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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Namco Original Showcase: Chata Songs

Chata (茶太) is a Japanese singer, born on November 21, 1979. Her career began in 1998, writing lyrics for songs on a Japanese forum. She later joined many doujin music circles and later went on to provide vocals for video games and anime, including the ending theme for anime series Potemayo. Hers is a name that will ring more than a few bells among fans of Japanese music mainly because of the immense popularity of Dango Daikazoku (だんご大家族, The Big Dumpling Family) and a similar remix called Chiisana Tenohira (小さなてのひら, Palm of a Tiny Hand), two ending songs from a visual novel game called Clannad. The songs brought out the most successful quality of her soft, whisper-like voice. Say the name 'Chata' to anyone, and chances are they will be thinking of either one first. Both songs are extremely sweet and relaxing.

'Sweet and relaxing' probably isn't the best term to use in her Taiko no Tatsujin songs, as Chata has proven herself to be a more diverse singer than one might initally think. All of them have so far been decently fast-paced Namco Original songs. You can still pick out the distinct soft quality of her voice, and she sounds as good as ever. The Chata series in Taiko is not just her, it's a triad of the same composer/lyricist, remixer and singer. Satou (佐藤; formerly 佐藤銀, Satou-gin) and mirawi (みらゐ) from luv-kraft are the composer and lyricist, bermei.inazawa from Studio Campanella remixes the song, and Chata sings the final product.

To avoid confusion, there is a Chiisana Tenohira in the Taiko tracklist (on Taiko 11 and 11 Asia), but it's a completely different song by Aqua Timez, and not the one sung by Chata.


-Chata series-


Yuujou Pop (友情ぽっぷ)
Taiko 12.5 to 14, Taiko PSP 2 x4 (170)x5 (232) x7 (477)x7 (594)
Taiko Wii 2x4 (171)x5 (239) x7 (477)x7 (594)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii Ux4 (170)x4 (232) x7 (477)x6 (594)
Taiko 12.5 to 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 2, Taiko Wii U, CD Donderful

First introduced as a secret song in the substantial Taiko 12.5, Yuujou Pop gained a good fan following for being an amazing, uplifting song and as the 12.5 extra Namco Originals began to be picked off the song list one by one (Hello! Halloween, Many wow bang!, Future Lab and Yuugao no Kimi were all gone by Taiko 14), Yuujou Pop stayed resilient, and still has not been taken down from the arcade. It was so good that it was made a downloadable song for Taiko Portable 2.

The great-sounding song helped in a big way, as the notechart was nothing to shout about, being a mixture of 3 note clusters and the rest being simple notes. The Wii 2 versions of the Kantan and Futsuu notecharts have higher note totals than all other versions due to the giant notes adding extra. At 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it's also one of the longest non-Ura songs in Taiko.

Taiko 14, all consolex5 (148)x6 (243) x6 (343)x7 (544)
Taiko 0 onwardsx4 (148)x6 (243) x6 (343)x7 (544)
Taiko 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 4

This enigma had been lounging for the longest time in the Taiko 14 rumor mill and at the revealing of the 6th secret code, finally saw daylight. It's hard to tell whether this or Dream Tide came first; technically Taiko 14 was released before Taiko Wii 3, thus making Mulberry the earlier creation, but Dream Tide was playable months before Mulberry was released. It was then ported to all 10th anniversary Taiko games leaving Dream Tide behind as a Wii exclusive.

The theme of this song is exactly as the title says (creator's blog),and the lyrics are in full English, which depicts a young man searching for freedom and fulfilling his dreams and an old man advising him to be wise in his actions.

In the vein of Yuujou Pop, this 7* song doesn't have any notable bits in its notechart, but it features a decent number of 5 note clusters and is harder than Yuujou.

Dream Tide -Yume no Chouryuu- (Dream Tide -夢の潮流-)
Allx3 (108)x5 (164) x7 (354)x8 (563)
Taiko 0 S, Taiko Wii 3, CD Full Combo

A song which started out on Taiko Wii 3 and stayed there as an exclusive song for a very, very long time, before popping up as a monthly unlock song in Taiko Sorairo arcade, leaving Dadakko Monster as the only Chata song to be left exclusive to Wii. The lyrics and song are simple and dreamy, and it is much slower in pace than the first two songs.

Much harder than the former song, with virtually zero rest time in between clusters of notes, which are by themselves pretty confusing 2, 4 and 3 note clusters in one big mix. A lot of players consider this to be a low-level 9* song on Oni, in fact.

Dadakko Monster (駄々っ子モンスター)
Allx4 (127)x5 (234) x5 (373)x7 (557)
 Taiko 0 K, Taiko Wii 4, CD Donderful

This marks the second time a Chata song debuts on a Wii game, and looks set to be the second Chata song to be a Wii exclusive after Dream Tide. Dadakko Monster is not really about monsters per se; the term 'monster' is used lightly to refer to a grumpy spoiled brat who doesn't stop crying and complaining until his parents gets him what he wants (the lyrics are from the mother's perspective). This childhood/motherhood theme is explored in the lyrics.

Dadakko Monster is the fastest song in the Chata series, with many disorientating big notes in the middle.

Reviver (リバイバー)
Allx3 (153)x4 (244) x5 (451)x8 (765)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 2

You would think one Chata song per year would be enough. But Namco surprises again by making a couple just like the Rose songs, but with less attention put onto them; indeed, no one knew this was a Chata song for a few months after Taiko 0's release due to Namco's information embargo on the Banapassport secret songs (to avoid spoilers). This song was arcade exclusive for a very long time, just like Dadakko Monster is to Wii. The song is 90's anime-styled, and typically about giant robots.

This is the first Chata song with 765 combo, the one with the most notes, and arguably the hardest too, edging out Yume no Chouryuu by a bit. The chart is typical 8* with a medium BPM. Taiko 3DS 2's boss fight against Time Dyne gang member Helga features this song, being a first for this song series.

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