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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Song of the Week! 17 August 2013

Today's featured song is an old anime song which stuck all the way up to now, and doesn't need a subtitle to tell the world that it's a really popular song from a very popular show!

Touch (タッチ)
Taiko 4, PS2 2x2 (102)x3 (142)x4 (242)x6 (300)
Taiko 5, 6x4 (102)x4 (142)x5 (242)x6 (300)
Taiko 7, PSP 1x4 (127)x5 (174)x6 (289)x6 (357)
Taiko 8, 9x4 (127)x5 (174)x6 (289)x6 (356)
Taiko DS 1x4 (119)x4 (157)x4 (289)x6 (356)
Taiko 10-14, Wii 2,
x4 (119)x5 (157)x6 (289)x5 (356)
Taiko 0x4 (119)x4 (157)x6 (289)x5 (356)
 Taiko 4 to 14, 0, Taiko PS2 2, Taiko PSP 1, DX, Taiko DS 1, Taiko Wii 2, Taiko iOS

Old Oni notechart

Yes, the anime song you've been seeing for ages. It's on literally everything, from the arcade to PS2, PSP and DS and even the Wii, and you can tell that it's from a very old series. Which anime does it belong to though? It's hard to tell with just the song title 'Touch', but that's exactly the name of the anime (and makes it slightly tough to search for)! 'Touch' originated from a manga series by Mitsuru Adachi which ran for 5 years from 1981 to 1986 on the Weekly Shonen magazine, and is a high school baseball story, revolving around main character Tatsuya Uesugi (上杉 達也), who joins a baseball club after the death of his younger twin brother, as a pitcher (the person who throws the ball). There's a love story in there for good measure too. The name 'Touch' refers to the action of touching the four bases in the baseball field to earn points.

I know my sparse story description may not do this series any justice, and that's because it's not just a baseball manga. Upon its transition into a 101 episode anime in 1985 (which ran for 2 years), it became one of the most successful high school baseball stories ever made. It sounds old and cliched now, but remember that this is the 80's we're talking about here. This was great stuff, with brilliant writing. There were three movies released in theaters, two TV specials and even a live-action movie after the original anime finished its run. The original manga received a Shogakukan manga award in 1993, and the anime is, according to TV Asahi, number 9 out of a top 100 list in a poll of best anime ever made!

There were five opening theme songs for Touch (the anime), and Touch (the song) was the very first one, used for episodes 1 to 27, composed and sung by Yoshimi Iwasaki (岩崎良美) who also did most of the rest of the songs for Touch, along with other theme songs for Japanese animation.

And now you know why this song is such a big deal on Taiko no Tatsujin. It never missed a single arcade after it came into the 4th one, and is in the songlist of every single home console which has hosted a Taiko game (bar 3DS, but I'm pretty sure it'll be there sooner or later too), even iOS. The Muzukashii and Oni charts changed once and added more notes, while their easier alternatives changed twice, each of them having unique charts and not a case of a lower difficulty inheriting the higher one's baggage. Regardless, it hovers around the intermediate level, and is quite a good entry point into Oni, with its 1/8 patterns easing players in and simple 1/16 clusters located at the beginning of most beat stanzas for practice.

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