Hi! I’m Paul Richardson, and I recently joined Bemanistyle’s Japan-based writing team. I’ll be sharing the latest song updates as well as some special information such as location tests, live events, and more.
First up – the first half of the Konami Arcade Championship’s Final Round, held during NicoNico Tokaigi 2016! The venue was the ever-popular Makuhari Messe Convention Center, just east of Tokyo. This time around, KAC featured 5 BEMANI titles:
- REFLEC BEAT (VOLZZA)
- pop’n music (éclale)
- jubeat (prop)
- SOUND VOLTEX (GRAVITY WARS)
In the morning, Monster Strike, Disney’s TsumTsum, and Quiz Magic Academy also took place, with one noteworthy announcement: Quiz Magic Academy’s new version will feature a more modern theme and be set in Tokyo! A PV was uploaded which includes a short music clip that might seem familiar to BEMANI fans…
After those 3 titles, a small live concert was held, the BEMANI SPECIAL LIVE. The first song came as a welcome surprise to fans of both PON and the anime Osomatsu-san as he did a special performance of the 1st season’s opening theme by A応P.
This concert also reunited most of the members of Des-ROW 組-special for the first time in quite a while. To my delight, their opening song was none other than DAIKENKAI. Yes, the “Japanese Linkin Park” song played by your 13-year-old self back in middle school.
A full setlist is below, with (comments in parentheses.)
- 1 – はなまるぴっぴはよいこだけ（BEMANIスペシャルライブVer.）/ PON
- 2 – 流離 / PON
- 3 – Harmonia /ATSUMI UEDA
- 4 – Anelis / 猫叉Master feat.ATSUMI UEDA
- 5 – 大見解コア / Des-ROW・組
- 6 – cobalt（スペシアルr） / Des-ROW・組スペシアル
- 7 – 日天悦扇紊舞 / Akhuta
- 8 – Peragro / Akhutaとオマツリワッショイズ (Complete with crazy dancing while the artists wore masks of the song’s pop’n character, しま〜)
- 9 – VOLTEXES III / Sota Fujimori
- 10 – モンスターストライクメドレー(SDVX REMIX) / Sota Fujimori
- 11 – アルストロメリア (walk with you remix) / TAG (Keyboard solo by Sota!)
- 12 – コナミゲームミュージックメドレー[/first_half] [last_half]
- 13 – もっと！モット！ときめき feat. 松下 / シャイニング度胸兄弟 (Act by L.E.D., Matsushita, and wac)
- 14 – ロストワンの号哭 / 松下
- 15 – neu /少年ラジオ
- 16 – neu BSP style / cosMo@暴走P
- 17 – uən /少年ラジオ
- 18 – For UltraPlayers / cosMo@暴走P
- 19 – Paradission / BlackY
- 20 – プレインエイジア -PHQ remix- / PHQUASE
- 21 – 夏色DIARY -Summer Dazzlin’ Vacation miX- / 猫叉王子 feat. PHQUASE vs. MAD CHILD
- 22 – 夏色DIARY 俺のjubeat編 / 猫叉王子 feat.時を駆けるショッチョー
- 23 – ススススペースハリネズミ / S-C-U
- 24 – STULTI / MAX MAXIMIZER VS DJ TOTTO (unfortunate accident by PHQUASE/MAD CHILD caused this and other songs to be repeated)
- 25 – Valanga / DJ TOTTO
- 26 – カーテンコール・メモリーズ / DJ TOTTO & Qrispy Joybox (featuring all performers)[/last_half]
Immediately following the live concert, REFLEC BEAT VOLZZA had its final round, featuring commentary by Bemani cosplayer Enako, Des-ROW, and DJ TOTTO. In the final round, the game’s first ever level 13 song was revealed – Rebellio / MAX MAXIMIZER VS DJ TOTTO
As luck would have it, the song ended in a TIE for the two finalists. However, ｓｉｒ・ｏ・ｎ came out on top and was crowned champion.
