In 2010, DiskoWarp Music approached me with the request to review their latest project known as Anime Love Hardcore, which featured high-energy covers of well-known opening and closing themes from well-known anime titles that were licensed. I came away with a generally favorable impression and liked what it was trying to do and figured it would do great on the con rave circuit.
Now almost two years later, Pete Ellison is back with another entry and has enlisted the help of some major talent, as three tracks feature the vocal stylings of one Cristina Vee and two tracks may prove to be the most surprising to those that have never heard her sing, as her covers of Azora no Namida from Blood+ and Discotheque from Rosario + Vampire are easily the standout tracks on the compilation. Aside from those two, she also does an on point cover of Still Doll from Vampire Knight.
The rest of the album is composed of covers from such series as Magic Knight Rayearth, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bakemonogatari, Black Lagoon, Gundam Wing, Doraemon, and Paradise Kiss. The covers of “Ready Steady, Go” and “Renai Circulation” were enjoyable and fun, but the cover of “Yuzurenai Negai” felt out of place as the closer and “Lonely in Gorgeous” as the opener fell flat for me. That’s not to say they were bad covers, because they weren’t; the arrangement of the tracks just needed a little bit more tweaking to get the most impact out of each song.
The album as a whole also benefits from a more consistent and improved production, as the first compilation sounded rather rushed at times. There’s also less of a reliance on samples and flourishes and they don’t dominate the track as they would have on the first album. The album taken as a whole is perfect if you’re into anime and happy hardcore, but this is an acquired taste after all.
Closing this out, would I recommend this album to anime fans? Yes, since this is an album ready made for the con rave circuit with its high energy and volume. I liked this one a lot more than the first, that’s for sure and I’m not as enthusiastic about happy hardcore as I used to be. The crew at DiskoWarp should be proud their releases can make me like happy hardcore again, anime or no.
Anime Love Hardcore 2 will be released on Tuesday April 24th. A review copy was provided by the publisher.