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Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete – “German Jammin'” (Koji Hayama)

April 3, 2010

The Cho Aniki series is known as “that gay Japanese game.” This is an easy assumption to make, considering it blatantly features almost-naked grinning body builders and other references. a Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete (1993), the soundtrack and remix album based on the original game in the series. This is also the only instance I’ve heard where the soundtrack actually sold more than the game itself.

Cho Aniki – Aniki no Subete – “German Jammin'” (Koji Hayama)

“German Jammin'” seems to be Hayama’s favorite song from this game. It’s essentially over-aggrandizement of martial masculinity and mockery of Nazism in particular. Primarily a joke track, it integrates marching and military brass for a kind of drinking song, chanting “DEUTSCH! DEUTSCH! DEUTSCH, DEUTSCH – GEEERRRMAN!” in the over-masculine voice that appears in most music in the series. “German Jammin” appears no less than three times on the album, the first as the BGM track, the second as a remix, and the third as a minute-long piece at the end of the album. InThe Ultimate, Invincible, Most Galactically Powerful Man (1996), the composers used Hayama’s style to great effect. Incidentally, track 1, “The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy” uses the exact same melody as “German Jammin'” (the guy is saying “The Ultimate, Invincible, Most Powerful Man in the Galaxy!!” before the crazy laughter).

The remix, “Aniki of the World“, makes fun of everybody. Each country is stereotyped for one reason or another. Germany for Nazi militarism, America for defeating the Germans and chanting USA (actually, isn’t that what we do?), Switzerland for yodeling, China for…well, Chinese music. Hayama seems to ridicule Japan as well (though it’s possible he’s doing so by making Japan sound the most serious out of all of them). It’s kind of interesting that this essentially illustrates what some people think of when they think of a particular country (so I suppose in that regard, it could be a little offensive) but overall, it’s incredibly Hayama. “German Jammin'” was also remixed in Choaniki – Otoko no Tamashii, but I have never found a copy of the album other than one I saw at Akihabara (and promptly refused to buy after seeing the price, though I’m wondering now if I should have anyway :P)

Koji Hayama has become synonymous with Cho Aniki. Cho Aniki itself is a classic example of “crap games”, or games that are made specifically to be bad to get people interested in bad games. I’m a little curious as to whether the Wario Ware series is monopolizing this concept, but in any event, Aniki is meant to run a slightly larger budget. Hayama also presents himself as having a huge ego, something that is immediately apparent from his pictures. He really is quite a character. Hayama does live performances as well, and has a small but loyal following. Check his website for more info.

Hayama’s trademark style is to integrate sampled voices into his music (“HEY!”, “OH!” “HAI!”). The effect is incredibly cheesy, and so his music often results in a laugh or two. Apparently, Hayama can also produce some serious material, but I’ve been able to get ahold of only a few of his other albums. He’s still an active and well-known composer in the industry and part of the Japanese Video Game Sound Creators’ Alliance (as no. 23).

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