Sailor Moon Crystal Chronicles Soundtrack – Review
Sailor Moon Crystal Chronicles is the reboot of the Sailor Moon series that many millennials loved when they were children. It’s different in two big ways; first it took its inspiration from the manga, instead of the pre-established anime, and secondly it abandons the pop rock 90’s sound for a more orchestral feel.
The official soundtrack is a two disc affair with a collection of all the songs from the show. We here at PopGeekly weren’t too familiar with Yasuharu Takanashi’s work until recently with Crystal Chronicles. The album has the opening and closing themes of the show which are respectively called Moon Pride and Gekkou (Moonbow), which are sang by the girl group Momoiro Clover Z.
Moon Pride, lives up to its title, as the women of Clover declare themselves to be pretty warriors and independent. They will fight for love and will do so without the need or the help of men. They will find power in their female friends and together make the world a better place. This isn’t too far from the theme of Sailor Moon, and fits perfectly with the rest of the soundtrack. Its arrangement is a typical Jpop fair with a relentless back beat, and vocals that give each of the women of Clover a moment to shine.
Gekkou (Moonbow), is different. It’s slower, and has that closing anime feel to it. There is an atmospheric element to the backdrop as the lyrics speak of a longing to meet again. This theme is meant to pay homage to the central Romeo and Juliet story of Sailor Moon. It fills the listener with a feeling of sadness mixed with an unbowed desire to stay strong until the next moment of happiness comes. It’s as if the show is waving goodbye and telling the listener, we’ll see each other again soon.
The heart of the soundtrack comes from the music that was taken from the first thirteen episodes of the show. It also covers the Dark Kingdom story arc, and the Black Moon Clan arc. Listening to this soundtrack is like descending into a good story, which is great because Sailor Moon Crystal Chronicles is a great reiteration of the manga.
The music starts off the same way the anime does, which is with a cosmic, otherworldly feel. There is an emphasis on the use of choir hymnal style hums, and organic orchestral strings. The songs themselves start off a little simple in that manner, but rev up, especially when you get into the transformation sequence songs. This consistent slowing down and speeding up works with the narrative in that manner, especially the first arc in that it is busy establishing characters, backstories and setting up the impending mysteries.
There is also a nice variation on each of the Sailor Scout’s transformation theme songs, like Usagi’s being closer to the core orchestral arrangement but Rei’s taking on a more eastern and lightly tribal-techno element. Calling the soundtrack a snore fest however, would be irresponsible as it is not, listeners will find this out soon enough. This is especially true in the soundtrack’s more battle heavy themes.
This is also when we see the biggest variations in Takanashi’s work. The added elements of light electric beats and center stage demanding electric guitar riffs, you know play time is over and it’s time to “Wake Up!” We found some of these themes to be relatively familiar to that of the battle songs presented in epic video game soundtracks.
This album is recommended to those who enjoy the Sailor Moon story arcs, but also to those who enjoy atmospheric instrumental arrangements that marry perfection between the digital interruptions of electric guitars, with that of the organic nature of hymnal vocals and string orchestral arrangements. The soundtrack is limitedly available on iTunes.
Have a listen and let us know what you think.