Anime Review: Full Moon Wo Sagashite

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Genre: Fantasy/Drama

Studio/Creator: Studio Deen/Arina Tanemura

Distributor: Viz, also streams on Hulu

No of Episodes: 52, only 28 were dubbed.

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: Mitsuki Koyama is a 12-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a singer in order to meet a boy named Eichi, who moved to America.  However, she has a tumor in her throat and if its gets operated on, she will lose her ability to sing.  She is met by two Shinigami (Japanese death spirits) named Meroko and Takuto. Takuto decides to help Mitsuki instead of taking her soul to Heaven, despite Meroko’s objections.  To help Mitsuki, he transforms her into a blonde 16-year-old girl named Full Moon.

Review: I got into this series because many of the moderators at Christian Anime Alliance were fans of it and gave it lots of praise.

The art is adorable. When I saw Mitsuki dancing in the opening, my heart melted.  You almost forget how sad the story is.

Mitsuki is an excellent protagonist.  She knows that her time is short and vows to make the best of it. She rarely lets her condition get her down and I admire her determination.  Here is someone who says “I’m not going to let darkness win.”

Fuzuki is Mitsuki’s grandmother and guardian.  At first, I didn’t like her much.  I felt she was too restrictive of Mitsuki. She wouldn’t even let her listen to music, let alone pursue it.  But as the series progressed, I learned her motivations. I still didn’t agree with her actions, but I could sympathize with her desire to protect Mitsuki.

Mitsuki’s doctor, Keiichi Wakaoji, is a great character.  I loved his devotion to Mitsuki. He almost seemed like a surrogate father.

Masami Oshige is Mitsuki’s manager. I was pleasantly surprised by her.  I was so certain we were going to see a manipulative woman who tries to push substance over talent, like we often see in real life. But instead, we got a woman who was compassionate and cared about Mitsuki.

Madoka is a rival pop singer and I thought she was a great antagonist.  She feels that Full Moon is spoiled by fame and her jealousy is justified because, like Mitsuki, she actually has talent.  Making things interesting is the fact that she is friends with Mitsuki, which leads to great development for both of them.

As for the shinigami, they were great too.  Takuto being a trainee under Meroko caused tension between them because Meroko initially wishes to stick to the mission and has feelings for Takuto.  As I learned more about them, they became my favorite characters.

I have heard complaints about the abundance of filler, especially early on. I disagree with these complaints because I feel the filler is necessary. It doesn’t veer off like I’ve seen many long anime do (I’m looking at you, Naruto!).

I highly recommend this show. It has a bittersweet feel to it and I liked the art and story.

Sub/Dub: I was unable to watch the dub.  Besides, you’re better off with the sub because you actually get the whole thing. So stick to the streaming version.

Music/Score: Very upbeat. It sets the mood and I like the fact that all the songs are actually incorporated into the plot.

Violence: (1/10) There’s a car crash that factors in as a plot point.

Language: (2/10) Mild swears.

Sexuality: (0/10)

Nudity: (1/10) Meroko tends to wear an outfit that shows off her navel. And when Mitsuki changes into Full Moon, you get a typical naked magical girl transformation, similar to Sailor Moon.

Religion: (3/10) While Meroko and Takuto resemble angels, they do not resemble the Christian view of death.  SPOILER! IT’s revealed later in the show that all shinigami are former humans and if they remember their pasts, they become lost souls.

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