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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Song of the Week! 9 July 2015

With the final pages of our Touhou Project Corner coming tomorrow, let's end the week in a classy way by spotlighting the Touhou-related arrangement that can arguably be considered the one whose links to Taiko lore are the deepest ones!

 Raiko Taiko Disco (ライコタイコディスコ) Touhou Project x NAMCO SOUNDS - Ryo Watanabe
Taiko 0 K (Reitasai)x3 (167)x5 (264)x5 (380)x8 (665)
Taiko 0 Mu onward, Taiko Ps Vitax3 (167)x5 (264)x5 (380)x8 (666)
 Taiko 0 K (event only), Taiko 0 Mu, Taiko Ps Vita, Taiko +

Anticipated by arcade players for seasons, the Touhou Project series' first collaboration with Bandai Namco's NAMCO SOUNDS in-house unit was made to have fun in Taiko gaming with the series' first round of 'proprietary' Touhou arrangements. We've already talked about one of this collaboration's song quartet last year, but now it's time to see a more Taiko-oriented background with today's feature.

The title-alliterating Raiko Taiko Disco is an arrangement of Primordial Beat ~ Pristine Beat (始原のビート ~ Pristine Beat), the Extra Stage boss theme of the series' 14th main title, Double Dealing Character. The original track happens to be the personal theme of 'Phantasmal Percussionist' Raiko Horikawa (堀川雷鼓), a tsukumogami whose name is also referenced in the song's title.

In Japanese folklore, a tsukumogami is a youkai who is born from a tool/object 100 years after the original item's creation; once that the tsukumogami has gained life and sentience from the creation's 100th anniversary, it instantly becomes either benign or evil according to how the tool/object has been treated before by who handled it among the years. In the events of Double Dealing Character, Raiko was born from a Taiko drum thanks to the power of Inchling descendant Shinmyoumaru Sukuna's Miracle Mallet, but managed to transfer herself to a modern-day drumset so that she can prevent to fade away after the Miracle Mallet's effects eventually disappeared. Now, her newer energy source now consists of the 'magic power' being borrowed from the outside world (Earth)'s drummers.

Given Raiko's peculiar origins and her credited ability in the game to "make anything follow a rhythm", it almost is a given to make her personal song being part of rhythm gaming as a whole, let alone in Taiko no Tatsujin! Raiko Taiko Disco has been composed by in-house Bandai Namco musician Ryo Watanabe (渡辺量), already creator of Taiko 13's Kimi no Akari and music for many flagship Namco series such as iDOLM@STER (ironically enough with a song which is also called MUSIC♪ among others!), Ridge Racer, Ace Combat, God Eater and more.

For the players wanting to play this peculiar Touhou Arrange song on Oni mode, a slow-but-constant barrage of small clusters await to be hit in the most accurate way possible, while flowing at a leisurely-paced constant BPM value. Its first notechart version which was made playable during 2015's edition of the Hakurei Shrine Reitasai featured 665 notes, but this was eventually modified for the publicly-playable version with one extra note to round up the Max Combo value to the familiar same-digit trope.

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