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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Song of the Week! 8 June 2013

The Vocaloid hype train has been a hell of a ride this week, with eight new Vocaloid songs hitting the Taiko arcade this month, and in addition, the PS3 videogame Project Diva F is being localized in August for both North America and Europe. Sounds like the perfect timing for another Saturday Vocaloid feature here, isn't it?

 IMITATION BLACK SCL Project (NatsuP) feat. VanaN'Ice
Allx3 (140)x5 (203)x5 (324)x7 (529)
 Taiko 0 S to 0 Y, Taiko Wii U 3

As many of you might already know from the TT staff interviews, I tend to label Vocaloid songs released for Taiko games (especially the ones with Hatsune Miku singing) as... "different", to say the least. This one, however, got my positive attention, like no other songs of the genre has ever managed before! But enough about personal opinions, let's take a closer look at today's main feature.

Uploaded on Nicovideo four years and a week ago, on June 1st 2009, IMITATION BLACK is the first song from the fictional Visual Kei band known as VanaN'Ice, consisting of three male Vocaloids: Kaito, Kamui Gakupo and Kagamine Len. This "virtual band" was created by SCL (Seven Color Light) Project, composed of indie personalities from the Vocaloid sphere including natsuP (music, tuning, lyrics), haku (mixing, guitar, bass, drums, etc.) and HaruAki (illustrations + PVs). In the PVs, Kaito usually plays the bass while the other two members play the guitar; all three vocally contribute in SCL's creations, with the lead singer changing from song to song.

As the first VanaN'Ice song ever released, IMITATION BLACK is also the first song of the "band" to reach over one million views total from Nicovideo and Youtube. Its main theme is a love triangle between Kaito, Gakupo and Len, also hinting at a "premature demise" of one of the trio. According to SCL Project, Len wears a dress in the song's video because he’s playing the role of the ‘female character’, a common trait amongst real Visual-Kei bands. On May 2010, IMITATION BLACK was included in the fourth compilation album from EXIT TUNES label, titled EXIT TUNES PRESENTS Vocalogenesis.

Together with Hikyou Sentai Urotander, IMITATION BLACK is the first Vocaloid song in Taiko to include a male lead vocal, with both hitting the Sorairo arcade build at the same time. With an unusually high BPM, a great part of the song is played with a different scroll speed, creating the impression that the song is slower than it actually is (i.e. Phantom Rider and DIMENSIONS). Thanks to these scroll changes, the Oni chart is structured in a similar way to other Namco Originals with Visual Kei influences, such as Yuugao no Kimi and White Rose Insanity.

  IMITATION BLACK SCL Project (NatsuP) feat. VanaN' Ice

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 Taiko 0 S to 0 Y, Taiko Wii U 3

Zero no Nocturne wasn't the only song to gain a Ura Oni right on its debut in Sorairo, as IMITATION BLACK has been graced with this additional difficulty layer as well. Now the song has longer and more complex clusters of 1/16 and 1/32 signatures, not unlike other recent trials like Phantom Rider Ura.

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