Song of the Week
9/2/10 - "Drive Me the Mercury"
Welcome to yet another belated Song of the Week. This week I was once again unsure what song to feature, but then I had an idea while working on a revival of my old Sailor Mercury shrine Liquid Mercury – since I was already writing stuff about Mercury, why not feature her theme this week? So here's this week's feature: Mercury's theme song in the musicals, "Drive Me the Mercury."
"Drive Me the Mercury," like Venus and Jupiter's themes, debuted in the musical Kessen/Transylvania no Mori (Kaiteiban) - Saikyou no Kataki Dark Cain no Nazo - (Final Fight/The Forest of Transylvania (Revision) - The Secret of the Most Powerful Enemy, Dark Cain), the third of the four Dracul Arc myus and the 19th myu overall. It was also the first myu for Kawabe Chieko, the Mercury in this myu and the one singing the song (she would stay in the myus till 2002, then start a music career and play Naru in PGSM, becoming one of the few actresses to play a character in more than one incarnation of Sailor Moon; Han Keiko [Luna's seiyuu] being one of the others, as she voiced Luna both in the anime and in PGSM). The context of it is that the Senshi are fighting the bad guys when Dark Cain decides to take over Astarte's body again. Mercury gets disgusted with how things are going and says so, declaring that "we're going forth now." She sings her song, hitting the bad guys with a Mercury Aqua Rhapsody for good measure, and afterwards the truth regarding Dark Cain and Dracul's relationship is revealed.
This song also appeared elsewhere in the musicals. Chieko-chan also sang it at the Super Revue Show that followed the last Dracul Arc myu, Chou Wakusei Death Vulcan. It was also featured on the third Ongaku Shuu video (labeled Vol. 2 but the third released), which was sold at performances of Death Vulcan. It then appeared as a medley of Inners themes at the Black Lady fankan. After 2002's Ai no Sanctuary, however, Chieko-chan graduated from the myus. But her successor, Wakayama Manami, didn't let the song be forgotten, singing it at three fankans – the Mugen Gakuen fankan, the Mugen Gakuen (Kaiteiban) fankan, and the Marinamoon Final fankan – as well as singing it in an actual musical, 2003's Starlights*Ryuusei Densetsu. The context of the song is different in that musical; there the Inners have discovered the Shitennou have been toying with their hearts, and Mercury leads the way in letting the Shitennou know they won't stand for that. In an interesting twist, Chieko-chan returned as a guest at the Mugen fankan and sang the song with Manami. The song appeared on the Eternal Edition CD along with the other Inner themes, complete with a karaoke, as well as on the Starlights*Ryuusei Densetsu soundtrack. It was also featured as a service number at the senshuuraku (last day performance) of Marinamoon Final, in honor of Manami's graduation.
This song is one of my favorite Inners theme songs, along with Venus's theme "Traditional the Grace! Ai no Arashi." It's a very upbeat song, unlike the usual calm Mercury, but (as Innocentami would say) it's a great dance number. In retrospect, it is somewhat similar to the more upbeat singles Chieko-chan would do later as an idol, like "Candy Baby," "Shining!," and "Sakura Kiss." Although Chieko-chan's role as Naru is what introduced me to her music – at the height of the online PGSM fandom, "Sakura Kiss" was getting passed around a lot among fans – but I think it was this song, among other things, that made Chieko-chan one of my favorite myu Mercurys (still undecided whether she's my #1 favorite; I like Morino-san a lot too). It's worth a listen or two.
Well, that's all for this week. Tune in next Thursday (hopefully) to see the next Song of the Week!
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First pic screencapped by me from this video. Please don't steal! Second pic from SeraMyu Antics.