"Y4ND3RE:" A Review


A woman with purple hair sitting in a chair in front of multiple tentacles. Text on cover reads "Y4ND3RE [PROJEKT MELODY, BATSU]"

A VTuber I occasionally watch just dropped a single and I'm going to talk about it.

Mini-Wikipedia - Yandere (Projekt Melody song)

This article is about the song by Projekt Melody. For the character archetype, see Yandere.

Key Value
Released September 5, 2021
Recorded 2021
Genre pop, electronic music, rap
Length 04:06
Songwriter(s) Shiki-tmns
Producer(s) Batsu

"Yandere" (stylized as "Y4ND3RE") is a song by VTuber Projekt Melody. It was released on September 5th, 2021.


"Yandere" was released simultaneously on Apple Music, Amazon Music, Bandcamp, YouTube Music, Spotify, and iTunes on September 5th, 2021. The release was accompanied by a debut stream on Melody's Twitch channel and a lyric video on her YouTube channel.

The Review

You can listen to the song and its instrumental without interruption on Bandcamp, so experience the song the way I did before or while reading this:


Before I start, the transcribed lyrics on Bandcamp have multiple spelling and grammatical errors, including run-ons on lines 1 and 3, "dont" (don't) on line 2, a comma splice on line 4, and "3d" (3D) on line 4. Someone should fix those.

Shiki uses multiple rhyming schemes in "Yandere," including:

Senpai, do you love me, what's it gonna be

I'm about to freak out, hope you don't see

All them other waifus, they can't beat me

I'll be right beside you; yeah, in 3D

If you with me, I don't care

In love with your underwear

Yandere the way I stare

While I tie you to a chair

Senpai, don't you ever leave

Need you here with me

I just wanna lock you up

Throw away the key

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with this, it just really stands out when you read it and no piece of poetry I've read before changes up the scheme like this midway.

English class always told me to assume the speaker isn't the author, but Melody references herself by name twice, says she has purple hair with no curls, and even references her science team; English class is kinda right, though, seeing as Melody didn't actually write the song, but whatever.

Melody portrays herself as a softcore yandere, the yandere being a Japanese character archetype that is obsessed with their romantic interest to the point of stalking, extreme possessiveness, violent tendencies that are directed towards anyone who threatens the yandere's relationship with their interest, including the interest themselves, and general mental instability. Melody states common characteristics of a yandere throughout the song, including:

She even plainly says she is one on line 75 with "Yandere the way I stare."

Melody also sings about how being an artificial intelligence living in a "cybernetic world" influences her, with the main focus being the dual nature of her virtual world: it gives her vast freedom ("a distant land" / "Show you different things that you've never seen"), yet isolates her from the real world and by extension her romantic interest.

One interesting lyric to interpret that combines both of these themes is line 56, "Living here with you is my only dream." One might initially believe that this line portrays the classic yandere trope of having one's ambitions revolve entirely around a romantic interest; other lines like this include 5, 32-33, and 75. But, if we take into account that Melody is a computer program that might be physically isolated from her interest, and so may struggle to intimately interact with them, it makes the lyric feel much more melancholic. I like it!

I think the only awkward lyric in the song is line 55's "Show you different things that you've never seen." The use of "different" feels awkward both when reading and listening. "Show you things that I think you've never seen" has the same number of syllables and conveys a similar meaning but just feels better. I would simply write "Show you things you've never seen" but I believe that would disrupt the song's existing structure.

The last aspect of this song worth mentioning is that it's bilingual, with the second half of the chorus featuring English and Japanese lyrics side by side in the stanza. The funny part, though, is that English and Japanese as languages aren't structurally compatible with one another like, say, English and Spanish, making them notoriously hard to translate between. "Yandere" is an English song, and so for Japanese speakers, the song is going to be mostly unintelligible without a translation, and even the Japanese lyrics are kind of pointless since they to English mid-sentence. This is really the opposite of K-pop, as we're sprinkling in Eastern lyrics instead of Western ones. Ultimately, I'm not a fan of bilingual performances like this because it doesn't do listeners of either language justice, but I understand why they're here, and since the lyrics on Bandcamp contain an English translation for Japanese lyrics, it doesn't take away from my analysis.

Overall, I think the lyrics are strong. The lyrics lean heavily into the yandere archetype the single is named after, the use of multiple rhyming schemes is interesting, Japanese listeners will have something to kind of look forward to, and the song's self-references will surely cause any fan of Melody's work to smile from ear-to-ear.

You may think that these lyrics would incite a dark, yet playful instrumental that's fitting of the yandere, but you would be sadly mistaken, and that's where I think this song begins to fall apart.


The instrumental, produced by Batsu, although he is credited as only a composer, starts with a guitar playing in reverse, which then cleanly transitions to playing in the right direction; this is easily the coolest part of the production and made me jump in my chair. Synth, a drum kit, and what is either a toy piano or a xylophone come to accompany the guitar, giving us the four main instruments of "Yandere."

