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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Song of the Week! 13 April 2013

After featuring something from aquabluu/pikaby's favourite series last week, I think it's time to add something from my favorite anime, too! There's something different a bit later on, but let's see my personal favorite first.

 Kinnikuman Go Fight! (キン肉マン Go Fight!) Kinnikuman
Allx3 (70)x4 (131) x5 (246)x6 (299)
 Taiko 12.5, 13, Taiko +

Original opening video

More than any other rhythm game in Japan, Taiko no Tatsujin is very generous with their wide array of licensed songs so it's not uncommon to see very old songs and even more obscure licenses on the song list. This is the case of Kinnikuman Go Fight!, which at the time of its debut on the 12 Zoryoban arcade, has already been around for 30 whole years, as long as the anime (and thus the manga) series from where it spawned from.

Kinnikuman (キン肉マン, literally meaning 'Muscle Man') is a 1979 manga series written by Yudetamago (ゆでたまご), the pen name for a duo consisting of story writer Takashi Shimada (嶋田隆司) and artist Yoshinori Nakai (中井義則). The manga's story revolves around Suiguru Kinniku (aka the titular Kinnikuman), a clumsy goof of a superhero whose services were only called upon to battle monsters if no other superheroes were around. Kinnikuman is the prince of Muscle Planet, but it was sent to Earth due to a mistake (his parents mistook him for a pig when it was a child and dumped away). In order to proof his rights to the throne, the newborne superhero joins several wrestling competitons, in which he fights the most evil and powerful living beings in the world.

Originally born as a parody of Ultraman, the manga took another direction as a wrestling spoof comedy, where the main characters were a large selection of supernatural fighters with the most bizarre attires named Chōjin (超人). What's interesting in this aspect is that the majority of the series's characters were made by fans who sent in Chōjin character designs or ideas and were then incorporated into the story, both in major and minor roles. These Chōjin also became a wildly-popular collectible toy brand -the Kinkeshi figures- which have been marketed globally by many different names, even before the manga was seen outside of Japan! Aside from the two main anime series, Kinnikuman spawned a sub-series Kinnikuman Nisei (known as Ultimate Muscle outside Japan) and an actual sequel of the original story arc, simply called Kinnikuman II.

Kinnikuman Go Fight! is the first opening theme for the popular 80's anime series. The song is sung by Akira Kushida (串田アキラ),  who has sung many other Anime songs in Taiko no Tatsujin and is the voice for the recent game music Great! Animal Kaiser!! The song's Oni mode fits the old 6* Oni ballpark with standard 3-note clusters and a steady rhythm.

 Bowling for Soup - Jimmy Neutron Theme
Allx2 (???)x3 (???) x4 (???)x4 (409)
All (2P)x2 (???)x3 (???) x4 (???)x4 (398/402) (video)
 TDM (American only)

Ok, I have to admit that I've cheated a little bit for today's second pick, as this song is not an anime song and is from a Western cartoon; however, since this song is in the "Anime/TV" genre in the only Taiko game it has ever been in, I guess its presence in the Anime month is somehow justified... right?

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was originally a series of computer-animated shorts called 'Runaway Rocketboy', created by John A. Davis. It aired between 1998-2001 for the American cartoon channel Nickelodeon. The shorts mainly featured the stories of the 10 year old James Isaac "Jimmy" Neutron, a genius science kid with a secret lab, and the other inhabitants of Retroville. Jimmy Neutron created a rocket ship and was testing it  Earth. This simple plot found its way into a full feature-length CG movie at the end of 2001, and wwhen he came by an alien race called the Yolkians (egg-like creatures) who plan to take over the planetas very well received critically and by the public. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was a nominee for best animated film, but lost out to Shrek. It later spawned an animated series of 30-minute episodes, lasting 3 seasons all the way to 2006.

The moody theme song was performed by the American rock band Bowling for Soup, which was used in the movie, and a shorter cut was used in the animated series. Believe it or not, at 4* Oni on the American release Taiko Drum Master, it was actually one of the hardest licensed songs in the game (which isn't saying much). The chart is certainly fitting for a 4* Oni with sparse note patterns and drumrolls and is actually quite long.


  1. Jimmy Neutron Theme's Muzukashii chart is the same as the 1P Oni chart, as with many other songs in TDM (NA). Quite a shame really, seeing there are so much potential for more.