Doujin Album: ANIME HOUSE PROJECT ~Kamikyoku selection vol.2~ – Review

Album Title: ANIME HOUSE PROJECT ~Kamikyoku selection vol.2~
Anime Title: Various
Artist: ARM, phoo, Tetsushi, minami, void, Sound CYCLONE, D.watt
A~YA, Rekka Katakiri, Chata, Asana, anporin, Yuko Hirabuki,
Ayumi Nomiya, Witch, Aki Misawa, miko, Ayu
Catalog Number: ATCD-21002
Release Type: Doujin
Release Date: November 25, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan


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Track Title Artist Time
1. TOMARE! A~YA, ARM, minami 5:45
2. Cagayake! GIRLS Rekka Katakiri, ARM, minami 6:30
3. you Chata, phoo 5:51
4. Dango Daikazoku Asana, Tetsushi 5:57
5. Do You Remember Love anporin, ARM 5:29
6. Katayoku no Icarus Asana, ARM 5:38
7. Motteke Sailor Fuku! Yuko Hirabuki, minami 5:02
8. Face of Fact Ayumi Nomiya, void 4:48
9. Give a Reason witch, Sound CYCLONE 4:59
10. Tsuki no Mayu Aki Misawa, D.watt 7:07
11. Super Driver miko void, minami 6:37
12. Fuwa Fuwa Time Ayu, ARM 5:40

Tracklist and miscellaneous album information provided by VGMdb.

Review: I enjoy experimentation and heartily endorse efforts to mix and arrange music just to see how another person’s creativity can breathe new life into a musical work. But the ever present danger is the potential for the effort to backfire, resulting in a travesty.  While that word is too strong of a term in this instance, there are a few tracks in this ANIME HOUSE PROJECT album that are discordant enough to antagonize my eardrums if I listen for too long.

That IOSYS is inconsistent is nothing new. My experience with them comes from their remixes of Touhou music, and each track in any album will vary in quality.  For example, their Touhou Suisuisusu album includes fantastic big band jazz and gothic lolita themes, but those are offset by strange monologues in which the speaker appears to be stuttering or singers who screech horribly. The good generally outweighs the bad, but on the whole, an IOSYS album is like a box of chocolates.  You just never know what you’re gonna get.

Unfortunately, we really must have gotten unlucky with our box since ANIME HOUSE PROJECT vol.2 fails to reach the bar that IOSYS’s previous works have set. The main problem lies in the lack of a truly outstanding, memorable track to compensate for all the terrible ones because the better pieces lack the dynamism and creativity that we have seen from the group in the past.

It doesn’t start off too badly though.  “TOMARE!’s” jazzy flavor mixed with A~YA’s laid-back vocals showcases ARM’s ability to remix the original’s pop rhythms into something new while retaining the original’s energy.  The bass and keyboards that accompany the vocals during the verses and the trumpets that set the tone during the chorus section sculpt out a vibrant atmosphere that makes this arrangement a fun and enjoyable listen.

TOMARE!

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But immediately, “TOMARE!’s” creativity is offset by “Cagayake! GIRLS’s” sheer awfulness.  The background beat is about as bearable as being hit repeatedly by a sledgehammer, leaving one to ponder whether ARM was feeling particularly sadistic when he arranged this piece.  Though the vocals themselves aren’t terrible, it’s difficult to fully judge its quality when that pounding beat overshadows anything else in the song that could have been worth mentioning.  I knew this arrangement was doomed when it took me five tries to even get through this song.

Cagayake! GIRLS

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And just when you thought that “Cagayake! GIRLS” is about as bad as it could possibly get, the album decides to slam “Motteke! Sailor Fuku” in your face.  The song’s guitar groove catches your attention, giving you the false hope that minami’s arrangement will be ROCKIN’.  Unfortunately, the vocalist, Yuko Hirabuki, comes off sounding like some aging has-been rapper whose deep voice has seen better days.  When you keep in mind the shoujo rap origins of the song, this performance is so off-putting that it’s difficult to figure out whether you’re supposed to laugh or cry after listening to this disaster.

