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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Song of the Week! 31 August 2013

Today's featured song is from the Game Music genre, from a legacy arcade game starring ninjas. Yup, lots of ninja games back then. Wondering which one this is?

Nanori (Tenjou) (名乗り(天上)) Mirai Ninja
Allx3 (103)x5 (177)x6 (317)x8 (480)
 Taiko 11, Taiko DS 3
98 ~ 157.6

Super short, super obscure and super repetitive, Nanori (Tenjou) doesn't seem to make any lasting impression on first view. However, for what it's worth the music is actually cool-sounding enough to warrant a try, and underneath the uninteresting facade lies a solid Oni chart, which we'll talk about in a bit. Nanori (Tenjou) is a background music from the Japan-only arcade game, Mirai Ninja.

"Mirai Ninja" is just for convenience; the full title is actually "Mirai Ninja: Keigumo Kinin Gaiden" (未来忍者:慶雲機忍外伝) or Future Ninja, Stealth Joy Cloud Device Side Story. Published and developed by Namco, it's a beat-em-up arcade game that was released in 1988 and only for Japan, and based off the story of a movie also named Mirai Ninja. And guess what: this movie is also made by Namco!

The premise of the movie/game is as wacky as it comes among ninja stories: a man has his body and soul stolen to build a demon castle. The remaining husk, for some reason, turns into a cyber-ninja named Shiranui and fights the demons in the castle. Not exactly the most stellar of movies but a decent game, if a bit derivative; there were many ninja arcade games vying for attention in the late '80s in Japan, a notable one being rival Taito's Ninja Warriors (from which the song DADDY MULK originated)

Most game music on Taiko no Tatsujin usually come from stage BGM or boss battle BGM, or even a medley of different music, but this is the one and only standalone tune in Taiko that comes from a result screen. Yes, the name entry music of Mirai Ninja is what this song is, and in particular, the music that plays when you enter your name in the 1st place of the arcade rankings. The title of the song 'Nanori' means 'to introduce/to give your name' too! Another song called "Nanori (Tenka)" plays for entering your name in 2nd place or below ('tenjou' means 'above the sky' and 'tenka' below the sky, representing the score ranks nicely).

I mentioned about the Oni chart earlier, right? A solid 8*, short and sweet, full of clusters in the first 1/3rd, then slower with intuitive and fun 1/12 notes in the middle, and the last 1/3rd packed with the same clusters as the first part but even more frantic and with tons of streams, despite being the exact same looping music as the beginning. Definitely a chart not to be missed for a good warm-up.

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