The Third Ending: the Sweet & Catchy Otome no Policy
Another look at the musical openings and closings of Sailor Moon, this time it’s the exceedingly lovely Otome no Policy. It may lack the deep emotional associations of, say, Heart Moving, but as an ending sequence it captures the familiar slice-of-life atmosphere that the show thrived upon.
It’s also a karaoke mainstay.
I love this ending. Otome no Policy conjures almost as many warm memories as Heart Moving, and you all should know by now how much I love that end sequence & song.
The Otome no Policy ending sequence is a perfect marriage of music and animation. The song is upbeat, youthful, ambitious, hopeful, and seeing a perfectly ordinary Usagi nonchalantly strolling down the street is just the right match.
There’s enough going on in the sequence without it ever being too busy or detracting from the great tune. The animation is superb – the amount of effort they’ve gone through to capture Usagi’s walking, jogging, running is appreciated.
There’s also the colours. Everything is of a bright shade. it feels like a warm spring. The scrolling background is tinged here and there with little bright motifs on ordinary streets. It’s a lovely idea, taking the mundane sidewalk and colouring it with eye-catching details, just enough to give you a sense of wonder.
There’s no surrealist imagery here, no ode to the magic and fantasy of the show, just a fond appreciation for the familiarity, the pedestrian side of Sailor Moon. It makes Usagi feel connected to a world we inhabit.
As the song hits the 8 bars that breaking build before the chorus, when Usagi pauses and turns around in the wind, with petals blowing, it’s perfectly timed. It’s a building sense of adventure & anticipation.
Her expression in the entire piece is interesting to think about. It’s neutral, not her normal bubbly self. It’s contemplative, and colours Usagi’s character in a way we don’t see in a majority of the episodes. I like it a lot.
I haven’t yet even discussed the fact that all this is appearing in less then half of the screen. This is partially economical – you need a place for the credits to roll, obviously, but they make it work artistically. It looks like a postcard, a moving artistic portrait of Usagi. It’s very memorable, and shrinks the world around her – she is the focus, and it works great.
I’ve always wanted to figure out what the text in the remainder of the screen actually says. There are some English words here and there that aren’t too hard to recognise, but as a whole none of it makes too much sense. They’ve gone with a high-serif font, making it feel as though it’s out of a fantasy book, and we’re watching an illustration come to life.
And, of course, there’s the song Otome no Policy.
I love this tune. It exemplifies the upbeat sweetness of Sailor Moon. The lyrics are about keeping your chin up when you’re a young girl feeling low, to keep giving it all you’ve got. I think you’ll agree that this is fitting.
More then the lyrics, the tune grows wonderfully. The melody isn’t overly complex, never straying away from the root key, but it’s surprisingly agile and punchy for that. It’s more then a feel-good song: it’s an oddly hopeful, inspiring song, that I think is captured by the very final image.
The screen fills and Usagi, who we’ve been watching running all this time, stops to look out over the ocean. What’s she looking at? It’s not clear? Why is she not looking at the camera, or posing? It’s the stance of looking ahead, of ambition, of looking forward to the future, and the next episode, and the next adventure.
It’s great, isn’t it? Or maybe I’m coming on a little strong for a 90 second sequence of a girl running? Ah screw it, you should realise by now that I’m deconstructing everything about this show.