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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feature: Overview of Japanese rhythm game terms

Depending on how you look at it, Japanese can be the easiest language ever to learn, or it will be an impenetrable barrier. Regardless of whether you know the language or not, the rhythm game community uses a certain set of words in describing the games and the difficulty involved, and to outsiders it may not be immediately apparent what their meaning is. So below is a guide to some of the more common phrases you'll see among the community.

anmitsu (餡蜜) - The literal meaning of this word is a 'mixture of syrup, jam and fruit', but among rhythm enthusiasts, it's a term used to describe multiple notes being spaced apart very closely in time, but hitting all of them in a single stroke, or faster than what its timing is supposed to be. It's not great for accuracy and reduces your score, but when you're up against a crazy pattern and all you want to do is Full Combo, desperate times do call for desperate measures. Note however that anmitsu is not common in Taiko no Tatsujin, as hitting faster than the notestream scrolls will still eventually cause you to miss, unless you break the stream apart and hit it by faster-timed clusters, which not many people do.

gyaku-anmitsu (逆餡蜜) - The direct opposite of anmitsu. This involves tackling a really fast stream by deliberately hitting it as if it were slower. One common example is Ryougen no Mai's 1/24 dkdkdkdkdkd stream, which is difficult to keep up with. You might get through it by hitting the first 'don' note earlier, and ending the last one later. In effect, hitting it slower than perfect. Again, it's mainly a workaround so you can safely Full Combo something, disregarding accuracy.

sashou (詐称) - Means 'misrepresentation'. Basically means the same thing in rhythm games; sashou is used to refer to songs that are, according to the general opinion by players, much harder than its rating would suggest, like if you saw an 8* Oni song, but it feels more like a 9* in terms of difficulty when you actually play it.

gyaku-sashou (詐称) - Another reversal of meaning; gyaku-sashou means that a song is much easier to play than the rating displayed on the select screen. Many Taiko songs suffer from this, and more and more of them become misrepresented in this way because of the ever-present difficulty creep. It applies to all other rhythm games as well; songs we used to consider as crazy difficult become easy when newer, even crazier songs come out.

kanzen seido kyoku (完全精度曲) - 'kanzen' means 'completely, and 'seido' means accuracy, so this phrase is pretty straightforward; it refers to a chart in Taiko no Tatsujin which is completely reliant on accuracy to get a good score, i.e. no drumrolls. Kurenai is one of them. These songs are significant because they have a ceiling score; once a player gets 0 可 on it, the score cannot go any higher.

kojinsa (個人差) - This phrase means 'individual differences'. Certain charts prioritize specific sets of playing skills, so much so that whoever cannot do that one thing well will fail badly at it, while others call it the easiest song ever. Examples? Suuhaa 2000, which emphazise handswitch ability in its entire second half, Mori no Kumasan (Ura) which tests the player's ability to either memorize charts or read super-speed notes, and Hatsune Miku no Gekishou (Ura) being a trial of endurance with those fast, long streams.

last goroshi (ラスト殺し) - Imagine yourself playing Taiko. You've been doing well all through the song, and you're excited that you're about to Full Combo or clear it when suddenly.....a massive difficulty spike occurs right at the end of the song or a crazy unexpected pattern appears and your combo is shattered, right before the song ends. That's last goroshi, or 'ending kill'. SORA-I Earth Rise is an example, saving its craziest handswitch clusters and 1/24 for the ending part. Higher up on the scale are ending kills from the like of Toryu (Ura), Rotter Tarmination (Ura) and Calculator, both of which use long streams, high BPM and increased scroll speed at the end.

soflan (ソフラン) - (thanks to anongos for helping me find the origin of this one) No, this has nothing to do with the brand of deodorant. It's actually an abbreviation of an old song from beatmania IIDX 2nd style called 'Soft Landing On The Body', which had a chart that relied on constant shifting BPM and scroll as its main gimmick. Since then, multiple BPM or scroll changes on every single rhythm game ever has been referred to as soflan. Etude Op. 10-4 and Symphonic Motos and pretty much every Classic genre song ever are prime examples.

fukugou (複合) - The phrase means a 'composite' or a 'complex'. Basically corresponds to what we term as 'clusters' of notes in Taiko.

That's all I can think of at the moment. This will probably be updated if there are suggestions but if you've encountered these terms on Taiko websites in the past, now you know what they mean!


  1. last goroshi (ラス殺し) not ラス殺し but ラスト殺し :)

    1. No, it's usually rendered as ラス殺し in my experience.

  2. I don't even think Soft Landing On The Body has been in IIDX AC in years so it's kind of amazing that term is still around

    also haha it's even on the disambig page for sofuran on JP wiki http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ソフラン