Motteke! Sailor Fuku

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The other songs are a bit of a mixed batch, but are decent enough.  “You’s” arrangement adds a techno beat on top of Chata’s calm vocals, but otherwise, the song doesn’t get a major facelift as the original’s poignant atmosphere is preserved well.  On the other hand, “Dango Daikazoku” manages to be a bit more enjoyable than its source and that’s because the techno beat along with a more dominant singer helps carry the song a bit better.  Same goes for “Super Driver.”  In spite of the weird keyboard opening, I found miko’s voice synthesizer-like vocals to provide an engaging experience since it is better than Aya Hirano’s boring rendition in the original.

you

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Dango Daikazoku

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Old school shows also get a nod in “Do You Remember Love” and “Tsuki no Mayu.”  The former song gets dressed up with a techno beat and through anporin’s singing, the song keeps its solitary feel and subdued, yet passionate feelings.  “Tsuki no Mayu’s” arrangement has more of an early presence because of the throbbing beat, but once Misawa’s voice enters, one cannot help but be entranced by the arrangement’s etherealness.  The feeling of loneliness is pervasive throughout this piece, bringing to mind a person drifting out in the far reaches of space without having a traveling companion.

Tsuki no Mayu

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Lest the good arrangements like “Tsuki no Mayu” lull you into a false sense of security, you can always expect ARM to unleash a bit of silliness at the very end in “Fuwa Fuwa Time.”  The opening notes sound like some psychedelic piece from Katamari Damacy as it uses a vast array of synths to grab at your attention along with Ayu’s distorted vocals.  Once more, ARM goes overboard with the synth since it obscures the vocals far too often, making it really hard to enjoy the performance.  The whimsical nature of the original is retained save for the part where the singer has to speak some lines – that part has been changed to a rap – and though this is not usually my kind of music, I think the execution is amusing enough for it to pass by a razor-thin margin.

Fuwa Fuwa Time

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There are a lot of things wrong with this album and I suspect that a part of it is because IOSYS, and ARM in particular, has not been able to draw me in the way the way they used to lately, and this is a problem that plagues this album too.  The variety of tracks to be had range from headache-inducing to enjoyable, but none are truly outstanding.  If there’s one thing that I’ll praise it for, it’s that none of the tracks are boring.  But anyone looking for consistent, quality anime music arrangements are well advised to search elsewhere.

Rating: So-so

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

20 thoughts on “Doujin Album: ANIME HOUSE PROJECT ~Kamikyoku selection vol.2~ – Review

  • February 23, 2010 at 11:51 pm
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    I usually don’t listen to remixes, but oh god. They butchered Cagayake! GIRLS.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2010 at 12:21 am
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    Fuwa Fuwa Time was probably the best, although wow. they really butchered Motteke! Sailor Fuku and Cagayake! Girls. Funny how both songs have simlar titles:

    Word followed by exclamation mark! More word(s)

    Motteke started off good too (as you said), but quickly turned to shit.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2010 at 11:37 am
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    So they did a bunch of songs that have been done by everyone and their grandma, and they did them horribly. Sounds pretty worthless to me.

    Then, I’ve never been an IOSYS fan. I find everything I’ve heard by them unbelievably annoying, even if I managed to find them catchy (WHY DO I KNOW THEIR MARISA STOLE THE PRECIOUS THING BY HEART?!?! WHYYYYY??!?!)

    Reply
  • February 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm
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    @Reltair
    I’d say “butchered” is putting it mildly :p

    @Glo
    I almost wonder how sadistic they were feeling. I might not have strong composition skills, but I’d have to work pretty damn hard to make a piece sound that bad.

    @digitalboy
    IOSYS not your thing? I figured that if nothing else, you’d approve of Dead Girls Bebop 😛

    And yeah, this was something I decided to do out of left field. Sometimes it’s worth exploring other stuff, but this clearly wasn’t one of those times :\

    Reply
  • February 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm
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    Just gave it a listen, and it was pretty darn good! I suspect it had a lot to do with them not ruining it with any of their ungodly vocalists LOL

    Reply
  • February 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm
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    @digitalboy
    Also the jazz. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to turn away from Touhou jazz bits. :p

    Reply
  • February 26, 2010 at 2:18 am
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    The title “Anime House Project” leads me to fear if this is the state of the current house scene in Japan. Not that this album has any semblance to house music whatsoever.

