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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Song of the Week! 8 December 2012

Sorry to keep you waiting, folks! Today we have a pair of user requests.

 Sobakasu (そばかす) Judy and Mary --- Old ---
Taiko 5, 6x3 (100)x4 (127)x4 (220)x7 (277)
 Taiko 5, 6

 Sobakasu (そばかす) Judy and Mary --- New ---
Taiko PS2 5x4 (101)x4 (126)x4 (230)x7 (295) (video)
Taiko 12.5 to 14, Taiko PSP DX,
Taiko Wii 3, Taiko iOS
x4 (101)x4 (126)x5 (230)x5 (301)
Taiko 0x4 (101)x3 (126)x4 (230)x5 (301)
Taiko 0.5x4 (101)x3 (126) x4 (230)x6 (301)
 Taiko 12.5 to 14, 0, Taiko PS2 5, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko iOS

Today's first course is served by another revival J-Pop song, which has been brought back twice, once on PS2 and the next on Taiko 12 Zoryoban. Sobakasu (literally, 'Freckles') is the ninth (and the most successful) single of the multi-genre band Judy and Mary, formed in Hadokate, Hokkaido in 1992.

This 90's band was founded by four members: vocalist Yuki Isoya (磯谷有希), bassist Yoshiito Onda (恩田快人), drummer Kohta Igarashi (五十嵐公太) and guitarist Taiji Fujimoto, who was replaced the following year by Takuya Asanuma (浅沼拓也). Judy and Mary's success in the pre-2000ies Japan was brought by their innovative punk-pop style and their pop meldings of noisy but melodic tunes. It's also heavily rumored that the band's name was also the inspiration for a couple of the very first characters of Konami's rhythm series pop'n music, who are also named Judy and Mary. The Hokkaido band disbanded in 2001, and all its members are still producing in the Japanese music industry, both as stand-alone performers (eg. Yuki) and as part of other newly-formed bands.

As previously mentioned before, the 1996 single Sobakasu is the most remarkable song from Judy and Mary, scoring over 1 million units sold on the online Oricon music store and also the only one which has been used in an anime show as well, being the 1st opening theme for the 1996 anime Rurouni Kenshin -Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story- (るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚-)

The Taiko notechart of Sobakasu is one of the first J-Pop songs with a fast march rhythm and two-by-two 1/12 note clusters. The upbeat tempo of Sobakasu's Oni chart set a standard for licensed songs of later generations which has the same beat pattern and speed (eg. Egao ni Kanpai!), resulting in the end with one of the very few Oni rating rank upgrades which the current arcade generation has spawn for the past songs so far.

 Anpanman no March (アンパンマンのマーチ) --- Old ---
Taiko 1x1 (93)

Taiko 2, 3x1 (93)x4 (261)
x2 (261)
 Taiko 1 to 6, Taiko PS2 2

*only a Kantan video is available for the older version of this song!*

 Anpanman no March (アンパンマンのマーチ) --- New ---
Taiko 4, Taiko PS2 2x1 (93)x4 (261)x3 (390)x4 (400)
Taiko 5, 6x1 (93)x4 (261)x4 (390)x3 (400)
Taiko PS2 5x1 (93)x5 (261)x4 (390)x2 (400)
Taiko 7 to 9x1 (93)x2 (191)x5 (390)x2 (400)
Taiko 10 to 12.5x1 (93)x2 (98)x5 (292)x2 (400)
Taiko 13, 14, Taiko iOSx1 (93)x2 (98)x5 (292)x3 (400)
Taiko 0x2 (93)x1 (98)x5 (292)x1 (400)
Taiko DS 1x1 (80)x3 (98)x3 (292)x2 (400)
Taiko Wii 1x1 (96/94/92)x2 (98)x5 (292)x2 (400)
Taiko Wii 5x2 (96/94/92)x1 (98)x5 (292)x1 (400)
 Taiko 7 to 14, 0, Taiko PS2 5, Taiko DS 1, Taiko Wii 1, 5, Taiko iOS

From the 1973 manga/picture book series by Takashi Yanase (やなせたかし), Anpanman is another evergreen character beloved by generations of Japanese children besides Doraemon. The 1988 Anime series Anpanman (アンパンマン) tells the everyday life of the eponymous character with a great sense of justice sense of justice. As his name suggests, he is literally a man with a bun for his head (more on that soon). Born thanks to a bun baked by Uncle Jam, the city's chef, he fight against Baikinman and helps the people of his town in each episode.

The idea of this popular character came during Tanashi's tenure in World War II as a soldier, when the everyday prospect of starvation made him dream about eating lots of food. One of the recurrent foods was a bean-jam filled pastry -the anpan- which is what Anpanman's head is made of ('an' is the Japanese abbreviation for the red bean paste, while 'pan' is a loanword from the Portuguese word meaning "bread"). The publisher of the Anpanman-related anime/merchandise, Bandai, found out that the series was originally intended to last for 24 episodes only.

Far from the original plan, Anpanman is one of the most popular Japanese children shows to date (and still running with new episodes), being aired non-stop since its debut year! As of 26 September 2006, the Anpanman books have collectively sold over 50 million copies in Japan, and the related Anime joined the Guinness World Record in 2009 as the animated series with the highest number of characters in an animated franchise (1,768 as of March 27th, also counting the ones spawned by Anpanman movies).

Even in Taiko games it holds some relevant merits with the songs related to the show; Anpanman no March, composed by Dreaming (ドリーミング), is the only song to be included in every single main arcade release of Namco's rhythm game series, also counting the Asian variants and a generous number of console ports. The old Oni/Donderful modes of the song acted as the perfect starting point for aspiring Oni players, as well as one of the everlasting Papa Mama Support ambassadors from Taiko 11 onwards. The original Donderful chart is the Futsuu chart with x2 speed up, back when game modifiers did not exist. The speed is kept even as the current Oni chart was created on Taiko 4 onwards; however Taiko DS1 has the chart scrolling at its original speed. The drumrolls in the middle and empty spaces in the Kantan chart also allow for lots of flexibility in adding gimmick notes for every console version (Denden note for DS and Giant note for Wii)!

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