COMMUNICATIONS is an English Vocaloid series by producer GHOST, consisting of five songs.
Originally built off of two unrelated songs, HOUSEWIFE RADIO (which was remixed for the series) and COLORBARS (which is not a part of the series proper, but BROADCAST ILLUSION retells the same story), it has expanded into a full-fledged series, with three story arcs known as "Cases" and an unknown connection yet to be revealed. Cases One and Two has/would've had a comedic intermission song.
Each character in the story has their own form of communication, and the songs feature each method heavily.
As of July 2017, the series has been cancelled, and while GHOST initially had interest in continuing it with a rewritten plot, in 2019 they confirmed that the series is cancelled for good. As such, all songs post-BROADCAST ILLUSION have been scrapped.
In January 2018, all the songs were taken down, but they were reuploaded shortly after with revisions to the PVs, with the most notable difference being the removal of the logo. This was likely done to reflect the cancellation of the series.
- Case One: The tale of Henry Elsner, his death, and what happened afterwards.
- Case Two: The tale of Kennith Simmons, a boy who felt the world hated him and hijacked a broadcast.
- BROADCAST ILLUSION
- SIGN-OFF INTRUSION
- N/A (Intermission)
- Case Three: The tale of Bri Rodez, an insecure teen relying on their online persona.
- The End: What binds these events together.
This series provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Frances emotionally abused Henry as a means of coping with stress.
- Accidental Murder: When Henry tried to run away from Nancy, she completely zoned out and killed him on impulse, then forgot what happened and went into a state of denial, believing he was still alive and gone at the moment. She falls into a Despair Event Horizon when she realizes she killed him, then commits suicide.
- Anyone Can Die: Oh yes.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Case One ends with only Frances surviving, and she got what she wanted (Henry's death).
- Bloody Horror: See Gorn below.
- Bowdlerise: A downplayed example with BROADCAST ILLUSION. In the original December 2016 upload, Kennith was shown with self-harm scars, but in the January 2018 reupload, his scars were removed. Word of God later confirmed the reasoning for this was so that cosplayers would not try to emulate self-harm scars as part of their costume.
- BSoD Song: HOUSEWIFE RADIO.
- Caps Lock: COMMUNICATIONS. Also, the title of most songs in the series.
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: Out of the (very small) cast, only 4 are alive at the end of it.
- Deliberately Monochrome: ROTARY DIALs PV is entirely grayscale (except for the subtitles having a small Splash of Color in the 50s segment) as a reference to Frances having achromatopsia. BLACK & WHITE has both grayscale and colored parts in reference to how Henry is the tie between Frances and Nancy.
- Driven to Suicide: Nancy commits suicide after realizing she murdered Henry. Kennith commits suicide towards the end of his broadcast - Stephanie tries to save him before it's too late, but fails.
- Downer Ending: Case One ends with Nancy committing suicide after realizing she murdered Henry, not to mention that Frances gets what she wanted all along.
- Case Two ends with Kennith committing suicide and Stephanie horribly depressed because of it.
- Case Three ends with not only with Avery committing a Murder-Suicide with Simon after he shot her, but also with Bri, as a result of being doxed, refusing to leave their room and almost dying from starvation.
- Dysfunction Junction: Case One has an abusive mother with achromatopsia, her son who has an inability to properly confront problems, and his synesthete wife who unintentionally murders him. Case Two has a gay, suicidal boy with self-harm issues and his Only Friend, a deaf girl. Case Three has a scene kid with BDD that heavily edits all photos of themself, a bigoted Jerkass hacker who leaks photos of them and doxes them, and their girlfriend who commits a Murder-Suicide with said hacker after the supposed death of her partner.
- Early-Bird Cameo: We see a shot of Nancy in BLACK & WHITE, right after she kills Henry.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Frances.
- The '80s: Case Two takes place in 1987.
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: All of the PVs, save ROTARY DIAL, have flashing lights and the appropriate warnings at the beginning of the videos.
- Evil Matriarch: Frances.
- The '50s: Except for a bit in ROTARY DIAL, the entirety of Case One takes place in 1950.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In BLACK & WHITE, right before it cuts to the static part, there is a quick shot of Nancys arms around Henry, holding a knife.
- Gorn: In BLACK & WHITE, as the static part begins, were treated to Nancy having gotten Henrys blood everywhere and a very darkly colored image of his throat covered by static. Shortly afterwards, we see a brightly colored, detailed image of Henry with not only his throat horribly severed, but also his face disfigured into a bloody pulp.
- Goodbye, Cruel World!: Nancy wrote one. It details how she thought Henry was still alive, and how the voices she heard on the radio flickered from monochrome like Henrys voice and to various other colors; this made her remember what happened the night she killed him. She was appalled, and even in disbelief, that she couldve done something that awful.
- Housewife: Nancy.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Word of God states that Frances often threatened to kill Henry when he was a child, but she never carried out the threats.
- Lovable Coward: Henry.
- Madness Mantra: Black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white - no, blue and green and yellow and red - the radio only plays in
- Minimalist Cast: Downplayed. Counting minor characters, there's only 14 named characters, and only 9 of them play an important role in the plot.
- Mood Whiplash: Case One's intermission song, jelf the elf. The preceding songs had a dark tone, as it covered issues like child abuse and accidental mariticide, but jelf the elf was just an elf screaming about mostly nonsense and the fact that the protagonists were killed off.
- Murder-Suicide: The end of Case One, with Henry and Nancy on each end respectively.
- The end of Case Three. After Simon shoots Avery, she holds onto him and falls off the building she's standing on with him.
- The New '10s: Case Three takes place in 2012.
- Only Sane Man: Henry and Stephanie.
- Period Piece: Case One mostly takes place in 1950, Case Two takes place in 1987, and Case Three takes place in 2012.
- Platonic Life-Partners: GHOST has stated that Henry and Nancy's marriage is platonic. Doubles as a Sexless Marriage.
- Please Don't Leave Me: When Henry wants to marry Nancy, Frances guilt trips him and begs him to not leave her, but he ends up cutting Frances out of his life anyways. Nancy, having realized that Henry is capable of leaving her like he did Frances, has an emotional breakdown about this possibility and begs him for reassurance that it won't happen. Because it reminds him of the abuse he endured from Frances, he makes an attempt to leave her, as well; this leads to his death.
- Rage Against the Author: Once in a stream, one of GHOSTs friends joked about an AU where all the COMMUNICATIONS characters were Ghostbusters and hunted GHOST as revenge.
- Retraux: The PVs in Case One, ROTARY DIAL especially.
- The Roaring '20s: ROTARY DIAL initially takes place in the 20s.
- Sanity Slippage: Everyone except Henry and Stephanie go through this to some degree.
- Sexless Marriage: According to Word of God, Henry and Nancy's relationship isn't romantic or sexual in any way. This is justified because both Henry and Nancy are asexual.
- Shout-Out: HOUSEWIFE RADIO has a line that references the Wyoming Incident.
- Slashed Throat: Poor, poor Henry
- Splash of Color: A small one in ROTARY DIAL. Early on in the 50s segment, a few of the lines reference HOUSEWIFE RADIO and are colored in blue, green, yellow and red.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: See Accidental Murder above.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Kennith and Stephanie, who are 54 and 57, respectively.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: HOUSEWIFE RADIO.
- Transgender: Word of God says that Kennith is genderfluid but identified as male because the term didn't exist in the 80s. Bri is agender.