    The tracks are rhythmically retarded and overmixed like there’s no tomorrow, lacking both complexity and cohesion. They feel totally uninspiring, as if the tracks couldn’t decide if it wanted to be synthpop, jazz, or J-core. Bleeehggghghhh

    Reply
  • February 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm
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    @kevo
    Is that really a term? I’m assuming that it means people getting together for mixing music with techno beats and the like, but if you can elaborate on what that entails, that’d be pretty awesome.

    I’m usually fine if the album in question wants to put in a diverse track list of jazz, techno, trance, or whatever, but the music needs to be good. Like you said, there’s no cohesion, complexity, and very little creativity in here, so yeah, blergghhhhh is right.

    Reply
  • February 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm
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    I have to disagree about this rendition of Dango Daikazoku as being better. For me, that is not the kind of song which requires a beat to make enjoyable. The title means “A Big Dango Family”, and the original vocals and lack of beat gave it that childish sound which the title (and lyrics) reflect. Then again, that might not be your thing 😛

    I generally dislike remixes. They usually don’t end up worth listening to, since the mixed in beat nearly always disrupts the flow of the song. Occasionally you get a techno song further remixed. Techno Squared.

    Reply
  • February 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm
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    Cagayake! GIRLS was really quite terrible. My eardrums are still hurting from the first 5 seconds… or more like 25 seconds… or the whole song. The beats are too jarring for my tastes.

    But I enjoyed Tomare and You.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2010 at 12:45 am
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    @Yu
    I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of Chata, so her original rendition of Dango Daikazoku was nice and pleasant, but it could have been a lot better with a different artist at the helm. Will say that adding a techno layer on top is hardly the pinnacle of creativity there, so it’s understandable if you think the remix doesn’t add a lot to the original.

    @Yi
    This is fairly representative of the whole song, so you can imagine why I’d be annoyed with how it all played out. Like I said, it took me 5 listens to get through and you probably saw why that was :p

    Reply
  • February 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm
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    The best remix of Dango Daikazoku is A.Q.’s gangsta remix end of discussion.

    and zzero, house is a kind of dance music (invented in my hometown of Chicago thank you very much) which was descended from disco. Speaking of which I’ve noticed that there are no house anime remixes I’ve seen. Hmmm….

    Reply
  • March 1, 2010 at 12:59 am
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    @kevo
    Yeah, that version is pretty rad. Not gonna lie.

    Also, sounds like an opportunity if I ever heard one. I guess the closest thing that we have so far are para para versions of famous anime themes?

    Reply
  • March 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm
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    I only liked 2 songs of the first AHP (K-ON! and Rinbu Revolution) and then only Cagayake. It was okay for “anime house” but I think Japan’s house music is way different that European house.(?)(The songs were edited on the vocals and only a flat beat in the background? Yeah, not much. K-ON songs were the only songs that were only a bit spiced up) I have no clue since the only house music I listen to is English/Euro ones, and not Japanese ones. Basically, if you’re used to listening to traditional house music, AHP won’t really sound like house music.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm
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    @Crystal
    As you can probably guess, I don’t have that much in the way of knowledge with house music, so I can’t really comment. All I know is that most of these songs aren’t as good as I was hoping. Do look forward to giving AHP1 a listen though!

    Reply
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  • October 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm
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    I’ve always had weird tastes in music, but fuwa fuwa time and super driver from this album are in my top 10 ever. I also liked cagayake! girls. I have to agree though, the rest is pretty terrible.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2015 at 11:53 am
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    I love this. Exactly what I was looking for. My favorite tracks so far are “you” and “tomare”. “you” has a really nice bassline, very chill track whereas “tomare” almost has a ska vibe to it, which is great. Overall a great album.

    Reply
    • May 25, 2015 at 11:24 pm
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      Welp, I’m glad at least one of us likes it. This is really not my thing at all 😛

      Reply

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