Beloved game is kicking it into Oni mode for 2021.

There probably isn’t a more quintessentially Japanese video game than Taiko no Tastsujin (“Taiko Drum Master”). Combining cultures past and present, it’s a game which allows players to wail on large taiko drums while traditionally dressed kawaii festival goers prance across the screen to a constantly updated list of J-Pop hits.

That might help explain the lasting power the franchise has enjoyed since launching on 21 February, 2001. This year marks its 20th anniversary and it remains a game you can always reliably see people playing when passing through a game center. Naturally, the developers at Bandai Namco couldn’t be more thrilled about this and are planning a series of events to honor the successful franchise.

First and foremost, the Taiko no Tatsujin World Championship 2021 has been announced and will be held on 20 February, 2022. This is the first such competition in five years wherein Taiko no Tatsujin tastujin from all over the world will compete for the top spot.

▼ I got a hunch Japanese contestants will be hard to beat, but a dark horse from abroad may yet emerge

But first things first: You can’t have Taiko no Tatsujin without music, so starting 21 February, 2021 an open call for music is being held where anyone anywhere can submit songs to be converted into a Taiko no Tatsujin challenge. This song will be played over and over and over again throughout the tournament, so it better be damn good, but anyone from garage bands to vocaloid subroutines can enter.

Whether you’re a composer or would-be taiko champ, the time to start practicing is now. And be sure to tell all your friends, especially while using the new set of Taiko no Tetsujin Line messaging app stamps featuring many of the games favorite supporting characters.

And did someone say “TikTok Taiko no Tatsujin?”

Certainly not me because I can’t, but starting 5 March, the game and social media phenom are joining forces to make a Taiko no Tatsujin TikTok in-app mini-game! TikTok games often use facial recognition for controls, so it will be interesting to see how this translates to the classic drumming control scheme.

▼ An example of a TikTok mini-game

Taiko no Tatsujin is getting into the social media game elsewhere as well, with their soon-to-launch YouTube channel that will feature the animated exploits of the lovable drum Don-chan and all its friends.

If all that weren’t enough, Playstation4 and Nintendo Switch versions of the game are on sale during late February and early March. For those that already own the game or frequent it at the arcade, a 20th anniversary song titled “Todoroki! Taiko no Tatsujin” will be added to the lineup from 21 February.

And then we have the re-release of official My Bachi taiko sticks. All sticks are hand-crafted in Japan and come in three varieties to suit individual playing styles.

It’s certainly more that you can shake a My Bachi at, and this year is only getting started. So, be sure to join in the Taiko no Tatsujin fun and help celebrate two decades of musical fun and hopefully many more to come. Also, someone please encourage that German symphony percussionist to take part in the tournament. That would be awesome.

Source: Taiko no Tatsujin World Championship 2021, Gajetto Tsushin, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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