From iNiS, the creators of Gitaroo Man, comes this rather clever Rhythm Game for the Nintendo DS. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan ("Yo! Fight! Cheer Squad") revolves around a group of male cheerleaders who go around rooting on people all across Tokyo in a variety of tasks to a variety of Japanese pop and rock music.
Their clients include Tsuyoshi Hanada, a ronin student trying to get into Tokyo University; Yasushi Tanaka, owner of a ramen shop trying to drum up more business; and Ichiro Tamura, a Salaryman who... grows to fifty feet tall in order to save his daughter (and the city) from a giant blue mouse on the rampage.
Then there's the stage where they get pulled through time and space to cheer on Cleopatra's royal construction crew so she can lose weight via pyramid power... And for the Grand Finale, they cheer on the whole world to create a Combined Energy Attack big enough to save the planet from impact with a giant asteroid.
It's a weird game, but that's part of the appeal — it seemingly crams as many familiar anime, manga and Japanese Culture tropes in as it can to make it as Japanese as possible. The game mechanics make good use of the DS stylus, as they involve tapping markers that appear on the screen in time to the music.
The original game was a hit with import gamers. It was such a hit, in fact, that it was followed by an Americanized counterpart, Elite Beat Agents. In May of 2007, it also got a full-fledged sequel with the unwieldy title of Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 ("Get Fired Up! Hot-Blooded Rhythm Spirit: Hey! Fight! Cheer Squad!"), which featured new music, new scenarios, and a team of friendly rival cheerleaders from the upscale side of town. In addition, there is also a free PC clone called osu!, featuring user-created stages.
You can find a translation of the manga panels from the first game here and the translation for the second here. And just for fun: computer desktop backgrounds for the first game and the second game. There's a wiki for the games (and other games made by iNiS), but you won't find much there.
See also osu!.
Note: When we refer to the stages, we're using the title of the song featured in them, just like in the Elite Beat Agents page, because repeating the Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Names! over and over again gets pretty tiresome.
This series provides examples of:
- '80s Hair: Some of the Ouendan members have mohawks or mullets.
- Abhorrent Admirers: JIN2's fangirls are this in the bad ending of "Music Hour".
- The Ace: Junior in both games and EBA. The last time, he just appears in a middle-aged woman's fantasies.
- Aliens Speaking English: The sequel's "VISTA" mission involves aliens on Venus who can perfectly speak and understand Japanese.
- All Just a Dream: The bad ending of "Bang! Bang! Vacances".
- All There in the Manual: Some character info can be found on the official websites for the games, and some roughly translated versions can be found if you're willing to Archive Binge through the GameFAQs forums.
- Anime Hair:
- Ryuta Ippongi and Kai Domeki. Kai's hair is apparently spiky enough to break wood, as evidenced by "Shounen Heart".
- There's also Ryuji from "Thrill", obviously parodying Shonen series.
- Karizou Moriyama from "Julia ni Heartbreak" makes Anime Hair as a career.
- Anime Land / World of Weirdness: There are Humongous Mecha, Kaiju, werewolves, ghosts, occasional world-ending catastrophes and more concentrated in a small part of Tokyo. Of course, that doesn't mean the rest of the world is perfectly normal.
- Anime Theme Song: Every level is backed by a different song, which has varying amounts of relevance to the action.
- Played straight out-of-universe with the song used in the final level of the first game, "Ready Steady Go". It was the second opening to the Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) anime!
- Appears again in the second game, with a cover of "Shonen Heart", the second opening to Eureka Seven.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- In the sequel, if you run out of health on Easy mode, the Hard mode cheerleader for the team you are currently playing as shows up and revives you with about 3/4 of your health so that you can continue the song. Run out of health again in the same song though, and it's Game Over. Of course, it won't work on the final levels, so you're on your own for that.
- The sequel also adds the ability for the player to skip the opening and ending cutscenes, which is great for jumping straight to the song when replaying for high scores, and invaluable on the last level which is the most difficult (and hence requires the most replays) and has the longest intro and outro cutscenes.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: What the girls in Hiroshi's class do if you fail "Atsuki Kodou no Hate". They call him a lewd old man, a pervert teacher, a person who doesn't wash his clothes... and an idiot.
- Art Evolution: The sequel features somewhat less cartoony proportions.
- Artificial Riverbank
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The mouse kaiju in one of the later levels, as well as Ichiro Tamura, the salaryman who shows up to fight it so it won't harm his daughter.
- Also in its equivalent stage from the second game, Nyaragon (a giant cat).
- Attack Reflector: Completing "Music Hour" in the sequel results in the three housewives rescuing the popstar JIN 2 successfully by grabbing missles launched by an enemy helicopter and throwing them back at it.
- Attract Mode: Leave the sequel idle at the title screen or main menu and a demo of the first phase of an early level will play on medium/Kakan ni Oen difficulty.
- Auto-Revive: In the sequel, if your spirit meter runs out during any mission before the last two on easy/Kigaru ni Oen difficulty, the screen fades to white as usual, but the president of your Ouendan squad will appear on the touchscreen, telling you to get enthusiastic before bringing your spirit meter back up to just over half full and letting you continue immediately right where you failed, with a brief amount of Mercy Invincibility. Fail again on the same mission, though, and it's Game Over. Video here.
- Autosave: Both games auto-save after a successful stage clear.
- Badass Arm-Fold: The guys in Yuuhi do this before starting a song.
