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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Song of the Week! 24 August 2013

Next Tuesday, the Vocaloid rhythm game Project Diva F for the PS3 will finally be localized for North America and Europe, and fans are celebrating the occasion: fanmade PVs are flooding the Net, those who have pre-ordered a copy are counting down to the release, and Lokamp finally finished his sound-proof bunker!

So, what about here on Taiko Time? Since we already featured all of the Miku songs which are available in the latest Project Diva entry, it's time for another fan-favorite pick. With Ura mode, no less!

 Matryoshka (マトリョシカ) Hachi feat. Hatsune Miku and Gumi
Allx4 (276)x6 (384) x5 (554)x7 (693)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U
 Variety -> Vocaloid


With over 6.5 million viewson both Youtube and Nicovideo (oddly enough Vocaloid song popularity are always measured by their video views), today's Vocaloid song is known for being the biggest overnight hit, like no other song before it! Named after the namesake Russian dolls, Matryoshka is a new song for Taiko, and the first of which features more than one Vocaloid. Singing together with Miku is Megpoid GUMI, a digital singer licensed to another company (Internet Co., Ltd.) who uses the Vocaloid 2.0 engine just like Miku.

The lyrics are confusing and seemingly made up of random sentences, playing on psychology and making them open to interpretation by its listeners (and accompanied by an equally surreal PV). Some say the lyrics are a 'shield' for hiding a hidden pain and making it more bearable; others support the thesis that the song is nothing but a big Miku/Gumi combined rant against their master, who creates absurd music just for personal entertainment; others even state theat Matryoshka is nothing but a joke for who listens it and tries to understand its intended meanings (this is suggested by the '524' line which occurs several times in the lyrics, with a missing 1 and 3. '13' is read in Japanese as 'imi' or 'meaning/purpose', so its absence may be translated as having 'no meaning/no purpose' to the song itself)!

Whatever the case, Matryoshka still holds an important record in Vocaloid's history, in that it was the fastest-growing hit ever. So fast that the 1 million view milestone was reached just 32 days after the song's release, a feat that is still unmatched by all newer songs. The independent composer nicknamed Hachi (whose real name is Kenshi Yonezu) is behind Matryoshka's whole development, from the song's composition/lyrics to the art and video related to it. We have already seen Hachi as the artist behind the PSP-exclusive Variety song Go Go Yuureisen.

On Taiko games, Matryoshka is the first (and the only one so far) to randomly pick between two sets of special dancers: they can be either the Miku set or the Gumi one on arcade and Wii5 (the PSP DX version always offers Gumi dancers). The song cut for the Taiko games is a slightly abridged version of the original one, cutting out the second portion completely. Nearly a year later, Sega's brand-new rhythm game Maimai featured an even shorter cut of the song, with no final speedup. Bandai Namco's Synchronica also features this song as one of its first 7 Vocaloid tracks!

The final speedup is present in Taiko, bringing the BPM to an absurd level of 290. The 7* Oni here, though seemingly easy, puts pressure on players with its crazy high basic speed and balloon notes. And if you think that wasn't enough to make players sweat...

  Matryoshka (マトリョシカ) Hachi feat. Hatsune Miku and Gumi

x9 (857)
 Taiko 0.5, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko Wii U
 Variety -> Vocaloid

Available since the song's debut, Matryoshka's Ura mode puts even more difficult clusters into the speedy song, and is quite an exhausting affair even though most of the notes are repetitive patterns, as the chorus allows for little rest and features 2-note clusters in awkward positions which throw players off. Though the BPM 290 portion didn't present much trouble in the regular Oni, here you actually have 1/16 clusters to deal with at that speed. It becomes a very difficult 9* to Full Combo as a result.

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