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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Song of the Week! 5 January 2013

December 2012 was the final month for the release of new downloadable song packs for one of the biggest Taiko games of all time; Taiko no Tatsujin Portable Deluxe. Namco kept its flame alive for 18 months after it was released, and made a grand send-off for it last month.

So, we've decided to make this month a tribute to PSP DX! January 2013's Songs of the Week will all be picked from the immense list of DLC songs on the game, and will be more focused on the exclusive songs on the system (barring Go Go Yuureisen which was covered two weeks back). Certainly, a great way to start is to feature the two songs introduced by the very first DLC pack.

 Guts Guts!! (ガツガツ!!) Toriko
Taiko PSP DX, Wii 4x3 (78)x5 (113)x5 (200)x6 (289)
Taiko 0.5, 3DSx3 (78)x4 (113)x4 (200)x5 (289)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 4, Taiko 3DS

The Taiko 10th Anniversary has given to us several new licensed songs which was put into every single Taiko game involved on that year (eg. Maru Maru Mori Mori), some with the exception of iOS. This anime song is also one of them.

Guts Guts!! is the opening theme for the anime adaptation of the manga Toriko, written by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro (光年島袋). The 2008 manga is set in the future "Gourmet Era", where the taste and texture of food of every kind is highly exalted and professional individuals with unusual strength - known as the Gourmet Hunters (or bishokuya, 美食屋) - specialize in the acquisition of rare ingredients and animals for restaurants and the worldwide market in general. Toriko is one of the most skilled hunters, and the manga follows his quest to gather the most precious foods in the world and create the ultimate dinner course.

As of today, the series has over 20 tankobon (annual book compilations of monthly manga) released and huge popularity in Shonen Jump, together with other "anime giants" like Bleach, One Piece and Naruto. After an OVA in 2009 and a special collaboration with One Piece (the creators of both series are good friends), the anime series started in 2011 sponsored by Bandai, which then released a couple of Toriko videogames for PSP (Toriko Gourmet Survival 1/2) and a third for Nintendo 3DS (Toriko Gourmet Monsters).

Now for the OP theme itself. Guts Guts!! is sung by Akira Kushida (串田アキラ), who is also responsible for Kinnikuman Go Fight!, another anime song available in Taiko. The chart for all difficulties are pretty unremarkable and with the exception of Kantan, saw a star reduction in all difficulties when it was ported to Taiko 0 and 3DS.

 Nagisa no Andromeda (渚のアンドロメダ)
Allx4 (159)x4 (225)x5 (341)x8 (701)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii U 3, CD Full Combo

Since the very first month of the DLC distribution, Namco has added in completely new Namco Original songs we've never heard of anywhere else! Case in point: Nagisa no Andromeda (lit. "Andromeda's Shore"), also one of the few completely new Namco Originals to be distributed for free, besides the very recent Shimedore 2000+.

According to Greek mythology, Andromeda was an Aethiopian princess which was saved by legendary hero Perseus from being sacrificed to the Cetus, a sea monster which was devastating her kingdom's coasts. However, none of these elements are even mentioned in this Namco Original song, whose lyrics describe the gallant meeting of a couple in a beach with several unusual innuendos (if you know what I mean).

Nagisa no Andromeda is composed and sung by freelance artist Frenesi (フレネシ), who also drew all the characters we can see as dancers on the bottom of the screen in PSP DX. Besides the Full Combo soundtrack, the song is also available in one of Frenesi's own latest CD, simply called 'Gendai' (ゲンダイ)

The song's recipe for an 8* Taiko Oni mode is another stamina challenge and mid-low BPM, with some changes: continuous cluster successions and some stream sections allowed Nagisa to keep its 8*. Not to mention the total notecount is pretty high as well.

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