it puts a strain on her. Shion is 1/2 Gorgon, and you’ll see what happens to her in this song.
The boy that appears in this (which fandom called Forest Boy for the longest time because he was one of the last characters to receive a name ;_;) is Seto (Kousuke Seto). His power is to steal information from people just by glancing at them, although he doesn’t like it, so he doesn’t use it much.
Seto is a childhood friend of Kido (the girl from Blindfold Code) and Kano, and they grew up in an orphanage together. Seto is the one that invites Mary to join Mekakushi Dan.
This song has two official PVs, the old one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXB2tFFYr58 which I’m only linking because it’s the only one with subs. ;_;
The new one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfZUC-TbEZ8 which you don’t really notice a difference until you get to the part with Shion protecting Mary. This version is called Kuusou Forest/Fantasy Forest.
Konoha no Sekai Jijou:
The sixth song is Konoha’s State of the World/Konoha’s World Situation, a story of One’s Awakening. The person that appears here is Konoha (Haruka Kokonose), and he’s an experiment created by the scientists of Headphone Actor. The person/scientist that appears at the very, very beginning has a name and story, but we’ll get to him later.
From what we know, Konoha doesn’t have any power to speak of. This song links everything together.
Interesting facts about this video:
- “Those eyes” shown at the end are assumed to be Azami’s, the girl I said was possibly the Heat-Haze.
- The person shown when Mary’s silhouette appears doesn’t seem to be Mary or her mother, Shion. This person is also assumed to be Azami, who is confirmed to be Mary’s grandmother.
- When Takane shows up, on the official site for this series, the silhouette is shown to actually be Ene’s!
- The first boy that shows up during the silhouettes is Shintaro Kisaragi— the boy from Artificial Enemy. He gets his own song later.
- The girl that appears after is Momo Kisaragi, Shintaro’s younger sister of two years. Her PV is next!
- After that, the three silhouettes that show up are Seto, Kido, and Kano. Kido and Kano appear in the background, and the woman that appears there will be explained much later on after I get into a few other characters.
- Mary appears after with Azami, which I explained above.
- You know Hibiya and Hiyori from Heat-Haze Days.
- The girl that appears after them is Ayano Tateyama, but we’ll get into her when Shintaro’s PV comes up.
- Ene/Takane after, and then Konoha.
The seventh song is Kisaragi Attention, a story of Stealing One’s Eyes. This character is Momo Kisaragi— Shintaro Kisaragi’s younger sister of two years. Her ability is to grab everyone’s attention. She’s an idol, but she finds the life way too harsh and wants to quit.
She meets with Mekakushi Dan (Kido, Seto, Kano, and Mary), and eventually joins up with them, and they give her the courage to continue being an idol.
This song actually takes place during the first novel, so this gives you a good idea of what her chapter in the novel is about.
The eighth song is Transparent Answer, a story of Averting One’s Eyes. This takes place two years before everything, when Shintaro is 16. He’s still in school by this point, and the girl that appears with him in this video is Ayano Tateyama.
Shintaro pretty much thinks he knows the answers to everything and life is a bore, and he’s fed up with everything. Ayano steps into his life and changes all of that, but it turns out he doesn’t have the answer to everything after all.
Shintaro has no powers.
After this incident, Shintaro drops out of school completely and becomes a hikikomori. No one knows why Ayano committed suicide.
Ene no Dennou Kikou:
The ninth song is Ene’s Cyber Journey, a story of Opening One’s Eyes. I honestly have no idea what this song is about (probably her journey before she reaches Shintaro’s computer?), but it’s another one for Ene.
Dead and Seek:
The tenth song is Dead and Seek, a story of One’s Eyes Becoming Clear. This character hasn’t been introduced yet, but do you remember the person at the very, very beginning of the Konoha’s State of the World PV that I said I would get into later? This song is about him.
Kenjirou Tateyama: Ayano’s father, Momo’s teacher, and a scientist.
It’s widely speculated that the reason Ayano committed suicide is because he’s a scientist, and because of everything he’s been doing (mainly with Takane and Haruka).
I had originally thought that Dead and Seek was about Kenjirou wanting to save Ayano, but with the new novel that was recently released, Kenjirou mentions the next “Kagerou Days.” Because of this, and after reading the lyrics again, it’s extremely likely that the first Kagerou Days involved him and someone else— although I have no idea who that someone else could be. In the end, it looks like he’s trying to save whoever that is, not Ayano.
He has a power, and it’s to “Make One’s Eyes Clear.” I have no idea what that entails.
The next song is Shinigami Record, a story of Multiplying One’s Eyes. This is Azami’s (the Heat-Haze’s) song, and quite possibly one of the only ones to make me cry. Transparent Answer did, and another one coming up did as well.
Azami is bored with humans, but one day meets a man she falls in love with. Because she’s a Gorgon, she quickly realizes that he’s the only one growing older, and he passes in what seems like a short amount of time for her (Since Gorgons aren’t human, and can live for 1000+ years. Mary is 140).
Azami is considered the main antagonist of the series, because in her profile it states that she uses her power to create a never-ending world.
