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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Namco Taiko Blog (17 November 2016): Want to hear more? Notecharter Interview 8

It's time for another Notecharter Sentai interview! For this instance, rookie notecharter Yamaguchi (ヤマグチ) has stepped in to write down the interview recently made for one of his more-experienced (but still relatively newcomer) colleagues: Shika@ni~San (しか@に~さん).

Joined Taiko Team: 2014 (since Taiko Momoiro)
Number of charts made: over 50
Skill level: Arcade experience from Kimidori onwards; good enough to pass most of the 10* Oni songs

This is one cat-loving fella that -by his own admission- would like to be born as a cat if he's being given a second life! Aside for this quirky trivia, Shika@ni~San has been in charge of many arcade-related aspects since his hiring, from general arcade planning to specific features like DonChare, Dojo Ranking and Taiko School. More recently, he also contributed with the "Arrange By Difficulty" sorting options for arcade models and the content of Dojo Ranking Gaiden courses.

Notechart Speciality
-Good at visually tricky music scores, starring both scrolling speed changes and hit-balloons with less hits to burst
-Considering that, most of his past work is made of gimmick-less challenges

Notechart Production Mottos
At first, Shika@ni~San's first acquired notions about notechart-making were two: to place notes according to music and to complete his works with elements that people playing the songs may enjoy.

Later on, he became more aware of making notecharts by keeping in mind what kind of people is going to tacke selected works and to take advantage of the charter song's 'inner charm' and thus started to ponder more critically whether a given song of a given difficulty would benefit of certain gimmicks and still being a fun experience for players. This sentiment was also expressed by Shika@ni~San in one of the past blog entries, with the charter promising to make a "self-weighted challenge to be self-weighted" in case he got chosen for the six-hand Notecharter Sentai collaboration project.

Sample Notecharts Created
As usual, it's assumed that the interviewed notecharter has been in charge of all of the songs' own modes, unless otherwise specified.

-) Family Party (ファミリーパーティー)
This has been the first song that Shika@ni~San got to work for since he became a Notecharter Sentai, as well as one of his most prized memories of his charting job. When the song was delivered, seeing  players in arcade rooms trying it on launch day made him really happy, igniting the will of trying hard not only as a Sentai Notecharter, but also as a Taiko Team member.

-) Honjitsu wa Seiten Nari (本日ハ晴天ナリ)
After Imagination from the Anime genre, one of the Taiko+-exclusives from the Do As Infinity pack has been his third work. Back then, he had many worries on how to approach the song in order to be fun to play, and his answer was to exploit the rock-y feel for a 1/16-charted challenge with note clusters drawing by as the song progresses. With over 40 charted songs being made since then, Shika@ni~San believes he would have approached this charting task in a different way, in the istance it was given the job to chart it again.

-) Doctor X no Theme (ドクターXのテーマ)
His first work for the Variety genre, the original idea for the song was to make it so that Max Combo on Muzukashii and Oni were respectively 471 (しない, 'Don't') and 481 (しっぱい, 'Failure') as a reference to one of the original show's quotable lines, but due to the sheer difficulty difference he didn't make it to set those.

-) Cerulean (セルリアン)
Just like Honjitsu wa Seiten Nari, this was another rock-oriented song where Shika@ni~San could get his grip on mixed clusters in a 7* Oni song. Being his 24th work, he states that his style from this work on has been considerably changed since his early charting days.

-) Rising Hope
This notecharter surely does love some rock music, does he?

In-between the creation of this song, Shika@ni~San received work commissions for a bunch of other tracks such as Maigo no UFO, Umiyuri Kaitei Tan and Kagutsuchi, but he believes that with this song he has perfected his approach to note spacing, taking pride of the concept of "You can't hear the song where a Taiko note is placed" he came up with in order to give both the original score and his notecharts the same degree of enjoyment!

-) Utsukushiku Sewashiki Danube (美しく忙しきドナウ)
The latest addition to the Classic genre has been one of Shika@ni~San's latest commissions as well! With the original Blue Danube waltz in mind, he already had some ideas on how to chart the song, but upon hearing the 'busier' version crafted by NAMCO SOUNDS musicians, he couldn't decide what to do between small interlinked clusters (mostly triplets) and a longer-clusters approach, so he used both concepts for two different modes! His Ura Oni job, in particular, is one of his favorite works, due to the feeling that the chart made was coherernt both to the difficulty degree in exam and to the song itself's overall feel.

-) Soup
This recently-launched J-Pop song has been his 50th notechart work, as well as the most recently-published one for public Taiko play. Being himself a viewer of Love Song, the 2016 TV drama hich features Soup as its Opening theme, Shika@ni~San often wondered in advance how to enphasize the song's atmosphere and 'shuffle' rhythms on all modes, aspect that ultimately gave him the job to chart the song for the most recent Red Version update.

Like what he stated in the feature's beginning, Shika@ni~San has actually charted more that 50 songs, with his 51st job being already finished and waiting for an official release. From his words, the charts were made for an Anime track with many gimmicks being featured after a long absence from his work portfolio but Shhhhh! You've heard nothing...

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