We have a new double feature for you this week. Compared to each other, today's featured tracks are night and day... literally!
Rising Sun EXILE
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If you're following our blog for quite a while, you may have noticed that we tend to get sappy on this corner when a song is going to be permanently removed from the franchise in a playable state. That's the very same case of this soon-to-be-deleted J-POP track from EXILE, which is going to be removed in all Taiko 0 arcades by the end of this month.
One of the first licensed tracks added to the HD family of arcades through post-launch software updates, Rising Sun has been the first EXILE single featuring the member ATSUSHI in his solo debut while still being part of the act. The song was released in the EXILE/Itsuka Kitto... (いつかきっと...) single -EXILE's 37th single release- which was launched on September 14th, 2011. Much like Everyday, Katyusha and Kaze wa Fuiteru, Rising Sun was born as a charity song that has sprung from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami tragedy and as such, all the earnings and royality of the track went to the Japanese Red Cross Society in order to help in the reconstruction of the most affected areas. The song itself went on gaining an overwhelming success, with the physical version hitting the Double Platinum status and over a million copies sold and the digital one hitting high peaks at both Oricon and Rekochoku's weekly charts (1st place for each) and season/monthly-oriented charts such as the Billboard HOT 100 (where it also peaked 1st). Later on, Rising Sun was also used as the theme song for the 34th edition (2014) of the yearly hand-glider competition known internationally as the Japan International Birdman Rally.
What we're about to lose in Taiko terms is a 5-star Oni challenge where 3-note clusters appear in different combinations at a very approachable speed, peppered with single notes and drumrolls a-plenty throughout the duration of the song's Taiko cut.
Bakemono Tsukiyo (化物月夜) Kunikichi
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With the Rising Sun title from the former song more specifically referring to the informal Western way to refer to Japan as a whole, we're instead seeing it as the circadian rhythm of the day. In other words, we've seen an example for when the sun rises, but what can happen in Taiko lore when it sets for the night?
One of the possible answers to that question is supplied to us by independent composer Kunikichi (くにきち, lit. 'Clouds'), with his contest-winning song from the second Taiko x CreoFUGA competition. While the full profile of this composer is still shrouded in mystery, we know for sure that his nickname comes from the first half of his real live surname (Kuniyoshi) and the latter half of his dog's name (Pelokichi), which is also pictured as Kunikichi's profile picture on CreoFUGA! His music production and experiences, however, are open for everyone to be listened between his aforementioned CreoFUGA profile and his website.
The full instrumental song known as Bakemono Tsukiyo (lit. 'Monster Night') is one of the few CreoFUGA-spawn tracks to not have any particular backstory detail of sorts, outside from the custom-made album art he later made for its re-release on his CF profile. Said jacket is actually a reference to the impressions left by Yuji Masubuchi, the song's charter, who charted the Oni mode's note-dense Go-Go Time section as to give the impression of the long body of a dragon. A few years later, Kunikichi tried once again to retain some more Taiko glory for the WCS2016 song-making contest with the song Nantoka Naru-Sa. (なんとかなるさ., lit. 'I Will Manage Somehow.'), but ultimately it only scored a place among judge Linda AI-CUE's Honorable Mentions.
Between the scrolling slow-down starting portion and the rest of the song, Bakemono Tsukiyo's Oni mode firmly stands in the upper-tier of its rating range, as players' stamina is sure to be drained out with the many cluster formations that are basically hit at the same averagely-high speed in every portion of the song's duration.