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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Song of the Week! 3 March 2018


On this very same day, six years ago, we've had our very first period of themed Song of the Week entries, with our first month-centric focus being put on the Idolm@ster franchise. Much has changed for the collaboration landscape of Bandai Namco's popular music series with Taiko gaming, up to the point of crossing roads in more (and deeper!) ways than ever before!

The course of events that have led us to today's same-day blog occurrance have brought us to the decision of having yet another month full of Idolm@ster song reviews in Taiko history, for what is also going to become a first for us: a full month of guaranteed Ura Oni song features for each of March's articles. Now that the stage is set, it's time to let the producer-trained performers shine once more, for an entire month here on Taiko Time!

 THE IDOLM@STER 2nd-mix THE iDOLM@STER 2
Version
Allx3 (169)x4 (212)x5 (441)x8 (765)
 im@s MS Blue
 168
 none
 imsim2


Back in 2012, our first Idolm@ster month feature (link) was started by featuring the franchise's very own flagship song, so it only makes sense for us to star one of its later remixes to kickstart this very themed month, isn't it? Based on the original song composed by Hiroto Sasaki (佐々木宏人) and lyricised by Megumi Nakamura (中村恩恵), this dance-styled remix of THE IDOLM@STER is brought to us by Akitaka 'AJURIKA' Tohyama (遠山明孝), who made this arrangement for the first of the games of the '2nd Vision' project series: 2011's THE iDOLM@STER 2.

The 2nd-mix is the third official remix of the original track, with the former two variants -simply dubbed as 'Remix A' and 'Remix B'- making their debuts as DLCs for the previously-released im@s game Live for You! The lifespan of the 2nd-mix in the series has also been extended by DLC means, being available years later in the series' latest titles for PlayStation systems: the PS3's ONE FOR ALL and the PS4's freshly-released Stella Stage. As opposed to the original THE IDOLM@STER which is used to be performed in-game by an idol trio alone, the 2nd-mix can be played with a set of 1, 2, 3 or 5 dancers, showcasing one of the debut 2nd Vision game's features.

It's possible to get a hold of the 2nd-mix on Taiko only through one of the Must Songs games for the Ps Vita, serving as the Blue Album version's theme song. With its playable cut being longer than the one of the original THE IDOLM@STER, this remix has a slightly lower note density per second, but the upbeat pace and its relentless procession of note triplets in varying formations a-la Ikenai Taiyou on Oni is sure set to steal some missed-note judgement from the uncareful 1st-time player! As an homage to the original song, its Oni mode -charted by Taiko Team member Kuboken (くぼけん)- sports a Nam-Combo note count as well.

 shiny smile THE iDOLM@STER: Live For You! ---Old---
Version
Allx4 (177)x4 (224)x5 (315)x8 (475)
 Taiko 11, 11 Asian, Taiko DS 2
 167.73-171.91
 none
 shine

  shiny smile THE iDOLM@STER: Live For You!
Version
All---x8 (475)
 Taiko 0 Mu, im@s MS Red
 167.73-171.91
 none
 imsshn


In the past, we've seen plenty of newcomer songs in Taiko gaming that were used as pre-order bonus incentives (...and hell, you can even recall an Idolm@ster song among those, too), but let it be known that this is also true for the idol-boosted music series, such is the case of our very next pick!

Composed by the nick-named Yoshi and lyricized by Asahisai (朝日祭), shiny smile made its debut in the series as a pre-order bonus track for the aforementioned THE iDOLM@STER: Live for You!, getting a couple of remixes for the game's later DLC catalog just like for THE IDOLM@STER's first couple of remixed renditions. The album debut of shiny smile dates back to February 13th, 2008, with the release of the first album in the series' MASTER LIVE series, under the title of THE IDOLM@STER MASTER LIVE 00. Since the inception of the 2nd Vision games, the song has been associated with the in-game idol Hibiki Ganaha (我那覇響) as her personal track.

The group version of shiny smile is the main one to be featured in Taiko games, starting with the two versions of the Taiko 11 arcade and the 2nd Nintendo DS title with the "1st-generation" games' canon set of custom dancers. Its Oni mode bears a pure 1/16 notechart set which is played without any kind of odd spacing between the notes/clusters.

 shiny smile THE iDOLM@STER: Live For You! ---New---
Version
Allx3 (150)x4 (200)x4 (300)x8 (555)
 Taiko 0 Mu, im@s MS Red
 85-340
 none
 imsshn


Many years went by and shiny smile got revived as part of the Taiko and Idolm@ster series' jointed anniversary celebrations, with the former Oni mode becoming playable as an Ura Oni and the regular Oni spot being filled in with a more modern chart, and one of the few to keep the same star rating as the former Oni, no less! Modern charting tropes for song of the series getting Taiko ports are up on check, from off-beat charting to the average base BPM value's changes and the 'Call' portions with mono-color clusters.

Together with the revival, the renewed set of custom dancers for Idolm@ster songs has been applied to accustom the full cast from the 2nd Vision's debut game. It's also worth noting that the Must Song game that bears the song also features the solo version by Hibiki Ganaha as an unlockable variant, with the same notechart sets as for the other song variants in the twin games.

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