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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Song of the Week! 29 October 2016

It's Halloween time again! Now for a spooky pick with some gory undertones!

 Maow (まおぅ) feat. Yuu (pLumsonic!)
Allx3 (105)x5 (144)x7 (327)x8 (473)
 Taiko Wii U3, Taiko iOS, Taiko Android

Der Erlkönig (lit. the Erlking) is the original composition inspiring this arrangement by Franz Schubert, and the music is set to a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe of the same title, and had the eponymous "king of fairies" depicted attacking and eventually killing a young child before his father managed carries him to safety. In Japanese, the title is usually put as the "Demon King" (魔王 maou).

As we previously and briefly explained in our decision for this romanization, the newly lyricked arrangement speaks of a cat's lament over a caged canary, convincing it to venture outside for freedom despite the risk of being torn into shreds by the cat's furry claws. While cat's meowing is typically transcribed as nyaa (ニャー) in Japanese, the title here puns on the original work together with another possible transcription or the Chinese name for the animal (貓 mao1). Together with the other new Classical tune Puchipochi (プチポチ, based on Chopin's Minute Waltz/"Waltz of the little dog"), it fills the genre's quota for meeting Wii U3's general animal theming nicely.

The hand in arranging the melody belongs to Rio Hamamoto (濱本理央), who has been composing for multiple Namco IPs including Ridge Racer (Venomous, Angel Halo, DIGITAL HORIZON) and The Idolm@ster (Alice or Guilty) series of games. Maow, in fact, is his first work on Taiko no Tatsujin that is not in the Game Music genre. Yuu (結羽) of the indie techno-pop unit pLumsonic! (プラムソニック) lends her voice to portray the cat. This combination proceeded to also create the Namco Original Hoshikuzu to Linear to Boku (星屑とリニアと僕) made available since 3DS3.

The notechart for Maow presents patterns concentrated in longer streams mixing 12th and 24th separations, some as long as four full bars. Comparing with previous 12th-24th-heavy ★9s including Sanpo Ura (way longer streams but also slower and more regular) and Daidara 8551 (more streams but generally shorter), this places among high-★8s to clear and Full Combo.

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