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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Song of the Week! 12 May 2018

Today's double feature came to be so that I could add some more links to our Jumbo Brand corners on our blog. Let's go!

 Charles (シャルル) Balloon feat. flower
Allx4 (99)x5 (156)x6 (236)x8 (381)
 Taiko 0 Y

Right form the get-go I get to talk about Vocaloid stuff again, and before you ask- no, I'm not yanking your chain this time around!

One of Yellow Version's newcomer Vocaloid tracks, Charles is one of the first Hall of Legend songs starring the VOCALOID3-spawn v flower voice bank. The song's composer and lyricist is the nick-named Balloon (シャルル), in activity since 2013 in the VOCALOID song-making scene. Born January 20th, this music producer's rise to popularity spiked from his transition in 2016 to the utaite (歌い手) artist pool, a term used to distinguish the people who upload covers of pre-existing songs on Nico Nico Douga/Youtube. Among Balloon's utaite success stories, one of his earlest feats was a cover of his own song Charles, which -oddly enough- managed to gather more views than the original Vocaloid version... Not to mention the surge of fan-made covers that came out of it from other utaite performers!

The version of Charles we got on Taiko is the original Vocaloid piece, first uploaded on the Internet on October 12th, 2016. In more than one aspect, this track's Oni mode shares a lot of aspects with the long-recurring J-POP piece Bakuchi Dancer: both of them share the same rating, feature a lot of backbeat-based sections peppered with small clusters and both hold the same theoretical Shin' Uchi scoring ceiling of 998.200, nearing the 1-million mark with the right scoring calculations at the hands of the most skilled players.

 WARNINGxWARNINGxWARNING Touhou Project Arrange - Akatsuki Records
Allx2 (100)x4 (183)x5 (351)x9 (756)
 Taiko 0 Y

Also coming from Yellow Version, we have one of the most recent song arrangement sensations from the Touhou Project series, which made its way in the Taiko series during the third arcade collaboration campaign with ZUN's bullet-hell-based brand. Take this piece of writing as a sliver of compensation for the Taiko series' latest Reitasai convention skip...

This eye-catching-titled Touhou music arrangement made its debut as the title-giver of the WARNING×WARNING×WARNING -to the beginning 05- album, released during the 89th Comiket on December 30th, 2015. Like many other arranges before it, both the main BGM pieces have been used for the track's creation; in this case, we're talking about the Stage 5 songs from Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: Stage BGM Faraway Voyage of 380,000 Kilometers (遥か38万キロのボヤージュ) and Boss BGM The Pierrot of the Star-Spangled Banner (星条旗のピエロ). Taking center-stage attention in both the aforementioned game's Stage 5 and this song is the Hell fairy Clownpiece (クラウンピース), a subordinate to the Hell goddess Hecatia Lapislazuli who was sent to the moon in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom's events to support the cause of a vengeful spirit with an undying grudge against the Moon's Lunarians. A simple glance at her looks is enough to tell what nation in the world has inspired the creation of such an outfit!

The doujin circle who made WARNINGxWARNINGxWARNING is Akatsuki Records (暁Records), in activity since 2012 for both original tracks and Touhou arrange pieces with vocals. The unit consists of three nick-named members, namely the singer Stack and two composers/arrangers: pianist Neko☆Manjuu (ねこ☆まんじゅう) and guitarist/lyricist ACTRock, who composed this track in hand. While the doujin circle's presence in music gaming is mostly made by their previously-released songs, there have also been Touhou Project arrangements which were specifically written for a specific music game series, such as Groove Coaster's LOVE FOR YOU and the soon-to-be-defunct Crossbeat's Trace Egoism (トレイス・エゴイズム).

WxWxW's journey in music gaming is an odd one, as the song's playable cut is different for almost every music game series; the shortest one comes from the Groove Coaster series (link), followed by the recently-released song port for Sega's maimai series (link) and finally Taiko's, which is the same being featured inCapcom's Crossbeats series (link). Both the maimai and Crossbeats song ports feature fragments of WxWxW's official PV.

The Taiko charting rendition of this Clownpiece-centric track follows a "back-to-the-roots" approach, as clusters will fly towards the player with no other gimmick of sorts than the most simple one: they're a lot, and they're coming for your last ounces of physical stamina! No timing/visual gimmick of sorts are involved either: it's just you and the pure 1/16 notechart like in the old days.

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