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Friday, December 25, 2015

Sympho-Neighbours - Christmas Musical Chimes

For a very special edition of Sympho-Neighbours, it's time to take our first steps into the ensemble of songs that are spawning from festive celebrations. Since " 'Tis the Season to be Jolly", why don't we start with everyone's favorite December holiday?

Going back to the past millennium, late 90ies DanceDanceRevolution titles were graced with the Christtmas-themed song Silent Hill, which (despite how the title may suggest a relation with another Konami videogame franchise) is a cheerful song made by Naoki Maeda (前田尚紀) and sung by Thomas Howard Lichtenstein.

One of the first bemani contribution for the singer, it was remixed years later in many forms and shapes, including a playable track called Silent Hill (3rd christmas mix), an 8-bit version for one of the DDR Game Boy games and the SILENT HILL ~Tell Me You Love Me For Christmas~ rearrangement by Naoki, made exclusively for one of the composers' albums.

A few years later, the GuitarFreaks/DrumMania series got an Xmas-related track as one of GF4th & DM3rd's tracks to have a playable longer version!

Whether it be the short or the long version (featured above), this is a rock-styled medley of common-license songs about the festive celebration, composed/arranged by Kenji Suzuki and Hiroyuki Togo (藤後浩之).

For a more recent, holiday-themed track we have Thank You Merry Chistmas, brought to us by the fictional unit VENUS. Boasting a still fresh inception in currently-running bemani franchises, VENUS stars core musicians Yoshitaka 'DJ YOSHITAKA' Nishimura (西村宜隆) and Sota Fujimori (藤森崇多) as artists of a male idol unit, spawning together a huge repertoire of songs in recent memory.

Being released during last year's Christmas celebrations for Reflec Beat (above), DanceDanceRevolution and jubeat at the same time, the song got revived once again on this year's month of December, now including the pop'n music series as well.

Speaking of the pop'n music franchise, the year 2004 has somehow been such a big year for celebrating the holy night with a couple of songs released in a short span of time, one for the 10th main console game of the series and the other one month later for the 12th arcade installment (12 Iroha). To add on the craze, their titles are incredibly similar, too!

Pop'n Music 10 CS got Pop'n Xmas 2004 ~Tenshi no Utagoe~ (Pop'n Xmas 2004 ~天使ノウタゴエ~), which is basically an alternate version of Session X'mas with lyrics by the Snowberry Kids; on the other hand, 12 Iroha got Pop'n Xmas 2004 ~Tenshi no Utagoe~ (Pop'n Xmas 2004 ~電子ノウタゴエ~), which instead involved three core bemani artists -Seiya "V.C.O." Murai (first name still unknown), Osamu "Des-ROW" Migitera (右寺修) and Jun "wac" Wakita (脇田潤)- under the collective alias of strawberry barium "s". A feature boasted on very few tracks in the series, both songs play a pre-recorded video (the same one for both) instead of having a rival character associated with the songs.

Away from bemani, Taito's Groove Coaster series had some shots on giving an alternate take to Christmas' most-heard songs, such as ZUNTATA member Shohei Tsuchiya (土屋昇平)'s Punk Silent Night on display above. Glide through the stage as Winter imagery pops up during the play!

For our last pick, here's a little something that has traveled the seas in order to be playable by Western players! Mirroring the later-released Japanese sequel to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Elite Beat Agents had a mope-enducing plot, running up until the Christmas period.

Hard times come for the Stevenson family, as the householder passes away during a business meeting. Six months have gone, but his daughter Lucy still hopes to see his father one more time for Christmas, with her wish to Santa being hid dad bringing a teddy-bear. Commander Kahn heards the plea and sends the Elite Beat Agents to keep hopes high under the notes of Chicago's You're The Inspiration, performed in the game as a cover by Julian Miranda.

Once again, merry Christmas from the Taiko Time staff! We hope you're having a great time today.

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