Two years ago, Mitsuki Kouyama's friend, Eichi Sakurai, moved to America before she could confess her feelings to him. Though she cannot contact him, they made a promise to fulfill their respective dreams: Mitsuki wants to become a professional singer, and Eichi an astronomer. She hopes that one day her music will reach him across the world with a brilliance like that of the full moon.
There is just one catch: Mitsuki suffers from throat cancer, which makes her voice quiet and singing strenuous. Her grandmother, who has a hatred of music, insists that Mitsuki undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but she refuses due to the risk of losing her voice. One day, two shinigami—Meroko Yui and Takuto Kira—appear to tell her that she only has one year left to live. This sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action, and she decides that with Meroko and Takuto's help, she will become a professional singer in the time she has left.
Full Moon wo Sagashite follows the emotional story of Mitsuki and her shinigami friends as they discover what it means to sing—and ultimately, what it means to live.
Full Moon wo Sagashite only follows its manga source for about one episode before going down a different route.
VIZ Media had licensed the series, but released only the first 28 episodes on DVD before dropping the title. It was later streamed in its entirety in subbed-only form on Hulu before expiring from the service in August 2013.
#1: "New Future" by Changin' My Life (eps 01-06,52) #2: "My self" by Changin' My Life (eps 07-26) #3: "Eternal Snow" by Changin' My Life (eps 27-42) #4: "Love Chronicle" by Changin' My Life (eps 43-51)
Full Moon wo Sagashite was one of those animes I started on a whim. I had already read the manga, and decided to give the anime a try to see how much I liked it in comparison. To my surprise, I <i>loved</i> it, possibly even more than the manga version. The changes it makes from the manga were actually ones I (for the most part) preferred.
While Full Moon wo Sagashite may not see like much on the surface -- little girl has a life-threatening disease, wants to sing, and becomes sixteen years old with the help of two friendly shinigami -- it
becomes so much more deeper as the series move on. This anime doesn\'t shrink away from the uncomfortable subjects of death and suicide, and that is wonderfully refreshing. While initially cutesy on the surface, Full Moon wo Sagashite has a deep, moving storyline that touches upon every human emotion. I don\'t think I\'ve ever cried so much while watching an anime, and I doubt any other can truly touch me as much as Full Moon wo Sagashite did.
Many people complain that the first half of the series is comprised of filler episodes. While this may be true when first watching them, I don\'t think the second half would come off nearly as well without those \"fillers\". They developed the characters, showed you who they really were and what they were looking for, and prepared you for the emotional roller coaster that is the second half of Full Moon wo Sagashite. So, even if you\'re bored during the first half, I implore you to see the series to the end. You won\'t regret it.
I initially didn\'t like the character designs all that much, particularly that of Full Moon. After a while, however, the art smoothed out and became even pleasing. So, not the best, but not the worst either.
There\'s only one way to describe the music of Full Moon wo Sagashite: absolutely astounding. Every song (most of which were sung by myco, Mitsuki\'s seiyuu) was wonderful in its own way. While I didn\'t particularly like the two OPs, they grew on me after a while. Still, nothing can touch the four EDs this show has. My personal favorite is New Future, although Eternal Snow is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Another plus of Full Moon wo Sagashite are the characters. Meroko and Izumi have become two of my favorite characters, although Izumi doesn\'t really come into his own in the anime. His soft side is only shown in the last episode, but that moment is definitely worth it.
The one quibble I have concerning the characters is that their back stories aren\'t as fully explained as they were in the manga. Meroko and Izumi\'s pasts are barely brushed upon, which is a real disappointment. Still, Meroko comes off as one of the best -- if not THE best -- characters in the entire series.
I will never forget watching Full Moon wo Sagashite. It is certainly an experience, especially for the last fifteen or so episodes.
One thing that really struck me was the ending. I\'ve never come across an anime with such a perfect ending. Everything was tied up, and the emotions that came across were just... mind-blowing. I think I actually sobbed the entire last episode.
So, as a parting note, I urge you to give Full Moon wo Sagashite a try. I did, and it became one of my top five anime.
Pros: Incredible story, characters, and music; best anime ending EVER
Cons: So-so character design at times, not enough back story
Suitable for all audiences, young and new. Contains some bloodless violence.
Story - 10/10
At first, this looks like the typical shoujo series directed at young girls, thanks to all the bright colours and cute characters. From the synopsis, it looks like a sad and depressing anime about death. But it's so much more than that.
