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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Song of the Week! 9 July 2011


Today's song has gained a place in the preliminary stages of the ongoing Taiko tournament, and it's also one of our most popular requests from our readers. Can you guess it?

Taiko 12 to 14, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 2, 4x5 (195)x7 (277)x8 (531)x9 (704)
Taiko 0, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko +x4 (195)x7 (277)x8 (531)x8 (704)
 Taiko 12 to 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 2, 4, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko +, CD Donderful

The last heavy metal song in Taiko before this was Mekadesu. The last Taiko song with full English lyrics is Taiko no Tatsujin Ai no Theme. Both relatively rare themes seldom explored in the series. This song brings the two together in one awesome song in the Taiko 12 arcade with the sole time-released unlock code of the machine. DON'T CUT is a unique composition where bass and guitar strums create a musical contrast with a female voice's melodic voice.

DON'T CUT's creators have an interesting musical history at Namco: the composer, Keiichi Okabe (岡部啓一) who is the creator of the Angel Dream series, and the lyrics arranged by Yasugawa Shougo (ヤスカワショウゴ), who also made the lyrics for other old Namco Originals like Unagi no Tamashii Rock and Donko's First Date. This isn't the first time the two of them have come together in the making of the same song- both have acted as composer and lyrics arranger of Kare Kano Kanon as well. The vocalist, performing the fully English song with a slight Japanese accent, is Nami Nakagawa (中川奈美), who is also one of Namco's regular names in songs, having also provided her voice for Tekken 6 and God Eater, among others. She has also opened a personal blog to chat with fans!

As mentioned by the composer himself in an interview on the Taiko Team blog, the main aim of DON'T CUT was the creation of a gothic-like song - hence the sound contrast between voice and instruments - which can represent the spirit of Taiko drums and drummers alike. The title itself of the song plays on the phonetic sounds on Japanese, resembling the sounds of don and katsu, the red and blue notes we're so used to hitting in the game (Don/Kat = DON'T CUT).

The 8* Oni song patterns are regular and repeat almost throughout the whole song without letting up, made up of 3 and 5 note clusters and heavily leaning towards all-red clusters at the beginning, and at the Go-Go Time, red-red-blue clusters fill up almost the entire portion. There are almost no breaks between notes, so despite being a pretty simple-looking song, DON'T CUT is very taxing on the stamina of the unprepared player.

Taiko 12 to 14

x10 (754)
Taiko Wii 2, 4x5 (259/228/195)x7 (504/391/277)x8 (688/601/531)x10 (755) (video)
Taiko PSP DXx5 (259/228/195)x7 (504/391/277)x8 (688/601/531)x10 (754)
Taiko 0, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko +

x9 (754) 
 Taiko 12 to 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 2, 4, Taiko 3DS 3, Taiko +

Since its arcade debut, DON'T CUT featured an additional challenge in its Ura Oni mode for skilled players, and is one of the only songs to be accompanied by a Ura in every single game it goes to. This Ura ditches the repetitive, standard pattern for a more varied experience, this time with 2 and 4 note clusters and multiple streams, and involves a lot more hand-switching than regular Oni. This comes together with many very tough balloon notes requiring 7 hits each in Go-Go Time, where the hit speed to clear them is 19.8 hit/second, one of the toughest ever made, and extremely disorientating if they aren't completed as even more notes come right after them.

Unlike the arcade versions, the Wii version removes all the distractions by substituting the first one with an extra large note, and merging the rest into 14-hit balloon notes which still have the same strict hit speed but less of an annoyance, and much easier to complete with a controller. Completing those balloon notes (whether on arcade or on console) allow for some high scores above the usual limit, with some players getting up to 1.24 million points (or more!) on DON'T CUT Ura. Taiko PSP DX uses the arcade notechart, making Wii2 the only version to replace the balloon notes.


  1. Video for Ura Oni DON'T CUT is just normal oni version... and how come when I checked for the arcade version the max combo was 754?

  2. And 755 for wii.

    Also, song of the week & lyrics for LOVE! Ikusa? XD

  3. Sorry, for all the mess, folks... ^^"
    By the way, we're already working on LOVE Ikusa's lyrics, since we've found a Youtube video with the Jap lyrics on it!