English: Full Moon wo Sagashite
Synonyms: Full Moon o Sagashite, Searching for the Full Moon, Ginyuu Meika
Published: Dec 3, 2001 to May 3, 2004
Authors: Tanemura, Arina (Story & Art)
Serialization: Ribon Magazine
Score: 8.201 (scored by 12512 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
For one, it's PAINFUL. For all that the ending feels a little deus ex machina, there is a lot that is not idealized. Suicide, death, and loss permeate the characters' lives. There is a focus on letting go of loss, on being held back by past tragedies, and having the courage to keep living when you have to reconcile that your worst fears are, in fact, true, and are not going to change. Many of the characters have stopped LIVING because they do not want to let go of their pasts, and as Mitsuki discovers, the more you step forward, the more your past becomes detached from your heart. And it hurts, especially if that pain is the strongest link you have left.
At its core, this is a story about living one's life to the fullest and being willing to get go of the past for the sake of the future. Mitsuki gives the people around her, dead and live, the courage to let go of the tragedies chaining them to the past and move forward with their lives (or afterlives, as the case may be). Mitsuki's love for Eichi is heartbreaking, and anybody who has loved and lost has felt her gut-wrenching sorrow. This understanding of what she is going through makes her courage all the more remarkable.
I highly recommend this shoujo title to anybody who has ever known loss, who has ever wanted to give up, who has wanted to curl up in a ball and stop the world from turning while they stay in stasis. If you don't belong to that group, I have to wonder if you have experienced life yet. read more
Story - Arina Tanemura's best yet. I have never seen such a detailed and sad story about a tail of a love triangle(s) gone wrong. You find yourself wondering what will happen next with each page.
Art - I'm a real fan of her artwork. The shoujo-ness of her drawings leaps off the page and really gives you an understanding of what is going on.
Character - These characters are those types in which you will never find yourself hating any of them as you get to the end. One character, who will remain nameless due to spoiler issues, I had problems with until I saw what happened in the end; then I just couldn't help but love them.
Enjoyment - If you enjoy love stories, shoujo stories, stories that make you want to cry all the time; then this is definitely for you.
Overall - I must say, this is one of my favorite manga of all time... and probably the best one, in my opinion, for shoujo manga ever. read more
Not your typical magical girl transformation shojo, to say the least: 'Full Moon o Sagashite' is much more than that. It's a story about second chances and the pursuit of self-love, forgiveness and redemption.
The characters are layered so wonderfully, and grow naturally as the story progresses. Arina Tanemura does a fantastic job interweaving the relationships and back-stories within Full Moon's universe; you'll find yourself falling in love with all of her characters over and over again. She masterfully and delicately handles the topic of childhood illness and young love. Somehow, she is able to keep the atmosphere of the story lighthearted, though bittersweet, while still maintaining a believable fantasy universe where shinigami and ghosts not only exist, but are fully-realized main characters. Tanemura wonderfully builds her characters up bit by bit, all the while slowly revealing more of the darker elements of her story.
Read 'Full Moon o Sagashite', and you'll not only be impressed, but you'll be laughing and crying along with its beautiful characters. However, if you're looking for a light and fluffy, easy to digest, magical girl transformation shojo, this may not be the right story for you. 'Full Moon o Sagashite' is much darker and more complex than its cute characters and gentle themes may imply; the story has magic, yes, but it also speaks on other topics such as suicide, cancer, death, heartbreak, betrayal, sacrifice, love, self-harm, depression, trauma, fame, etc. The themes in 'Full Moon o Sagashite' are very adult, despite its cute appearance and overtones.
The art is--what can I say? Arina Tanemura at her best. Her art in this story is simply amazing; the details really helped show the emotions and situations the characters are going through. Arina's art in this manga influenced me very much and raised my standards for great manga to another level.
