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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Song of the Week! 6 November 2010


This week's choice comes from Sp3000's request, and is another good Namco Original song. Let's go drumming!

Haikei, Gakkou ni te... (拝啓、学校にて...)
Allx2 (102)x3 (135) x4 (255)x7 (443)
Taiko 11, 14, Taiko Wii 3

Well known as one of the first songs to have a full version in Ura Oni mode, Haikei, Gakkou ni te... is a great-sounding track that is rarely seen in the Taiko series. If it wasn't for the Taiko 14 Namco Original revival poll (which it got third place in), it would have stayed exclusive to Taiko 11 and nowhere else.

Technically speaking, Haikei should be in the Game Music genre, and not Namco Original, since this track originates from Tekken 5. It's the character song of one of the fighters, named Asuka Kazama (風間飛鳥). The song's title means 'Dear Sir, At School...' ('haikei' is a well-mannered opening greeting in a letter), and the theme inevitably revolves around an ordinary school day, with a love story behind it, like most typical romantic stories based on schoolgirls. Pretty strange for an ending theme of a fighter girl, isn't it? (especially since her backstory isn't half as calm as this song. Click the link above to learn more!)

Haikei is sung by Asuka Kazama's Japanese seiyuu (Shiraishi Ryouko, 白石涼子), while the music was made by Go Shiina (椎名豪), who made Fuun! Bachi o Sensei and later on, the Taiko cut of No Way Back. It's also one of the few songs to include the singer's name in the title of the song (in Taiko 11, the full name was actually 拝啓、学校にて...(CV:白石涼子)), but it was removed on its way to Taiko 14.

Don't let the low BPM fool you; Haikei can get tricky towards the end of the song, with many note clusters of two, four, and six. It's otherwise a lovely and underappreciated 7* Oni song.

Haikei, Gakkou ni te... (拝啓、学校にて...)
Allx3 (266)x5 (444) x6 (666)x8 (888)
Taiko 11, 14, Taiko Wii 3, CD Full Combo

Originally it was thought that full versions in Taiko arcade would be a bad idea, as not only would the player get tired (Taiko is a stamina game) but it would mean others have to wait longer for their turn. Haikei was the first full version song in Taiko, and to be honest, made it even better and more enjoyable than its non-Ura counterpart. Due to the low BPM it wasn't at all tiring, and four minutes isn't too long to wait. And so began Ura Oni's habit of making songs longer.

This long version features multiple BPM changes, due to the violin solo after the first chorus, but averaging around 132 like the short one. It's also a tad harder than the original despite being so long, and missing one note at the very end of the song can be frustrating. As of Taiko 14, Haikei's full version is the 2rd longest playable song in the entire history of Taiko, and one of the longest combined drumroll length of 20 seconds. Though the maximum obtainable score is just shy of one million, when combined with drumroll points it can skyrocket to 1.2 million.

Now if only the Futsuu difficulty was 4* it would have been an even more perfect number play, but alas.

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