We meet the main character, Mitsuki, who is a young girl with throat cancer and whose biggest dream is to become a great singer and maybe one day meet the boy she loves, but who left for America two years ago. One day she is visited by two death gods (the Shinigami)
- Takuto and Meroko, who tell her she only has one year to live. But instead of sulking and feeling sorry for herself, Mitsuki decides that since she only has one year, she'll make the best of it. Instead of being stuck at home, always worrying about her health, she'll give it all and try to achieve her dream of a singing career. When she goes to audition, the shinigami Takuto decides to help her a little bit, by transforming her body into a healthy 16-year-old. Against all odds, Mitsuki is chosen at the audition. In that moment, even going against the Shinigami rules, Takuto and Meroko decide to help her with her dream, in the time that she has left.
This series is slightly similar to the "magical girl" genre (examples: Fancy Lala, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne or Pretear), but not exactly. Takuto has the ability to transform Mitsuki's body into a healthy 16-year-old's, but she doesn't gain magical powers. Even though this is a show about a dying girl, it manages to be very positive and inspiring. There's a very good mixture of comedy and drama, with some scenes that will make you laugh hard and others that will make you cry like a baby.
In the first half of the series there are a lot of filler episodes. I guess they contribute to the development of the characters and to add realism to the story. As Mitsuki progresses in her career, she has to go through photoshoots, sound checks, clothes' design, interviews, autograph sessions, etc. If you're patient and watch that, you'll get to the good stuff.
In the later half, there are considerably less filler episodes. The plot gets much more complex and interesting. The mood changes to a darker tone. The last 13 episodes are really the best ones and will make you stick to the screen waiting to see what happens. There are a few plot twists.
At last, the ending. I'd say it's the BEST ending in anime that I've ever watched. There are no loose ends. Everything gets explained.
Visuals - 8/10
The light colours really make it look like an anime for young kids. I'd compare the overall visuals of this anime to those of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. The characters were appealing and the shading was well done. Don't expect something 3D-like. There is little computer animation, only present in a few scenes. But although simple, I though it had good visuals.
Audio - 9/10
Full Moon wo Sagashite has one of the best anime soundtracks ever. Even though you'll hear many, many times songs like "Myself" or "Eternal Snow", you'll never grow tired of them. "Myself", "Eternal Snow", "New Future", "Smile" and "Love Chronicle", by the band Changin' My Life, are sang by Myco, who is Mitsuki's voice actress. So you don't have to worry about Mitsuki's 12-year-old voice being different from the 16-year-old... because they were done by the same person.
I absolutely hated the openings. "I Love You" and "Rock'n'Roll Princess" by The*Scanty. Why? First because they don't sound good. Second because they make the whole anime look so childish that only 4-year-olds would watch it. Ignore the openings! The anime isn't THAT childish!
And, best for last, the voice actor for Takuto, Yasuo Saitou. He has a really nice voice and can be very expressive. But best of all, there are scenes where he has to sing... and he does it perfectly.
Characters - 9/10
This anime has all kinds of characters. Some that you'll instantly fall in love with, others that you'll instantly hate. And you might even change your opinion on a few of them, once you get to know them better. I really like the character development in this anime. You'll progressively learn more about each character... it's motivations or even it's past. You'll be impressed! Each character is unique in it's own way and you can't apply a stereotype to it. They interact extremely well with each other and you'll definitely feel connected to them.
Overall - 9/10
I absolutely loved this anime. At first I thought it was really childish, but my friends ASSURED me it was worth watching... so I endured the more boring parts and kept watching... and it was totally worth it. It has become my favourite one. You'll want to re-watch it many times, even if it does have 52 episodes. I've watched the whole thing 3 times, in 6 months.
The anime is very different from the manga, but it's still faithful. And you'll find this intersting: when they made the ending for this anime, the manga still hadn't ended. But still, they made an extremely good ending.
Give it a try! It'll be worth it! No matter how old you are or even if you're a guy or a girl, it can be appreciated by anyone!
I watched "Full Moon wo Sagashite" because it had one of the highest average user ratings at one point on this other anime site that I visit. So it probably comes as no surprise that I was sorely disappointed to find that it's only good, but nothing special. So the main purpose of this review is to provide a different viewpoint from all those other rave reviews that can be found for this series.
"Full Moon wo Sagashite" is quite a heart warming anime about a little girl who wants to become a singer, but only has one year to live because of the
tumour in her throat. Spanning 52 episodes, it was one of the longest anime I watched at the time. To be honest, I think it could have been amazing if it was reduced to half its length - I found the series as a whole to be a bit of a struggle to get through, as most of the episodes up until about episode 40 are actually disposable, girly fluff. Watching "Full Moon wo Sagashite" will pretty much give you the very definition of what a "filler" episode is, because it contains so many of them. I disagree with people who say that these fillers are necessary for character developments purposes - most of them they don't really reveal much beyond the fact that Mitsuki is a boringly nice person. I've seen anime that's done waaay more and waaaay better character development in its first THIRTEEN episodes than this anime's done in its first THIRTY *cough*SeikaiNoMonshou*cough*, which just goes to show you don't need a mass of filler episodes to do a decent a job. Most of these fillers aren't even very enjoyable to watch. They're mostly very generic shoujo material and generally fall somewhere between the "dull" and the "mediocre" sections of the scale in terms of entertainment. This is not to say the first 40 episodes of "Full Moon wo Sagashite" is totally worthless. Some of those episodes do progress the storyline a bit (like, a couple of inches) and there are some pretty good standalone episodes as well, but they tend to be few and far in between.