The characters are very well-developed, and this is the only manga which I can truly say I like all of the characters. Mitsuki is one of the few main characters in shojo manga that I like. But seriously, who can dislike her? She is so sweet and caring, and it hurts when you know she's just pretending to be brave. Her character is very deep and makes you think about the things you have in life. Eichi's character, despite not physically being there, developed throughout the story as well. The love the two have for each other is profound and truly heartbreaking. The shinigami, Takuto, Meroko and Izumi, not to mention the bosses, are also well-developed. Takuto is impulsive and energetic, making him the perfect character to cheer up Mitsuki. Even though Takuto and Eichi are rivals for Mitsuki's love, Arina makes it impossible to hate either of them. You can understand both of their situations perfectly, which makes this manga really rare in that you don't mind if Mitsuki ends up with either one. I was very angry when in the anime Izumi is depicted as evil. He is my favorite character in this manga, and he is not evil at all. Sure, he is sadistic and even a little masochistic, but when he reveals his true feelings he is heartwarming. Meroko is a little obsessive, but her story is good as well. All the main characters' pasts are explored in detail, so even though the story is about Mitsuki, you really do get to understand and appreciate the other characters.
This is one of the most enjoyable manga stories out there. It's complicated but not confusing like some of the manga out there (Vampire Knight, for example). It doesn't drag on and on just to be long, although I think even if it did I would gladly read it. Everything that happens happens for a reason and there is never a dull moment. Sure, it is shojo, but it's nothing like the other shojo stories. The love part of the story is not imposing or suffocating like other shojo manga, but tender and sad and complements the story well. This story will definitely get you thinking about life and make you appreciate everything in it, especially when you compare your own life to Mitsuki's... no love is more tragic than hers. Please read this manga; I swear you will not regret it. read more
There has to be some sort of universal criteria for calling things a shinigami. You just can't have fun, happy looking kids (the main characters) turn out to be DEATH GODS. Honestly, these characters are an embarrassment to every serious shinigami character out there and Deathnote fans would simply kill themselves if they were masochistic enough to read this.
When a group of shinigamis appear on the scene and say something along the lines of:
I am ---! And that person is ---!! And together we are ---!!!', you know you're reading the wrong Manga.
The means of plot development were some level of terrible below what should be legal to force people to read.
For example, by the second third of the story we had a very realistic and relevant scene where the characters went:
'I love you (cries)' - Character 1
'I love you too (cries)' - Character 2
'I don't love you, I love a dead guy (cries)' - Character 3
Followed by random psychiatric lines being thrown at the reader.
The art was hydrochloric acid straight to the eyes. Disproportionate, unrealistic and full of those awful, awful sparkles and completely unnecessary special effects. They fail to illustrate any sort of masculinity the male characters: I'm glad that I can tell that there WAS a male character.
To those masochistic readers out there (I know you're out there) reading this is gonna a be a painful treat for you. But, if you're a normal, sane reader then your mentally-exhausted buddy, Maz-Maz is here to warn you: read this and you'll wonder why you ever wanted to read Manga in the first place. read more
More on Izumi's past! - In the anime his past is never even mentioned and displayed as a villain, meanwhile in the manga it is, and reveals he's a tramatic boy who really suffered out of all the shinigami. Once you read the manga you'll really shed a tear for him. Unlike the anime that you just want to shoot him.
More on Meroko's past- Meroko isn't even explained either in the anime. Here you see that she really did have a sad and horrible events happen to her. Not to mention abuse, and that she also was connected to Mitsuki family somehow.
The truth on Takuto- Ok the anime did explain on Takuto but there really was so much more to explain, including that Wakaojji was the surgen.
The truth on Eichi - Ok in the anime most people will hate Eichi lol I did even though I knew about the manga lol I hated how they protrayed him. Really there's more to him in the manga.
More on Ojji and Oshige - Yes Ojige fans in the manga it went real far.
More on Madoka- Yes lots more on her she even gets a boyfriend.
More on Mitsuki's grandma - Lots more on her that you really feel bad for her even more.
Happier ending- Even though the ending to the anime was beautiful. Meroko gets a happier ending and also it's extended to when Mitsuki actually turns 16.
Great manga I've read it dozens of times, and if you're reading the manga and haven't seen the anime you should it's also another Masterpiece by Arina read more
Mitsuki's actions and emotions were sad yet touching... plus she can be really funny at times. She is really loyal to Eichi and it's funny how she always makes Takuto so jealous ^^ I think Meroko's story was quite touching too... the fact that she was so distant to everyone else... it was tragic really... but that doesn't stop her from being her!
The art is WOW... the best I've probably ever seen...