Azami’s power is very confusing, but I’ll try to explain it. Her power in itself is to turn people into stone, but her hair is actually snakes. Each of these snakes has a power of their own, and it’s assumed that one of them can reset time— hence the repeating August 14-15 of Heat-Haze Days.
The twelfth song is Children Record, a story of One’s Eyes Seeing Something. This song isn’t about anything in particular. It’s styled like an anime opening, and it’s meant to be enjoyed as such.
Everyone makes a cameo here: Shintaro, Ene, Kido, Kano, Hibiya, Hiyori, Takane, Haruka (Konoha before he was turned into an experiment), Mary, Shion, Seto, Konoha, Momo, Ayano, Kenjirou, Azami, and a new character: Dark Konoha.
We don’t know what Dark Konoha’s purpose is.
The thirteenth song, Ultramarine Rain, is a story of Not Hurting Even After Seeing.
This is Shion Kozakura’s song, and it’s basically about her love for Mary and why she didn’t want her to go outside in Imagination Forest, her regrets for dying, and ugh sdkjslkfs. This is another song that made me cry just because of how sweet Shion is.
This is the fourteenth song! Night Talk Deceive (Or Night Tales Deceive) is a story about Deceiving One’s Eyes.
I can finally mention Kano (Shuuya Kano): His ability is to deceive. He can create illusions of himself and show people that he’s doing something he’s not (For example: He creates an illusion of himself bumping into Momo just to show her his power).
This song is about Kano’s power, which he seems to have gotten ten years ago? And how much he’s struggling with it. He seems to think that he’s a monster, and because of how many personalities he’s taken up, he doesn’t know who the real him is anymore (if there even was a real him to begin with).
He hates his power, and he doesn’t think he can be saved. Also, I should mention that no, Kano isn’t a girl. He was mimicking Kido, and even Seto (when he has red clips in his hair). This just partially shows us what he’s capable of.
Lost Time Memory:
The fifteenth, Lost Time Memory, is a story that’s Burned into the Eyes. It’s about Shintaro again, and it seems to be about different routes/alternate worlds (See Heat-Haze Days for an example).
A few strange things to note are one: in the “dream world,” all the other students barring Shintaro and Ayano are dead. I assume that this is the endless world that was created by Azami for Shintaro, considering she’s seen in the PV… Two: Ene is in her Artificial Enemy outfit instead of her usual blue jersey in Route XX. It looks like this is where Artificial Enemy takes place, and not the timeline we’re following in all of the other videos.
I also assume that Shintaro strangling Ene is a metaphor for deleting her, seeing as it’s virtually impossible for him to reach her. Either way, the song seems to be about Shintaro accepting Ayano’s death and gaining a power of his own. What that power is, well… we’ll just have to wait and see!
Ayano no Koufuku Riron:
The latest song, Ayano’s Theory of Happiness, is a story in Reminiscing Eyes. We have a lot of things confirmed in this video: Why Kido, Kano, and Seto were taken to the orphanage, that “orphanage” actually being the Tateyama household, and the lady in Konoha’s State of the World being Ayano’s mother— and therefore Kenjirou’s wife.
This song shows that Ayano was actually the one to originally start the Blindfold Gang, giving Kido, Kano, and Seto their hoodies. After some time passes, it seems like Ayano’s mother dies in an accident. Kenjirou closes himself off to research, most likely leading into Dead and Seek. I assume Ayano tries to find out what exactly he’s been doing when he steps out, and once she does, she finds the profiles of her classmates— Takane and Haruka.
She understands that their futures are going to be torn from them, with Takane turning into Ene and Haruka into Konoha, and thinking she might be able to save them if she dies, she does just that. It doesn’t seem to work— given the plot now— however, if Lost Time Memory is of any indication, she was able to receive those Red Eyes after all. Because she was able to pass them on to Shintaro, she may be able to save everyone, so it looks like her theory of happiness wasn’t too far off.
Other useful links:
Kagerou Days Manga: http://mangafox.me/manga/kagerou_days/
Summary of Kagerou Days -in a daze-: http://zkmn.tumblr.com/post/24964223029/kagerou-project-novel-summary
Summary of Kagerou Days II -a headphone actor-: http://zkmn.tumblr.com/post/34286152994/kagerou-project-novel-summary-2
Translations for Kagerou Days II -a headphone actor-: http://amesubs.tumblr.com/post/32252097134/a-headphone-actor
Profiles for the cast: http://miss-simplicity.tumblr.com/post/29452825613/kageprofiles
Relationship chart: http://miss-simplicity.tumblr.com/post/33334661763/okay-translated-and-typeset-the-kagepro-character
Kagerou Days Disintegration Book: http://6010-janie.tumblr.com/post/34445496967/kagerou-days-disintegration-book
If you decide to look at fanart/videos and see a boy that wasn’t mentioned here, that would be Soraru (the Utaite). He has a song that was composed by Jin called Kimi no me wo/Your Eyes, and it also follows the eye theme (A story of Worrying About Eyes), but it’s completely unrelated to the series. Even so, he manages to sneak his way into a ton of Kagepro things.
If you’re interested, here’s a link!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqB7_jSbckQ