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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Song of the Week! 8 November 2014

In today's double song feature, we'll have a look at a couple of old-styled Namco Original songs about drawing. Make sure your pencils are sharpened enough!

 Don-chan Ekaki Uta (どんちゃんえかき歌)
Version / 
Taiko 3

x5 (199)
Taiko PS2 1x4 (116)x4 (200)
x2 (200)
 Taiko 3, Taiko PS2 1, CD Red
 Ekaki -> Namco Original

'Ekaki Uta' (lit. "Drawing Song") is a popular subgenre of children's songs teaching them how to draw their favorite characters in a singsong manner, usually at the end of a kids' anime show. Doraemon and Anpanman both have one, and so does Kirby, the Nintendo character. Don-chan also has a drawing song for himself, and even has a notechart of its own in the game!

Don-Chan Ekaki Uta describes how to draw our favorite drum by using visual analogies of many other things, like an UFO seen from below with its flashlights for Don-Chan's face and eyes and a small river for his mouth. You'll see these better on Taiko PS2 1 where this song is used as one of two ending cutscenes, teaching how to draw Don-chan and the Bachi o Sensei with the song! Don-Chan Ekaki Uta is also the song played for its regular ending clip (with the hidden one featuring the Taiko no Tatsujin Ai no Theme).

Composed by Masubuchi Yuuji (増渕裕二), the song is sung by Yamada Fushigi (山田ふしぎ), art name for the female voice actress and science writer Yamada Kyoko (やまだ きょうこ). Among her roles, she lent her voice for characters in several Japanese robot series (Ultraman, Mobile Suit Gundam), Pokémon and Doraemon characters, as well as some videogame chararcters, most notably of course, being the first voice for both Don-Chan and the monkeys in the first Ape Escape title. The Don-Chan voice on Saitama 2000 is Yamada Kyoko's as well!

Being a song in the earlier times, Don Chan's drawing song does not have a full set of difficulties, with Oni and Futsuu on PS2 sharing the same notechart. Its Futsuu mode is one of the few to have 1/24 clusters, very much like modern difficult Futsuu charts like DEBSTEP! and Le Tombeau de Couperin. Both Futsuu and Oni follow a traditional Matsuri style rhythm, so it's not too difficult if you're used to that sort of thing.

 Katsu to Mariko no Ekaki Uta (かつとマリ子の絵かきうた) 
Allx4 (150)x4 (202)x4 (266)x5 (356)
 Taiko Anime 2, Taiko 3DS 3 (DLC Story chapter only) CD Anime

As we mentioned before, Ekaki Uta are popular as endings to kids' anime shows. Only makes sense for Taiko's very own anime compilation disc to feature one of its own! And it's an exclusive too!

The first drawing song for Taiko featured Don-chan, and this second one features his identical twin brother Kat-chan. Obviously he'd be drawn in the same way as his brother! Ekaki Uta don't usually cover colors. There's a little bonus too; the song teaches how to draw a Mizu-Mariko, one of the water balloon side characters (who is usually paired up with Katsu as Mizu-Mariko has feelings for Kat-chan). No ending cutscene for this song though.

The song is composed by Takahashi Minamo (高橋みなも) and Narahashi Miki handles the vocals, taking the reins from previous Don-chan voice actor Yamada Fushigi. Like its predecessor, it also has a Matsuri rhythm with 1/12 and 1/24 note clusters in its chart. And it has a Muzukashii, completing a full set!

Despite being unavailable in any of the future games' songlist, Katsu to Mariko no Ekaki Uta can be played in the second Taiko 3DS videogame's last DLC Story Mode chapter, as part of a repeatable side challenge issued by Kat-Chan himself! All of the song's (un-rated) modes can be played by changing the Story mode's difficulty setting, with Muzukashii and Oni being randomly selected each time for the hardest difficulty setting.

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