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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Song of the Week! 28 January 2012

Today's feature are two songs with one thing in common; both have part of their notes used in EkiBEN 2000, the 9th 2000 series song.

Sakuranbo (さくらんぼ) Ai Ootsuka --- Old ---
All x4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x9 (311)
Taiko 6, Taiko PS2 4

Sakuranbo (さくらんぼ) Ai Ootsuka --- New ---
Taiko 7, PSP 1x4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x9 (303)
Taiko 8, 9x4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x8 (303)
Taiko DS 1x3 (78)x4 (114) x4 (203)x8 (386/326/303)
Taiko 11 Asianx4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x9 (303)
Taiko 12, PSP DX,
Wii 1
x4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x8 (303)
Taiko 0x4 (114)x4 (143) x3 (203)x8 (303)
Taiko 0.5x4 (114)x4 (143) x4 (203)x8 (303)
Taiko 7 to 9, 11 Asian, 12, 0, Medal 1, Taiko DS 1, Taiko PSP 1, DX, Taiko Wii 1

DS1 video showing Master notes

Ai Otsuka (大塚愛) is the artist of this iconic song in Taiko no Tatsujin. She is a Japanese pop singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and actress from Osaka. Otsuka is an independent artist who composes and co-produces her own songs, as well as writing her own lyrics, ranging from ballads to upbeat pop/rock music. Her second single, Sakuranbo (lit. cherry), is one of the latter.

Since its debut in December 2003, Sakuranbo became soon Otsuka's breakthrough single: the song managed to stay in the Top 200 Oricon Weekly Singles Chart for 103 weeks (nearly 2 years!), and it became the ending theme for the Variety show Mecha Mecha Iketeru!? (めちゃ2イケてるッ!?) in 2004. An additional, special "encore press" version for Sakuranbo was commissioned by Oricon, where it peaked at 4th place overall.

Sakuranbo's Taiko history is one of the most turbulent ones for a popular J-Pop song: after one notechart made for a set of arcade/console versions, a newer version was promptly used, which was a shorter version of the cover used in the old chart. After that its appearances have been transient despite being one of the longest-lasting J-Pop staples in Taiko, included in one arcade version and then gone the next, eventually revived for Taiko 0 after making it into the genre popularity chart for Taiko.

The new shorter cover meant that obviously the total note count is reduced from the old version, with high BPM and characteristic clusters that could be easily picked out when the chart was ported to EkiBEN 2000, from the first 8 stanzas of the Go-Go Time.

There exist many inconsistencies in the various versions the song was on. Sakuranbo has the Go-Go Time bug on Taiko 7 and Portable 1, which halves the Go-Go Time portion of the song right to the end; a duet notechart was released for home consoles only, and DS1 is the only Taiko game to have Master/Advanced Notes on Sakuranbo, featuring even tougher patterns, and the usual iconic chart was relegated to Normal. The path switch for Sakuranbo remains a DS exclusive. It is one of two songs to gain Master Notes on DS1 (the other being the Idolm@ster song GO MY WAY!!, which unlike Sakuranbo has Master Notes outside of DS1 on most arcades and Wii 4)

Lum no Love Song (ラムのラブソング) Urusei Yatsura
Version /
All arcade, Taiko iOSx5 (124)x5 (192) x5 (274)x9 (405,333,280)
Taiko PSP 1 x4 (124)x5 (192) x5 (274)x7 (405,333,280)
Taiko PS2 4 x5 (124)x4 (192) x5 (274)x9 (405,333,280)
Taiko 4, 6, 7, Taiko PS2 4, Taiko PSP 1, Taiko iOS

Original Opening theme

This is an old Anime song coming from the comedic manga series Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら), written by Rumiko Takahashi (高橋留美子) in the 80's. The manga is set in the present day (i.e.1980) and tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi, a lecherous high school student of Tomobiki, in Japan. After saving planet Earth from the Oni alien menace, the alien female Lum misinterprets Ataru's joyful feeling for having saved the planet, and so she fells in love with the goofy human, by setting the archetype of a well-detailed series of love square frames. Puns and references to Japanese religion and cults in this manga are common practice.

Urusei Yatsura's 374 individual chapters were collected and published in 34 tankōbon volumes (annual compilations of monthly manga series) between 1978 and 1987, while the Anime started three years after the manga's debut, also spawning many TV specials, 12 movies and 6 OVA releases. The television series is credited with introducing the format of using pop songs as opening and ending themes in anime instead of composing new songs.

Taiko features a cover version of the Anime's OP theme, originally sung by Yuko Matsutani (優子松谷) and composed by Izumi Kobayashi (小林泉美). The same cover version is used throughout all its releases on Taiko, with the iOS port being the latest appearance. Its Oni mode features a forked-path play, where the high BPM and several note clusters drain player stamina.

The Go-Go Time bug was present from Taiko 7 onwards. The song's ID, lam, originated from a mispelling of Ataru's Oni "bride", Lum. Quite easy to track down, part of EkiBEN2000's patterns are borrowed from the Oni mode's long note clusters on Master Route, which are strings of don ending in one kat.

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