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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Song of the Week! 14 May 2016

We continue the celebration of the very punny names of Taiko and Tatsujin from the key visual of World Championship 2016. After the pick mildly relating to tigers last month, we see another pick that is as mildly relating to dragons today.

 Ryoumaden (龍馬伝)
Allx3 (114)x4 (133)x7 (347)x8 (474)
 Taiko 14

Ryoumaden, literally meaning "the story of Ryouma" (and is never read as Ryuumaden), here refers to a 2010 weekly live-action TV drama that depicts the life and events surrounding prominent historic figure Ryouma Sakamoto (坂本龍馬), portrayed by actor (among other professions) Masaharu Fukuyama. Being part of the historically-inspired NHK Taiga Drama series, instead of actually giving you the plot here, we'll just suggest you'd perhaps read up on Sakamoto.

Composing the mostly instrumental theme is Naoki Sato (佐藤直紀), who has also contributed to scores of other live-action TV dramas, movies and anime features (and is continuing to), including the PreCure series and Assassination Classroom that has become common in Taiko no Tatsujin. He is decently recognized for his work with a Japan Academy Prize in 2006 given to Always: Sunset on Third Street.

Of course not every TV drama theme gets to be included in Taiko no Tatsujin, but Ryoumaden has brought tourism and economic impact to Kouchi and Nagasaki prefectures, locations crucial to Sakamoto's life and depicted in the drama. This is later mirrored by the inclusion of Amachan Opening Theme in the 3rd generation Taiko no Tatsujin, whose source drama also did the same to the Touhoku area and their ama (海女, female divers, lit. "sea woman") culture.

As he disclosed in a Namco Taiko Blog notecharter feature, notecharter Kijikiji requested to have this song in AC14, and is rightfully tasked to create the notechart. He filled the core rhythmic parts of the theme music with mostly similar but slightly varied stanzas of back-to-back mixed clusters, with 5-hits being a norm and up to 9-hits. Ouside of those are slow and long drumrolls and balloons that could potentially let you rack up 100,000s of points, and singular large notes which lies between BPM changes that might throw you off a Full Combo or Donderful Combo.

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