Another thing I found odd is why everyone seem to rate the music from "Full Moon wo Sagashite" so highly - just because it's an anime about music doesn't automatically make the music on it good. To me, the music production for "Full Moon wo Sagashite" is very good at best and awkward at worst. For starters, what's up with Mitsuki's singing voice? Her voice sounds nice when she talks, and fits that pure and innocent image that she plays, but when she sings, she sounds completely different, and not in a good way. For one thing, she sounds about 10 years older, and her voice has an irritating sandy quality to it. For another, she sounds like she's trying too hard to inject emotions into the songs, to the point where she starts to sound really fake and unnatural. I'm really surprised to hear the person who does Mitsuki's voice is a pop star - I'd never have guessed from her singing. It really says a lot when I much prefer the music box version of "Eternal Snow" to the proper vocal version. In fact I don't think much of the vocal tracks in general. Normally, it is expected that that music in an anime would supplement the show by enhancing the atmosphere. But some of the vocal songs in this series are so bland that at times, it feels like it's the anime that's supplementing *them*, causing them to sound better than they actually are by playing them during emotional moments. In addition to this, a lot songs are criminally overplayed... especially the more mediocre ones, which might have been a good thing in a way, because it took quite a few hearings before I got used to the grating vocals. The background music proved to be far superior than the vocal tracks. From the gentle, warm moments to the occasional eerie, chilling ones, it consistently does the job perfectly whenever called upon.
The original idea behind story's was good, especially with twists building up towards the end, but it is diluted by the massive amounts of filler episodes and took too long to get going. There are times when any resemblance of realism goes out of the window. Normally this happens when Mitsuki's talking to her shinigumi friends in a dead loud voice - even shouting at times - with other people standing around. She could at least pretend to whisper, but no, she has to talk in her normal voice and it seems that hardly anyone notices, which really bugs me. An example of how it could have been done better would be in "Hikaru no Go", where people would actually look at Hikaru weirdly when he gets too noisy interacting with the spirit. There's also the cancer aspect that's so wrapped up in sugar coating that it's totally unconvincing. Like many people, I've experienced the pain of losing someone close to me to cancer, and the fact that this anime completely failed to connect to me on this front is saying an awful lot. All they've done is have Mitsuki clutch at her throat every 10 episodes or so, and occasionally fall ill at the storyline's convenience, for the most part there is no sense of urgency, no resemblance of the terrifying progression that's so typical of the condition. All I'm left with is a sense that it's just essentially used as a plot device, and not much more than that.
"Full Moon wo Sagashite" has got some good characters, but again, they're no where near as good as they're hyped up to be, and they don't really do much in the early part of the series (when there's a downpour of the supposedly character developing filler episodes, ironically), and only broke out of their 2D personalities when the plot got going later on. I also have major issues with the relationships that goes on in the anime, specifically with the romance aspect of it. I'm surprised that not many people have said anything about this, but hasn't anyone else noticed that when Eichi, the boy Mitsuki's in love with, made his "declaration of love" to her, he was about 15-16 and Mitsuki was about 10?! Is it just me that finds this a "tad" unrealistic, not to mention a "tad" dodgy as well?! I can kind of imagine where Mitsuki's feelings might come from, but Eichi should know better at his age than to try and seduce a 10 year old :P Perhaps Eichi should change his name to "Ecchi", as that's more inline with the kind of things he seems to be into. I don't know why they insisted on making this a romantic relationship - it would have been far more appropriate to play the relationship off as a big brother and little sister one rather than this sickening "ooooh Mitsuki, I love you! Even though I'm nearly a young adult now and you've barely entered double figures in terms of age" cack. Those scenes never failed to make me cringe. Also, Takuto was supposed to be 12 when he was in a band (yeah this seems a bit young too, considering his band didn't exactly look like a kids band), so why is he seen riding a motorbike during one of the flashbacks? Now, the explanation may be because he was in the band for a number of years during which time he'd grown up into an adult and was able to learn to ride a motorbike... but this raises the question of why he started falling for a 12 year old girl if he was already so old when he became a shinigumi?!? I wasn't under any impression that the anime is trying to portray all the boys in it as perverts. What is this obsession with shoehorning romance into absolutely everything these days? Is it really so hard making a shoujo without resorting to this? It's because of this apparent obligation to make a love story that we're stuck with these plot holes and rather contrived relationships.
