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Music / Watashi no Koko

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I have something to tell you, please look at these eyes. Please remember me. note 

"My name is LaLa.
I am obsolete, and no longer in use.
My name is LaLa.
I will sing you a song.
It's a little monotonous,
And I'm not very good with tone or rhythm,
But I will do my best to sing for you.
So please, listen to the end."
"ららとあそぼ -Lonely Shy Girl-"

わたしのココ ("Watashi no Koko", approx. "Here Is My" or "Where I Am" in English) is a mysterious, independent and experimental/industrial/ambient/pop-noise/piano ballad virtual band from Japan, combining influences from J-pop, IDM, videogame scores, harsh noise and old-school industrial, with strong emphasis on melodic arrangements and harsh digital noise.

It started in 2007 under the name Kesson Shoujo ("Damaged Girl"), debuting with an album of dark ambient and bleak IDM titled An-Min. A year later, they followed it up with Childhood in Housing Complex, a comparatively upbeat album that marked the beginning of their strong melodic bent. Their signature sound, however, was debuted on LaLa Sings, later that year. This EP included vocals from a long-abandoned voice synth, akin to Vocaloids, known as LalaVoice.

Following the LaLa Sings EP, they released a full-length album in that style, titled わたしのココ. The following year, they reworked it, rereleased it, and named themselves after it. This also marks the beginning of the fictional band; singer LaLa (ララ), keyboard player Keyboard Girl (鍵盤娘), Self-Proclaimed Sister (自称妹), whose role was never specified,* and YOSU, the producer.

This album expanded remarkably on the EP, to the point of sounding very different from their work as Kesson Shoujo—a Bloodier and Gorier, Darker and Edgier image supported by a much heavier, far more challenging sound. Lyrics, sung from LaLa's own perspective, revolved around the feeling of being forgotten, broken, the despair of not being heard, and a longing for death.

After their first album, わたしのココ would go on to release a few compilations and EPs of unreleased tracks, a few of which are hard to come by. By this point, their sound had become gradually more accessible—while they hadn't outright sworn off their influences, they began to place stronger emphasis on production. The result was a more diverse, yet coherent sound, as showcased on their first CD, カラダは正直, the following year's Zombie Magic, and the EPs released around this time. They put out one last compilation in 2014 before disappearing almost entirely off the net.

Two years later, they released hue drone, a loose collection of tracks ranging from instrumentals and sketches to unedited versions of recordings from An-Min. Comparatively few tracks featured the use of LaLaVoice.

2017 marked the project's return, with the 10th Anniversary of WTKK series, four-track EPs of newly-recorded material. The works at once embraced their earliest roots and the know-how they'd acquired in their later years. Following this, the band's output would resume at a steady pace, with near-yearly releases and a constant social media presence via the band's Twitter [1].

Main Discography:

  • 2007 - an-min note 
  • 2008 - childhood in housing complex note 
  • 2008 - わたしのココ note 
  • 2012 - カラダは正直 note 
  • 2013 - Zombie Magic note 
  • 2016 - hue drone
  • 2020 - ○保育唱歌● ―日本近代の夜明け―
  • 2022 - 僕がいて良かったと言ってほしい

Misc Discography:

  • 2008 - LaLa sings (EP) note 
  • 2009 - 名称未設定 (EP) note 
  • 2010 - 愛してるって言われたいの (Compilation)
  • 2012 - まごころを君に (Compilation)
  • 2013 - 恋愛の神様 (EP) note 
  • 2013 - きせつのうたのアルバム (EP) note 
  • 2014 - 落穂拾い2010-2013 (Compilation) note 
  • 2016 - KIHA28 EP (EP) note 
  • 2017 - 29 (EP)
  • 2018 - 30 (EP)
  • 2020 - 平成の落穂拾い (partⅡ) (Compilation)
  • 2020 - 街の歌 (EP)
  • 2023 - ララのうた ~THE BEST OF わたしのココ VOL.1~
  • 2024 - 残り火 ~THE BEST OF わたしのココ VOL.2~

