Album Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute
美少女戦士セーラームーン THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL TRIBUTE (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute)
Various Artists
11 Tracks
King Records

Summary:

Some of Japan’s musical talent — including Moon Pride‘s Momoiro Clover Z — cover hits from the 90s Sailor Moon anime.

Review:

Note: Titles and romanizations are taken from the US iTunes release. However, I am reviewing the CD version which includes a bonus track.

Now, if you are interested in the physical version, the cover is gorgeous. Yes, Sailor Moon looks a little tall and lanky, but the image of her as well as the back cover and spine have a holographic glitter effect. The back cover is just an old image from the third artbook with the whole Sailor Team, so that’s a disappointment.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute glitter cover Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute back cover

The front cover, which usually is the front cover of the included booklet in a CD release, is actually a separate image you can use as a mini poster. As long as you don’t mind giving up the image of the heroine herself, of course. Still, it’s unusual.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute booklet and coverThe back of the faux cover contains full information about the songs like the singer, composer, etc. The cover of the booklet itself matches the colorful rock or whatever Sailor Moon is standing on and contains the lyrics as well as images from the anime.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute booklet Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute booklet

As for the CD itself, it’s done like a stargazing chart or something like that. The phases of the moon make up the edges, and the planetary symbols are arranged in the center in a star shape. Such a nice looking set.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute cdNow, onto the songs themselves. I was a little disappointed in the track list. It’s a little short, and if the focus was going to be on the theme songs, why not all the ending songs?

“Moonlight Densetsu” – Momoiro Clover Z

Of course a cover album would include the quintessential Sailor Moon song, and it isn’t a surprise that MomoClo, who was a major part of the pre-Crystal ad blitz, would be doing the honors. For me, one of the biggest regrets of 90s Sailor Moon music is that Peach Hips never recorded a cover of this song. It’s not bad, but it also sounds like one of 100s of covers you can find on YouTube, Nico Nico, etc. In fact, I’d argue that some of the online covers are better. It’s like they couldn’t decide whether to do a classic rendition or go all-in on guitars.

“Heart Moving” – Syouko Nakagawa

A pretty good track thanks to Nakagawa’s vocals. The original sounds quite dated, and the cover gives it a dance club vibe.

“Princess Moon” – Haruka Fukuhara

Even if just going by the opening and ending themes, “Princess Moon” is toward the bottom of the list of good Sailor Moon songs. It’s not bad, but it’s hopelessly outclassed and feels very childish compared to other songs. Unfortunately, “childish” is how I’d describe this track. And instead of keeping the calm feeling of the original, it sounds like a bunch of kids picked up random instruments at a garage sale and decided to cover “Princess Moon” for their first performance.

“Otome No Policy” – Yakushimaru Etsuko

The only reason this song should ever be in your rotation is if you want to fall asleep. It’s one thing to have a slow version of a song, but it shouldn’t be boring! “Otome no Policy” is supposed to be like a promise to oneself, a reminder to pick yourself up and move forward despite life’s challenges. Instead, this sounds like what someone who has just been crying might sing to herself as she’s kicking a stone on the road. A scene that might have been moving in the anime during the breakup arc, but dullsville on a CD. My least favorite track on the album.

“La Soldier” – Tommy heavenly6

Here comes Tommy heavely6 to show some of the other artists how to do a cool cover. Unlike a lot of the other songs which are essentially singers performing professional karaoke, this features a whole new arrangement that starts off with a crack of lightning. This song has always had an air of mystery about it, and the artist’s vocals and guitar builds on that. In the anime, “La Soldier” was a battle song, but this “La Soldier” is more like a song that plays when the girls decide to fight. One of if not the best track on the CD.

“Ai No Senshi” – Mariko GotoxAvu chan(ziyoou-vachi)

My other favorite, and the only one to feature male-like vocals. I say this because there seems to be conflicting reports on whether Avu-chan considers themself transgender, nonbinary, or something else. Just listening to the song, I assumed it was a male and female duet, as Goto’s high pitch contrasts with Avu-chan’s deeper voice. Regardless, it’s a welcome change of pace. The cover keeps the fighting spirit of the original while also giving it a friends-in-battle appeal by being a duet. The verses are a little weak, but I love the chorus sections are awesome.

“Tuxedo Mirage” – Momoiro Clover Z

First of all, no one will ever be able to come close to Peach Hips’ original version. Part of me says their performance is better than “Moonlight Densetsu”, but I also wish they had updated the arrangement for their voices. Sections sound almost a cappella, and they aren’t suited to singing without music.

“‘Rashiku’ Ikimasho” – Haruko Momoi

I’ve heard Momoi on various songs before, and this version is very suited to her style. Slightly cutesy, partly carefree, and a heavy digital feel. A good song choice for her.

“Sailor Star Song” – Mitsuko Horie

Horie is one of the queen of anisongs, but of course the real reason she’s on this track and singing this song is because she played Galaxia. I go in streaks with “Sailor Star Song”, sometimes thinking it’s a lot of fun, and sometimes missing “Moonlight Densetsu”. But dang, even being in her 50s, she sounds just as good as when she was a young adult. I don’t think this shows off her vocals well though, but most character covers of theme songs are usually not as good musically. It’s about the fun of the character singing, and in this case, Good Galaxia after the Evil Galaxia sang in “Golden Queen Galaxia”.

“Kaze Mo Sora Mo Kitto…” – Makoto Kawamoto

The song is too long. It’s like, 1:30 longer than the original I believe? And the singer gives a very boring and subpar performance. It sounds like a group booked at the last minute for music night at a coffee shop.

“Moonlight Densetsu (French Ver.)” – Clémentine

Uh… it’s okay I guess? If you go the digital route, you’re not missing much. It’s nice, but there are so many other Japanese Sailor Moon songs that could have been added on here versus an international version that most listeners will not understand. Anyway, it’s a very quiet and calm version of “Moonlight Densetsu”, but it has more changes besides being a slowed version of the original. No really interested, and it’s a bit boring in my opinion, although the singer’s voice is very pretty. Although “Moonlight Densetsu” is iconic, part of me wondered how the already French-inspired “Ai no Etude” would have sounded like.

Final Comments:

All in all, the above video pretty much shows the best part of each track. If you don’t care for the sample parts of each song, the full version is going to be even worse. “La Soldier” is the standout hit without a doubt, but a lot of the other songs are just okay. However, if you can get the physical CD for cheap, it does make a very pretty addition to your Sailor Moon collection.

Reader Rating


4/5 (1)

4 Comments

  1. dreager1

    Sounds like a pretty good buy for big Sailor Moon fans. I’m not into music enough to buy CDs typically as I’ll just stick to Youtube even if the quality isn’t quite as good. I definitely like the designs all around though, even just the little indentations on the actual disc make the whole thing feel more fancy

    Reply
    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      I listen to a balance of CDs, YouTube, and music streaming. It’s nice that more Japanese music is becoming available to purchase, but it’s still often cheaper to buy the CD and rip it myself if I want to than buy a digital copy. Plus once in a while there’s a really pretty set like this one.

      Reply
      1. dreager1

        Definitely a good balance there. It’s interesting how buying the CD can be cheaper, is it because for digital you have to buy it song by song?

        Reply
        1. Krystallina (Post author)

          Well, sometimes there are CD sales/store coupons, sometimes you can find them used for cheap on eBay and elsewhere. Plus some songs are locked to the album release.
          Like this album is $13 on iTunes. I got my copy for $14 shipped, which includes the bonus track. Obviously, digital is better when you’re only interested in 1-2 songs or when buying a CD single, but Japanese music is still fairly limited.

          Reply

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