“Moonlight Densetsu” (Sailor Moon Theme) (Part 1)

The following is an unedited post created on our Tumblr page. You may find the original here.

This iconic opening theme from Sailor Moon is called “Moonlight Densetsu” (伝説), meaning Moonlight Legend. Like most op’s, it is longer than the actual opening of the show, meaning it’s clipped in certain parts. We’ll taking a look at what made it into the opening, which are the first two stanzas and the final verse.

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute

Yume no naka nara ieru

Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo

Nakitaku naru you na moonlight

Denwa mo dekinai midnight

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou

Haato wa mangekyou

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare

何度も 巡り会う
Nando mo meguriau

星座の瞬き数え 占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu
That’s what we have to tackle. So, let’s get to it!

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute

“Gomen ne” is a two-part expression. “Gomen” is equivalent to English’s “sorry”. “Ne” here is an ending particle that softens what’s been said previously. It also seeks affirmation. So when you say “Gomen ne”, you’re indirectly for someone to forgive you.

“Sunao” is an adjective. It means “honest”.

“Janakute” has a lot of things going on. Let’s talk about them bit by bit. In Japanese, adjectives are denied by adding the suffix “janai”. “Janai” once upon a time was “ga nai”. You’ll remember that “ga” is the subject marker. “Nai” is the negative form of “aru”, which is one of our copulas (our “is” verbs). So, it basically means “is not”. [Yumei= famous || Yumeijanai= is not famous]. But because that ending is really a verb, it has the properties of a verb, including its conjugations. So, yes, adjectives conjugate in Japanese! What’s going on here? This a Te-form. Te-forms, you will remember, are when a verb starts acting like a participle (lots of English’s -ing words are participles). Long story short, this is denying the adjective “honest” as a participle.

“Sorry, not being honest”

Yume no naka nara ieru

“Yume” means “Dream”, that’s easy.

“Naka” means “middle”. “No” connects both words, meaning we’re in a genitive construction. Same rules apply: “X no Y” translates to “Y of X”.
So, “Middle of a dream”. But “no naka” is also a common expression, which often simply means “in” and doesn’t carry the same meanings as English’s “In the middle of”.

“Nara” is a conditional conjunction, a form of saying “if”. (A lot of the time it’ll be a strong conditional, almost an “if and only if”.)

“Ieru” brings us to another dimension of verbs. Japanese has a potential conjugation made by the suffix “-eru”, normally, main, definite verbs will only end in -u or -ru. But when you want to express potential (can x), then you use the “-eru” suffix. That “-ru” in “-eru”, then becomes the thing that changes for all the other conjugations you might want to give it. So you can put it in the -Te form by saying “iete” or negative + -Te form by saying “ienakute”– all that is possible. Okay, back to “Ieru”. It’s normal form is “Iu”, which means “to say”. In potential form, it means “can say”.

Since we have no subject in this sentence, we’re going to assume it’s 1st person.

“If in the middle of a dream, I can say it.”**

** Because we’re using “nara” and “nara” is stronger than a simple “if”, then you might want to say “Only if I’m in the middle of a dream, I can say it.”

Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen

“Shikou kairo” is a compound word meaning “train of thought”. But let’s look at both words. “Shikou” means thoughts. “Kairo” is actually an electrical circuit. This is important for the next word.

“Wa” is the topic particle.

“Shooto” is Japanese’s adoption of the word “short circuit” to mean “to short”. This makes sense when we consider that “kairo” is an electrical circuit. It just makes poetic sense.

“Sunzen” is a suffix more than a conjunction (I feel, but it depends on the positioning” and it means “on the verge of”.

We’ll add a 1st person perspective to this and because of “sunzen” we’ll make “shooto”, which is technically not a verb, into our verb in our translation. (If you want to make a very pretty translation, you might consider changing “short” for “explode”)

“[My] train of thought on the verge of shorting”

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo

“Ima sugu” is another two-part expression. “Ima” means now. “Sugu” means “at once”. “Now at once” is equivalent to “right away”.

“Aitai” has a new conjugation we haven’t spoken of. “-itai” is the conjugation of the desiderative form! Desiderative is just a fancy word for “desiring”. When you want something, you use “-itai”. The base form is “au”, which means “to meet”, “aitai”, then, means “I want to meet”.  (It’s also important to note that “-itai” is used exclusively for one’s own desires. If one wants to talk about someone else’s desires, one uses a different construction. Further, there is another way of expressing one’s desires which is very common, where one says something like “I’d like to see if I could do x” because “-itai” is a very strong statement.)

“Yo” is another ending particle. This one is exhortative, kind of like an exclamation mark. It also indicates that this is information that the speaker wants the interlocutor to remember. (It’s kind of like Ebonic’s “yo”.)

“I want to meet with you right away!”

That’s all for now. I’ll see you all later!