- Badass Cape: Kiryuuin Kaoru, his blue team counterpart, has a rather nice cape when he isn't cheering.
- Battle Aura: As the people you cheer get fired up, they're surrounded in flames with a rumbling burning sound.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Takuya has to face all sorts of dilemmas in his mind, or else he'll wet the bed. Of course, Real Dreams are Weirder, so the situations include the not-Mario Brothers fixing pipes and giant sumo plugging dams in an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield.
- Bears Are Bad News: There's one that appears in the sequel during the "Go My Way" level, where your target has to wrestle it into submission. It later appears in a cutscene in Hard Mode in one of the game's more... memorable moments. Right before the sad level.
- Beast and Beauty: No matter what you do, Goro Okami's girlfriend will eventually find out he's a werewolf. Fortunately, she thinks he's adorable like that.
- Beautiful All Along: Sachiko when you pass "Koi no Dance Site."
- Big Eater: Anna has a brief stint as one in "Okoru Kotoba" judging by how large her bowl is compared to Aoi's and Sayaka's. Also, in the same song, when Kai notices that he and the others have to start cheering while they're in the middle of eating, he wolfs down the entire pot.
- In the first game at the start of "Linda Linda", Kai is shown to be looking a bit too eagerly at the restaurant menu, like he's planning to order everything on there.
- Big "OMG!": Dan and Joe yell "Oh! My God!" when you fail either of the first two phases of "Shanghai Honey".
- Big Rock Ending: No better way to close out the final song of the second game.
- Bilingual Bonus: One for the Japanese players. In the second game, Ookami Gorou, the star of "Kibun Jōjō ↑↑", has "Wolfie" written on his shirt in English.
- Bishie Sparkle
- Bishōnen: JIN2 is this in extra-sparkly flavour.
- Hayato Saionji could count as well, due to his waist-length hair and somewhat calmer-looking disposition. Shinta could also count if you don't think he looks too girly.
- Biting the Handkerchief:
- Junior does when you pass the second part of "Bang! Bang! Vacances!" as another rival for his affections is written in.
- The three fangirls in "Music Hour" also do this in the opening cutscene.
- Bland-Name Product: In the second failure scene of "Ready Steady Go", the MHK channel replaces the NHK. There's also a soccer tournament called the "Wild Cup".
- Blank White Eyes
- Brutal Bonus Level: "Samurai Blue", while not quite nearly as hard as the last level, definitely qualifies when 90% of the beatmap is made of eighth notes spaced like quarter notes.
- But Not Too Foreign: There are plenty of these in the sequel.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Your Life Meter in both games is called the kiai meter, or spirit meter, representing the strength of your Ouendan's cheering spirit.
- Hajime's pose before cheering in the sequel is exactly like Kai's pose in-between cheering segments in the original.
- In the second game, Takuya's parents in "Bambina" are the couple from the first game's "Melody". "Go My Way" in the second game features Shizuyama Kazebayashi, and the vase he makes at the end of the song (which turns out good if you do well in the song, and bad if you don't) calls back to the first game's "Kokoro Odoru", where the objective was to inspire him to create a good piece of work. His "Big bang!" catchphrase also shows up again. "Zenryoku Shōnen", the first song from the second game, is almost identical to "Loop & Loop", the first song from the first game, featuring the same target and a similar problem (trying to get into university in the first game vs. trying to get a job in the second game). Both songs' intros even consist of Tsuyoshi Hanada yelling at his family about his problems while they just laugh at him.
- Calling Your Attacks: Spoofed in "Thrill". "Tiger Smash!" "Dragon Thunder!"
- The Cameo:
- The announcer, the cops Joe and Dan, and "Junior" from "Koi no Dance Site" are the only characters in every game, including Elite Beat Agents.
- The Elite Beat Agents and Tang Yao's cat can also appear cheering in place of the Ouendan in OTO 2.
- There's also a slight chance that Tsuyoshi Hanada is in EBA, although there are some slight visual differences.
- There's even a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo by, of all people, the freakin' Mario Brothers.
- Also, some of the targets of certain songs appear in the videos for the other songs. In the first game, Dan and Joe from "Shanghai Honey" appear in the ending of "Taisetsu na Mono". Shizuyama Kazebayashi from "Kokoro Odoru" appears in "Thrill", and the cat from "Linda Linda" appears briefly in the intro to "Melody". Also, if you fail the first section of "Over the Distance", Tang Yao from "Linda Linda" shows up. In "Linda Linda" itself, Tsuyoshi Hanada from "Loop & Loop", Sachiko from "Koi no Dance Site" and Hiroshi from "Atsuki Kodō no Hate" appear eating at the restaurant in the ending.
- In the second game, Ebi-yama from "Okuru Kotoba" appears in Takuya's dreams (and in a poster on his bedroom wall) in "Bambina".
- Cap: The sequel, like the first game and Elite Beat Agents, does not anticipate players to achieve scores of at least 10 million, but since the new "hidden mode" boosts scores by 50 percent, it can be possible to score more than that in the very final mission on expert mode...if you can ace it all the way through with a full combo, resulting in the score counter maxing out at 9,999,999.
- Also, the game also does not anticipate you to score at least 100,000 bonus points on a Spin Marker, which would be humanly impossible to do. But if you use tool assistance to spin the Spin Marker extremely fast to generate that amount of points, the bonus indicator caps at 99,999.
- Catchphrase: Shizuyama Kazebayashi is really fond of yelling "BIG BANG!"
