Howl's Moving Castle: α Wave Music Box ~ Ghibli Collection
International Title
Music By: Joe Hisaishi
Record Label: Della
Running Time: 43:28 Discs: 1
Release: December 2004 CD Number: OPJ-538
Anthony Romero
Sweet merciful Christmas! Okay, to be fair, one knows what they are getting into with this one just from the title. Ignoring the nod to Howl's Moving Castle (2004), which is clearly just to cash in since it was recently released, this CD is a collection of music from the Studio Ghibli films done in a music box style. Problem is, what might sound like an amusing concept on paper really isn't. Many of these will just have the listener wishing they were hearing the original composed pieces. A few of these do work well in the music box, or orgel, format though. If I was younger, I would love to fall asleep to the music box version of Stroll from My Neighbor Totoro (1988). The dilemma, though, is that a lot of these just aren't very enticing. Furthermore, ones like the track on Princess Mononoke (1997) are hardly recognizable at all from their original source.

Of course, that's looking at the release from an adult only perspective. I'm sure parents, especially any who enjoy the always great animated films by Hayao Miyazaki, will be thrilled at the prospect of this release, as will their younger kids. So it has an audience that will appreciate it, without doubt, and older collectors should just be aware that there is a good chance this won't appeal to them.

As a side note, the CD itself lists only "Music Box" as a credit for the source of the music, although most of the compositions were done by Joe Hisaishi.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. The World's Promise - Howl's Moving Castle
    Composer: Youmi Kimura
  2. Merry-Go-Round of Life - Howl's Moving Castle
  3. Always With Me - Spirited Away
  4. City with an Ocean View - Kiki's Delivery Service
  5. Day of No Return - Porco Rosso
  6. Nausicaä Requiem - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  7. Stroll - My Neighbor Totoro
  8. Princess Mononoke - Princess Mononoke
  9. Picking You - Castle in the Sky
  10. Again - Spirited Away