My Neighbor Totoro Theme in Taiko Drum Master (Wii U)

Well, this is an unexpected surprise. Just when I was lamenting how Studio Ghibli would never lay a ten-foot pole on anything to do with videogames, along comes this gameplay video of Namo's Taiko Drum Master for Nintendo Wii U. This rhythm-based game involves striking a large drum in beat to a series of popular songs, in keeping with the popular "bemani" genre that remains popular in Japan.

The song in this video: the theme song to My Neighbor Totoro! Yay!

It seems like such a simple idea to feature a music-rhythm videogame that is exclusively devoted to music from Studio Ghibli movies. Goodness knows we have enough theme songs and pop hits to choose from. You could even use some of the licensed songs that appear in such movies as Omohide Poro Poro and Mimi wo Sumaseba. The possibilities are endless. Someone needs to make a formal proposal to Ghibli and see if Hayao Miyazaki or Toshio Suzuki would show interest. The odds are long, but the studio needs money, and this is an easy way to earn revenue while building the brand.

Taiko Drum Master never really took off outside Japan, and that's really too bad. Isn't it really just Guitar Hero with one button? Yes, but it's colorful and cheerful and gets your butt off the couch. It's good exercise, and you get to bounce along to the Totoro theme song. A win on all fronts.

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