There was a period when Indonesian TV stations, aired foreign programmes, not only with the dialogues dubbed in Indonesian, but also had the theme songs covered in Indonesian. This practice included anime, tokusatsu, Japanese dramas, Chinese martial arts series, and Latin telenovela series.
As time passed, the practice of making Indonesian covers of theme songs from foreign contents gradually decreased, until they’re pretty much gone from indonesian television, with the exception of some dubbed Disney films that are “adjusted” to local culture when they were shown on television.
After Pretty Cure was aired in 2005, no more new anime has been shown in Indonesia with the theme song covered in Indonesian, except for Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened that was shown at Indonesian film theatres in 2013, and for Aikatsu that was shown on RCTI in 2014.
As of 2019, only Doraemon remains as the last anime shown in Indonesian television with Indonesian theme song. And even that is only the opening song, while the ending song remains in Japanese.
There are differing opinions regarding covering the theme songs of foreign films or TV programmes in Indonesian. The supporters think the practice of covering a song makes a song can be easier to accept by Indonesian-speaking audience as it is easier to sing for children as the main target market. On the other hand, the opposition argues that the practice of covering a song damages the soul of the song, or make it worse. Sometimes covering the song requires re-recording the instrumental accompaniment on their own too, changing the quality from the original song.
Another interesting part about covered theme songs is that it’s often not clear who was the singer. This is because not all of the anime shown on Indonesian TV credited the singer of the covered theme songs. And even when a name was credited, sometimes it is not clear who exactly that name refers to.
Some of the singers have been identified as voice actors who were also involved in dubbing the anime in Indonesia. Some examples are Tri Adi Setiawan who also sang the theme song of Detective Conan aside from voicing Shinichi Kudo, Beatrix Renita who also sang Lady Oscar theme song in addition to voicing Marie Antoinette, or Ade Basuki who sang the theme songs of Captain Tsubasa: Road to 2002 and Digimon 02.
But there are also unknown singers who are difficult to track down like Arie Nurma who was credited as the singer of the Indonesian version of Hunter x Hunter theme song or Neisa Nabila who was credited as the singer of the Indonesian version of Whistle theme song Only their names are known. In short, many of the anime songs that were covered in Indonesian lack clear information about the singer; no clear historical archive.
Sulle Widjaya has claimed to be the singer of the Indonesian version of Dragon Ball theme song in Indonesian. But is it true?
This situation raises speculations or claims, and urban legends with doubted validity as they are based on oral tradition, or only from “what I heard.”
For example, in some circles, there was a “legend” saying that Krisdayanti, one of the great divas in Indonesia, sang the Indonesian version of Megaloman theme song when she was little.
Another case was Sulle Wijaya, a participant of a talent show who claimed to be the singer of the Indonesian cover of Dragon Ball theme song. At that time many were shocked by his confession, although some were sceptical and claimed that the song was sung by Ade Basuki.
But with the lack of credible historical evidence, Sulle Wijaya’s claim can not be just easily dismissed, It requires further research to verify it.
But otherwise, Sulle Wijaya’s claim is an interesting part of oral tradition that should be considered as a part of research on the history of anime broadcasting in indonesia. And now, KAORI Nusantara will present the story of one of the singers that people said have sung an Indonesian version of anime theme song.
At Indonesia Comic Con 2018 that was held on 27-28 October 2018, there was a guest star that interested KAORI Nusantara Team.
The name is Desya; a woman who is claimed to be the singer of the Indonesian version of Sailor Moon theme song. This anime was aired on Indosiar, one of the private TV stations in Indonesia, around 1995. Many responded enthusiastically to the guest star announcement, but some also questioned whether Desya really was the singer of the Indonesian version of Sailor Moon theme song back in 1995.
At Indonesia Comic Con, KAORI Nusantara team had a chance to meet Desya. She shared her experience of singing the Indonesian version of Moonlight Densetsu, which was originally sung by a Japanese band called DALI. And at the same time, KAORI also talked to Sailor Moon Indonesia Community that were also present at Indonesia Comic Con 2018, and had “discovered” Desya and brought her to Indonesia Comic Con 2018. Read more about the story on page 2.