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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Song of the Week! 28 March 2015

This week's theme is...healthy eating! In particular, we'll be featuring two songs whose titles have fruits or vegetables in their titles. One of them is a user request too! Let's see that one first.

Ninjin Nin (にんじんにん) Toyonaga Gonta P feat. GUMI
All x3 (162)x4 (250) x5 (371)x8 (592)
 Taiko 0 S, Taiko Wii U 1

Within the Vocaloid fan universe, each of the personas attached to the virtual idols has a special 'item' associated with them; usually food. Much like Miku has a leek as her signature icon, and Megurine Luka with fish, Megpoid GUMI's item is a carrot. Why a carrot though? Is it because of her color scheme (green hair and orange clothes, just like a carrot)? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Despite the title, you won't see Ninjin Nin (lit. Carrot Person) making the rounds on the mainstream charts; that's because prior to its debut on Taiko Sorairo, it never existed! This Vocaloid song was composed from the ground up to be included in Taiko, as part of a GUMI song composing contest held in late 2012. Ninjin Nin was one of four winners; and it took the team almost half a year from announcement of the results to its first inclusion in Taiko. Quite a long wait to play the song on Taiko; composer Toyonaga Gonta P must have been really anxious! Speaking of him, he's a budding composer who has participated in many contests and is a part of several Vocaloid circles, trying hard to gain popularity. This must be one of his proudest creations, I reckon.

Before its inclusion in Sorairo, it was in the Taiko songlist temporarily for the Niconico Super Conference 2, as a special preview for attendees, alongside the rest of the GUMI song contest winners and some Touhou songs. The chart remain unchanged from there; a rather backbeat-heavy 8* Oni. The end is chock-full of repeating clusters, so stay focused!

Mikan no Uta (みかんのうた)
All x3 (84)x3 (112) x6 (290)x7 (392)
 Taiko 10

This song is probably one of the most famous J-Pop songs in Taiko history for fans who keep track of the library closely. Not for how difficult it is, mind, but would you look at that base BPM. 286. Two hundred and eighty six. That's just 4 BPM below Xa, and 14 below Yuugen no Ran! Even though it was grossly under-represented in Taiko games (it's an exclusive to the Taiko 10 arcade), Mikan no Uta (lit. The Orange Song) held the record of 'highest base BPM in any song on Taiko ever' for a very, very long time, and is known mainly because of that. In fact, even with the aforementioned newer songs in play, Mikan no Uta is still, bar none, the fastest J-Pop song in Taiko no Tatsujin.

The song is the 4th single of the rather questionably-named band SEX MACHINEGUNS. Sound familiar? If you're thinking of the Sex Pistols, you'd be right; this band's name was intentionally derived from the famous English band. It was formed in 1989, focusing on heavy metal music, with their main niche being, you guessed it, extremely fast drums and guitar solos. They're known for unorthodox and non-serious themes in their song lyrics. What else would you expect from a song titled 'The Orange Song'? One of the members is from the Ehime prefecture, and they are actually singing about how good the oranges from Ehime taste. I kid you not.

Despite the wackiness, they were extremely popular in their short tenure (before their hiatuses in 2006 and 2012 onward), selling out for many shows and concerts and topping charts with many of their singles and albums.

A pity this song wasn't released on Taiko later; if it had shown up on the same generation as Xa, the chart would have been absolutely sadistic, with 1/16 clusters at that speed. As it is, it's a 7* Oni with mainly 1/8s; the difficulty comes from trying to read notes scrolling at the high speed instead of breaking any physical limitations.

Orange lovers need not fret though; Mikan no Uta is still making rounds in the rhythm game world, as it was recently put into the songlist of Sega's rhythm game Maimai. Appropriately enough, Sega chose to include this song during a firmware upgrade for the game titled Maimai Orange.

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