|Album Title:||Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku: Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”|
|Anime Title:||Mouretsu Pirates (AKA Bodacious Space Pirates)|
|Artist:||Momoiro Clover Z|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||7 March 2012|
|01. Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku: Dainana Gakushou Mugen no Ai||Momoiro Clover Z||5:14|
|02. Lost Child||Momoiro Clover Z||4:59|
|03. Mugen no ai (off vocal ver.)||Momoiro Clover Z||1:30|
|04. Lost Child (off vocal ver.)||Momoiro Clover Z||1:31|
Review: Mouretsu Pirates is the kind of show that throws both its main character and its audience straight into the action, an immediacy reflected in the opening, “Mugen no ai”, performed by sentai-themed idol group Momoiro Clover Z. Unfortunately the fast-paced theme song belies what is, on the whole, a rather slow-paced series. However, the song itself is still fairly enjoyable. It starts with a winding electric guitar solo that rides up and down a scale of notes to a backdrop of cymbal crashes and strangely ethereal choir voices. Following a shout from the group, the lead singer starts in on a very intense first verse. Momoiro is well-known for their energetic performances, and this theme song is no exception. So energetic, in fact, that the lead voice sounds stressed at times, especially when reaching into the high notes. That, combined with the constant background crashes during the chorus, makes the song feel just a bit overwhelming.
A welcome break from the singing comes in the form of a guitar solo, the same electric guitar which introduced the song. It starts with an elaborate rendition of the main melody before spiraling into its own, twisting and turning around notes at increasing speed until it suddenly cuts into the calmest part of the song. Here, a roughly 10-second bridge comes in, featuring a single voice that’s much more subdued than anything heard in the song so far. After this the girls hop right back into the chorus, and from there, endless cymbal crashes until the end.
There are three levels of vocal parts in this theme: the main singer(s), the spoken parts, and the choral parts. The most disorienting parts are definitely the spoken ones. While not present in the TV-size version, they are abundant throughout the full opening. This is understandable, given that Momoiro’s tendencies towards being a very action-oriented and performance-heavy group, and it even works well in the context of their official music video. But when listening to the song alone, it meshes poorly as it interrupts the melody when it comes in.
The melody itself is very uplifting and inspiring. It shifts keys about as often as it switches from voice to voice, and each singer is easily distinguished from the other. Although each one is differentiable, when they sing together, they do a wonderful job of blending their voices into one, instilling a sense of unity throughout the chorus.
It’s during the chorus that the background choir voices are most present. The choral voice counterparts add a very exultant tone, but they’re almost drowned out by everything else, to the point where it’s nearly impossible to tell that they’re actually singing real words. That is, until the very end of the song when all of the percussion drops out, leaving the chorus and a company of bells to recount the main tune one last time. This little addition seems almost out of place compared to the unceasing high pitches and staccato drumbeats, but it’s still a pleasant way to end the song.
In comparison to the opening theme, the ending song “Lost Child” is much calmer and more subtle. It has a very electronic sound, which separates it so much from “Mugen no Ai” that I was at first tricked into thinking they were performed by different artists. So Momoiro definitely gets bonus points for versatility.
Overall, I prefer the ending theme to the opening. It maintains the same energetic feel without being overly dramatic and in your face about it. The singing is much less strained, and the choral background parts have been replaced with distant, mechanic voices. These voices begin the song, accompanied by a funky drum pattern and some synthesized instruments that emphasize the outer space aspect of the show. This is emphasized again when the main voice enters, singing in an almost robotic way with a light echo.
As in the previous song, Momoiro demonstrates their ability to both distinguish each singer’s voice and come together in unison during the chorus, which is one of the things I find highly appealing about them. There is again an intermission of spoken parts in the middle of “Lost Child,” but it seems much more controlled than in “Mugen no Ai,” and happens alongside a cool synthesized instrument bridge suspended in a strange key for added tension.
There is no surprise ending to this song. After shifting into a higher key for the final rendition of the chorus, the singers finish their parts and let the background instruments fade into silence in their wake, which actually left me wanting more. Between the hyperactive, passionate opening and the cool electronic ending, Mouretsu Pirates finds itself with two engaging songs that accurately reflect the energy and grandiosity of the show.
Rating: Very Good
Mouretsu Pirates OP – Mugen no Ai
Mouretsu Pirates ED – Lost Child