Many many moons ago when I was still an intern here at Tofugu, I wrote an article about Imaginary Flying Machines and their melodic death metal album Princess Ghibli. For those of you who missed the post (summer 2011 was a long time ago, after all) you can check it out here. But, bottom line – it was awesome.
Luckily for both Studio Ghibli and death metal fans alike, the bands have gotten together again for a second album, taking even more Ghibli classics and remixing them into the finest melodic death metal ever to grace your ears. If you liked the first Princess Ghibli album, you will definitely enjoy Princess Ghibli II.
Like its predecessor, Princess Ghibli II contains 12 facemelting tracks taken from classic Ghibli films and remixed into metal melodies by the likes of Disarmonia Mundi, Sophia Aslanidou, Yoko Hallelujah, Blood Stain Child, Neroargento, Living Corpse, plus newcomers The Stranded, and Rise to Fall. The new album also includes two remixed tracks from the previous release.
1. Toki No Uta (Tales from Earthsea) (feat. Disarmonia Mundi & Sophia Aslanidou)
2. Rouge No Dengon (Kiki’s Delivery Service) (feat. The Stranded & Yoko Hallelujah)
3. Kaze No Tani No Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) (feat. Rise to Fall & Sophia Aslanidou)
4. Sayonara No Natsu (from Up On Poppy Hill) (feat. Disarmonia Mundi & Sophia Aslanidou)
5. Sekai No Yakusoku (Howl’s Moving Castle) (feat. Living Corpse & Yoko Hallelujah)
6. Ai Wa Hana Kimi Wa Sono Tane (Only Yesterday) (feat. Blood Stain Child)
7. On Your Mark (feat. Disarmonia Mundi & Yoko Hallelujah)
8. Umi No Mieru Machi (Kiki’s Delivery Service) (feat. The Stranded)
9. Umi No Okaasan (Ponyo On the Cliff) (feat. Living Corpse & Yoko Hallelujah)
10. The Merry Go Round of Life (Howl’s Moving Castle) (feat. Neroargento)
11. Gake No Ue No Ponyo – Neroargento Remix (Ponyo On the Cliff) (feat. Destrage & Yoko Hallelujah)
12. Tonari No Totoro – Neroargento Remix (My Neighbor Totoro) (feat. Disarmonia Mundi & Sophia Aslanidou)
Since the album’s release last month, I’ve had the opportunity to give it a good listen multiple times over. Since it’s always strange to hear classics like these remixed into something so strange and far removed than their originals, it can take some time getting used to. Usually when one thinks of Studio Ghibli, death metal is not the first thing to come to mind. However, I believe these tracks are definitely worth listening to a few times to acclimate your ears.
Like I said, the tracklist includes two remixes from the previous album, “Tonari no Totoro” and “Gake No Ue No Ponyo.” These were hands down my favorite tracks from the last release and the remixes are both pretty awesome. Neither of them is drastically different from the originals, but they are both very well done and upbeat. Just hearing Ponyo and Totoro in this style of music brings a smile to my face. Check out the videos below to see the difference.
I really liked the original remix of “Tonari no Totoro” but the newly remixed track is no slouch either. It really feels a lot more upbeat and dancey than the original remix. Well, dancey for a metal track anyway.
“Gake No Ue No Ponyo” was another one of my favorite tracks from the first CD and I think they did a pretty good job with the re-remix on this one too.
So what do you think? How do these newly remixed remixes stack up to the originals? I think they did a pretty good job with them. I really like them both.
The CD also includes two tracks with no vocals, “Umi No Mieru Machi,” and “The Merry Go Round of Life.” When I first heard them, I kept waiting for the vocals to come in, but they never did. That’s not to say that they are bad songs, I just find them less interesting than the rest of the album.
Another new thing for this album is the inclusion of some dubstep. The two tracks to include some wub-wubs are “Umi no Okaasan” and “Sekai no Yakusoku.” I’m not entirely sure how I feel about them using dubstep in these tracks, but it did seem kind of strange. Dubstep together with metal in the first place is kind of a strange combination, but after a few listens I didn’t mind as much.
But overall, I really like Princess Ghibli II and I think it makes for a great sophomore album. Like I said at the beginning of this post, if you liked their first release, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. However, if you didn’t care for the original Princess Ghibli, there’s a very strong chance you won’t care for this one either.
Other than the two re-remixes on the album, my two favorite new remixes would have to be “Toki no Uta” and “Rouge no Dengon.” I really like each of them and to me they stand out from the rest on this CD.
In my opinion, I think this album is just as good as the first. None of the new tracks are as hilariously awesome as Totoro’s and Ponyo’s from the first, but let’s be honest – you can’t really top those. If you want to listen to/buy the whole album, you can check it out over on Amazon or iTunes.
So what did you think? How this album stack up to the first one? Is it better? Worse? The same? What were your favorite tracks? Let us know in the comments!