“I educated the Japanese public about rhythm with that game,” said Japanese musical producer Tsunku, speaking about Rhythm Heaven.
Tsunku was responsible for the musical score to Nintendo’s rhythm games Rhythm Tengoku and Rhythm Tengoku Gold, the latter released here as Rhythm Heaven. He attended a panel in Los Angeles to talk about his musical career, and it was there that he alluded to Americans having more rhythm than Japanese gamers.
“Rhythm is something that hasn’t really been valued in Japanese culture or in Japanese music,” Tsunku said. “That’s something that I took exception to. I really wanted to educate musically oriented people as well as the Japanese public on that.”
He said that while Japanese gamers enjoy Rhythm Heaven, they don’t seem to move near as much as American gamers do: “I respect the American public as people who are very oriented towards music, but they do that thing with their whole body.” [Tsunku does an awkward dance with his shoulders while air tapping] “I think it might be somewhat of an unnatural confinement to limit yourselves to fingertip rhythm making as opposed to your entire body dance routines.”
Concerned about our apparent need to dance while playing his game, Tsunku said “I hope you get to enjoy Rhythm Heaven without busting your DS. ”