- Cherry Blossoms:
- "Atsui Kodou no Hate" in the first game ends with Hiroshi the teacher being thanked by his graduating class amidst cherry blossoms.
- Also in the song "Glamorous Sky" in the second game, there is a girl actually named Sakura. And to make it meaningful, she's the person that the (10-year old) target has a crush on who is being transferred to another school. In the second section of the song, the kid personally takes her to a (fake) blooming cherry blossom tree.
- The dead tree at the top of the map in Ouendan 2 blossoms at the end of the final level, and retains this appearance if you revisit that difficulty.
- The tree on the menu screen blossoms once you've finished the game on all four difficulties.
- Christmas Episode: The final bonus mission in Ouendan 2, "Samurai Blue" takes place during the Christmas season.
- Circle of Friendship: Both games end with the inhabitants of Earth singing and dancing together to fire a giant hadoken of love and music at whatever was going to destroy the world.
- Class Idol: Wakana in "Thrill" is labeled as such.
- Club Stub: The Versailles Academy choir club in stage 2 of OTO 2 has only two members, including new recruit Yuria, and is on the verge of being closed. The level becomes focused on bringing the choir club to glory.
- Coincidental Broadcast: The intro to the final level of both games.
- Colony Drop: The final stage of the first game has the Ouendan joining forces with the entire planet to destroy an asteroid hurtling towards Earth using nothing but the power of music and passionate cheering.
- Combined Energy Attack: Intense cheering from all around the Earth helps save it from its crisis in the final level of each game.
- Comic-Book Time: In the first game you help unite a couple in an early mission. In the last mission they already have a baby. In the sequel, the kid is now six years old and they have a second baby. So that's at least six years and 9 months... the main characters, however, seem to remain the same age. Considering the game also involves traveling back to the ancient Egypt era to help Cleopatra get a total makeover, it's not a stretch to believe that cheer squads used that same sort of time travel to watch over the couple.
- Continuity Nod: Characters from earlier stages make cameos in other stages.
- And characters from the first game appear in the second as well. Takuya's parents are the couple you united in one of the first missions.
- Part of the entire map in the first game gets reused in the second, although a couple of changes were made to the surrounding area.
- Couch Gag: Two types - the Skyward Scream of the people in trouble, and the Ouendan arriving on-scene.
- The Cover Changes the Gender:
- "Bang! Bang! Vacances" was originally done by boy-band SMAP. The game used female singers, likely to fit the scenario better.
- A similar thing happens for "Shounen Heart", but they make the singer an old man instead, for a similar effect.
- Critical Annoyance: When your spirit meter drops below 50 percent, its icon will change to an exclamation mark, your dancers will droop down in demoralization and the camera will zoom up close to them to warn you that your mission is in jeopardy. If the spirit meter is almost empty, the camera will zoom closer to the leader's face and the exclamation mark becomes two exclamantion marks.
- Crowd Chant: "OUENDAN!!! OUENDAN!!!"
- Cue the Sun: A very triumphant example of the trope is in the second game's ending — you did just save it, after all.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Aoi's Expy in the sequel, Honoka Kawai, faceplants in the menu screen.
- Cute Kitten: The cat has been a staple of the games, and even becomes a playable character if you cheer on the last two levels of the sequel in Elite Beat Agents mode.
- Darkest Hour: The ending of "Countdown". The global freezing gets worse to the point that the Yuuhi Quendan shoves the Cheering Nobility out of an incoming ice block, Taking the Bullet for their rivals to their apparent freezing deaths in the process. The people are shocked and saddened from what just happened as they began to lose hope. Until Takuya, the young boy who had bed wetting problems from "Bambina", starts to hear the Ouendan chanting to him from the spirit and begins the Crowd Chant for Ouendan to rise up. With the assistance of the Nobility leading the cheer, the Ouendan rise back up and revived by the cheers which leads to them and the Nobility work together to combine their powers to rally the entire world to save the Earth by reviving the Sun with The Power of Love.
- Dark Horse Victory: Do well for the first section of "Guts da ze!" and your target, a racehorse, barrels to first place. But that's not the end goal — it keeps going in pursuit of an escaped robber.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Players going to Ouendan 2 after having played Elite Beat Agents expect Insane difficulty's beatmaps to be exactly like Hard's, only rotated, shrunk and faster. Ouendan 2 subverts these expectations by slightly changing Insane's beat maps by adding extra beats, in addition to the above changes... sometimes. There are only five songs which don't have any changes between Hard and Insane (Glamorous Sky, Believe, Zoku, Samurai Blue, and Countdown). While Ouendan did do the same, the changes in Insane were a little more subtle (barring Shanghai Honey) and done less often.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The Nobility's boat is called the Asahi Sunrise III. Asahi means sunrise.
- Destructive Savior: Passing the "Zoku" stage (Giant Robot vs. Giant Cat) while failing all the scenes still ends in the robot defeating the cat... but the next scene in the ending reveals that the clients now have to work off the debt incurred for repairs.
- Determinator: Forget everyone else, Tsuyoshi Hanada practically tops all of them. He's failed his entrance exams and been rejected by employers 99 times each. Not only that, his family normally treats him like crap. No wonder why he's so desperate in the beginning of the game.
