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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Song of the Week! 25 April 2015

This week's hot topic is...'what is up with all these songs having the exact same title???'. In particular, as the Digimon Adventures opening theme, Butter-Fly, is coming to Taiko no Tatsujin on Vita, that makes it the third song in Taiko's history to use the lepidopteran insect as a song title (except this time with an extra hyphen!). The first two? Both are in today's feature!

Butterfly Kumi Koda
Allx3 (102)x4 (160)x6 (373)x7 (435)
 Taiko 8, 9, Taiko PSP 2

The first Butterfly, and the older of the two, belongs to Kumi Koda, a female Japanese singer famed for her R&B offerings, and one of the most esteemed female idols in Japan, with some likening her to western celebs like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Just look at her. She just screams western-style glamor. Well, except for the gigantic headphones. In fact, she has been spearheading some trends in the Japanese fashion industry for a while now.

Butterfly is Kumi's 16th single released in 2005, the pop-star's peak year; almost everything she did in 2005 were in the top three in the weekly Oricon charts, with Butterfly going up to as high as 2nd place in the weekly sales chart, and even bagging her the 47th Japan Record Awards that same year! In Taiko no Tatsujin, the song is shown as being the theme song of a drama show named Kosume no Mahou 2. It was also used in a Nivea skin UV protection product ad.

This amazingly popular J-pop song was seen only in a handful of arcade and console releases, as a then-difficult 7* Oni chart, with pretty dense successions of clusters and a variety of patterns to deal with. Looking at the chart now, it'd still manage to be a pretty competent 7*, despite its low speed.

Butterfly Kaela Kimura
Allx2 (98)x3 (135)x4 (273)x6 (377)
 Taiko 14, 0, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko +

Kaela Kimura is another hugely popular personality in Japanese media, and is a singer, songwriter, model and television show presented, all rolled into one woman. Starting out small, she persisted through some lukewarm reception of her songs until she hit her stride on the third album, then consistently delivering hits such as this song; her Butterfly, released in 2009, is one of the most successful Japanese songs in terms of digital downloads. Though Kimura's primary genre is pop-rock, Butterfly shows she can do slow ballad-type songs as well.

There's a good reason for this; Kaela Kimura's Butterfly is a composition straight from her heart. She intended this song for her close friend's wedding on request, where she would sing it to her and her husband. To that end, she co-operated with Suemitsu and the Suemith for the composition, while she wrote the lyrics, which is said to resemble the format of a personal letter to her friend. In the end though, instead of performing the song at a wedding, Kimura sung it on her friend's birthday instead. Which also happened to be Valentines' Day. Stay classy.

Based on its clear theme alone, the song was chosen to be a song playing for an ad for Japanese wedding magazine Zexy ('z', not 's'), and Taiko's rendition credits the song as being as such.

Whether or not you consider the fact that this Butterfly and Kumi Koda's Butterfly have never shared spots in the same songlist a good thing ('I wanna play Butterfly! No, not that Butterfly; the other Butterfly!), Kaela Kimura's song enjoyed a slightly longer time in the spotlight on Taiko, spanning two console games and moving from Taiko 14 to 0, eventually dropping from the list on Taiko Sorairo. It is even slower that the previous Butterfly, and a lot easier to play too. Perfect for kicking back to some slow, relaxing, happy-sounding tunes.

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