I’m what they call an 80s baby. As in, I was born in the space of time between 1980 and 1990, 1988 to be exact, so I happen to have hopped on that particular bandwagon just before it left the station. Good thing too, we all know what train came next; the one with S Club 7 and Wigfield on it. Fuck that, literal, noise.
Realistically, I was in no position to enjoy the 1980s when I was in them; a lack of general communicative skills was a much bigger problem before the internet came along. Despite this, I’ve made every effort to embrace the ’80s baby’ monicker and truth be told it really hasn’t been that hard. How can you possibly hate the decade that gave us Duran Duran, compact discs AND neon leg warmers?
The answer is you can’t.
This week sees the launch of Sailor Moon Crystal; a rebirth for one of the most popular and beloved shows ever to leave Japan’s shores, and what better time to revisit the original show? I know what you’re thinking; ‘Andy, Sailor Moon was a 90s show. You are wrong. And a jerk.’ Take it easy, Tiffany. Sailor Moon might very well be a 90s show, but its soundtrack is very much living in 1987. So sit back, quit complaining and lets listen to the bizarre, eclectic and frankly unapologetically mental, score for Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.
Sailor Uranus & Neptune
So what makes the score to Sailor Moon all of those things I just said? For starters, a flagrant disregard for what we in the more sophisticated year of 2014 would call, discipline. Takanori Arisawa doesn’t jump between styles the way modern composers do, he just grabs bits of anything he’s got lying around and slams them together. He’s like some sort of music mashing mad man. In this track alone you’ve got all the synths and samples of the electric 80s, weeping violins, jazzy piano bursts, topped off with some south american rhythmic stuff. It’s nuts. In the best possible way.
For The Sake Of The Princess
Being a 90s anime, and considering how little has actually changed in anime since the 90s, Sailor Moon has its fair share of melancholic moments, referenced beautifully by Arisawa’s score. This is one such moment.
If Rainbow Mantle doesn’t convince you that Sailor Moon is actually an 80s baby at heart, you’re clearly unaware of the concept of time. From the second those opening synths chime this track sounds like some sort of bizarre 80s elevator music. The type of elevator music that would stick in your head for the whole day. And you wouldn’t mind. You can almost imagine it in the background to some kind of corporate training or induction video too. It covers a lot of bases.
Star Power Make Up!
Honestly this is where Sailor Moon wins me every time. Everything about this track screams everything that Sailor Moon is and isn’t. It’s undeniably Japanese, almost reminiscent of the Sonic The Hedgehog soundtracks at points, and those Rick Astley toms popping in every few bars place it squarely in the 80s. To hell with your facts. This is 80s, bitch.
I couldn’t really talk about Sailor Moon without including the original English theme song, could I? It’s brilliant. And terrible. And terribly brilliant. And brilliantly terrible. It’s everything I wish I could be and you feel exactly the same. Don’t fight it. You can’t fight it. She is the one named Sailor Moon.