Hime Trance Best – Review

Hime Trance BestHime Trance Best
Release Date: 5/14/08
Price: 2171 yen

I was hoping against hope that Hime Trance Best would actually be better than it looked on paper. I’m sorry to say that it’s not. Read my track-by-track impressions below, or skip to my overall impressions.

01. Sousei no Aquarion / Dank-One feat. ari
I really wanted to love this, but after hearing Delaction’s version everything else pales in comparison. Ari’s voice isn’t quite strong enough to pull off the really high notes. The definitive part of this song is the “aishiteru” lyric, and ari fails to sing it with any confidence. The music itself is pleasant, with a good amount of pianos and other instruments strewn about.

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02. Soko ni Aru Kamoshirenai… / Yoshimune Soundtrack
Still holds up well for a song from 2003.

03. Distance ~In Your Love~ / Misao Aoyama
Exactly the same as the Hime Trance 3 edit.

04. D.O.U.B.T!!! ~Ai no Kakehiki wa DA*U*TO*~ (Hime Tra Best Edit) / 4 Skips vs. Floorbreaker
Added backing synths during the chorus. Actually, it’s possible they were there before, and they’re just more prominent now.

05. Glitter / Kei
I think the song title says it all. More energetic than “Happy Days, Happy Times,” but not quite as catchy as “Sayonara.”

06. Flower (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix) / Pile
Spacey vs garamonn remixes all have similar synths, so if you heard their remix of “Prologue” you’ll know what to expect. “Flower” is nice and upbeat. However, they play around with Pile’s vocals a bit too much. I would’ve liked to hear her voice unaltered.

07. Love & Sunshine (Delaction Remix – Hime Tra Best Special Version) / 4 Skips
They basically Russian Rouletted this song. In other words, they added a lot of random vocal samples (“C’mon!”, “Somebody scream!”, “Party people!”). Nowhere near as intrusive as the “hostalk,” but kind of pointless all the same.

08. Friends / Love Scandals
Sniff, DJ Kousuke 🙁 This was originally a DJ Kaya instrumental, and then DJ Kousuke added vocals and his own brand of synths for its Hime Trance 3 debut. The melody is absolutely infectious.

09. Kimi e no Omoi (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix) / Tsukasa
Where’s Heavens Wire when you need him? Decent remix, but I’m sure Heavens Wire could’ve done so much more with this.

10. Y.E.S!! (Nihonbo Official Han) / Heavens Wire vs. Zodiac Force
YES! Piano trance! Sounds like a mix of previous 4 Skips vs. Floorbreaker tracks and Shohei’s remix of “Natsu Monogatari.” I approve.

11. Happy Days, Happy Times / Kei
Not the most memorable Kei song. I’d much prefer “Sayonara” or “Get Wild.”

12. Weather News ~Haretara Ii na~ (Hime Tra Best Special Version) / Gavin feat. Aya
My name is Gavin desu! Gavin has new (and longer) narration that mentions Hime Trance Best. Otherwise, exactly the same as before.

13. 1 Nichi (Big Kiss vs. Raversonic Remix) / Misa
Nothing new to report here.

14. Memory / Miu*Miu
This…still puts me to sleep.

15. Forever Love / Delaction feat. Chika
Hooray for barking samples! Still unbearably cute — just the way I like it!

16. Banzai (Red Monster Mocchi’s Edit) / Misa
I blame FARM for this. They used this remix on Mega Trance 01, so apparently EMI think they can get away with it, too. Why not use the excellent Overhead Champion mix of “So So” instead?

17. Zankoku na Tenshi no These / mint
This? Is amazing. Mint’s vocals sound more natural here, not to mention shockingly like the original. The production is also top notch, with vaguely eurobeat-y synths!

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18. Tokyo / Heart Land
Hahahahaha! This is indeed a Japanese cover of Keen’s “Tokyo.” I have a whole post on “Tokyo” coming up soon, so I’ll have more on this then.

19. Everybody Happy (Vocal Version) / mint
Much like “Memory,” this isn’t a horrible song, just a bit lacking in energy.

20. Realize (Club Mix) / Mari Ohta with Shujinko
Another rather old song. Still holds up well, I think.

21. KI*SE*KI* / 4 Skips vs. Floorbreaker
Nothing new here either.

22. In My Heart (Heavens Wire Rmx) / Tsukasa
Ends really abruptly.

Bonus Track
23. Love & Joy / Yuki Kimura
It’s “Love & Joy.” Again.

The “100% Japatra” idea wasn’t so bad in theory, but the actual execution is less than perfect. The track selection is extremely poor, favoring endless repeats of overexposed songs. It also seems like they went out of their way to choose the most sedate tracks possible. I mean, really, “Memory” and “Everybody Happy”?!

Most of the new tracks range from decent (“Flower,” “Kimi e no Omoi”) to outstanding (“Y.E.S!!,” “Zankoku na Tenshi no These”), but they’re not quite enough to save this release.

That said, the art is lovely as always, and the addition of a lyrics booklet — which, by the way, is entirely pink and white — is very much welcome. The stickers are nice as well, though totally not worth the extra 300 yen.

Unless you’re a really huge fan of these tracks, I’d suggest skipping this release and waiting for Hime Trance Speed instead. If you still want to buy, here are a few links:

HMV Japan

Amazon Japan

CD Japan and HMV both have samples up for all of the tracks. Note that CD Japan is out of first press copies, so if you really want those stickers try HMV or Amazon instead.

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