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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Song of the Week! 22 August 2015

As you may know by this point, when a new shiny Taiko game gets announced, we are formally obligated to feature (at least) one of its currently-known songs on the following Saturday.

Give me some time and I'll pick the lucky one with an eye patch, a target and some darts... *thud*

 Miracle Go! Princess PreCure (Miracle Go! プリンセスプリキュア)
Allx3 (98)x4 (135)x3 (238)x8 (442)
 Taiko 0 Mu to Taiko 0 R, Taiko Wii U 3

Despite my questionable dart skills, I've managed to pick one of the few, not-brand-new songs for the Anime genre among the ones revealed by the boxart! How novel.

Two years after our first Precure song feature, we come back today for the current opening theme of the show's latest season, this time going under the title of Go! Princess PreCure (Go! プリンセスプリキュア). This is the franchise' 12th series, started on February 1st this year and still running (at the time of this blog entry's publishing).

As also pointed out in our first Precure feature, what does change between the series are not the common 'magical girl' tropes, but instead the characters and the motifs behind their flashy transformation and ambitions. For this series, teenager schoolgirl Haruka Haruno's hopes to become a princess have led her to a series of events which made her encounter the faeries Pafu and Aroma from the Hope Kingdom, pleading for help against the with Dyspear and her minions, out to lock all of the world's dreams behind the Gate of Despair. Shortly after that, Haruka is able to transform into one of the Princess PreCure warriors thanks to a magic perfume, ready to defend people's dreams from the Dyspear menace, together with new Cure companions along the way.

Miracle Go! Princess PreCure is the opening theme used for the entire series, performed by Karin Isobe (礒部花凜) and composed by Namco Sounds alumni Ryo Watanabe (渡辺量). As a tradition for the franchise, the song can be found in many small soundtrack albums bundled with other tunes from the season like the single (March 5th), the soundtrack Precure Sound Engage!! (May 27th) and the vocal album Strongly, Gently, Beautifully (July 15th), all of which were released earlier this year.

This Precure track is also remarkable in Taiko lore for a couple of reasons: it's the first in the series to feature 3-beat stanzas and bearing a 8-star Oni, whose difficulty degree has been graciously lifted up by an upbeat BPM value and a considerable barrage of note clusters.

 M.S.S. Planet M.S.S. Project feat. Hatsune Miku/GUMI
Allx3 (165)x5 (268)x7 (461)x8 (624)
 Taiko 0 Mu, Taiko Wii U 3

As a small bonus for today's feature (and since I managed not to break anything in the process), here's another dart-chosen track from a different genre, marking the debut on Taiko games of the independent circle M.S.S. Project.

Started as a 'Let's Play' group on both Nicovideo and Youtube, the circle's earliest activities on video-sharing websites are dated to the late 2009/early 2010 months, with the common staple of "live gameplay + commentary" videos being their main topic. A few years later, some of the M.S.S. Project members have banded together under the same name in order to create Vocaloid songs, with their first one, M.S.S. Planet, being uploaded on August 28th, 2013 and reaching the Hall of Legend status the year later.

This is the third Vocaloid song on Taiko games featuring both Hatsune Miku and Megpoid GUMI as the singers, with the lyrics written by by M.S.S. Planet (a member of the namesake circle), composed by FB777 and arranged by KIKKUN-MK-II, who also provides the guitar accompaniment. The LP group's origins and main online activities are well mirrored in the song's meaning, as the will of exploring faraway galaxies to find their own planet is paired with a innate topic while growing up: people feel to be invincible during their childhood thanks to their travels to many imaginary worlds (with higher emphasis of videogames in the song), and part of that belief is carried over when becoming adults. The videogame influence of the song is also mirrored in the song's video made by Bousiya (帽子屋), which bears homage to many RPGs, retro-shooters and platforming games of the 8-bit gaming generation.

Charted on Taiko games by Shika@ni~san (しか@に~さん), the song's note pattern love to play not only with the player's capacity of reading the patterns as usual, but also with keeping on the rhythm itself as well, by mixing notes/clusters with the background beeping noises (especially in the beginning), creating a rather unusual kind of distraction that affects certain silent parts of the song. In general rhythm games lore, M.S.S. Planet is also available on Taito's Groove Coaster series and Sega's arcade music franchises (maimai and Chunithm).

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