Morioka Kouhei wants to become a photographer. Unfortunately, he has the tendency to unintentionally capture the images of ghosts on film.
One day, he visits an old castle in Germany where he meets a vampire girl, Hazuki. It turns out that Hazuki is confined in the castle against her will. She tries to turn Kouhei into her slave by sucking his blood, with the intent to have him break the device sealing her in the castle. Although Kouhei proves to be immune to the vampire's curse, he is eventually forced to help her. Hazuki successfully escapes from the castle and leaves for Japan to look for her mother.
When she arrives in Japan, she goes to Kohei's house where he lives with his grandfather, who agrees to take in the girl. Due to his own childhood experiences, the sympathetic Kouhei agrees to aid Hazuki in her quest.
However, other vampires, including Elfried and Count Kinkell, manage to track Hazuki to Japan. They will stop at nothing to retrieve her.
#1: "Pressentiment triste" by marianne Amplifier feat. yuka (eps 1-2, 9, 14, 19) #2: "Kanashii Yokan (悲しい予感)" by marianne Amplifier feat. yuka (eps 3-6, 8, 10-13, 15-16, 18, 20-24) #3: "Nami no Toriko ni Naru You ni (波のトリコになるように)" by Noriko Ogawa (ep 7) #4: "Just for my love" by Mai Kadowaki & Miyu Matsuki (DVD ep 19) #5: "Neko Mimi Mode" by Chiwa Saito played Hazuki (ep 25)
This series is for those who prefer their vampires to be cute as kittens more often than they are dark and brooding. The mood of the series, like Hazuki's personalities, tend to alternate between the two, although it generally works better when emphasizing the moe aspects, which it does a lot. That said, people with an aversion to cat-eared girls and little-sister types are advised to stay far away.
The plot tends to switch between stretches of seriousness and levity: the first two episodes deal with Hazuki meeting Kohei and escaping the castle, then settling into a silly daily routine before dealing with more villains a
few episodes later. The story has some difficulty balancing character and relationship developments with plot progression unless it separates such things into different episodes. Perhaps this is why, despite several of the tragedies that various characters suffer, there is little emotional draw to them. Also, as with many adaptations of unfinished manga, a number of plot threads are left untied with the series conclusion, although the series does conclude solidly enough.
The cast are entertaining, although some people may find a number of the younger females straddle the line between adorable and irritating. Hazuki starts off as a stubborn and slightly spoiled little girl, but grows into more of a kinder, caring person over the course of the series. Kohei is the typical kind-hearted and honest but unimpressive boy with an unusual ability/curse that you've seen in so many other series. The supporting cast brings a bit of liveliness to the show. Haiji brings a bit of humor as Hazuki's cat-like pet, frequently scolding her master's servant Kohei. Seiji brings a bit of class as the cool-looking and talented relative of Kohei. The best characters, though, are probably Ryuhei and Elfriede, who regularly tease the lead characters, but also connect to each other on a deeper level and share some of the most tender moments in the series.
One can't really talk about Moon Phase without mentioning it's stylistic quirks. As with pretty much any work directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, one should expect interesting and different uses of light and color in many scenes throughout. The typical depiction of the house were much of the story occurs is also diplayed much like a dollhouse, opened up so as to see in all the rooms at once. Also, infamously, yellow washpans are known to come crashing down on various characters for comedic effect.
Designs for the characters are crisp, and backgrounds are appropriately detailed. Action scenes may not be breath-taking, but they are more than adequate for the task they mean to achieve. While the initial television episodes did have a few problems during important scenes, these were all rectified in the DVD release.
