English: Crescent Moon
Synonyms: Mikan no Tsuki, An Incomplete Moon
Published: 1999 to 2001
Authors: Iida, Haruko (Story & Art)
Serialization: Asuka (Monthly)
Score: 7.351 (scored by 1121 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Starting out with the story: Mahiru is a young teenage girl who, after suffering reoccurring dreams, she comes across the Lunar Race, a collection of not-so-seemingly mythical creatures who claim that she is the descendant of the princess, and these bandits need her help in recovering the teardrops of the moon, their lost source of energy. Slowly Mahiru comes into closer terms with the Lunar Race and helps heal the rift which has formed between these creatures and humans. The story by itself is even a little confusing, but it shouldn’t be too hard to understand. What makes it hard, too, is the panel layout of each page. The balloons often collide and the panels mix, and it goes at a fast pace. However, once I read volume one a second time, I all of a sudden really started to get into it.
The story is pretty original, for one thing. It’s not some mahou shoujo thing where the girl is all of a sudden summoned to save the world (though I don’t mind those sort of stories). All of the characters I either really liked or just didn’t care much for. Mahiru is your average orphaned teenager that lives with her aunt… sort of. People say that when they touch her she brings them good luck. Mahiru often finds it annoying how people are relying on her for their good fortune, but she isn’t bad-tempered and kind of just goes along with it. She’s sort of klutzy, but not overly so, and more than ever she wants to be of help to the Lunar Bandits. At first she’s not so keen on the idea, but after a while (and actually it’s not a very long while) she really is in desire to be of use to them.
Speaking of the Lunar Bandits, the first one you meet is Nozomu, the blonde-haired smooth-tongued vampire of the lot. He comes across as facetious, but can be genuinely caring. The others soon follow, Akira, the happy-go-lucky werewolf, Misoka, a calm and collected fox demon, and lastly, Mitsuru, the tengu. Mitsuru hates Mahiru when they first meet, or rather, he’s scared of her. When Mahiru touches Mitsuru, as he’s unable to willfully control his power, he changes into his true form of a tengu. He’s very short tempered and irritable, and most always keeps his distance, but his affection for Mahiru and vice versa grows throughout the story (which, incidentally, was definitely one of my favorite aspects of the story- I love romance!).
The art is very pretty. It’s a little different, and definitely not among mainstream, so it might be displeasing to most people, but I actually like it a lot. The perspective the author uses is nice, the expressions among the character’s faces. Backgrounds aren’t beautiful, but they’re well done.
If you were thinking about reading this and are put-off, or you’ve tried it and given up, you might want to try it again. Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and frankly I’m surprised I like it myself. But sometimes you need to give something a second chance. For my overall scores I don't think I can give anything higher than a nine, but I don't think it deserves worse or better. Try this one out and see if you like it.
Shall we talk about the characters? Mahiro is a cute little high school student but yet acts a bit more mature. Sadly, sometimes she does end up whining but not very much. For a girl who lost her parents at a young age, she is rather good at taking care of what she has to do even though she has the same problems as a normal girl her age. There are times when she doubts herself and times when she pushes herself but she always has a good heart. Mitsuru is the second main character and at first he acts like a complete and total jerk, wanting to kill Mahiro and doesn’t trust humans much. If you look at the very small bit of info they let on about his upbringing, you can kind of understand but I really wish we had much more to go on. He warms up to her much as any other character does in this type of manga but is attitude never seems to change.
Nozomu is almost like the ‘sly charmer’ in the mix as he acts very loving to the people around him. He’s rather swave more then the others so you sometimes get the impression he is probably like a guy in the host club. I guess that’s because of the fact he is a vampire. Akira is the cute character to where he is always playful and innocent like a little puppy instead of a full blown werewolf. He is just like a dog in that he is loyal though and I think he is the only one of the group who actually shows his emotions right out on his sleeve where as the others do try to hide it. Misoka is a mysterious one though. We don’t get much about him except that he seems to be the quite shadow and more knowledgeable about the stuff they are doing then anyone. The other characters do not get much screen time except for the bumbling inspector and detective that chase the group at almost every point. They never change and just seem to be there for a bit more conflict or comedy.
The artwork is rather strange with large, closed eyes that seem almost like they could pull you in next to very simple faces. Hair is always really well done and detailed except for one or two characters like Akira and Youhei. It’s almost like the artist mixed a couple different styles together and its almost off putting although you can tell that she was working really hard because of how much detail she puts in the backgrounds and the characters clothing and hair. Every once in a while, we would have a picture where it looks like she might of forgotten the detail but its not a lot and so doesn’t take from the rest. I cannot fault her for the artwork as to normal standards, it’s extremely well done. The problem I face and some others may also feel this is that it’s very stylized. Those who aren’t used to this style might end up putting it down just because of that.
The story just captured my eyes as I read it. And the story within the story just made me feel sad, yet at the same time I couldn't turn my eyes away from it.
There are funny moments, but also serious moments within the story. I think anyone who reads this could say this is something that was good to read atleast once.