わたしのココ provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: "コンプレックス'' off their self-titled album contains one in the first line.
    Look, look at me, at my “thing”
  • all lowercase letters: The majority of their English song/album titles are styled like this.
  • Ambient: an-min and hue drone mostly consist of Dark Ambient pieces. Other ambient works show up sporadically across their other albums.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: LaLa is this to LaLaVoice, the outdated text-to-speech program the band uses.
  • Arc Symbol: A four-leaf clover with its top petal discolored has appeared in most of their artwork in some way since the LaLa sings EP.
  • Bloodier and Gorier/Darker and Edgier: Right as they started using LaLaVoice.
  • Deconstruction: Of Vocaloids to an extent. Basically, LaLa is what happens when a seemingly sentient robot built for singing like a Vocaloid is abandoned and forgotten.
  • Cover Version: LaLa sings features a cover of "Sora no Yume," an ED from ef - a tale of memories. It was later included on the redo of their self-titled album.
    • "おっふぇるとりうむ" covers a movement from Robert Schumann's Mass in C Minor, op. 147.
    • "あき," the bonus track from きせつのうたのアルバム is a cover of UNCO BEACH's "安住"
    • ○保育唱歌● ―日本近代の夜明け― is a cover album of traditional Japanese songs.
  • Creepy Monotone: "ららとあそぼ -Lonely Shy Girl-" features this on the verses.
  • Drone of Dread: "コンプレックス" features this in lieu of a melody.
    • An-Min and hue drone both feature this pretty heavily.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their earliest years as Kesson Shoujo. Even putting asides the lack of LalaVoice until LaLa sings, an-min and childhood in housing complex are very different mood wise from their later material (discounting hue drone, which contains many recordings from around that era). an-min is a very straightforward Dark Ambient album and childhood is scattershot and lighthearted in a way not much of their later work would take from.
  • Epic Rocking: While not exactly rock, a few of their songs pass the 6 minute mark.
    • In order, #11 from an-min is 6:43, the full version of "君のように" is 8:19, "raining part1-4" from their soundcloud is 10:23, and finally "omatsuri" from hue drone is 10:27.
  • Eyepatch of Power: LaLa.
  • Eye Scream: There are a few videos/images where we get to see exactly why LaLa wears that eyepatch. It isn't pretty.
  • Flawed Prototype: While not directly involved in their development, the LalaVoice program was essentially this to the Vocaloids. The complete abandonment of LalaVoice (and, in turn, LaLa herself) is a recurring theme in the band's lyrics.
  • Gratuitous English: "walk to death," whose title is a butchering of "work to death."
  • Gratuitous Latin: "おっふぇるとりうむ"* is sung in dubiously transliterated Latin.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Two of them, released in 2023 and 2024, the 2nd of which also containing a small selection of new tracks.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Asides from explicitly being robotic/digital in some fashion, LaLa is implied by a few music videos to be something along these lines. Assuming it's not entirely metaphorical that is.
  • Harsh Noise: Their self-titled album featured this the most of all their releases, but special mention goes to "君のように" and "五月雨ブルドッグ" which both go from a barely audible melody of LaLa singing to one of the loudest noise walls in their discography in an instant.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: カラダは正直,* whose title is a Japanese expression about declining sex despite being sexually aroused.
    • As for individual tracks, there's ""自慰" * and "わたしのうんちをたべてください"
  • Lighter and Softer: Over the course of their career, their sound got less noisy, with greater focus on production values and a diverse sound.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The band is known for this, having an odd hybrid of calm, cheery or uptempo melodies alongside harrowing digital noise—and themes of shame, self-hatred, and extreme depression, all rendered through LaLaVoice. If you didn't speak Japanese, you wouldn't suspect a thing. For example, "神様お願い" ("Please, God"), is an upbeat, straightforward piano-and-organ waltz without any noise or effects, in which LaLa questions the point of a life witnessing, but never experiencing love and prays for God to "shut [her] off completely."