Voice work for both languages is well done, although Monica Rial can't quite match the level of cuteness that Chiwa Saito attained playing Hazuki (a minor issue). Background music for the episodes is chosen appropriately for the scene, although it is at times a little overbearing. The dark scenes are supported by haunting and gothic-sounding tones, while the cheery moments are punctuated by spunky and playful tunes. The most catchy song (for good or bad) is absolutely the opening theme, "Neko Mimi Mode De". It's particularly surprising when it drastically interrupts the gloomy introductory scene of the first episode with it's bubbly, sugary tune, simplistic lyrics, and bright colors. The song is devastatingly appropriate for the show. A couple of episodes have an alternate opening song, "Tsukuyomi Mode", that is less syrupy and not so overly energetic, but similar. The closer, on the other hand, is slightly melancholy and more subdued, but leaves little lasting impression.
Moon Phase sets out to be a vampire series built around the concept of "moe", and it largely succeeds. At times, it tries to be something a little more, and it is less definitive in its achievement when attempting this, but rarely strays far from its strength. In all, the series is an entertaining diversion for those looking for something just a little different.
Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- is about a photographer who takes pictures of ghosts for a living. Kouhei the protagonist then encounters a vampire, whom tries to force him to become her slave.
Story: The story is quite simple, but isn't your typical romantic comedy anime. It focuses on the relationship between a human and a vampire, which can become pretty interesting if it can deliver it well. Every anime has its villain, and the bad guys really make the story interesting.
Art: The art isn't the best, and it doesn't appeal to the audience. The majority of the anime consists of dark colours, and in some
parts the characters and the background look very sketchy. However, the art is still viewable and can still give the audience an entertainment throughout the anime.
Sound: Alright, the OP and ED doesn't really suit the whole idea of a relationship between a photographer and a vampire or the battle between a good and evil. There aren't many sound effects that enhance the overall anime but that doesn't really kill off the entertainment.
Character: Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- has it all, from jealous twins, perverted grandpa, cute vampires to evil villains. The character development between the cast is at a good standard but what was a big let down was the relationship between the two main characters. Their development starts off pretty slow, and doesn't have a 'climax' in their relationship, which basically means; their relationship never becomes an up and down one, but rather a steady but repetitive one.
Enjoyment: The whole idea of vampirexhuman gave a pretty good impression on me, but the anime didn't portray it well enough. Most of the things that were shown felt repetitive and boring. Also you can clearly predict cliché moments. However the anime is still 'watch able', but starting from the middle of the series, I just went: "End already, I have better things to watch."
Overall: Overall, Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- isn't necessary a bad anime but nor is it a good one, if you want to watch good and deep romance anime, I would suggest you keep away from this. But if you just want a casual romantic comedy that keeps you busy then pick this up.
Intro: Boy's job is to take pictures of the supernatural. Boy's job leads him to castle to meet girl. Girl has multiple personalities and is a vampire. Boy brings girl home. Story unravels there.
Story: The story was actually decent in my mind. It was creative and it included everything one would ask for in an anime. DRAMA, ROMANCE, ACTION, and COMEDY. It although, lacked a decent ending and left a minor amount of questions un-answered, the story fell into place and connected to the next scene of the story. I have nothing really to complain with the story.
Art: The art was the noteworthy thing about
this anime. The art was detailed yet cute. The characters were nicely drawn. Well, the girls anyway. The guy characters were plain and dull while the girls stood out. The art for the characters however, in my opinion started to go downwards. Either the artist felt lazy or tired, they just stop putting in the effort they did in the beginning. The characters ALL started to look dull. But the scenery and backgrounds, i felt, were very good.
Sound: Nothing really to complain about, yet nothing worthy of an overall compliment. The music and voices of the characters were decent. The theme song started out odd, unique, and annoying but as the anime went on, got catchy. [Well, at least to me anyway. I was singing it.] Again, nothing to complain about and nothing too great to mention.
Characters: Ah, i felt they lacked character growth. I mean, the characters had a history and they grew physically, but it didn't show the depth of what it could of been. The male character is just like any other romance/comedy guy character. It's generic. He's a clutz, weak, and nerdy guy who becomes a total hunk for the girl. The female lead was annoying yet cute, but really annoying in my opinion. she was the main focus of the whole thing, and she just didn't attract me. I felt like she should've spoken lesss. haha. just my opinion. of course, most could feel different. The other characters didn't get much. They were there as people who stood with the mains.