— REFLEC BEAT STAFF (@reflecbeat573) January 30, 2016
Next up was pop’n music éclale’s final round, with special guests Matsushita, wac, and PON. This year, there were split men’s and women’s divisions. In the women’s round, a final secret song was revealed, 恋歌疾風! かるたクイーンいろは / ねこまんまチーム！(wac & NU-KO) Unfortunately, a button on one cabinet got stuck down, dropping one player’s score by quite a bit. Konami talked it out and decided to move on to the men’s finals. SURPRISE! One more secret song was revealed for the guys: 激走!! ヤング☆ダンプ! / ブタパンチ. All men smashed their respective hamburgers with great power, but only ＴＡＴＳＵ was victorious.
— ポップンミュージック公式@無の水晶と・・ (@popn_team) January 30, 2016
After some quick machine maintenance, the women’s finals were re-played, and ８３２２(who played on the defective cabinet before) was crowned pop’n queen.
— ポップンミュージック公式@無の水晶と・・ (@popn_team) January 30, 2016
The third BEMANI title featured was jubeat prop, and the top players were doing pretty well, until champion ＣＯＲＢＹ.ＱＳ showed up and nearly Full Excellent Combo’d the entire final round. A tie (but not FXC) on the final song wasn’t even enough to take him down.
— jubeatスタッフ@clan稼動中！ (@jubeat_staff) January 30, 2016
Commentators Shoccho, Akhuta, and livestreamer “Max” all pointed out how exciting it was to watch these players in-person. And while no new songs were revealed, the next version of jubeat was announced: “Qubell”!
Konami’s latest entry into the Bemani series, MÚSECA, was the next game on stage. The guests included vocalist nanahira and composer PandaBoY, as well as a special guest and possible MÚSECA staff – “Dory”
While the game is relatively new, it seems that champion ＦＡＬＬ had no trouble in mastering it in time for KAC.
— MUSECA STAFF (@MUSECA573) January 30, 2016
There were no new songs for this round, but there were a handful of new Grafica shown, which are available now either by default or to unlock.
The last game for the day’s KAC was SOUND VOLTEX III: GRAVITY WARS. Guests on stage included cosMo@BosouP, PHQUASE, MAD CHILD, Cody, and TAG.
After a fierce battle, and a bit of trouble tallying scores, the final song was revealed: Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》/ かなこちはる. Everyone was quite surprised when the chart lanes completely disappeared, and ０ー１.ＭＩＫＵ surprisingly failed the song. This left １００８.ＢＯＴ as the champion!
— SOUNDVOLTEX STAFF (@SOUNDVOLTEX573) January 30, 2016
Finally, a massive amount (30!!) of winning artists were announced for The 5th KAC SDVX Floor Song Contest.
The final song, Lachryma《Re:Queen’M》/ かなこちはる is now available to unlock in-game. This is followed by 7 Finalists, 5 of which are now available to unlock:
- sky_delta – not yet released
- ぺのれり- not yet released
- 雲の彼方 / Cororo
- Candy Colored Hearts / はるなば
- NEO GRAVITY / lapix
- End to end / Noah
- EMPIRE OF FLAME / かめりあ
Plus a whopping 23 others by the following artists, to be made available at a later date:
- eicaTV vs canon
- Getty vs. DJ DiA
- TAKU1175 ft. 駄々子
- uma&hurirai feat.ましろ
- uno & D.watt (IOSYS TRAX)
- たちのん as Project Mayhem
- 溝口ゆうま feat. みこ♡なち♡あい
- 溝口ゆうま feat. 大瀬良あい庭師
All-in-all, it was a fun event, and Sound Voltex’s stage gathered an especially large crowd due to going past the closing time of the convention.
You can check out recorded footage of all the KAC events on Konami’s official YouTube channel here:
The second part of the KAC finals will be held at the JAEPO Expo in the same location, on Feb 20th, with the following games:
- MAH-JONG FIGHT CLUB
- beatmania IIDX
- DanceEvolution ARCADE
- GITADORA GuitarFreaks
- GITADORA DrumMania
I’ll be back around then to let you know how it plays out!