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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Song of the Week! 20 December 2014


Today's feature is brought you in part by... product placement! Join us once more, as we take another look at some of the most recent commercial-inspired songs in Taiko gaming.

 Karl no Uta: Autumn Pondside Version (カールのうた秋 池のほとり篇)
Version
Allx2 (57)x4 (77)x4 (102)x5 (168)
 Taiko 3DS 2
 162
 none
 curl2


One of our very first Song of the Week features for the Variety genre was about an earlier version of farmer Karl's theme song for the Japanese pharmaceutical company Meiji Seika Kaisha (明治製菓株式会社), so it seems fitting enough to start back from there, with said theme song's latest incarnation.

As the 80ies/90ies animated commercials went for Meiji's snacks though the passage of time, so did its theme song with different versions, featuring the same base melody but different lyrics altogether to fit in the many cartoons. The Autumn Pondside Version of Karl's song is -simply enough- the track being aired for the more Autumn-themed commercials, always featuring the enka singer Michiya Mihashi (三橋美智也) as farmer Karl's voice for over two decades. These traditional shorts are still running, even long time after Misashi's death in 1996, making this console-exclusive Taiko tracks one of the few licensed tunes to feature the original version of a song after it's singer's decease.

If you are already familiar with the earlier Meiji Karl song on Taiko PS2 Yondaime, there are not that many new surprises for its 'successor song' on Taiko games. The major differences lie in the lack of custom dancers and fast 3-note clusters in the final portion of the song; otherwise, the challenge rate offered is almost the same as of the older tune, still being a solid starting point for 1/12 pattern approach for beginners.

 Love Song wa Tomaranai Yo (ラブソングはとまらないよ)
Version
Allx3 (100)x4 (202)x4 (264)x6 (431)
 Taiko 0 K, Taiko +
 114
 none
 lovtom


Sometimes, songs in the J-Pop category are being labeled in the song selection screens with different subtitles from the artist/band's name, referring instead to the brand, product or multimedia production that is being advertised on TV commercial with said song as the background music for the CM. This song is just the most recent J-Pop track following this trend, as it's being used to advertise the brand of Japanese soft drinks Calpis (カルピス).

Speaking of the song itself, Love Song wa Tomaranai Yo (lit. 'Love Song Does Not Stop') is the first single of year 2014 for the Japanese pop group Ikimono-gakari (いきものがかり), and 27th overall. Being released in July 9th, 2014, the song is also included in the 2014 studio album FUN! FUN! FANFARE!, peaking the 6th place on its debut week at the Oricon charts. Together with the Naruto Shippuden opening theme By My Side, this song on Taiko games currently holds the primacy of fastest console debut from its arcade release, coming into the Apple-friendly Taiko Plus videogame in only 2 days after its arcade debut.

For the creation of the track's patterns on Taiko games, the job has been taken by a brand new name among the Taiko Team notecharters, that for now only goes by the nickname of Shika@ni-San (しか@に~さん), also responsible for the patterns of Namco Original song Yami no Mahou Shojo. His recipe for this slow-paced song consists of many recurrent clusters in the 6-star Oni ballpark, as well as some curve balls in form of different kinds of clusters and sporadic 1/24 clusters.

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