- Developer's Foresight: Normally, when you have a fresh save file in the sequel, you'll only see Hajime Tanaka and Ippongi Ryuuta on the difficulty selection screen, as you can only choose easy or medium difficulty. Since you have to complete the game on the hardest available level to unlock the next difficulty level, you can no longer see just the Yuuhi Town Ouendan on the difficulty selection screen by the time you unlock hard mode because the difficulty screen will automatically change to add the Asahi Town Ouendan leaders just after you clear the first mission, which is when you'll see them for the first time in the cutscene that kicks off Act 2. However, if a player hacked the game to unlock all difficulties from the start, the developers would still allow the player to see all the Yuuhi Town Ouendan leaders by themselves on the difficulty screen◊ instead of, say, letting the game crash.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Though more of a Foregone Conclusion, the young Masashi in the sequel's second bonus stage ends up missing his childhood crush Sakura as she transfers to a new school.
- Disappears into Light: Rina does this at the end of "Believe".
- Dissonant Serenity: The game overs for the last level involve the team(s) you cheered with smiling. You know, after completely freaking out over the fact that the world is going to end and you couldn't do a damn thing about it.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Momotaro if you fail one section of "Shounen Heart".
- Distressed Dude: JIN 2, who even in the final stage of OTO 2 needs to be saved by his middle aged fangirls from an incoming ice rain.
- The Ditz: If you notice, the Meganekko cheerleader girl Aoi Kanda just can't do anything right outside cheerleading, though she's supposed to be able to speak around seven languages fluently.
- Do Well, But Not Perfect: Carried over from Elite Beat Agents to the second game — getting X's all the mid-song scenes but still managing to reach the end of the song will result in a slightly different ending than normal. The cheerleaders even look unsatisfied at the results screen. However, accomplishing this is rather difficult, especially at higher levels, due to the speed at which the life bar drains and the fact that filling out a good string of notes near the end of a segment can push it back into the upper half.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Sakura exhibits this in the beginning of "Glamorous Sky" because of her being required to move.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The second game has a lot more in common with Elite Beat Agents than the original engine-wise. No single-cart multiplayer or saving replays, for one, and more inconsistent spacing between notes.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: Both games use this to show the all the world's people cheering together during their respective final levels. The Statue of Liberty in particular shows up in both.
- Epic Hail: Can you shout "Ou-en-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!"?
- Expository Theme Tune: The tutorial theme basically translates to "Cheer, cheer, cheer! Put your fighting spirit into it! Cheer, cheer, cheer! We are the Ouendan!
- Expy: Eisaku is a dead ringer for Phoenix Wright. They have identical color schemes, identical clothes, and very similar hairstyles. When he gets fired up, even that slight difference disappears, to where the two are virtually indistinguishable.
- Face of a Thug: This tends to apply to the male Yuuhi Town Ouendan members, notably with Ittetsu, Atsushi and Kai, thanks to their mohawk, eyepatch and glaring scarred face respectively. Despite this, they go around cheering people on through their problems.
- As leader, Kai can be pretty intimidating with his tall delinquent-esque appearance and scarred face, and tends to take a no-nonsense approach when training his squad. However, it's implied he's not so scary once you get to know him.
- Fake Difficulty:
- Unlike in most other rhythm games, the Life Meter drains constantly. For one, it's possible to fail a song in mid-combo. Also, it is possible to be wedged into an Unwinnable by Design situation: you survive a marker-dense section, but flub so badly that you don't make it through the next, comparatively-easy section and even getting all 300's at that point only delays your inevitable failure.
- When you build up a long combo, a wall of fire will start to rise as your Ouendan's passionate cheering builds up. But as flashy and cool it may look, it may also make timer circles for yellow and red markers somewhat harder to see.
- Fanboy: Takuya from the same game seems to really like Ebi-yama, a sumo that you help cheer on. Not only does a dream version of him appear in the stage Takuya is in, the kid even has an Ebi-yama T-shirt and poster in his room.
- Fangirl: The three middle-aged fangirls of JIN 2 in OTO 2. And apparently, Honoka and Reika (the supporting rival cheerleader squad) may also be his fangirls, since they appear carrying a fan with his name (Honoka) and a Hachimaki with his name written (Reika).
- The Hot Springs Episode opens with a Shirtless Scene. Ryuuta is ripped and Kai is a full-on hunk.
- Note that if you attempt this with the Cheer Girls, the only thing censoring their breasts is the gap between the two DS screens. In an interview with the developers, the original scene was actually more modest, with the sexier version thrown in just to see what they could get away with. They admit even they were shocked that Nintendo let it slip through.
- Festival Episode: "Melody" from the first game.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The squads couldn't exactly handle the heat death of the sun alone, now could they? One bonus pic later reveals the squad members all got together for a picnic, with the Normal mode leaders in a heated match of... arm wrestling?
- Freaky Is Cool: Thank God Kumi's a dog person.
- Funny Afro: J-Yama in the "Taisetsu na Mono" stage of OTO 1. He has a special sort of hairspray that can give people these with a side order of becoming Brainwashed.
- Floral Theme Naming:
- All of the Nobility have this.
- There's also Yuria and Kaoruko Tsubaki from "Rirura Riruha".
- Flower Motifs: Nanako, a character in one of Ouendan 2's multiplayer scenarios, has the Paulownia Seal on her tennis racket, to contrast with her rival Ageha's Gem-Encrusted golden one.
