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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Song of the Week! 16 April 2016


Since apparently for the Taiko Team one certain song seemed to be the ultimate fulcrum of these days's official Taiko gaming news, let's directly pull this tooth from the roots and digress on every nook and cranny about the surroundings of...

 Help me, ERINNNNNN!! Touhou Project Arrange - Beat Mario
Version
Allx3 (180)x4 (234)x7 (494)x8 (542)
 Taiko 0 K, Taiko +
 180.5-190.3
 none
 ???


As the yearly Hakurei Shrine Reitasai event for Touhou aficionados of any kind and shape is gearing towards rhythm game guests once again, we have yet another remixed version of Beat Mario's Help me, ERINNNNNN!! as an event-exclusive treat. However, have you ever wondered what the fuss around this very popular Touhou arrange song is all about? I surely did... and that's why it's our topic for today!

Prior to the actual song, it's about time for us to shed some lights about COOL&CREATE, the doujin circle which Beat Mario is affiliated to. With its founding members' published works being dated as back as the early 2000s, the circle was founded in 2003 by music and Touhou lore enthusiasts such as Beat Mario, Amane (あまね), and myu314; being in activity under the same independent label for over 10 years, COOL&CREATE members's works also involve live performances and the re-arrangement of other popular videogames in both full-instrumental and vocal pieces.

When it comes to one of COOL&CREATE's corner stones, the very first hit by Beat Mario has been the resoundingly-popular Help me, ERINNNNNN!!, originally appearing in the December 2004 album Touhou Strike (東方ストライク) as a full-instrumental track, exclusive -at the time- to the 67th Comiket (basically a doujin-oriented merchandise sale) event. For the lyricised version we have come to know for its Taiko venture, we have to travel a few years later for the release of the Reitasai-exclusive 2007 album Flowering ERINNNNNN!!. The song on which this arrangement is based on is Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess (竹取飛翔 ~ Lunatic Princess), alternative Final Stage boss theme of the 8th game in the Touhou Project series, Imperishable Night

The original track is the main theme for Lunarian princess Kaguya Houraisan (蓬莱山輝夜), with the 'regular' Final Stage boss being legendary Lunarian pharmacist Eirin Yagokoro (八意永琳)... Why is the song about Eirin then, you may ask? According to Touhou fans' feedback, Kaguya as a boss in Imperishable Night has been considered many leagues weaker than Eirin, so Beat Mario has caught the occasion to make a spoof song arrangement in which Kaguya is completely reliant on Eirin and continuously asking for her help! The way the pharmacist is called by Kaguya in Beat Mario's song also explains why the name change in the arrange's title, being simply a more rude/colloquial way to call her name in "Ei-Rin/Eh-rin!" (えーりん). For more reference, you can check here one of the meme-worthy user reactions on Japanese chat board 2ch that were behind the song's creation.

With the song itself being prime material for audience singalong in live performances of the song with arm-weaving gestures, the very same lines in the song's lyrics sheet suggesting arm-waving ("( ゚∀゚)o彡゜えーりん!えーりん!") have ascended to the meme-worthy status by the Japanese Internet audience for reference to Beat Mario's popular arrange track.

While other COOL&CREATE artists have had the occasion to offer different spins to the popular Beat Mario hit, other independent musicians have taken a shot as well, often crossing roads with rhythm gaming in first person! For the SOUND VOLTEX series, doujin circle SOUND HOLIC and singer Nana Takahashi (高橋菜々) have given their own spin to the song as the - SH Style -, and later on remixed their own work as Help me, CODYYYYYY!!, also for the SDVX series. Sega's CHUNITHM series also had an Help me, ERINNNNNN!! remix as their first April Fools chart, with Irorimidori's Help me, A-rin! (Help me, あーりん!) being unleashed this very year.

As of Taiko gaming, there currently are a couple of notorious alternative renditions of the song, all gated behind special event appearances: a custom version of the original song by Sachiko Kobayashi (also available in the REFLEC BEAT series as a publicly-playable song) and a remix by independent composer Cranky, included in COOL&CREATE's 2015 album Kookuri Hakurei Festival (くーくり博麗フェスティバル). Who knows if some more remixes are on Taiko's way in the future...

The original lyricised arrange song by Beat Mario has had an outing at the 2014 Hakurei Shrine Festival before becoming a permanent addition to modern arcades. Arihotto (アリーホット) of the Taiko Team's notechart Sentai assemble was in charge of the iconic song's Taiko modes, with Oni being on the easier scope of the 8-star range with increasingly-dense repeating note sections.

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We're done for today, but the fun doesn't stop here! Head back to our 2000 Songs Showcase page for our (late) inclusion of Yokuderu 15300. Cheers!

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