2002 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title: Princess From The Moon
Japanese Title: Taketori Monogatari
(also known as "Kaguya")
CD Label: Warner-Pioneer Corp.
CD Number: 32XD-827
Music by: Kensaku Tanikawa
Number of tracks: 16
Running time: 43:41
Number of discs: 1
Year of release/manufacture: 1987

REVIEW

Updated May 10, 2002

The following description of the movie was sent to me by Carey Murata:

  • Something crashes into a small village in Japan and a fire starts in the hills. A nearby villager, the bamboo-cutter, goes into the bamboo forest to find out what had fallen. He goes to the place were he and his wife had just buried their only daughter Kaya. Nearby a metal casing had apparently fallen from the large object that had crashed. something happens to the casing and a small girl appears in the casing. It turns out the small girl has taken on the form of the girl was buried in the woods. The story continues on as "Kaya", who gets referred to as "Kaguya" by the lords on the area, begins to grow and provide a means for her "adopted" parents to get rich. All this time she kept hold of a small crystal ball that would occasionally glow brightly. Eventually she finds out her true origins from this ball, which tells her "they will come to get her and take her back to the moon". Eventually a great starship appears over the horizon and hovers over the place where Kaguya is waiting. This ship beams her up and returns back to the moon.

    In other words, this movie is a SF story of a spaceship that had crashed on the earth and the sole survivor was an alien that took on the form of the dead daughter of the bamboo-cutter. The crystal ball was a transceiver and locator that was used to tell any suvivors when and how to expect to be rescued. The large ship at the end of the movie had many similarities of the ship in "Close Encounters". I see alot of influence from that movie in this one. And of course at the end, the Peter Cetera song "Stay with me - For Kaguya" plays during the credits.

    All in all, I liked the movie. 2 hours is a bit long though. The main character Kaguya is played by Sawaguchi Yasuko and the bamboo-cutter is played by Mifune Toshiro.

As for the music itself, most of the CD is made up of slow, sad, soft, ethereal tunes with a few jazz sounding tracks. With a running time just short of 44 minutes, this is a pretty sparse soundtrack for a two hour movie. The very last track, # 16, is done by American musician Peter Cetera who is known for his solo work as well as with his many years with the band "Chicago". For fans of "Chicago" and Peter Cetera, this track sounds typical of his style.

I've listened to this CD several times now to get a handle on it and decide if I really like it or not. My opinion is that it is just OK. It's not bad but nothing I could recommend as a 'must have'.

English Title: Princess From The Moon

  1. Overture
  2. Pale Light
  3. Bamboo Forest
  4. The Girl With Blue Eyes
  5. Miyakooji At Noon
  6. Kaya
  7. Departure
  8. Together Again
  9. Crater
  10. Crystal Ball
  11. Miyakooji At Night
  12. Frightening Full Moon
  13. Space Ship
  14. Back To The Moon
  15. Finale
  16. Stay With Me
    (Bobby Caldwell-John Parker)
    Performed By Peter Cetera
    Produced By Bobby Caldwell & Peter Cetera