The characters are all really cute... but I thought the range was quite small and they were all quite similar as all of them have something happy and something sad. Mitsuki finally becomes a singer, but Eichi is dead. Takuto is happy with Mitsuki, but she doesn't love him (straight away). Meroko is always quite funny, but she's so distant and of course others which I can not be bothered to list... I've got homework T_T
I really enjoyed this series, a change from Magical Girl and Vampire manga but still great!
Overall, must read even if you don't like sad manga! read more
In conclusion, read it. The story and characters are fantastic, and you grow and learn right along with them. The art is good, my only possible criticism is the typical, eyes are half the head, thing that shows up in shoujo so often. But, it doesn't detract in any way from the fabulous overall work. read more
It has the perfect blend of drama, romance, tragedy and a splash of humor to make it a masterpiece.
The characters are each unique individuals with impactful stories. This manga, just like many others, is nearly 100% better than the anime.
The plot: 12-year-old Mitsuki lives for two things singing and her childhood love Eichi. However, Eichi is off in another country. So, promised him that she would become a famous singer so that he could see her. But Mitsuki has a disease that is stealing her voice and limiting her to a whisper. Her doctor and friend, Keiichi Wakaoji, is trying to convince her to have an operation done that’ll cure her. She refuses for she fears losing her voice for ever.
One day she is visited by two shinigami (death gods) and they inform her that she only has one year left to live. They grant her the ability to turn into a healthy 16-year-old in order to fulfill her dream before her scheduled death.
Full Moon wo Sagashite is the sad, yet inspiring story of a girl who has one year to live, as she found out when two shinigami visited her. Upon learning this astonishing fact, Mitsuki decides to make the best of it and try harder to achieve fame as a singer so she can reach her childhood love, Eichi-kun, who is living in America.
When reading any cutesy manga where there's drama and tragedy, I like to keep a box of tissues on hand. But don't worry, you won't need to use these until the second half of the series =)
Story: Now, I've already watched the anime, and the two are not that different. There are several things that are changed in the anime, but other than that, they're the same. I very much liked that Mitsuki had a dream that she wanted to follow, even if for slightly skewed reasons. The best parts of the manga are the funny chapters that are solely filler.
Art: Art? Clean, and very shoujo-y. But in a cute way. I am definitely a fan of Arina Tanemura and her artwork. The tears, the happiness, the anger, the disappointment--all of it is shown wonderfully in this art style.
Characters: I absolutely adored the characters in this manga! They are all very well developed, all with their own histories and drama that they each have to deal with during the course of the series. It's seemingly impossible to do so unless the character was really annoying. Even the ones you initially hate for their spite, you start to feel sympathy for by the end. Except Eichi. I hated Eichi.
Enjoyment: I loved this manga! It was a tearjerker, and I wasn't even the least embarrassed to be crying in front of the computer. There was tragedy, drama, inspiration, and even humor! What more could make you happy? Well, the art style, the ending, and the characters, among several others.
Overall, this is an amazing manga and I would recommend this to any man, woman, or child. At first, one might think that it's just for girls, but it's not. The carefully crafted story and drama and tragedy would surely please anyone :) read more
The story is about a young girl named Mitsuki Koyama, who's been through a lot. Both her parents died in a car accident when she was a baby, she was raised in an orphanage for ten years before being adopted by her strict, traditionalist grandmother, who doesn't approve of her dream to become a singer, has never been to school, and worse than that, she has a tumor in her throat that'll not only jeopardize her vocal cords, but kill her. One day, a duo of quirky shinigami come right through her wall to try and take her life, but she uses the opportunity to ask them to make her fulfill her dream. They give her a pill that not only turns her into a teenaged version of herself, but heals her body so she can sing without hurting. Mitsuki manages to get scouted and learns the ups and downs of the music industry. But the quirky shinigami have their own baggage, and Mitsuki might end up unknowingly jeopardizing their lives.