- Friendly Rivalry: The Yuuhi vs. Asahi Town Ouendan in the sequel. They don't get in the way of each other's heroic work.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Asahi Town Ouendan emblem's "OEN" is not only a romanization of the Japanese word for cheering, but could also stand for "the Ouendan of Encouraging Nobility".
- Gag Dub / Gag Sub: Tasian's Lets Plays of both games take these and run with them. For example, the first stage of the first game canonically focuses on a Japanese teenager studying for his university entrance exam. In the Lets Play, itís changed to a guy named Feathers trying to become Japanese. It only goes downhill from there.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Nintendo strangely allowed the developers to make the hot springs level on insane difficulty start with your cheergirls taking a bath nearly naked, with only the gap between the two screens obstructing their chests.
- If you get halfway through on the final mission in the sequel with your spirit meter over 50%, the pass cutscene that plays shows passionate hot-blooded energy generated by people beaming from, among other things, the crotch of a statue.
- Girlish Pigtails: Aoi.
- Girls with Moustaches: Reika dons a fake one in "Samurai Blue".
- Gonk: JIN2's fangirls. Christine Kamogawa's design counts as well, looking almost superflat compared to the more generic supporting cast.
- Good vs. Good: Played with in the sequel, which shows cinematics of the Yuhi Ouendan confronting the Asahi Ouendan, who are both heroes, at the start of each act.
- Gorgeous Gaijin: Anna, the blonde Cheer Girl, is also the most shapely one.
- Gratuitous English:
- In general, the Cheer Girls use this, saying "GO!!!" instead of "Osu!" and saying "3, 2, 1, GO!" in English at the start of every song.
- In the first game, "Melody" has this with the foreigners saying "Look! Matsuri? Help shimāsu!".
- Various characters across both games will occasionally segue into English interjections when exasperated or fired up.
- Gratuitous Spanish: In the sequel, "Zoku" frequently uses the Spanish interjection "olé". You might mishear it as "ouen".
- Guest Fighter: Agent J, from Elite Beat Agents, is a playable multiplayer character in Ouendan 2, added in as downloadable content from DS Download Stations.
- Gun Kata: Dan and Joe do this if you do well enough in the first two parts of "Shanghai Honey".
- Hemisphere Bias: The results screen of the final level in both games is a globe centered on Asia and Japan. In Elite Beat Agents, it's on North America.
- Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": The protagonist of Christine Kamogawa's novel in the "Bang! Bang! Vacances" stage is obviously supposed to be an idealized version of Ms. Kamogawa herself.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of "Countdown", the Yuuhi Ouendan shove the Cheering Nobility out of an incoming ice block.
- Heroic Willpower: Goro Okami resists turning into a werewolf at socially-awkward moments by willpower and encouragement.
- Historical Beauty Update: Literally done with Cleopatra. She starts off as a fat Gonk, then uses pyramid power, miracle dances and the support of Japanese cheerleaders to make herself beautiful in order to impress Antony.
- Historical Domain Character: You get to cheer on a fat Cleopatra in one of the first game's levels.
- Hot-Blooded: We see the clients regaining their fighting spirit at the start of every stage, and the background also gets engulfed in flames as you build up a long combo. It's also in the title of the sequel.
- Hot-Blooded Sideburns: Look at the game's cover art. Those things could pierce a battleship. And Ryuuta's not alone when it comes to this trope either. Kai has them too.
- Hot Springs Episode: There's one in the second game, complete with shirtless scenes of all the (non-rival) leaders.
- Humongous Mecha: Fuji-One in the "Zoku" stage of OTO 2.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- Of course, they're all in Japanese, because this was a game made for Japanese people.
- To the point where the second to last line in the credits is "Thanks for your love and support!" In Japanese, the word for both "support" and "cheer" is ouen.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The official names for the difficulties: Rather than Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane), we have Light-Hearted Cheering, Bold Cheering, Fierce Cheering and Magnificent Cheering.
- Incendiary Exponent: Seeing the series' main aesthetic, it's not all that surprising when fire starts popping up in the background. Even the logos light on fire in the sequel.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Poor Goro Okami has been cursed to transform into a werewolf whenever he sees something round, white, shiny, or some combination of the three, which gets in the way constantly on a date with his girlfriend.
- I Wished You Were Dead: Mana Shiratori to her sister Rina. Guess what level we're on.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: Fail a song and you get to witness a cutscene showing the consequences.
- Kansai Regional Accent: The target in the "VISTA" level, where he decides to sell shoes to aliens. He can also go to Venus without a helmet.
- Kawaiiko: Honoka Kawai, of course◊.
- Kiai: Pretty much the whole freaking game.
- Kill It with Water: In the first game, the "Shanghai Honey" level has the two cops Joe and Dan discovering that water is a weakness for the machines that are the alien robots attacking the city.
- Large-Ham Announcer: The announcer is probably one of the larger hams in the game, despite only appearing in select levels.
- Look Both Ways: Rina sure didn't.
- Loudspeaker Truck: One level in the first game has the squad backing up the driver of one against an afro-sporting rival.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The lyrics to some of the songs don't really fit as well as they should. Some border on Intercourse with You.
- Madness Mantra: Christine Kamogawa starts frantically typing "Ouendan" repeatedly before yelling for them.
- Magic Skirt: Compared to the first game, the sequel features next to no chances for any accidental panty shots.
- Maneki Neko: The cat mimics one of these in the end of "Linda Linda".
- Manga Effects: Pretty much all of them, since the games introduce each level with a sequence of manga panels.
