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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Song of the Week! 29 July 2017

Continuing from last week's not-Japanese representatives in occasion for the Session de Dodon ga Don localization plans, today we're having song representatives for the Chinese and Korean musical scene in Taiko to complete the trilogy!

 Little Apple (小蘋果) Chopstick Brothers
Allx3 (123)x4 (170)x5 (338)x5 (461)
 Taiko PS Vita (Chinese ver. only)

While we've had some features in the past about some of the exclusive tracks to Taiko 11 and 12's Asian counterparts, there arcade outings are not the only ones to sport exclusive not-Japanese licenses in their alternate versions, as V Version's Chinese edition received a generous amount of exclusive tracks by DLC means. One of the earliest extra song deliveries channeled the power of Internet-born popularity, no less!

The authors of Little Apple are the Beijing-rooted Chinese duo Chopstick Brothers (筷子兄弟), consisting of video director Xiao Yang (肖央) and musician Wang Taili (王太利). In activity since 2007, this Mandopop duo has risen to popularity with their musical/video creations being shared over the Internetm, with the their first big hit to garner attention outside of Asian countries being the 2010 short comedy video titled Old Boys (original title: 11度青春之《老男孩》, "11 Degrees of Youth <Old Boys>"). The video is about a couple of childhood friends who decide to join a singing competition during their adulthood upon hearing the news of Micheal Jackson's death, the protagonists' favorite artist. The short movie's popularity lead to the production of a feature-length movie in 2014 by the name of Old Boys: The Way of the Dragon (original title: 老男孩猛龙过江, "Old Boys Raptor Cross the River") for which the Chopstick Brothers took the share of the lion in terms of contribution efforts, from being the directors/screenwriters/music composers to star on film as the main actors.

While the 2014 movie adaptation of Old Boys scores a little bit over 38 million dollars in China, the real kicker in popularity terms was achieved by the song Little Apple, which was made by the Chopstick Brothers as a promotional theme for the movie. Released in music video form on May 29th, 2014, the song itself and the square dance that is part of its choreography soon became Internet viral sensations, leading Little Apple to several  such as the Mnet Asian Music Awards's  '2014: Favorite Music in China' category and the International Song Award 2014 at the American Music Awards of the same year. As a testament to the song's popularity, several cover versionss of the song were also made, including South Korean girl band T-ara's version and a metal cover by Norwegian Power Metal artist PelleK.

Leading up to V Version's China-exclusive DLC release, we are served with a low-BPM treat with a quite generous amount of notes for the modern 5* Oni scenario, mostly made of mono-color clusters and pattern stanza repetitions all throughout the play

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 Taiko 0 to 0 M, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 4

For our Korean pick of the day, here's something that was popularized in the Taiko scene by some of the actual public Japanese installments! Born from console grounds and rose to a limited arcade life, the K-Pop track Mister (미스터) is made by the South-Korean all-female unit KARA in 2009.

Originally an R&B-based quartet, the act was started in 2007 and is currently put on hiatus, after several lineup changes. The band's name has been inspired by the Greek word χαρά ('chara', joy), which was instead interpreted by the founding members as "sweet melody". On June 30th, 2009, the band's second studio album -Revolution-  was released in South Korea, decreeing the birth of Korea's Gaon music chart as well as the launch of the original Mister as its album opener. One year later, it was announced that KARA was making a music video for Mister and shortly after its launch on July 27th, 2010, Mister managed to become a viral hit due to the fan-dubbed "butt-dance" that was featured in said video.

The resounding positive feedback worldwide has led the song to be translated and released for the Japanese market, which is also the version that is featured in Taiko no Tatsujin gaming! The Japanese cover was released as a single on August 11th, 2010, and the year later on February 23rd, 2011, as part of the Japanese release of the Revolution studio album. This cover managed to hit the No.2 spot at the RIAJ Digital Track Chart, as well as peaking 5th place at Oricon's Daily and Weekly charts.

Geared with a slightly-higher BPM value, the short cover of Mister featured in Taiko (and spelled-out in full caps) shares the pattern repetition trope already seen with Little Apple, warranting an higher star rating due to an heavier presence of Kat notes in both single notes and cluster composition.

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