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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Song of the Week! 1 April 2012


...actually, I lied about the SotW hiatus last week.We just can't leave you guys alone, not with all the requests we have to cover!

Troll Day is over, come see the real Song of the Week now! :D 

Tank! Cowboy Bebop
Allx5 (77)x5 (86) x7 (316)x9 (510)
Taiko 12.5 to 14, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko 3DS2, Taiko iOS

Original Opening theme

Deeply etched into the memories of anime lovers, the jazzy Tank! is the opening theme of the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop, written by Keiko Nobumoto (信本敬子) and directed by Shinichirō Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎)

The series is set in the year 2071, when the entire Solar System has been made accessible through reliable hyperspace gates and several crime syndicates exert influence over the ongoing government. Unable to deal with the illegality menace, the ISSP (Inter-Solar System Police) has issued a bounty system similar to the Old West times, naming those new bounty hunters 'cowboys'. Indeed, the plot revolves around the misadventures of spaceship Bebop's cowboys - Jet Black, Spike Seagel, Edward and Faye Valentine - as well as his inhabitants' background histories. The series explores several philosophical concepts including existentialism, loneliness, and existential ennui.

Critically acclaimed around the world, Cowboy Bebop is now considered to be an animation masterpiece, whose influence - according to T.H.E.M Anime Reviews - "simply puts most anime...and Hollywood, to shame". The 26-episode series won the Seiun award in 2000 for the best science fiction published in Japan during 1998-1999, and it's still leading in a wide number of "Best Anime of All Time" charts, sometimes second only to Neon Genesis Evangelion. The wide success of Keiko Nobumoto's creation has soon received several commissions from America for two manga adaptations between 1998 and 2000 - A New Story and Shooting Star - and a movie in 2001, named Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (劇場版 カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉)

Cowboy Bebop's art direction centers on American music and counterculture, especially the beat and jazz movements of the 1940s–1960s and the early rock era of the 1950s–1970s, which the original soundtrack recreates. Indeed, its opening theme Tank! is no exception: compesed by Yoko Kanno (菅野 よう子) and her Japanese blues/jazz band The Seatbelts, the song is a big band jazz piece in a latin infused hard bop style with a rhythm portion that combines a double bass and bongo drums. Tank's alto saxophone instrumental rhythms are introduced by a few lines of lyrics spoken by Tim Jensen, a long-time collaborator with Yoko Kanno.

The Taiko arrangement of Tank! is made by Ken Kubo (ぼけん), and it was removed from the arcades' tracklist after Taiko 14. Luckily, Tank!'s crazy notechart got a chance to be played by fans without access to the arcade when it was included as one of the downloadable songs for Taiko PSP DX. For a price, of course, with the Ura thrown in for free.

The 9* Oni mode's challenging notecharts mainly follow the bongo rhythms of the song's background, contributing to create an immersive play experience with complex clusters and tons of 1/12 and 1/24 rhythms. The final, freaky 1/24 deathstream near the end can and will catch players off guard. It's not easy to full combo this on your first try! A similar rapid fire deathstream was made for Waruru-sama no Uta o Ki ke!

Tank! Cowboy Bebop

All arcade

x10 (540)
Taiko PSP DXx5 (84)x6 (182) x8 (376)x10 (540)
Taiko 3DS2, Taiko iOS

x9 (540)
Taiko 13, 14, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko 3DS2, Taiko iOS

Sadly, Tank's Ura mode doesn't feature the song's long version unlike the Stepmania version below, but with the revamped notechart, no one is going to mind! After all, the hand-twistingly difficult clusters are made even more troublesome and the deathstream has been powered up too, making for the Anime genre's first 10* in many years, with the first one being Kaisei Joushou Hallelujah, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX's opening theme.

------The two Tank! snippets below are from our April Fools 2012 article and are the same song from Bemani rhythm games---------

x6 x16 x23 x33
Included in: Pop'n 11 to 19, Pop'n PS2 11

The Pop'n Music arrangement of Tank! is sung by Scott Dolph, who already worked on many other Beatmania and DDR songs (like DROP THE BOMB and Flow) under the alias 'Scotty D.', while its composer is Hiroki Koga (古賀博樹), who is mainly focused on Pop'n Music songs (the SYMPHONIC METAL duo and Geiselhaus). Introduced in the 11th arcade installment, Tank's genre is simply BEBOP (ビバップ), and its rival character is the cat Nyami, whose outfit and yellowy background easily recalls to the anime's peculiar atmosphere. The genre name was removed from the song's music banner after Pop'n Music 16 PARTY♪, as is the case for all other licensed songs.

Tank's Extra mode is considered as an underrated Lv.33 challenge for a long time, since it features a lot of interrupted stairs and many double-chord links that can easily drain 1st-time players's gauge fastly. However, the simple final section of this jazzy rendition makes easier to add the few missing ticks in order to simply clear it.

Total number of notes is 638. BPM is 138.

Included in: Stepmania (Warning: your sim files may be different.)

If you thought that Pop'n Music's notechart was crazy, then wait until you see this rendition! The long version of Tank featured on Stepmania is taken from two popular soundtrack albums related to the anime series, Cowboy Bebop (1998) and Cowboy Bebop Tank! THE! BEST! (2004). Whether you play with your keyboard or with a real dance pad, Tank! will put up a hard test of player's endurance with its frantic rhythm, which feature lots of cascades and double steps.

BPM is still 138. Max Combo is 1178.


  1. Replies
    1. Well played Pikaby, well played...

    2. Really??*Grab's M4A1* Where is Lokamp??*Evil aura*

  2. I saw this coming. My body was still ready.

    You guys should've chose a song that was only present in BEMANI and not in Taiko.

  3. Or you know, the April Fool song from Pop'n 16. That would've been perfect.

  4. Oh God the blue+green combination oAo (i'm struggling on the yuuki - that kid going to the dentist - song because of that)