- Manly Facial Hair: Accompanied by his jagged sideburns, Kai has an impressive pointy beard that looks like it could poke someone's eye out. Ittetsu also grows one in the second game.
- Manly Tears:
- On the final stage of both games, by the sideline characters, before the final segment of the song.
- Also shed by the entire Encouraging Nobility team at the end of "Believe" from OTO 2.
- And the opening cutscene of "Sekai wa Sore wo Ai to Yobundaze" has even more tears from the Nobility!
- Martial Arts Headband: Some of the leaders wear this, but Hajime switched his for a nice hat in between the first and second games.
- Meaningful Background Event: As "Neraiuchi" goes on, you can see the pyramid getting more and more complete in the background where the Ouendan are.
- Meaningful Name:
- There are more than a few. Most notably, the Noble team in OTO 2 have names that mirror their rival's, and Goro Okami had the misfortune to have a surname that could also mean "Wolf".
- Each difficulty's leaders have a theme in their forenames. Easy has names that refer to inexperience, Normal has animal themes and Hard is basically a representative of what their team is like. Insane has Floral Theme Naming for everyone except the American.
- Aoi Kanda's name is retroactively meaningful. As the cheergirls didn't get profiles in the first game, the fact that she could speak multiple languages could reference the fact that Kanda is a place in Tokyo known for its large supply of books.
- Mega Neko: Nyaragon, from one stage in OTO 2. Possibly created as a counter to the giant blue mouse in OTO 1, and likely as a Shout-Out to Elite Beat Agents.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The first game's cover art leans toward this trope. Conversely, the second game's leans towards the opposite direction.
- Moment Killer: Tan Yao can be a huge cockblock on certain levels.
- Mood Whiplash: Averted with the sad stage for each game.
- There is no "OUENDAAAAN!" cry, and the Ouendan themselves are completely silent throughout the stage. The first game's "Over the Distance" just has a quiet "Ouendan...", while the second game's "Believe" doesn't have anything at all. The usual features in the game over screen (Pose of Supplication and a haiku on the failure) are also absent, instead giving the player silence as the defeated client walks into the distance.
- Also, after completing the stage, the "Ouen! Dai seikou!" cry is much, much quieter — and the cheer squad has tears on their eyes.
- Morton's Fork: In both games, what happens story-wise at the end of a phase in a mission has no immediate bearing on how the story of the following phase plays out. If you make it all the way to the end of any of the final "Save the World" Climax stages, the ending you get is always the same, regardless of whether or not you passed or failed each section.
- Mr. Fanservice: Both Ryuuta and Kai are revealed to be pretty muscular while bathing in the hot springs.
- Mr. Imagination: Christine Kamogawa's entire level counts on her getting inspirations from her Imagine Spots.
- Mukokuseki: Averted. Although it becomes somewhat less so in the second game, all the characters at least maintain realistic eye colours. You know they're doing a good job when the Japanese guy with blonde hair and blue eyes◊ still looks Japanese. Even the Americans have a few brunettes among them like Dan and Joe.
- NaÔve Newcomer: Shinta Kikuchi comes off as this much moreso than (the already somewhat experienced) Hajime Tanaka. Several of his pre-song intros imply he's a lot less skilled or confident than the other ouendan (such as being unable to play the piano well or staring down in fear from a bridge overlooking a highway.)
- "Nations of the World" Montage: In the final level of both games.
- Nintendo Hard:
- Compared to other rhythm games, the beatmaps themselves are actually pretty simple. What makes the game Nintendo Hard is the absolutely unforgiving life meter, which penalizes you greatly for missed notes, such that it only takes a few missed notes before you fail out, and even if you manage to survive at first, not only is it really hard to build your meter back up, but you can still fail out later because the meter is always decreasing when you're not hitting notes. Which, by the way, makes it possible to fail even if you are hitting all the notes, unless you're hitting most of them perfectly. Oh, and the final stages? They like to throw a lot of spinners at you, and then have you hit tricky note sequences after the spinners, which tend to make your hand a little shaky for some time afterwards...
- Ouendan 2 adds Hidden Mode, unlocked after reaching the second-highest rank. Activating it gives a 1.5x multiplier to your score... but now the shrinking circles are missing and the notes disappear shortly before you are expected to tap them too.
- No Antagonist: Unlike Elite Beat Agents, the final missions of both games pit the Ouendan against a natural disaster instead of a Big Bad.
- No Flow in CGI: While difficult to notice during gameplay (since one's attention is on the notes), the cheerleaders' hair and clothes are notably stiff in movement. Also, even though Kaoru Kiruyin, the hard leader for the Asahi Town Ouendan in the sequel, has a cape, it's removed from his 3-D model.
- No Name Given: The announcer has no given name, so everyone calls him... announcer.
- Non-Indicative Difficulty:
- Some of the more note-intensive maps on Hard are actually easier on Insane. The notes are smaller and appear for a shorter period of time without changing the beat pattern of the level (much), so the screen is less cluttered and more conducive for players relying on reflexes.
- In Ouendan 2, switching back to Easy to replay the stages with the Hidden modifier can result in more slip-ups due to how differently Easy handles Hidden mode. Unlike the other three difficulties, the notes do not disappear on Hidden but the shrinking rings are still removed, making it more difficult to judge when to hit without memorizing the notes.
- Nostalgia Level: The second game's first level is almost exactly like the first game's, except with job applications instead of entrance exams. The target even looks the same despite the Art Evolution and Time Skip.
