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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Song of the Week! 26 December 2015


When a song in Taiko has a notechart that exceeds the norms of the rated level so much it crosses into the next level, we call that notechart fraud (詐称, sashou). Doraemon's current opening theme Yume o Kanaete Doraemon is often cited as one of the worst offenders of this deviant group when it asks for highly mixed streams and 24th clusters in a 4★ notechart.

Why am I telling you this on Boxing Day 2015? Because some of the biggest fraud ratings actually happened to Christmas-related songs!

 Joy to the World (もろびとこぞりて)
Allx1 (58)x3 (128) x5 (235)x6 (400)
Taiko PS2 6

Joy to the World is a well-known Christmas song that has its origins from Christian hymns. The lyrics appeared first, provided by Issac Walts in the 18th century, with themes of the Second Coming of the Christ. The melody did not settle to what we know today for some further 120 years, arranged by Lowell Mason in 1839 taking inspiration from older music. The tune's popularity makes it one of the staples for Christmas song recordings and covers by various performers and artists, and a version should have caught your ear during church sessions, Christmas shopping or just being near civilization for the festival.

The Japanese title used here sourced from the first sentence of a Japanese interpretation in a 1954 Christian hymn publication. Literally it directly translates to only "to every person, none left behind", effectively missing the "joy" part, but it should be easy to imply that this is meaning the same song. Taiko no Tatsujin uses an instrumental arrangement for its sixth PS2 game.

Joy to the World's Oni is probably the only notechart in the whole of Taiko history that feature multiple 10+ note-long and highly-mixed 16th streams across the length and still has the guts to call itself a 6★. Being of modern high-7★/low-8★ material, this can be a good starting point for amateur Donders to learn processing longer streams with full hand-switching, if you happen to own this one-console-game-exclusive gem.

 Jingle Bells (ジングルベル)
Allx2 (106)x2 (154) x2 (237)x3 (326) 
 Taiko PS2 5

We all know Jingle Bells as a very well known Christmas song (and that it actually started out as a Thanksgiving song, but whatever). We have looked at the history briefly when we discussed its Xevious-inspired arrangement, and we will keep it light this time. Predating No.765 by two console games and two years, this version uses lyrics translated by Keizou Horiuchi (堀内敬三), only one of the multiple better-known sets of interpretation of the festive tune in Japanese.

Together with Joy to the World above for PS2 6 and No. 765 for PS2 7, Jingle Bells (original) marks the first of the three consecutive home console Taiko games to have a Christmas-related C/F song debuted (if you relax the genre, Wii1 also has Kami-sama no Birthday), coinciding with the fact that it is PS2 5 that started the tradition to release home console games in year-end winter times.

Jingle Bells (original) is vastly underrated as a 3★ Oni, especially when you consider the rating is given before the massive third-generation star deduction. Particularly concentrated in the middle bridge, the chart features multiple ddk clusters and hanging doubles, and a last 9-hit dkdkdkdkd that could break some combos to amateurs, all more than how much there should be in this level. To Full Combo steadily it would need skills not seen until modern 5★.

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