Before the days of downloadable ringtones, the only way you could get original tunes on your cell phone was by using the built-in ringtone composer, using the phone’s numeric keypad to enter a sequence of tones (press 1 for Do, 2 for Re, etc) to create a custom monotone melody.
While the days of trying to figure out the right key combination for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” have long since passed, it seems the tradition of push-button telephone composing has been carried on into the 21st century and mastered by Japanese Otaku.
A user going by the handle Reguza recently submitted a video to Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga in which he performs a stunning 13-digit rendition of Hatsune Miku’s “PoPiPo“. The video shows Reguza using his middle finger to swiftly navigate his telephone’s keypad, providing a spot-on accompaniment to the song as it plays in the background.
Believe us, it’s way cooler than it sounds. Take a look for yourself! (Click the speech bubble at the bottom right corner to turn off the scrolling comments)
Reguza comments that he was inspired to learn the keypad after seeing a series of similar performances uploaded to Nico Nico by user Rimori. Below is one of Rimori videos, “U.N. Owen was Her” from the Japanese PC game Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.