- Ocular Gushers: The Ouendan's MANLY TEARS in break scenes at the last stage of each game.
- Office Lady: Sachiko in the "Koi no Dance Site" stage of OTO 1.
- Ojou Ringlets: Reika. Ageha, a multiplayer character, also sports these.
- Old Superhero: Momotaro in the "Shonen Heart" stage of OTO 2.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Shintarou Kuroiwa, the young genius physician from OTO 2, who can cure male pattern baldness. And give farm animals therapeutic massages. And repair microwave ovens. And make an entire island's inhabitants so healthy they burst with muscles, even the women and the elderly.
- One-Steve Limit: Averted in the sequel, in which we learn that Tsuyoshi Hanada isn't the only character to have such given name. It's also the name of a backup dancer for the Asahi Town Ouendan...Tsuyoshi Moriyama.
- Only One Save File: The games only allow one save file per copy. Ouendan 2 lets you save up to 20 replays of any mission without Elite Beat Agents' one replay per mission restriction.
- Open Heart Dentistry: In the second game, a doctor is called to "operate" on a man's bald head, a horse, and a malfunctioning microwave oven.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: They change if they see anything round.
- Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: It rains right before the Tear Jerker of the second game.
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: Any time something sufficiently Hot-Blooded happens.
- Plucky Office Girl: Sachiko in "Koi no Dance Site" in the first game, who gets dumped with all the office duty mere hours until the company's 100 year anniversary celebration. She does manage to plow through all her duties at the end.
- Pose of Supplication: Seen in many of the game over screens.
- Potty Failure: If you happen to fail "One Night Carnival" and "Bambina".
- The Power of Friendship: What revives the Ouendan in the second game.
- The Power of Love:
- If you take note throughout the levels of each of the games, you'll notice that a common theme shared between a surprising number of them involves a person trying to romance a suitor with the Ouendan's help.
- The last level of the second game is literally set to a song called "That's What the World Calls Love!" The ending even has the singer yelling "LOVE AND PEACE" like crazy.
- The Power of Rock: The final level of each game has you avert a planetary crisis while playing to awesome music.
- Precious Puppy: The Nobility have a pet dog that appears in some levels.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Overlaps with Title Scream (and even the title itself is this). "Osu! Tatakae! Ōendan!"
- Every time you complete a stage, the Ouendan shout "Ōen! Dai! Sei! Kou!" (literally "Cheering! Big! Suc! Cess!")
- And some of the songs have it too. "Sekai wa Sore o Ai to Yobundaze" from the second game notably has "Ai! To! Hei! Wa!" and then later in English: "Love! And! Peace!". The opening scene to that song also features a Crowd Chant of "Ou! En! Dan! Ou! En! Dan!".
- Punny Name: Ookami Gorou. As anyone who's played Ōkami will tell you, "Ōkami" can mean "great wolf" if written with certain kanji. Also, changing the kanji for "rou" in "Gorou" and changing the first kanji to "Ga" would give it the meaning of "hungry wolf".
- Purple Is Powerful: In the final mission of the sequel, the cheering energy of both Ouendan and all humanity takes a violet hue as it revives the sun.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The angel who deals with the recently deceased Ishida Tetsu has no problem letting him temporarily return to Earth so he can give his wife a proper goodbye.
- Red Armband of Leadership
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Invoked with the team colours in the sequel.
- Rivals Team Up: The last level of the sequel.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: What happens if you get a Game Over on the final level in both games.
- Rōnin: Tsuyoshi in the "Loop & Loop" stage of OTO 1.
- Salaryman: Ichiro Tamura a.k.a Ichiro-Man, in "Taiyou ga Moete iru" stage.
- Save-Game Limits: In either game, you only have one save slot available to play on.
- "Save the World" Climax: You spend most of the game cheering individuals to find success in life, but the final levels involve cheering on the whole world to avert a planetary crisis.
- Say My Name: OUENDAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!
- Scenery Censor: See Fanservice above.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: Played with in the sequel, in which the campaign difficulty does not smoothly scale up with progress, at least according to the in-game difficulty ratings. For instance, the fourth act's "Bambina" is rated 6 out of 8 amidst songs that are rated 4, just before the next act's "Believe" is rated 5. The first song of the sixth act, "Zoku" is actually rated to be harder than the second one, "Music Hour" (7 vs. 6).
- Self-Imposed Challenge: All-300 runs. Getting one in even one song (especially at the higher difficulty levels) is a sign of considerable skill. If you can do the whole game, you can safely consider yourself a Rhythm Game god. Do the entire sequel on hidden mode? No rhythm game should ever pose a challenge to you again.
- Shout-Out: Considering how the games were made to lampoon as many Japanese Media Tropes as possible in what is considered an E rating in Japan, some references were inevitable.
- "Koi no Dance Site" is a Cinderella Plot, and "Monkey Magic" is a pastiche of Toy Story. The "Koi no Dance Site" section is even called "Cinderella Proclamation! Will Junior Turn His Face Toward Her!?" ("Cinderella sengen! Junior wa furimuku ka!?") in the game.
- There are also the plumbers that totally do not represent any other Nintendo-made plumbers in any way in "Bambina".
- "Taiyō ga Moeteiru" has a main character who's powers are similar to Ultraman's.
- The multiplayer tennis stage in the sequel could be seen as a shout-out to Aim for the Ace!.
