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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Song of the Week! 2 December 2017


As we caught notice weeks ago, Yellow Version arcades are about to permanently lose some other songs... for the third time in the lifespan of a single arcade version, a questionable first in HD Taiko gaming.

To better impress the mileage of this dubious milestone in the series' arcade history, we have a triple feature with the three Anime licenses that are about to leave official Taiko gaming for good next Wednesday...

 ETERNAL BLAZE Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's
Version
Allx3 (83)x3 (114)x5 (228)x7 (320)
 Taiko 0 S to 0 Y
 105-155
 none
 ???


Our first victim comes from the launch lineup of the first color-named Taiko HD firmware build, with the opening theme of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series' 2005 sequel, dubbed "A's" (read as "Ace").

The original Nanoha series was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (新房昭之) for the Seven Arcs production studios, born as the spin-off of the eroge/album collection Triangle Heart, also from the same director. Broadcast in 2004, this magical girl series chronicles the adventures of the nine-years-old elementary student Nanoha Takamachi, in her quest to retrieve 21 ancient artifacts known as the "Jewel Seeds" for a shape-shifting young mage in order to prevent their use as monster catalysts.

With the 13-episode series getting a wide recognition as well as popular merchandise-related plans, another series was realized and broadcast between October and December 2005, set six months after the first one's resolution. Nanoha's quest in A's to fill up the pages of the Book of Darkness with both old and new acquaintances proved to be as popular as the original run for the general public, so much so that two A's-related fighting games by Bandai Namco were made for the PlayStation Portable: one in 2010 (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Battle of Aces) and the other the year later (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny). Not to mention that the 2012 compilation movie of the A's series, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie 2nd, ended up grossing more than 500 million Yen overall!

ETERNAL BLAZE is lyricised and performed by Nana Mitsuki (水樹奈々), who is also notable in Nanoha lore for being the voice actress of one of its main characters (Fate Testarossa). The song's composer, on the other hand, is Noriyasu Agematsu (上松範康), the founding member of the so-dubbed "music production brand" Elements Garden, mostly aimed to videogame and Anime-related musical works. This is also the second modern, non-cover license starring Nana Mitsuki to be permanently removed from anything official Taiko, after Valvrave the Liberator's Preserved Roses.

We've spent a lot of words in order to briefly talk about the Nanoha series' general grounds but when it comes to its representative song's Taiko notecharts, we can lay back to the usual "Anime-approved" repeating charting tropes that a lot of tunes from the Anime genre share with each other, such as repeated stanza sequences with slight changes and a 1/16 charting dominance.

 Dokkin♦ Mahou Tsukai PreCure! (Dokkin♦ 魔法つかいプリキュア!)
Version
Allx1 (58)x2 (113)x4 (271)x5 (345)
 Taiko 0 W to 0 Y
 176
 none
 ???


Jumping to White Version, we're eager to see that even certain Bandai Namco staples for the Taiko series (and its anime division in general) isn't immune from perma-removals! We've already talked about the Pretty Cure series in general years ago (click here!), so we're only going to focus on the highlighted series for this instance.

The 13th installment in Toei Animation's PreCure franchise, Mahotsukai PreCure! (魔法つかいプリキュア; lit. 'Witch PreCure!') was broadcast from February 2016 to January 2017, for a total of 50 episodes. This is yet another magical girl series, with the two main heroines -the 13-years-old Mirai Asahina and the magician Riko- studying magic as a means to aid their search of the Linkle Stone Emerald, a mysterious item that is also desired by the evil Dokuroxy and his army of dark monsters. The Mahotsukai PreCure series's lasting impact to the franchise in general made it so for the series to be converted in manga form (still ongoing to this day), with movie roles in both cameo form and feature-length portrayals of the series' setting. The series itself has also been nominated as one of the official mascots for the upcoming Olympic games of Tokyo 2020, alongside other Japanese animation giants like One Piece, Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon.

When compared to ETERNAL BLAZE, the Mahotsukai PreCure series' first opening theme (used for episodes 1-21) sports an higher page and slightly more notes on its harder modes, but the more prominent presence of note stanza repetition has played a big part into the song's lower star rating. After all this years, it's (almost) a staple of the PreCure themes in Taiko, after all!

 Ikenai Borderline (いけないボーダーライン) Macross Δ
Version
Allx3 (108)x4 (132)x5 (261)x7 (390)
 Taiko 0 R to 0 Y
 161
 none
 ???


The last unfortunate future loss also comes from an Anime saga we've talked about on these lines before... and not just that- the exact same series, too! Thus, we kindly forward you to this previous SotW entry for a brief description of the Macross Delta series, as here we'll be concentrating on the song in hand.

Ikenai (lit. "Don't/Shouldn't") Borderline is the Macross Delta series's first insert song, being featured on the episodes 1, 2, 8 and 13. Lyricized by Naoki Nishi (西直紀) and composed by Minoru Komorita (小森田実), this is one of the many song in the series that are performed by the fictional idol unit Walküre, the same one of the Macross Delta opening theme Ichido Dake Koi Nara.

Bearing a little more notes than today's former featured tracks, Ikenai Borderline's Oni is another addition to the "generic Anime charting" brigade, being a little bit more lenient on 3+-notes clusters with single notes in the heated Go-Go Time portion.

  Ikenai Borderline (いけないボーダーライン) Macross Δ
Version
All---x7 (533)
 Taiko 0 R to 0 Y
 161
 none
 ???


We've seen it with Lion, we've seen it (again) with Ichido Dake Koi Nara and now we're about to witness it a third time: Macross songs in modern Taiko arcades are simply not made to last... Ura Oni or not Ura Oni!

Thus, we have to give one last salute to Taiko Team member Yamaguchi (ヤマグチ)'s hidden charting effort for this song in all the subsequent official Taiko gaming, leaving behind a modern 8-star challenge that is more generous on supplying stamina-draining, consecutive cluster sections and 1/24 spikes in spades.

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