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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sympho-Neighbours - An Ode to Endless Oblivion

Once again, a song removal announcement for the currently-running line of Taiko arcades can mean the definitive end for a selection of tracks to be playable in any Taiko no Tatsujin-related media ever released to date (with a few exceptions), unlike being framed in their cabinet version forever with the past numbered arcade titles.

That being said, acts of definitive banishment from a music series are far from new, as many music game franchises in both past and present times are performing this kind of stunt from time to time! Here's a selection of some of the most prominent tales of forever-gone songs in other music series.

Starting from the third-numbered arcade in the long-running beatmania IIDX series (and even earlier for the beatmania series since its 3rd arcade release), the announcement for a new entry in bemani's first rhythm game franchise is automatically followed by a selection of original songs removals from its catalogue of original compositions. While it's true that any kind of arcade removal for the series isn't a definitive one (most of the times) and that the almost entirety of song list can still be entirely picked up by playing either one of the many PlayStation 2 ports or 2015's subscription-based PC title beatmania IIDX INFINITAS, the more recent songs that got the axe from IIDX 17 onward are staying removed from any other entry of the series, until the occurrence of selected track revivals.

Up here is beatmania IIDX 21 SPADA's dubstep track WOBBLE IMPACT by Sota Fujimori (藤森崇多), which has been reported to become one of the future removals for the launch of the next IIDX installment, which (at the time of this writing) is IIDX 24 SINOBUZ.

Some removals at bemani's, however, are more inclined to become a truly-permanent sentence and there's no bigger example than the collection of songs made for the pop'n music franchise by Atsushi Shindo (新堂敦士).

Born in Osaka, the artist has been employed by Konami's music-related division for five years until 2004, when the artist was publicly accused of plagiarizing his songs' lyrics from pre-existing tracks from other Japanese composers/units, such as hide, BUMP OF CHICKEN and Mr.Children; in this Japanese website, one user has documented the lyrics similarities that were tied in with his and other songs. When the scandal went public, Konami removed all of Shindo's songs from all subsequent pop'n music arcade models, including a location test song called Eros that was supposed to be released with the 11th installment.

Up there is Shindo's first pop'n music song -as well as first in his Power Folk song series- called Nanka hen Da! (なんか変だ!), whose lyrics were seemingly found out to be ripped off from the song Shameless (ハレンチ) by Yasuyuki Okamura (岡村靖幸).

Several times in the past, we've seen how multiple music game franchises managed to grab selected licensed tunes, but in some cases the licenses cases were dropped at different times!

Talking about Taiko no Tatsujin and bemani series, one license that left the arcade rooms before the Taiko one is Perfume's Polyrhythm, whose port for the beatmania IIDX series was specifically arranged by Perfume producer Yasutaka Nakata (中田 ヤスタカ), under the nickname of Pink Lemonade. Once a staple in the DanceDanceRevolution series, the song was removed from the arcade scene with the release of the currently-latest installment, DanceDanceRevolution A.

This cover was also featured in the pop'n music series since 17 THE MOVIE (link), but it got the boot years earlier, since the release of pop'n music sunny park.

For a little taste of the reversed scenario, here's a licensed pick that left Taiko arcades forever but it's still playable in other rhythm game series! Surviving the Taiko AC purge, GRANRODEO's The Other Self still lives on with the maimai series, returning for its latest installment as well (maimai PiNK PLUS), coupled with a portion of the official music video for the song itself.

Delete-Until-Further-Notice song removals is also a thing for external companies, with one of the currently-banished original tracks being the hip hop track One Night, performed by the South Korean trio DJ DOC for the Pump it Up series.

We wrap thing up for this feature with a case of eternal removal that involves the Groove Coaster 3 Link Fever unlockable launch song Arkanoid Vs Invaders, ...but this time around, it's not the song itself the one which got the eternal banishment treatment!

This track is actually a medley of songs that are featured in a Taito mobile game linked to the chat program LINE, whose name is nearly the same one of the medley: LINE Arkanoid Vs Invaders (LINE アルカノイドvsインベーダー). The title mixed style and gameplay elements from both the Arkanoid and Space Invaders series, as players are called up in command of the VAUS spaceship to defeat a new generation of Invaders by deflecting their attacks and answering the enemy fire with temporary VAUS ball assaults. Much like for a certain Bandai Namco app, however, the title is going to be discontinued soon, as its servers will shut down by the end of this month.

The only traces of this LINE app that will remain after its passing will be the game itself's score and related soundtrack album -composed by Hirokazu 'COSIO' Koshio- and this song to live on in both the arcade and mobile versions of the Groove Coaster series...

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