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Monday, December 26, 2016

Behind the Drums: Takeshito Sasaoka

Pictured at the leftmost side of this snapshot is Takeshito Sasaoka (笹岡武仁), currently the eldest member of the Taiko Team that is still working for the franchise to this day as the series' overall visual art director. Coming from Kyoto, Japan, he's been in charge of the games' visual aesthetics since the franchise's very beginning with the first arcade model, but as time went by he also took over other side-jobs inside the series, such as Namco Original lyrics creation and making notecharts for a bunch of tracks along the years (about 20 as of late 2013). Under the Etou management of the Taiko Team, Sasaoka also had multiple occasions to appear in public with other members of the Team, from DLC announcements for console games in official livestreams to overseas Taiko arcade version launch parties!

Just like Etou, his charting name consists in a different way to spell his own name (ササオカ), often either mistaken as Oosawa or partially self-censored for some in-joke humor among the staff. Being a not-so-skilled Taiko player himself, his chart are more weighted on cart sets that put an heavy emphasis on the progressive skill foundation that may lead beginners to gradually take on a song's harder difficulties with slightly increasing variations from Futsuu to Muzukashii and from Muzukashii to Oni; as such, he makes use of 1/24-timed charts and matsuri-sounding rhythms the most. The March 2016 set of Don Challenge trials have revealed some other curiosities about this long-standing figure of the Taiko Team, such as his preferred Sasanii (ササにい) nickname given by his colleagues and the fact that he's able to draw with the left hand while writing letters with the right one.

  • Koi o Shichaimashita! (恋をしちゃいました!)
  • Natsu Matsuri (夏祭り)
  • traveling
  • Marionette
  • UNITE!
  • Kiyoshi no Zundoko Bushi (きよしのズンドコ節)
  • Shima Uta (島唄)
  • Kita Sakeba (北酒場)
  • Polyrhythm (ポリリズム)
  • Minna ga Minna Eiyuu (みんながみんな英雄)
  • Tomo Yo~Kono Saki mo Zutto… (友よ ~この先もずっと…)
  • Gatchaman no Uta (ガッチャマンの歌)
  • Ai o Torimodose! (愛をとりもどせ!!)
  • Lum no Love Song (ラムのラブソング)
  • Warera Omou, Yue ni Warera Ari (我ら思う、故に我ら在り)
  • Tanko Bushi (炭坑節)
  • Genghis Khan (ジンギスカン)
  • Electrical Parade Theme (エレクトリカルパレードのテーマ)
  • Rokkou Oroshi (六甲おろし)
  • Thriller (スリラー)
  • Bad Apple!! feat. nomico
  • Honnouji no Hen (本能寺の変)
  • Ninjin Nin (にんじんにん)
  • Eccentric w (エキセントリックw)
Game Music
  • Mappy Ondo (マッピー音頭)
  • Mojipittan Medley (もじぴったんメドレー) - Taiko PS2 1 Oni mode only
  • Lovely-X (ラブリーX)
Namco Original
  • Hello! Don-Chan (ハロー!どんちゃん)
  • Ne~e Oshiete (ねぇ教えて) - notecharts, lyrics
  • Choujikuu Adventure (超時空アドベンチャー)
  • Sekai wa Itsudemo Mystery (世界はいつでもミステリー)
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