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Monster Hunter 5th Anniversary Monhan Ongakubu :: Review by Chris

Monster Hunter 5th Anniversary Monhan Ongakubu Album Title: Monster Hunter 5th Anniversary Monhan Ongakubu
Record Label: BMG Japan
Catalog No.: BVCL-26
Release Date: September 30, 2009
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


In 2009, BMG Japan released a commemoration album for the Monster Hunter franchise, five years after the original game was released. It features vocal tributes by SEAMO and Abingdon Boys Schools, four remixes centred around the Monster Hunter main theme, and a bonus DVD featuring various opening movies. While there is a decent amount of content, not much here is really worthwhile here...


The album opens with the song "Okaeri" by Japanese rapper SEAMO. This is a sentimental piece featuring sentimental vocals and tropical instrumentation. Though very derivative, it's not bad overall and may inspire some nostalgia for those who have played Monster Hunter. That said, its direct relevance is pretty low; having previously featured in other albums, it is something of a mystery why it was also included on this tribute. Like most of the tracks, it seems to have been included mainly for commercial reasons.

The second track is "Valkyrie -Lioleia Mix-" by popular Oxford-inspired Japanese band Abingdon Boys School. The music itself has a mainstream J-Rock sound, yet is also quite original and energetic too, with its charismatic vocals and lively instrumentals. However, this remix is very similar to the original version and any references to Monster Hunter are vague. It's therefore probable that this track, also featured in the album Abingdon Road, mostly served as a cash-in.

There are two remixes of the Monster Hunter main theme featured at the centre of the album created by NBR's Kosaka Daimaou. The first remix has proved quite popular in clubs with its blend of electronic beats and orchestral passages, but it is still pretty repetitive and generic. The 'Mecha Kijin Mix' is even worse with its quasi-industrial elements and breve track time. It is a mystery why these remixes — and indeed the 'Danceable Club Mix' album that followed — attempt to make the main theme more anthemic than it was ever intended to be.

The album ends with two extended non-stop remixes of the music from the Monster Hunter score. Those unfamiliar with the score may find this a welcome treat, since it features most of the music in relatively preseved form. However, most others will find the remixes too similar to their originals and object to the abrupt transitions between each track. No doubt the Monster Hunter main theme would have lost its charm on listeners with its endless remixes too. Altogether these non-stop remixes account for 20 minutes of the total 35 minute track time of the album.

There is also a bonus DVD included with the album. It includes videos of the opening movies for the three main titles and three portable titles released for the series thus far. While the movies are quite similar in nature, they certainly offer some of the most impressive moments of the series visually with their gorgeous scenery and epic monsters. Furthermore, the orchestra music intersynchs beautifully with the visuals and the Monster Hunter 3 movie — underscored by the FILMharmonic Orchestra Prague — is especially magnificent.


In summary, this album is mostly an unfulfilling tribute to Monster Hunter and seems to have been made for commercial rather than creative themes. The tracks by Abingdon Boys School and SEAMO are decent, but they are present in other albums and have little relation to Monster Hunter. The other remixes are all quite uninspired and samey with their generic beats and unyielding focus on the main theme of the series. Stick to the original scores and orchestral albums instead.

Overall Score: 5/10