This otherwise stale series is salvaged from mediocrity by the sheer brilliance of its final ten or so episodes that really breathed life into the show. I always thought there was too much sunshine in the early episodes given the premises of the story, but here, the anime rectifies the situation by taking a darker and more depressing turn. With the previously pedestrian story suddenly breaking into a sprint, and the character interactions suddenly becoming interesting, it's here that the anime really starts to earn its praise. It's so good that it's probably worth wading through the previous 40 episodes just so you can watch the last 10. With so many compelling twists happening in the last part of the story, I was actually expecting something more original than the most cliched ending imaginable that I got, especially considering that it's so often touted to be "the best ending ever". Still, I'll admit it is a very good ending - they've taken something pretty predictable and executed it pretty much to perfection - but like the rest of the anime, it's just no where near deserving its "best" label.
Overall, I think "Full Moon wo Sagashite" is an enjoyable, "feel-good" anime, even if it did need the last ten or so episodes to drag it kicking and screaming up to this level of praise. I think the makers made a pretty cunning decision to save those best parts till last - I suspect the strength of those later episodes made people forget how unremarkable most of the rest of the series is. I however, haven't forgotten, and I stand by my claim that this should really have been condensed down to 26 episodes, not left at 52.
I guess most people who are anime fans just constantly look for those anime that really leave a deep impact on you, lift you up, and help you gain a further appreciation for anime. Sometimes we wonder if that special one will ever come, that one that is so special to us on a personal level that we will forever remember it as long as we continue to watch anime or even think about it. This time for me, I think I found one of those in full moon wo sagashite.
On the surface full moon wo sagashite
is a very (very) cute story of a young twelve year old girl(Kouyama Mitsuki) who develops a cancerous tumor in her throat despite the fact that she desires to sing(with all of her heart) in order to keep a promise with a childhood friend and lover. She then encounters two shinigami(death gods-Takuto and Meroko) who tell her that she only has one year left to live and they help her fulfill her last wish to become a singer by transforming her into a sixteen year old girl and allowing her to successfully go to an audition. The story then tells of Mitsuki's adventures in the idol industry(There are some pretty hilarious events and cliffhangers that will keep you upright in your seat) and her battle against the fate that was predetermined from the very beginning. There is a huge emphasis on Mitsuki's strength of character and her ability to change people's attitudes for the better with her energy and enthusiasm.
All in all I think that this is such a heartwarming story. Mitsuki's voice and her songs really do speak to people. I for one was really amazed and awed by the powerful and beautiful songs that were featured in the anime, and her songs are so great to listen to that I would love to continue listening to them in the future. At the start of the story when Mitsuki goes to the audition, her voice immediately astounds all the judges with it's power and beauty. I swear I was sitting right alongside with them with my jaw wide open. What's even more is all the emotion she stacks on top of her voice with each and every song. Just by listening, one can tell that Mitsuki truly does enjoy singing and that she wants her songs to reach the hearts of all those who listen to them.
Despite the very lighthearted and happy beginning, some stronger, more emotional themes do come up later in the anime. Some of these themes include: the broken thoughts of those who attempt to take their own lives, the concept of predetermined fate, the despair of losing a loved one, and the struggles of those who are unable to do the very things they love to do the most.
A major theme that comes up is the importance of living life to its fullest. There is infinite joy one can obtain by just living to see another day and we should enjoy life while we still can.
Returning to the theme of music, there really is a certain beauty to music, the messages it can carry, and the impact it can have on people. Mitsuki's voice is surely strong, beautiful and powerful enough to reach the heavens, to the people who now watch over her from above.
Endings are often the toughest part to create when writing a story, yet here we get a beautifully and masterfully written ending that manages to make the audience smile even as the tears form in their eyes. The longing feelings of being separated from companions that you have so long taken for granted is a feeling that is really hard to understand fully unless you have experienced something similar. But even if you haven't, it's hard not to feel anything as you take a look at this powerful, tear-jerking ending. Viewers experinece sheer joy and sadness at the same time as we see a happy reunion along with the farewell of a very close friend (who has grown so incredibly beautiful and more mature looking :')
Full Moon wo Sagashite really is a timeless tale that people of all ages are able to enjoy
My rating: Very good 8/10
I know that for me personally, the story of full moon wo sagashite will always remain in my heart because it was just so beautifully and masterfully written. In the end, I think that it really did end up being something special.
There's nothing wrong with living each day like it's the last~!