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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Song of the Week! 19 January 2013

Double feature ahoy! The first of today's songs is a non-Vocaloid song in PSP DX, and the second is from the batch of CreoFUGA user created songs.

 Maru Maru Mori Mori! (マル・マル・モリ・モリ!)
Taiko PSP DX, Taiko iOSx2 (90)x3 (139)x3 (217)x5 (286)
Taiko Wii 4x2 (90)x3 (138)x3 (216)x5 (286)
Taiko 0 to K, Taiko 3DSx2 (90)x2 (139)x3 (217)x4 (286)
 Taiko 0 to K, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 4, Taiko 3DS, Taiko iOS

The second Taiko 10th Anniversary special song, again included in every single Taiko game involved during that year. Maru Maru Mori Mori is officially labeled as a J-Pop song, but its change of genre on Taiko is well justified, as it is linked with a succesful Japanese drama series.The TV show is called Marumo no Okite (マルモのおきて, lit. "Marumo's Rule"), which aired from April to July 2011.

The drama tells the story of  Mamoru Takagi, a single man who works as a public relations officer, and his best friend's twin children, Kaoru and Tomoki Sakamura. One day, the twins' mother dies from cancer, leaving behind her offspring with no other dependents left; this results in Kaoru and Tomoki being separated by their relatives. The twins's bond is so intense that they manage to escape from their foster families in order to meet each other again, but Mamoru Takagi manages to find them. At the end, after a brief struggle to bring them back, Mamoru decides to give in and agrees that the twins can stay with him. The rest of the TV show is focused on the return to "Marumo-san"'s house and the many new experiences he has together with the children.

Maru Maru Mori Mori is the ending theme used for this drama series, later published as a CD single on May 25th, 2011. The tune is sung by the child actors who play the role of the twins in Marumo no Okite: Suzuki Fuku (鈴木福) and Mana Ashita (愛菜芦田). The duo released the song under the temporary banner of Kaoru to Tomoki, Tama ni Mook ( 薫と友樹、たまにムック), with Kaoru and Tomoki being the name of the fictional characters they impersonate in the drama and Mook being the name of a friend dog from the same drama. Hamada "Peko" Miwako (濱田 美和子)" was the song's choreographer, after her previous work with another theme song, Gake no Ue no Ponyo (See Ghibli series for further details).

Maru Maru Mori Mori's bouncy rhythm and charming voices were a hit, staying in the Oricon charts for 12 weeks in a row in 2011 (as reported from early August of that year), the longest streak among singles released by artists under 10 years old (the previous holder to the title belonged to Gake no Ue no Ponyo)! The two kids's average age of 6 is also a new record for the youngest artiste producing a single, beating the previous record set by the group Kigurumi (キグルミ), performers of the song Tarako Tarako Tarako (also on Taiko).

The Oni chart is just as bouncy and simple as the actual song. Maru Maru Mori Mori manages to deliver exactly the right amount of challenge you would expect from a 4*-5* Oni chart, with sparse note streams and very simple clusters. Extra drumrolls along the way for scorefarming as well.

 Dokidoki Mune Kyun Omatsuri Time (ドキドキ胸きゅん おまつりタイム)
Allx4 (194)x6 (232)x6 (320)x9 (652)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U 2, Taiko +

Speaking of using drumrolls for scorefarming, this song is the current king of the hill. We can't run a PSP DX DLC-themed month without mentioning one of the eight songs from last year's CreoFUGA contest! Dokidoki Mune Kyun Omatsuri Time was one of the four winners from the Original (with lyrics) category and was one of the first to debut on Taiko Portable DX, together with Dunkel's DIMENSIONS.

The person behind this song is MOES, a freelance composer who has also made several Vocaloid songs. That was mentioned as MOES doing it for a hobby; Dokidoki is in no way a Vocaloid song. The theme is a rejig of the Japanese Matsuri, without using most of the traditional instruments typically explored by Namco's own Matsuri-themed songs, and is unique in that it uses a cute girl voice for the song rather than anything powerful and spirited.

The song starts out pretty average with linear note patterns and pretty boring clusters, then halfway through the song...BOOM! The BPM skyrockets to 212 and the boring note patterns you saw come back, and are no longer boring at this speed; you'll be rushing to handswitch through each set of clusters at this time. Very distinct in this song is the extremely high number of drumrolls in the song, as mentioned in the beginning. Dokidoki currently holds the record for the longest combined drumroll length ever in a single song, allowing for some absurd scores (more than 1.3 million on PSP DX!) to be obtained even at 9*.

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