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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Song of the Week! 15 October 2016

While the latest Red Version update has brought up a quintet of brand-new public songs, the license expiration death knell has required four times the amount of song removals to be satisfied this time around, including -once again- songs that don't have any other playable form in any other Taiko title.

Today's feature is in memory of two of these forever-lost tracks...

 INSIDE IDENTITY Chunibyo Demo Koi ga Shitai!
Allx4 (144)x4 (186)x5 (270)x8 (459)
 Taiko 0 S to Taiko 0 R

Our first eulogy goes to the ending theme of the first Anime season for the pen-named Torako's ongoing light novel series Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! (中二病でも恋がしたい!, lit. 'Even with Eighth Grader Syndrome, I Want to Be in Love'). Its story revolves around Yuta Togashi, a boy who spent his junior high school years under a delusional phase, believing to be secretly holding superpowers as the 'Dark Flame Master' while alienating the attention of his former classmates. Ashamed from his chūnibyō past, he hopes to head into high school as a means for a fresh start from his former self, but when this new school cycle has begun, his past might start creeping back as one of his new classmates -a delusional girl called Rikka Takanashi- becomes interested of Yuta upon hearing stories of his junior high years...

Drawn by Nozomi Osaka, this light novel's first volume made its debut as a contest entry for the Kyoto Animation Award's 2010 edition, ultimately being awarded of an honorable mention in the novel category. Kyoto Animation itself became the series' light novel publisher, counting 3 books as of March 2014 and a couple of animated series, both beginning as Youtube 'lite' versions at first before having a couple of full-length, 12-episodes series, topped off with a movie on September 2013 and an OVA one year later in the same month. Western audiences have come to know this series thatnks to the efforts of Sentai Filmworks, a company which has localized both series with English subtitles in 2014 and actual English-dubbed episodes with the boxed releases of February 2015, with the series itself going under the localized name of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions.

For all of Chu-2's musical themes, the Japanese singer-songwriter ZAQ from the Lantis label has single-handedly composed and lyricised all of the main themes, with INSIDE IDENTITY, being sung by the fictional unit known as Black Raison d'être. As many others in Anime territory before and after it, under this unit name lie the dubbers of many  of the show's characters, with Black Raison d'être being made of Maaya Uchida (内田真礼) as Rikka Takanashi, Chinatsu Akasaki (赤﨑千夏) as cheerleader Shinka Nibutani, Azumi Asakura (浅倉杏美) and Sumire Uesaka (上坂すみれ) for a couple of Anime-debut characters (respectively Kumin Tsuyuri and Sanae Dekomori). With INSIDE IDENTITY getting a permanent cut from the series, Maaya Uchida as a singing role managed to 'survive' in Taiko gaming with the release of the Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls song Tsubomi Yumemiru Rapsodia ~Alma no Michibiki~, which was released this very week in conjunction with the aforementioned 20-song arcade purge.

What was inside this song's Oni mode is an upbeat speedy track whose successions of big note-monocolor clusters have been quite the puzzle for arcade players in order to deliver drum hits with the proper energy to fully hit big notes while not being mislead by the succeeding note triplets and color variation.

 Snow halation Love Live!
Allx3 (125)x4 (163)x5 (262)x6 (384)
 Taiko 0 W to Taiko 0 R

For our second pick we have an even sadder case of song removal, as this particular tune has survived only an arcade version change overall, being unavailable to all arcades since last Thursday!

This is one of the (so far) four tunes featured on Taiko gaming about the Love Live! (ラブライブ!) multimedia project. Also known with the English subtitle of School Idol Project, this is a six-hand collaboration between bishoujo pubblication Dengeki G's Magazine, music label Lantis and animation studio Sunrise in the aim to kickstart the musical adventures of a fictional group of school girls who form an unit in order to prevent their academy to shut down. The project starts when bandleader Honoka Kosaka gets the idea of an idol unit upon seeing another school idol unit gaining a huge following, ultimately leading to the formation of the 9-girl unit μ's (read as 'muse'), which is also credited in Taiko games as the currently-released songs' artists in the original subtitle.

The original story pitch was made for the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine by Sakurako Kimino, with drawings by Yuhei Morota and a slew of subsequent polls to let the magazine's readers to decide a lot of performing aspects of this newly-forming band, from character names/hairstyles to stage performance positions and up to the name of the main unit and three sub-units, with musical creations from the School Idol Project being gradually released as both singles and Audio CDs between 2010 and early 2016. Alongside the musical side, Love Live-related media has also sprung in different directions along the years, including an Anime series (from which Snow halation comes from), two manga adaptation, an OVA, a movie, radio broadcasts and two videogames, the most recent of which -the 2014 PS Vita rhythm game Love Live! School Idol Paradise- is also providing the song cut of Snow halation that could be heard on Taiko. This multimedia project's impact was so successful to warrant the Anime series an award as best Anime in the 19th Animation Kobe Awards and a spin-off multimedia project titled Love Live! Sunshine!!, which ran over the course of 2016.

Snow halation is sung by all of the μ's girls, while the song basis has come to be due to the talent of three extra artists: Aki Hata (畑亜貴) as the lyricist, Takahiro Yamada (山田高弘) as the composer and Ryosuke Nakanishi (中西亮輔) as the main arranger. Together with Angelic Angel's debut on White Version, Snow halation's debut was shortly followed by its own dedicated set of custom dancers as part of a Love Live! collaboration campaign with Taiko arcades.

For another mid-speed Anime pick, this song's Oni rating sits in the 6-star group due to its clusters not being bigger than 3 notes and its patterns in general not being exceedingly different from other songs in the same rating ballpark.

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