Sailor Moon SuperS Ending 1: Not Enough Baby Baby Love
Today I’ll take a look at the first ending sequence to Sailor Moon SuperS, which features the song Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute, often mistakenly called Baby Baby Love. I know which title is less of a mouthful, at least. So what do I think of an ending dedicated solely to Chibi-Usa’s forlorn love?
I flippin’ love this ending. Shame it’s only used for 12 episodes!
Indeed, I love it more than Sailor Moon S’ Tuxedo Mirage, which is rather more popular. It’s not simply a matter of the song Watashi-Tachi ni Naritakute being inoffensively lovely, its pathos is carried well by the animation.
As opposed as I am to Chibi-Usa and Pegasus’ (shudder) relationship, I’m a romantic enough to be affected by the clever and beautiful imagery on show. Sailor Moon has always had an excellent mastery of the palettes of purples and blues, none more so than here. It’s a simple rendering of Tokyo at night, but the glare from the lights serves to make the scene romantic, yet distant.
Chibi-Usa’s brooding atop a hill gives a good semblance of distance and loneliness. Sure it’s enormously cheesy, especially when different perspectives of her adolescent pangs are super-imposed over the top, like cheap Korean karaoke B-roll footage, but hey, it works.
They’ve chosen to go with the top half of the screen displaying credits on full black, which increases the drama of the lower half of the screen, not only drawing more attention to the beautiful colours on display, but also to push the imagery into wide wide wide panorama. All the better to shove some feels into ya.
Sure I could do without Pegasus’ stupid horseface floating across the screen like an equine reminder of impropriety around minors, but hey, I’m willing to give it a by since he’s more an object of idolatry on Chibi-Usa’s part than a character in this sequence.
This is, of course, all topped off with one of my favourite pieces of imagery from all of Sailor Moon SuperS. When the music hits the chorus and the Tokyo landscape is replaced with a rather lovely static aurora depiction, that emotional climax is hit. There’s a classic device that Sailor Moon endings have used in the past (I’m thinking specifically of Otome no Policy from Sailor Moon R) where a partition of the screen used for the animation spreads to reveal the final, beautiful shot of the show.
Indeed, there are similarities between the Sailor Moon R ending and this one that I suspect that the key animator, or the sequence planner, might be the same person. If not, they’re capitalising on some excellent techniques.
Of course this excellency is all without mention of the music. The long winded title of Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute translates to (roughly) “Wanting to Be Together With You“. The lyrics and performance are, naturally, trite and saccharine, but I love ’em, as simplistic as they are. I would call the combination “vague sweetness”. Saying that, it’s far less anaemic and far more moving than Tuxedo Mirage.
It’s got something very mid-90s ballad about it, hasn’t it? The timbre is all round and smooth, with no jagged edges. Even the drum track sounds weirdly fluffy. The animation is matched up with the tune well, with each development in the sample of the whole song fitted with an escalation of the animation. All of this in less than 90 seconds.
The best thing I can say about the first ending sequence of Sailor Moon SuperS is that I’ve never skipped it. No matter how rubbish the episode has been (or the subsequent episode will be), I can count on the fact that I have this small oasis of calm.
Also, much like the incomparable Heart Moving, and Otome no Policy, Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute is worked into the series as an orchestral piece perfectly as a leitmotif. Yeah that’s right, I know my musical vernacular. Quavers etc!