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Friday, August 21, 2015

Feature: ≠MM: Facts and Speculations

As the (plot-wise) secret last boss song for V Version, slews of half-speed 220 BPM then 250+ BPM section, and an almost unpronounceable name to boot without some butchering, ≠MM is no doubt one of the toughest nut to crack in recent Taiko history alongside Donkama 2000, Xa, Dokadoka and Yuugen no Ran (oh god and all of them converge at V Version soon).

Here, about one month as of its release, let's check out some of the scattered clues and rising speculation of the elusive tune.

Behind the Drums
This rugged theme of desolation is composed by the familiar Linda AI-CUE. The notechart maybe devilishly hard, but unlike many past crazy challenges Etou has spoken to not be involved in charting this. Whoever that notecharter is, kudos has to be acknowledged that the crazy rush of notes actually reflects the interlacing sound effects in the music.

Pronouncing ≠MM
A tweet from Erika Suzuki, who we have been mentioning a lot recently for starring in the V Version TVCM and especially the bonus feature of reciting all song titles, may give a good starting lead.
Q: [...] During the shooting for the Recite All Song Titles PV, how did you read that "≠MM" song?
A: [...] It was "Dewanai Nisen"!

This answer surprisingly makes sense if you know your mathemetics: the unequal sign can mean a simple negation like "not", and "dewanai" (ではない) means exactly that. MM in Roman numeral equals to 2000, read in Japanese as "nisen".

Now it is true that Suzuki should have been told all the official pronunciations before the PV shoot, yet it is still not a completely official source. We still await future confirmation from Linda AI-CUE and/or Etou and co.

M for Morse (code)
I know we just say M here is the Roman numeral for thousands, but work with me on this catchphrase okay? Parts of the track, where the notecharts had a rush of only kat notes, contains subtle sounds that can be interpreted in Morse code to reveal the following (with some speculated errors, in red):
  • I can no longer make up with you.
  • I never accept you!!!
If you look into with the Donder Quest story though, this may make more sense: [spoilers+speculation hidden] After an initial fight with a Noise-corrupted Violia (Zetsubou e no Toccata), Maple and Don-chan managed to purify some of the Noise, only to have Violia consumed once again by the overwhelming Noise. The feeble message within this final boss music might be seen as Violia's own (sub)conscious putting up whatever weak resistance it could muster.

A Secret 2000?
So after all these talk, some leaves the speculative conclusion that ≠MM might have been in secret another 2000 Series installment. Let's see some of the coincidences:
  • Outside some of the older songs on PS2 Anime Special (The DonRangers ones), the 2000 series has been Linda AI-CUE's only Namco Original work.
  • 2000 Series has known to include Morse Code, either in chart (Soroban, Kidaruma) or in the music (KitaSai, Hataraku, Suuhaa). If not the only ones, the 2000 Series is some of the very few pieces in Taiko that has such codes buried within.
  • It's not like a 2000 song title has to write out the namesake "2000" in square Arabic numeral. Joubutsu 2000 (万戈イム-一ノ十) can be the first to rebutt that.
So what do you think? All these are just mere wishful thinking, or are you convinced? Share with us below in the comments.

Update with Aug 21 livestream: Pronouncation is officially confirmed to be Dewanai Nisen, as well as the explanation behind it. Noting that as with the title literally meaning "Not 2000", ≠MM is also officially confirmed to NOT be in the 2000 Series, despite any tropes it satisfies.

1 comment:

  1. maybe it is a 2000 song because its not a 2000 song? Thonking