- Doumeki Kai's name is a reference to Cromartie High School, one of the main influences of the art style.
- Lastly, the Asahi Town Ouendan emblem in the sequel looks similar to the Elite Beat Agents badge in that they both have a few things in common: a shield-like design, laurels and three Roman letters.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Reika has the looks of one combined with Ojou. Her profile states that she had just recently tried instant ramen.
- Shy Finger-Twiddling: Masashi does this when you pass the first section for "Glamorous Sky".
- Silliness Switch: The downloadable "EBA mode" for the sequel replaces the 3-D skins of Ouendan with the Elite Beat Agents, to give Japanese players a taste of what the West got when iNiS wanted to bring the first game out overseas. If you don't play on Karei ni Oen difficulty (since the Divas are cheerleaders after all), enjoy watching some Men In Black ridiculously dance like ouendan on the touch screen. Anyone who's familiar with Agents will know that something isn't right with the choreography here.
- Single-Stroke Battle: The end of the "Julia no Shoushin" stage in the second game. With hairdressing tools.
- Similar Squad: The Encouraging Nobility to the original Ouendan.
- Skyward Scream: To re-iterate: OUENDAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!
- Solar CPR: The final levels of the second game involve re-igniting the dying sun.
- Something Else Also Rises: Momotarou's reaction if you fail the second scene of "Shounen Heart". Note this is after he sees two women bathing in a hot spring.Momotarou: Whoa-! Something I forgot is swelling up inside of me~!!
- Sparkling Stream of Tears: Sakura does this when you pass "Glamorous Sky".
- Stealth Pun: The opening of "Zoku" on the hardest difficulty, featuring the cheergirls packing boxes. You could say that Anna is the most stacked.
- Stealth Sequel: In the absence of an actual Elite Beat Agents sequel, Ouendan 2 becomes the closest to one with the inclusion of the downloadable EBA mode, as well as the incorporation of new features from the said game like replay save, Rumble Pak support and postmortem review.
- The Stoic: In contrast with the Yuuhi Ouendan and even with his own squad, Kaoru is rather mild mannered throughout the sequel. Of course, like the rest of the Nobility, he has his Not So Stoic moments at the end of "Believe" as well as in the last two songs of the game.
- Stripperiffic: Not so much for the cheergirls in OTO 1, but in OTO 2, it becomes obvious since they get more revealing costumes.
- Super Robot: "Zoku" from the second game has the team cheering on a mechanics team trying to rebuild their Humongous Mecha. To defeat the giant Kaiju cat rampaging the city, the robot must defeat it in a footrace, arm wrestling, and Hundred-Square Calculations.
- Surreal Theme Tune: If you're familiar with some of the song's lyrics, you realize that some levels don't have fitting music. For instance, "Samurai Blue" has you help an anthropomorphic signal with antiquated linguistics deliver a text message, but the song is about the national soccer team. Not that it makes things any less Hot-Blooded.
- Testosterone Poisoning: For a game series rated A in Japan, definitely. The art style alone was influenced by Fist of the North Star and Cromartie High School. The theme of the games is passionate love.
- Thanking the Viewer: A bilingual version of this trope (Japanese and English) pops up at the very end of the credits for the sequel, in acknowledgment of how frequently the two Ouendan games were exported.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Obviously.
- Theme Naming: The Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels all start with "k". note
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Christine Kamogawa from "Bang! Bang! Vacances!" in Ouendan 2.
- Those Two Guys: Part of the Power Trio in each difficulty play. Also Joe & Dan the policemen.
- Time Skip: Six years between the two games.
- Title Drop: The ouendan theme, which plays during the tutorial and each game's ending, ends with the game series title. During the final level of the second game, the combined cast yell out the title as the song begins.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Reika and ramen.
- Train-Station Goodbye: "Glamorous Sky" in OTO 2.
- One of the backup cheerleaders, Atsushi Saito, is named after the character designer.
- And the other backup, Ittetsu Suzuki, is named after the chief animator. In other words, Tuckerization Theme Naming.
- Underdogs Never Lose: Because they have your support. Hopefully.
- Unstable Equilibrium: The scoring system. Your score multiplier for each note hit is directly proportional to your current combo. Break combo at the beginning or end? No big deal. Break combo in the middle? Rage Quit!
- Unusual Eyebrows: Mainly of the Fiery variety, although Ryuuta sports some impressive Lightning brows.
- Urine Trouble: On some levels, notably "Linda Linda", a kitty tends to do his business near the target, especially if the Ouendan aren't doing well.
- Verbal Tic:
- Tan Yao says "aru" a lot after sentences, which is usually an indicator of a Chinese person.
- Monkey-kun's toy soldier partner has "de arimasu," which is a very military way of speaking. Or maybe a "Shout Out" to a certain sergeant too.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The robots from "Shanghai Honey" are weak to water. And decide to invade a planet that's two-thirds made of it. And start their invasion on an island nation.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Replace "music-hating alien invasion" with "The Sun is dying" and "petrifying death beams" with "falling chunks of ice", and the final stage of the second game is almost shot-for-shot identical to EBA's.
- Widget Series: The game relies heavily on humor that most non-Japanese folks won't get.
- Wolf Man: Gorou Ookami in the "Kibun Jōjō ↑↑" stage of OTO 2.
- Word Salad Title: The sequel's.
- World of Ham: You don't say?
- Yamato Nadeshiko: The goal of "Go My Way" is to turn an ex-wrestling champion into this.