Considering its a shoujo manga, everything is redonkulously sparkly, with the characters having big, shining eyes, chibi faces every once in a while, love triangles, etc. However, one aspect of the manga's art surprised me as a kid, and continues to surprise me now: the meticulous attention to detail on just about everything, from the folds in people's clothing, to their hair, to the environment, everything is just absolutely loaded with almost life-like detail that we just don't see anymore in today's era of anime. The faces are very much expressive, the emotions are raw, no character is wearing the same outfit all the time, etc. Plus, I'm no expert on the music industry, but for the most part, the depiction of someone in the singing business is for the most part very accurate. Mitsuki has to deal with fans, both good and bad, rivals who don't always have the best of intentions, commercials, deadlines, money problems, etc. Fancy Lala did something similar, though I think both Fancy Lala and the Full Moon manga depict the singing industry rather well. They both depict the singing business in a pragmatic light, as in while the music industry has good points, there's also a lot of bad to come with it, but that's normal. Everything has its pros and cons.
At first, the characters come off very stereotypical. Mitsuki is the shoujo character who wants to do stuff, Takuto is a brash, reckless, audacious boy, Meroko is the annoying and indecisive love interest, etc. You'd think they'd be nothing but black and white characters with only one character trait with predictable development. Nope! Tanemura isn't stupid, and she develops her characters very well. Everyone's quirks, personalities, and good/bad qualities are all connected to things that happened in their lives, and helped shape them into what they are now, even after death, and let me tell you, it is glorious. When I was a kid, I didn't really connect with the characters, nor did I really understand the gravity of the things that happened to them. Now, I completely get it, and it hit me right in the gut, and it made me keep reading, just to see them succeed! Even the characters whom you think are going to be completely evil for no reason have valid, even tragic reasons for their behavior, though none of it excuses what they do, and the manga KNOWS it. They're very complex, and the kind of people whom you want to have succeed.
However, as fangirly as I am about this manga, even I have to admit that it is not without its faults. Some of them are pretty small and not worth mentioning, but there is one that seriously bugs the heck out of me, and its rather spoilery: if Mitsuki spent most of her life in an orphanage, and two of her grandparents are the only living family members she had, how come, after ten whole years, they never claimed her? There is no explanation given for this. Did they just not know her whereabouts? Did they not know Hazuki even had a child? Did neither grandparent want her? Did her parents not have identification or contact info on them when they died? These explanations would have been plausible had they been there, but this is never explained, and after Mitsuki spends ten years in an orphanage, her grandmother just pops up out of nowhere and reclaims her. It just feels so jarring to me knowing that Mitsuki had living relatives yet still spent most of her life in an orphanage. Also, how come Mitsuki spent a whole year with a tumor yet she never took any kind of medicine for it? I mean, there had to be SOME kind of medicine for sarcoma, right?! Also, I found that the characters' thoughts come off as WAAAAAY too purple prose-y. There is sooooo much purple prose in the narrative, and although its deep and meaningful, I got tired of it after volume three. I like mystical imagery and all, but I think Tanemura relied too much on ridiculous purple prose when conveying the characters' thoughts. Also...what twelve year old even thinks in purple prose like that?! None.
Even so, despite its glaring flaws, I still hold this manga in high regard. Why? Because it's bold and doesn't give a durn. It knows what it wants, it'll do anything to get there, it isn't afraid to go dark in order to tell its story. Seriously, this is a shoujo manga for young girls, yet it contains so many adult themes, such as suicide, illicit affairs, cancer, loss, existential crises, and even rape (it's not explicit, but still blatant enough to warrant a 13 and up rating). But none of them hold the story back. In fact, they make the story so much richer, and seeing the characters struggle makes you want to root for them and see them overcome their trauma and make peace with both themselves, the people around them, and the demons that torment them...and it is GLORIOUS. I recently got a lot of flack from an abusive fandom because I dared to write a scene of implied rape in a fan fic (it was MUCH more tame than what Full Moon showed), and they all attacked me for it, claiming I'm a bad person who doesn't care about myself, that I need to warn for this stuff (Isn't the T rating enough?!), that I don't care about my readers, that I shouldn't have written it in their precious kids show, that I absolutely have to write my story in the show's spirit, that it's not appropriate, blah blah blah. For a long while I was convinced they were right...until I read this manga again. It helped me out of my writing crisis and got me the answer that I needed. Also, I don't see anyone complaining about Tanemura writing an implied rape scene in this manga! If she can do it, then why can't I?!
Sorry about that. Anyway, if you're looking for a gripping, rich story about life, death, moving past your mistakes, and moving on, then Full Moon is the story for you. read more