Enjoyment: I started off enjoying this quite a bit. But as it went on, i started to feel annoyed and just all together, found the anime tedious. Usually, as any anime watcher should know, an anime should leave you wanting more and/or thinking: wow, perfect/great ending. I don't even REMEMBER the ending of this anime. And when i found out there was a special, i didn't even want to watch it. I did enjoy the comedy and the action part. I'll give it that.
Overall: If you're looking for an anime that is alright enough to keep you busy, this is it. You may end up loving it and you may end up like me, disappointed. We all have different opinions. I've given mine. I'd only say that this anime just was forgettable. Don't expect to be "WOWed"
This won't be your typical review. There are already plenty of those. Instead I just wanted to share my final thoughts about something usually overlooked about Moonphase. Moonphase/Tsukuyomi is a very strange show. I don't just say that because of its reputation for loli level moe. What I mean is, the series as a whole is hard to summarize. Moonphase is easily the kind of show that can give the somewhat misleading impression of "typical". By no means is it some amazing original masterpiece, but the point I'm going to make isn't meant to slam it or demonize it either. In fact, the sole purpose
of this "review" is merely to elaborate on the one thing I did find interesting about it. For the most part Moonphase is a very average show in every way. It's not very exciting but it can be very amusing and endearing (or uncomfortable) depending on your tastes. Mostly it's the ending portion of the show that I think deserves some credible mention.
The show starts off generically enough. Annoying/cute young female character, awkward/clumsy older male character, and fairly familiar supporting character archetypes. The first 13 episodes adhere pretty closely to a story about watching the daily antics of a boy/girl and human/vampire relationship. This is where the show brandishes most of its cuteness and comedy (whether you find any of it funny or cute is another matter). Along the way a plot gradually develops with the climax involving defeating the first major villain. This all develops very slowly mind you, so you should not be watching Moonphase if you are expecting fast paced (or a lot of) vampire action.
Everything about the show is still only slightly interesting and mostly mediocre up to this point. Nothing's unforgivably terrible, but there's also nothing new or noteworthy. If you didn't like the show at the beginning, you wouldn't like it any better yet either. It's somewhere after this though, particularly around episode 17, where things really start to change. Like really change. It doesn't become a completely different show or throw in some crazy plot twist, but the overall atmosphere takes a complete change in course.
The setting changes, for one. The previous situations and conditions you may have grown used to change as well. Even the general tones and styles change. Ending themes get new animation, comedy gags get a little more bizarre and random and characters interact in a more straightforward and developmental way. If you liked the show as it was, this is probably the point in the show where you didn't like it the same anymore. The cuteness theme is toned down and the story gets a little more serious. Or perhaps I should say a lot more serious? Where as the first half of the series was very laid back and casual, the latter arc starts to resemble an actual dedicated plot. New villains are introduced and the regular cast adopt more meaningful roles. The story progresses steadily and is now at the forefront of the show instead of in the background. So the whole look and feel of the last third of the show is significantly different than the rest. By the end it is obvious that there is still more story that could be told but everything that could be wrapped up neatly is, and that's really all one can ask for. I thought the show was actually genuinely funnier and more entertaining, so much that it made me wonder if some new director took over halfway through it.
The funny thing about Moonphase is that I originally watched it because I had very, very low expectations and wanted to bear witness to just how creepy or moe it really was. Although elements of both were present that were a little weird/disturbing, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had been led to believe. So like I said before, it's not really awful, but it is awfully average. It's a shame because I kind of liked what the show had become, so if the whole series began the way it ended Moonphase would've probably been much more well received.
There were some interesting artistic choices, like the whole dollhouse point of view, and the dubbing was good for what they had to work with. The opening/ending themes grow on you, if you can bring yourself to watch more than a few eps. Definitely not for everyone, and I wouldn't recommend to anyone who doesn't really like overly cutesy or silly anime, but there are worse things you could watch...