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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Song of the Week! 6 December 2014

Our earliest readers may probably remember that we had some song series features about Anime-related songs, with one of the first ones being about themes from worldwide-known animation film studio Studio Ghibli. However, we sadly had to crop all of the Anime song series last year after a copyright infringement claim, with the fear of the lock-out possibilities for the rest of the blog.

However, while we mostly have our hands tied on our backs regarding the gradual re-introduction of all these lost song features, I think we have to go across some unfinished business and feature at least the most recent song on Taiko from Studio Ghibli movies, incidentially about said studio's very first movie-length animated feature. Take a sight to the sky!

 Kimi o Nosete (君をのせて) Laputa: Castle in the Sky
Allx2 (79)x3 (129)x4 (252)x6 (377)
 Taiko 0 S, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 5, Taiko 3DS 2, Taiko +

For Taiko games, it's surely not a new trend the feature of tunes for the Anime genre that don't come from currently-released movies/series, but we can surely spot a slow-down for this trend with the latest arcade/console generation. Aside from the opening theme from Saint Seiya, one of the latest 'blasts from the past' comes if form of the original ending theme for the 1986 movie that goes under the title of Castle in the Sky Laputa (天空の城ラピュタ).

The movie is set in a world that used to have human civilization build and live on technologically-advanced flying cities, which mankind had to leave after an unspecified catastrophe that ended in their complete destruction. In the time window when the story takes place, we have the young kids Sheeta and Pazu looking for the location of Laputa, the last one of this flying cities, while avoiding the evil clutches of government agent Mushka and meeting a wide number of characters along their journey, such as air-pirate Dola and her sons.

The story of this movie for the Western audience is complex and tortuous, as there have been two major releases to talk about. The first one -dated 1986- shortly follows the original Japanese release on movie theaters as an exclusive for Japanese DVD owners and passengers of international Japan Airlines, featuring dubbing that closely followed the original. The most recent one is instead dated 1998, being one of the first Studio Ghibli movies released by Disney in the Americas; in this version, while the soundtrack score has been updated to match the new audience's tastes, the dubbing has been altered as well in the lines department, taking some small liberties from the original.

Despite the changes both the movie's versions became well received, netting recognition and awards in different time periods: after winning the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 1986 and many other prestigious awards in Japan, Castle in the Sky managed to have a strong following in the later years as recurrent candidate for several Top lists for its story and design. One of the most curious achievements held by this movie is related to the social network Twitter: during the theatrical movie re-release on August 2nd, 2013, thousand of Laputa fans tweeted all together one of the movie's lines at the same time it has been played in the movie, resulting into the most tweeted moment in the history of the service, peaking with the incredible number of 143,199 tweets in one second!

The Laputa song made playable on Taiko games is its original ending theme, featuring singer Azumi Inoue (井上あずみ) and composer Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤守), most known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石譲). For the Disney re-release of the movie, another version of this song has been made by the same people, under the name of 'Carrying You'.

Despite the 6-star label for its Oni Mode, Kimi o Nosete shows how even slow songs can host suitable portions for some tricky tempo changes, right in the beginning! After that, however, comes back to the 'average Anime song' pattern format, mostly made by frequent pauses and occasional small clusters sprinkled in.

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