Moonlight Densetsu (ムーンライト伝説), Moonlight Legend, is the theme song for the original Sailor Moon anime, until it was replaced by Sailor Star Song for the fifth season. It is also used for the opening sequences in the three movies, the insert song during the final battle with Queen Beryl, the closing theme of the finale episode of the series and performed in Sailor Moon musicals. It has often acted as a curtain call/encore performance for the Nelke Musicals starting with La Reconquista and being consistent through the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical and Sailor Moon The Super Live.
Moonlight Densetsu was released as a single along with Heart Moving in March 1992. Then in 2000 as a single paired with Otome no Policy.1 It was composed by Komoro Tetsuya with lyrics written by Oda Kanako. The melody was based on the Japanese 1962 hit Sayonara wa Dance no Ato ni performed by Chieko Baisho.4
The song’s vocals were performed by DALI2, an idol group from the 1990s, and then Moon Lips, which consisted of Anza Ohyama, Ayako Morino, Hiroko Nakayama, Kanoko and Nana Suzuki. This group were members of the idol variety show, Sakurakko Club, who also were the original cast of Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus in the first Sailor Moon Musical, Dark Kingdom Gaiden. DALI’s and Moon Lips’ versions are used in the original anime.
It was also further covered by several other groups, such as Momoiro Clover Z, for the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute and LiSA, for the 25th Anniversary Memorial Tribute.
A new arrangement was released for the Sailor Moon Cosmos movies featuring the voice actresses of the Inner Senshi: Kotono Mitsuishi (Moon), Hisako Kanemoto (Mercury), Rina Satou (Mars), Ami Koshimizu (Jupiter) and Shizuka Itou (Venus), which have all played their roles since the first season of Sailor Moon Crystal. The song is included on the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Cosmos Theme Song Collection and has been released on Youtube along with various other streaming services.
Gomen ne sunao janakute
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare
Moichido futari de weekend
Deatta toki no natsukashii
Fushigi na kiseki kurosu shite
I’m sorry that I’m not upfront about it
Guided by the light of the Moon
Together once again, one weekend
From the moment we met, so familiar…
Crossing over a mysterious miracle…
1, 2 and 3 ムーンライト伝説/HEART MOVING, Japanese Wikipedia.
4 Sailor Music.net, “Sayonara wa Dance no Ato ni” Lyrics