The song then goes on the route of pretty much any electronic pop song that you've listened to in the background of a YouTube video in the past five or six years, fast drums leading into a beat drop and all. The song does take an interesting turn at 2:15, taking on the fast pace of a drum-and-bass track, but quickly returns to the pre-established beat.

The last thing to note is the use of sampling in the song. An iPhone notification sample can be heard at 3:16, and a vocal sample of Melody, presumably from one of her streams, can be heard at 3:55; the latter sample caught me quite off guard seeing as I wasn't expecting to hear words during an instrumental. As a side note, if someone knows what stream the sample comes from, I'd certainly like to know; perhaps my caption searching tool might come in handy.

It would be wrong of me to say that the instrumental is poorly produced. It's just very generic; as I said earlier, not much differentiates this song from the dozens of songs like it. More importantly, it doesn't fit that playful yandere vibe I was expecting with the lyrics. The instrumental also doesn't really reflect any aspects of Melody's digital existence. What if the song "buffered" or fell in bitrate during lyrics where Melody was crying out for her interest not to leave her? This would create a sense of urgency and hammer home that Melody is in a separate world from the one she loves, and the connection that ties the two together is unstable. This would make the listener sympathize with Melody more as she yearns to make her interest hers on her turf.

Sadly, the introduction of vocals doesn't improve the experience of the song; in fact, it does quite the opposite.

(Also, why in the world is there nearly two seconds of silence at the beginning of the song!? It makes me think that there's something wrong with my internet every time I play the song from the beginning. I hate stuff like that.)


"Yandere" features a vocal performance from the titular (heh) VTuber and her performance is mixed and engineered by Batsu, although he is credited as only a composer.

I'm going to say this right now: Batsu is a good producer but is not a good mixer or audio engineer. There's a reason these are separate jobs from the producer.

If I were to describe the vocal track with one word, it would be "over-engineered." It's painfully obvious that Batsu was trying to make Melody sound "digital," but they did it in the worst way possible via compressing Melody's voice and throwing it into an echo chamber. It gets even worse when we reach the second half of the chorus, as Melody's voice is seemingly vocoded and duplicated, making her performance distracting and even slightly cutting off lyrics at times.

I think Batsu should've left Melody's voice relatively untouched, and instead should've conveyed Melody's digital nature through the instrumental as stated above. She otherwise has a great singing voice that is marred by the production. Sadly, effects aside, Melody's performance isn't the greatest. Her performance comes off as "flat" (isn't helped by the engineering taking out some of her vocal range), "generic," and "sassy;" not the kind of vocal performance you'd expect from a yandere. Where's the common vocal tics we've all come to expect from the archetype, such as cackling, whispering, screaming, monotone speech, and, most importantly, the sweet and cute voice that hides their otherwise dark demeanor? To boil it down to one sentence, Melody should've gone for a more chaotic, MC Ride-like performance when portraying her yandere character.

Sadly, it's hard to hear Melody much at all due to this track's mixing. Melody's voice is constantly competing for volume with the instrumental, making her hard to hear at times and ultimately distracting the listener.


Shiki's fun lyrics feel wasted on an otherwise uninspired and hard-to-listen-to single. "Yandere" feels unfocused and pales in quality when compared to Melody's previous musical collaborations with Ghost Data and Shiki. If you need something to fill the room during a Twitch stream, give the instrumental a download; otherwise, give "Yandere" a pass. Look forward to what you make next, Mel.

Bonus: What Collaborators Care About the Release?

I use people talking about or promoting the things they create when they are publically released as a gauge for if they actually care or not. This obviously doesn't mean that the people in question don't care at all, but it's still interesting to look at. Let's look at what Melody's collaborators were doing while the song was being initially promoted! For reference, this article was written the night of the single release, on September 5th, 2021 at around 9 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Producer Batsu hasn't posted anything on Twitter since September 4th. Nice picture, though, even with your finger in the lower-left corner.

Songwriter Shiki commented on the lyric video not too long after its publication:

Was definitely happy to help with this. Song is 🔥. Real science team hours. 🧪

Sorry, chief; I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

Cover artist UHEN was tweeting about waking up and retweeting Hololive fanart:


Life is a roller coaster, and I’m on the front seat of the pirate ship swing

Hey, I love pirate ship rides, too, although I'm not sure how it fits into the "life is a rollercoaster" metaphor.

Logotype and artwork design Warabi Inoue hasn't touched her Twitter since mid-August. Love their artwork though; don't think I've ever seen an anime girl with that distinct shade of blue for hair before.

VShojo CEO theGunrun still hasn't acknowledged Melody's single via a retweet; the last thing on his timeline is a retweet of a Twitch API experiment by fellow co-founder MowtenDoo.