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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Song of the Week! 24 October 2015

For our next installment of the (fictional) "Audio Distortion for Copyright Dodging" series, let's glide into the male side of Bandai Namco's Idolm@ster franchise!

Allx3 (114)x4 (169)x5 (315)x7 (456)
 Taiko 0 Mu, Taiko 3DS 3

Yup, it's the first time happening for a Game Music track but it hurts nonetheless: despite coming from a Bandai Namco franchise, the first song coming from the male-centric Idolm@ster spin-off is also the first one to have strong copyright-centric ties on Youtube. There's however, king of a big reason behind such a fierce trend, which we'll address after a short description of the game where it comes from.

Originally released on February 7th, 2014 for DeNA's Mobage portal for mobile gaming, The Idolm@ster: SideM can be safely considered as the little brother of the also-recent series spin-off Cinderella Girls, not only for the shared publisher/playable platforms, but also the game mechanics as well. Both Cinderella Girls and SideM, in fact, are focused on idol trading card collectibles, which can be trained for stage performances and in-game stories. Another shared aspect for both games are popularity contests, in which players vote for their favorite idols to have higher-rarity cards, additional stories and in-game voice acting or other forms of cameos in future im@s media.

In SideM's case, the main talent agency is the 315 Production, looking for the recruitment of a male-centric roster, consisting of both new idols and returning members from the previous games' unit Jupiter. Unlike the CG title, however, SideM had launch server connectivity issues so hard that the game had to be completely shut down in an indefinite hiatus, only to be re-launched again in July 17, 2014. The game received voice acting the year later during March 2015, and one month later the game was distributed as an Android app.

DRIVE A LIVE can be considered the SideM spin-off's theme song, as the track consistently appears in both the game and the many albums of the discographic series THE IDOLM@STER SideM ST@RTING LINE, published by Lantis Co., Ltd and starring one of the in-game units in each album. While the base song is composed/lyricized by Namco Sounds personality Kanako Kakino (柿埜嘉奈子) and arranged by Shunsuke Takizawa (滝澤俊輔) from TRYTONELABO, each of the ST@RTING LINE albums feature different singers accordingly to the fictional unit starred in the soundtrack, with the main one (as well as the most copyright-unfriendly) being the Jupiter version. The Taiko version of DRIVE A LIVE features a different idol singing formation from the previous iterations, starring the idols Touma Amagase (天ヶ瀬冬馬), Teru Tendo (天道 輝) and Takashiro Kyoji (鷹城恭二). In both the games and soundtracks, the three male idols are respectively voiced by Terashima Takuma (寺島拓篤), Shuugo Nakamura (仲村宗悟) and Yuichiro Umehara (梅原裕一郎).

Being the latest song coming up thanks to collaboration events, DRIVE A LIVE has its own set of custom dancers, with hand lightsticks and 315 Production secretary Ken Yamamura (山村賢) being available as unlockable outfit parts/petit chara for Banapassport players' Taiko avatar. As Oni modes go, though, it fares as an average 7-star challenge with charting tropes more akin to the eldest idolm@ster notecarts. For the time being, DRIVE A LIVE is the only pre-existing song on Taiko games that isn't going to appear on Ps Vita's Im@s Must Songs couple of games, together with Cinderella Girls' Shine!!


  1. >First time happening for a GM track
    >Sakasama Sekai

  2. To be fair, that happened 2 weeks after its Taiko debut...

  3. To be honest, I... kind of like songs that are raised a pitch. They just appeal to me for some reason. The Male Idolm@ster doesn't look bad either. (Sweats.)

    And, off-topic, but is it possible to 'submit' things to Taiko Time? I translated the lyrics of Dream Tide and I was wondering if you guys could add them to your lyrics page. o: //Speaking of lyrics I'm super grateful for you all translating those songs. Like. really.

    1. Sure thing! Send those to aquabluu/pikaby's e-mail address, which can be found in our Faq/Contact section.

  4. Oh, gotcha! Thanks for letting me know!