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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Song of the Week! 10 September 2011


This week's topic is focused around romanticism, under Namco's unusual point of view. The latter of this couple was also a reader request from quite some time ago!

Taiko 8, Taiko Anime 2x5 (195)x7 (315)x7 (464)x9 (593)
Taiko 3DS 2x4 (195)x6 (315)x6 (464)x8 (593)
 Taiko 8, Taiko Anime 2, Taiko 3DS 2, CD Anime
 Namco Original -> Game Music

Composed by Hiroshi Okubo (大久保博), L・O・V・E was introduced on Tobikkiri Anime Special, and then ported to the 8th arcade... followed by quite the long sleep. This Namco Original, a rarity in a compilation full of anime songs, is sung by an experienced seiyuu, Rumi Shishido (宍戸留美). You might remember her voice in the Ojamajo Doremi and Jewelpet anime series, as well as many other filler characters (which pop up for one episode then leave) in other anime series.

It may sound like a random love song, but if you're well-verse in 80s Namco arcade games, you'll know that this is actually a BGM arrangement of one of Namco's arcade games (similar to Lovely-X)! The game I'm talking about is Pac-Mania, the last version of the arcade Pac-Man series. It was released in 1987 using the antiquated Namco System 1 motherboard and later ported to several Namco Museum collections. Pac-Mania has the basic features of the maze game series, where players have to eat all the yellow pellets in the mazes while avoiding four coloured ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde (and then 3 more exclusive to Pac-Mania, the purple-colored Sue, Funky and Spunky), who chase the yellow eater by following different patterns. Pac-Mania wasn't shy on introducy new game features, either: Pac-Man can now bounce above the Ghosts in the pseudo-3D world of the game.

As for the Taiko notechart of the song, L・O・V・E is a mid-level 9* Oni. Its mid-high BPM, and simple note clusters, with one part of the song particularly heavy on streams, is a challenge to average players as it has almost no rest time at all. On PS2, this song has a score bug during Go-Go time. Strictly speaking, it can be considered to be in the Game Music genre as well as Namco Original, like Lovely-X before it. The transition of this song to the modern Taiko games from Taiko 3DS 2 onward resulted into a genre change and its modes' de-rating of one star each.

 LOVE Ikusa!! (LOVE戦!!)
Taiko 14+,
Taiko PSP DX
x3 (152)x7 (221)x7 (437/394/356)x9 (666)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko +x3 (152)x5 (221)x7 (437/394/356)x8 (666)
 Taiko 14+, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko +, CD Donderful

Taiko 14 beat Taiko PSP DX to the punch on this one. Announced first for the portable home console, it was instead included first for Taiko 14, as one of the 5 songs added for the Taiko Tournament 2011. It's sung by the mysterious Miyu (みゆ) and composed by LV.4, a trance-hardcore songwriter who is pretty popular in Japan (he has also a website, if you're looking for more information).

While L・O・V・E's approach to the love confession was soft and calm, the completely opposite scenario occurs in LOVE Ikusa where the girl, instead of shyly confessing, treats it like a military mission with a simulation and everything planned out (the song's title literally means LOVE Battle!). Likewise, LOVE Ikusa's 8 star Oni is a frenzied essence of high speed and confusing clusters with interspersed big notes everywhere, and is very difficult to FC even for experienced players.

Together with White Rose Insanity's Ura Oni, LOVE Ikusa is the only Namco Original song to have 666 as its Max Combo value, commonly seen as a demonic symbol in Chistianity (the first in Taiko was I Want, an Idolm@ster song). In Taiko PSP DX's Story mode, this song is used for the Dokon Gang's rematch, led by Dokon himself.


  1. LOVE Ikusa!! reminds me of a song from Pretty Cure

    1. Speaking of LOVE Ikusa!!, I just full comboed it on Wii 5 Yesterday.