What with the weather and all, it’s been a crappy month personally, and I really needed a pick up, and lo and behold, things arrived from Japan! Yesterday, Okazu superhero Jye N. has sent me Volumes 3-6 of the new Sailor Moon manga and today, the rest of my last order , which includes the Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album (美少女戦士セーラームーン) THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL TRIBUTE). I am blasting it as I type.
When it arrived, I tweeted:
I have acquired the 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon Tribute Album. It comes with art, lyrics and feels. (T_T)
Mitsuishi Kotono’s message on the Tribute album site also basically says “Oh, god, the feels” only coherently and in Japanese.
It’s a good thing I already know the words to these songs, because the lyrics are written in hot pink over pastel backgrounds. Clearly, they do not think you will ever need to read them. ^_^
The art was a sweet touch. Lots of pictures any fan would know, (including a bunch of Haruka and Michiru appearances). The album cover is, as you can see, an original piece, similar to the new cover for Volume 1 of the new manga edition. The back has a classic Takeuchi image of all of the Senshi.
It was the image on the final page that finally got me choked up.
I’ve already gotten grumpy responses about this album. Look, let’s be honest, the music was never good. It has positive associations for some us. If you’re in the habit of retconning your life, or insisting things were always better back then, or just generally hating on the music, that’s fine. I’m perfectly okay with a new version of “Otome no Policy” because it was never really a great song. If you’re all ready to hate this album, fine. Go for it, be a frowny grump. I’m on my second listen and I’m smiling happily. ^_^
The album starts, as it must, with “Moonlight Densetsu,” sung by Momoiro Clover Z and it sounds pretty much exactly like one would expect. There’s no substantial changes to the song, and they do a good job with it.
The second track is “Heart Moving” sung by Nakagawa Shouko, known as Shokotan. Again, the song is substantially unchanged and she has a pretty confident voice. I wish they’d given her a better piece to sing, frankly. I know, I know, OP/ED, but there are better songs, dammit!
Track 3 is “Princess Moon” a song that I actually could not recall for a moment, by Fukuhara Haruka, a singer I do not know. She apparently performed this during the live concert. I have to say, her voice actually fit the “girlishness” of the song well. Once I recognized the song, I realized why I did not recognize it. It ended a portion of the anime I watched only a few times, compared with some of the other series, which I have watched over and over. And over. /cough/S/cough/
For Track 4, Yakushimaru Etsuko sort of breathlessly whispers her way through “Otome no Policy”. I kept waiting for the synth drum to pick up and the energy to rise. It wasn’t bad, though, just sort of quiet. It’s a song I can take or leave, so the remix was fine for me. ^_^
Tommy Heavenly 6 kicks on track 5, “La Soldier.” Honestly, if the preview for this track had not been good, I would never have bought the album, I love the hell out of this cheeseball song. Lightning strikes, rain and organ riffs, but no dogs howling. It’s still a hoot. We add the howls in ourselves.
Track 6 is “Ai no Senshi” and while I didn’t dislike it, I can’t say I liked it. Mariko Goto and Avu Chani sound like Yumi and Yuki from Marimite singing one of the two standout Sailor Moon music hits – and the one I like best. Okay, but not to my taste. I wish this had been a stronger track.
Now, if I had produced this album right here is where I would have put “Moon Revenge.” I know it’s not a OP or ED, but neither is “Ai no Senshi” and it’s absence is notable – Mitsuishi-san also makes the comment that she wishes they had included it. It’s a great song (by my standard of “great” Sailor Moon songs, of course. ^_^) Oh well.
Instead, Track 7 is “Tuxedo Mirage” ably performed by Momoiro Clover Z. This about where I started to cry. I have listened to this song so many, many times watching the anime. So many. I’m re-listening to this track right now…and I think they do a lovely job. I’m really okay with them. It “feels” a bit like the Peach Hips’ version. Very nostalgic. (For those of you not familiar with the original anime, “Peach Hips” was the unfortunate group name given to the five Inner Senshi voice actresses – Mitsuishi Kotono, Hisakawa Aya, Tomizawa Michie, Shinohara Emi and Fukami Rica - when they sang songs for the series.) The wife heard it for the first time and also fell apart, so I’m glad it wasn’t just me. (T_T)
Momoi Haruko, known as Halco, does a fine job with “Rashiku Ikimashou”, but I’ll forever resent it. ^_^; On relisten, this is a very good version of what is a really annoying song. ^_^ The wife was like “wow, I haven’t heard this in forever.” And I said, “SuperS” and we both nodded, like, right, of course we wouldn’t have watched that more than necessary.
Track 9 is the best track, IMHO. Horie Mitsuko, voice of Sailor Galaxia in the original anime, is perfect for “Sailor Star Song” which, admittedly, is one of my top five songs from the series, so I am massively, unrepentantly biased. I could listen to this over and over and I imagine I will.
Track 10 is an interesting remix and a very sweet rendition of “Kaze mo Sora mo Kitto” by Kawamoto Makoto. Many feels for this song because of the visual for the ED. The more I listen to it the more I like it.
The final track was an interesting and appealing choice. “Legend au clair de lune” is a French-language version of “Moonlight Desentsu” sung by Clémentine, a French singer who is based in Japan. This was really a nice nod to the support and popularity of this series in France. This track is a very “French”-sounding piano version; I almost expected to hear Jacques Brel start singing. Quite nice, really.
I was ambivalent when I ordered this album, some of the previews sounded meh, but really, if you are already a fan, it’s a decent tribute album. Nothing is going to convince anyone who is not a fan that this is stunning music anyway, so go ahead, enjoy it. ^_^
Overall – 8
Put it in your media player and unlock the feels!
Oh, and after listening to this album twice through, the snow stopped, the temperature rose 10 degrees and the sun came out. Just sayin’. ^_^