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Drag-on Dragoon 3: Making a Meaningful Theme Song

Hopefully I'm starting to translate these articles a little be more quickly as usual. It certainly helps to have an extra hour of free time at work to study it! So, here is the latest article in the double issue of Famitsu for November 7 & 14. I need to pace myself a little bit, however; especially since I had a bit of an accident while translating and eating dinner at the same time... I sort of spilled my drink over the whole magazine, so I'll have to pick up a new issue to make scans of the pages. ARG!

So in the meantime, here's the majority of the article. There's still one main part that needs to be translated, but I believe much of that was teased about on the Famitsu Web page that I've already translated below!

Enjoy reading the article and as always, please feel free to contact me whenever! I love hearing from other fans!!

Famitsu Magazine, November 7 & 14 Issue
(Translated by Rekka Alexiel)

Onitsuka Chihiro
Onitsuka was awarded the grand prize for best songwriting on “Vertigo” in December of 2001; she also was awarded the Golden Disk award for her album “Insomnia” in March of 2002. Her Japan tour began earlier in March under the title, “Chihiro Onitsuka Tour Show 2013 –the clown bully-” in which she debuted her 19th single, “the clown bully”. Likewise, her 20th single CD “This Silence is Mine / SciencE and YOU” is scheduled for release on December 18th. She will also have a joint tour throughout Japan in 2014 with BILLYS SANDWICHES for their first national tour, “Heart Beat Tour 2014”. Tickets for this tour will be available from October 30th.

The Fan Movement

Famitsu (F): First of all, tell us how you came to ask Onitsuka Chihiro to participate in a theme song for the game.

Shiba (S): There were many reasons, but mostly I thought of her because of the songs she’s been writing recently. The game calls for a sort of dark madness, that kind of atmosphere. I thought Onitsuka could match that feeling perfectly. There have been many fans out there using audio and video clips to make their own fan videos, what we call MAD movies. Those movies have been uploaded to places like NicoNico Videos and really got the fanbase active and engaged in discussions. There’s a MAD movie out there that combined Onitsuka’s song “Dance the Waltz with Me” with DOD video footage. I was so impressed how well the music and video fit together. There are many difficult copyright issues involved with this, of course, but it’s a great way to introduce new people to the series and spread the overall knowledge of its existence.

Onitsuka (O): Ooooooohhh.

S: Onitsuka’s personal character has such a strong affinity toward the DOD series. Additionally, even if you look at how popular the MAD movies were, Onitsuka was also extremely popular among DOD fans. As far as tying the song into the game, there are times in which we don’t consider whether or not the song necessarily fits the atmosphere of the game and only create something merely to sell, but as things turned out this time, we really wanted to make a song with profound meaning, which is why we thought of asking Onitsuka to help us accomplish this. We contacted her earlier in Feburary, then the following month we met together to discuss the possibility and various ideas.

F: So that’s how you decided to have Onitsuka write both the lyrics and the music for “This Silence is Mine” with Okabe Keiichi managing the arrangement.

S: We wanted to convey the “color” of DOD3, so we asked Okabe to help with the arrangement.

F: “This Silence is Mine” is considered a ballad, but did you make any requests, Shiba-san?

S: No, I just told her the basic story of the game and left the rest up to her.

F: Onitsuka-san, what was your impression of DOD3?

O: It was bloody.

S: Ah, I told her that Zero’s tension gauge increases as she bathes in the blood of her enemies.

F: Since you bring up that point, how about you, Onitsuka-san? When do you feel like your tension gauge rises? During a live concert, perhaps?

O: A school of fish.

F: A school of fish!? So, you feel like your tension gauge rises at an aquarium?

O: No, no. haha Like this. *mimes pulling a handle at a pachinko parlor*

F: A-ah,…… Like you’ve just about made a match, maybe?

O: My life is gambling.


From ‘white’ to a complete image in 10 minutes

F: Did you have the image of a bloody battle in mind for this song?

O: When I start to write a song, as far as a motif goes, I have no empathy. I like to create a situation from scratch.

F: Then, if you made a mental picture, what seemed to stick out for you?

O: White. She (Zero) is so white, her hair and everything.

S: Then did you write the song with just white in mind?

O: Yeah, I imagined a place where nothing exists—only white—and then BOOOM! I had much of the song written in ten minutes.

F: Ten minutes!? Compared to your other songs, would you consider this pretty fast?

O: Not really, it’s pretty usual. It’s not good for me to spend a long time writing a single song.

F: Did you receive any feedback from anyone since you were able to complete this song so quickly?

O: I believe I got my love for music from my father, so when I asked him to listen to it, he said, “It’s a great song!”

S: Did the lyrics come as quickly as the music?

O: Not quite. I wrote the rest on the spot.

Okabe: She showed me the main parts of the melody or lyrics that eventually became the core of the song, but there was still much left to be filled. We recorded her vocals like any other production, but then we gradually shifted to something more like a jam session. This was the first time for me to write a song this way, so it really became a point of encouragement.

S: It’s quite a luxurious experience to compose with Onitsuka-san, isn’t it?

Okabe: That’s for sure. We also recorded a bit at our MONACA studio—it was great to be able to use the space for as long as we wanted. We could go at our own pace.

F: Do you think the recording went well?

Okabe: I do. In a typical recording, we often make a list of approved recordings and edit and splice them together to create a complete song, but this time Onitsuka-san only sang three times—straight through. The only thing we had left to do was record each individual part and then we were done.

O: The thing that I thought was really cool was how he was like, “I wanted you do you to do that!” for the parts where I was allowed to give it my all.

Okabe: Thank you. haha She was so energetic to be able to make a recording with such passion in one go. So with every take, she might sing a little bit differently; maybe she had designed it that way. I tried to put all of that together in the arrangement. I do have a bit of confidence when I’m making arrangements, but for her to tell me that I was able to match what she had imagined, I was quite relieved. haha

O: I wore this white outfit during the recording. *shows a photograph*

F: Because you had imagined a white song?

O: Yeah, it’s the feel of the song.

F: Do you have a favorite color?

O: White isn’t exactly my favorite color, but many people say that I look good purple or red. A bit Yankee*, isn’t it? haha

• Yankee – slang for delinquent youngsters or delinquency; very young and loud, boisterous and revolting youths

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About Rekkaone of us since 8:12 AM on 08.17.2011

Book of the Past:
I originally got into gaming when my brother broke his collarbone from a stupid skateboarding stunt my father allowed him to do ("Hey, son, won't it be cool if you hold onto the back of my car as I drive around town!?"). As a get well soon gift, my parents bought him a NES, from which his gaming days began. Me, I just enjoyed watching him play, mostly RPGs until I tried them myself eventually. My first game was Dragon Quest and I remember quitting shortly after the first dragon killed me. lol

Since then, though, I have enjoyed games for multiple reasons, mostly because I love stories and characters...and games are the perfect way for me to experience the hard work and strife that the characters have to go through. It's fun and I feel like I can play a part in their story. It's a much better story than mine.

My favorite RPGs of the past are (in no certain order):

Chrono Trigger
Shadow Hearts 1 & 2
Baten Kaitos