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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Song of the Week! 9 April 2016

The key visual for the ongoing series of World Championship 2016 features Taiko (太虎) the fiery red tiger and Tatsujin (龍神) the electrifying blue dragon taking on each other, as spiritual apparitions behind Don-chan and Kat-chan. To resonate with such punny names, what about we see two songs that has but a silm, punny connection with the two animals in a two-parter SotW, one now and another in May?

And so here is the tiger pick:

 Rokkou Oroshi (六甲おろし)
Allx1 (117)x1 (143)x3 (350)x7 (448)
 Taiko 5, Taiko PS2 3

What makes a better choice for the occasion than the song that took the SongID tiger? The reason for the assignment is that the uplifting tune is the team anthem for the renowned Japanese baseball team Hanshin Tigers (阪神タイガース). The team has one of the longest histories in Japanese baseball scene, with 50+ years as just its current name and not counting its previous incarnations (which adds another 20+ years), and has multiple champions under their belts in Japanese professional baseball leagues.

Rokkou Oroshi literally means "downward wind from (Mount) Rokkou", with Mount Rokkou (六甲山, rokkousan) being a stretch of mountains near Kobe. Except that wasn't the song's official name, which is (the rather uninspired) The Hanshin Tigers' Song (阪神タイガースの歌, Hanshin Tigers no Uta). Rokkou Oroshi is the first line in the song and became a common name. The melody is composed by Yuji Koseki (古関裕而) and arranged by Naoyoshi Ozawa (小沢直与志). The lyrics is written by Sonosuke Sato (佐藤惣之助), and has gone into public domain in 1992.

Its genre before the great 2nd-generation genre unification is Fight Song (応援歌, ouenka). The Variety branding is just a speculation, because it wasn't really seen after the first arcade and console appearances. The inclusion of Rokkou Oroshi in Taiko no Tatsujin may be a last-minute bandwagon: it had been only a month when AC5 and PS2 3 are put in service/sold in October 2003 when the Hanshin Tigers won the 2003 Central League championship. Sasaoka, long time Taiko Team member and notecharter for the song, has stated on record that the inclusion is to "catch up in the moment". The Tigers being a popular team in the Kansai region also results in a significantly higher rates of of this song being chosen to be played there.

The chart is a moderate ★7 fare coming to mostly simple mixes of singles and triples, mostly singly-colored. The appearance of kkdkdkd every four bars, plus two dddkdkd variations, is the biggest threat that could keep Rokkou Oroshi a worthy ★7 to this day, even though it probably wouldn't kill the chance of just passing. Due to its nature of being a uplifting fight song, the rhythm is easy enough to play along, a sentiment that Sasaoka himself has also agreed.

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