    • Discussed in "ララのうた"
    The songs are always happy,
    But nobody listens to [the singer]...
  • May–December Romance: "マイ・オールドマン"
  • Mind Screw: A lot of stuff related to the band being perfectly honest, but especially the music videos.
  • Miniscule Rocking: They have a decent amount of songs that barely run over a minute in length. The shortest example is ストア from "街の歌" at a mere 37 seconds, followed by the intro track to hue drone, "wh", which clocks in at 57 seconds. Other examples include "檻" and いろは (1:09), "k11" (1:11), "April" (1:12), "May" (1:14), and "My Fair Elise" (1:19).
    • Infact, all of the "街の歌" EP qualifies as such, with only a single track (個性ヶ丘) clocking in over 2 minutes.
  • Mood Whiplash: A common theme from album to album, or even track to track, dating back to the Kesson Shoujo years.
  • Motor Mouth: The カラダは正直 version of "ぎぶみー☆LOVE."
  • New Sound Album: Almost all of their albums are radically different in some way. Even the closest thing to a constant (the use of LalaVoice) didn't turn up until just before they changed names, and is almost completely absent from hue drone.
  • Noise Rock: "walk to death" falls under this genre.
  • Oddball in the Series: Even for a band as often eclectic as WNK, ○保育唱歌● ―日本近代の夜明け― is very odd when compared to the rest of their albums, being a collection of traditional Japanese folk songs with no subversion other than LaLa being the one singing them. This is likely one of the reasons it was a limited-time release.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Deconstructed:
    • "踊ろう", in which the recipient of such tells their admirer that, while it may not be right away, one day he'll have to move on from them in favor of real life.
    • "天使のいない街", which is about a fictional (in-setting) Ms. Fanservice who wants to be remembered as something more, but knows that such is not her purpose.
    On TV, a girl dances,
    And when I see her beautiful smile,
    I know we're both bound for the same end
    But I've still chosen to dream for a little longer.
  • Rearrange the Song : A constant throughout their career—Kesson Shoujo-era instrumentals routinely turned up in わたしのココ releases With Lyrics. Numerous songs, even ones that fall under that category, also feature several alternate mixes. The most notable is "January;" itself a rework of track 2 of An-Min, it's been reworked into no fewer than three separate songs, one of which, "わたしと歩いていると恥ずかしいの" has four known versions.
    • Their debut album as わたしのココ was this, having first been released under that name as Kesson Shoujo.
    • きせつのうたのアルバム, save for bonus track "あき," consists entirely of rewritten songs from childhood in housing complex.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mostly subverted, both LaLa and 自称妹 have rather striking red eyes. Neither of them are exactly dangerous, even accounting all the Nightmare Fuel that surrounds them.
  • Sensory Abuse: From late 2008 to around 2010 or so, this was pretty much par for the course. It shows up in later works, too, but not as heavily.
  • Shrinking Violet: The now long-defunct website for the band portrayed LaLa as this to a very high degree.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: YOSU sings the second verse of "walk to death" solo, then sings along with LaLa for the ending.
  • Stylistic Suck: "ららとあそぼ -Lonely Shy Girl-" features a repetitive, mechanical backbeat, with monotonous verses.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: The music video for "HisBBA -ヒスババア-" is fairly lighthearted (if not very weird) through it's runtime, then in the last few seconds it cuts to LaLa, looking very much like she did in the "Complex" video, part of her a pile of wires and a good chunk of her flesh ripped off.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Subverted early on: Their less-challenging songs musically tend to be their heaviest lyrically.
  • Take That!: "妄想デート" takes its name from a popular Vocaloid song.
  • Title Drop: The opening tracks of 愛してるって言われたいの and カラダは正直.
  • Trash-Can Band: The live instruments on "変なおばさん."
  • Vocal Evolution: An odd case—while they never changed or modified their text-to-speech software, their increasing production values meant that they could make LaLaVoice sound a lot better over time. This began pretty much right after their self-titled album.

Were my feelings able to reach you?