Twelve-year-old Mitsuki wants to be a singer because of a promise she made with her childhood love, however a form of throat cancer is holding her back. One day she find two strange characters in her room, Takuto and Meroko, who are gods of death. She finds out she only has a certain amount of time to live, and wants nothing more in that time then to become a singer. The two shinigami show sympathy for her, and decide to help her reach her goal by transforming her into a 16-year-old girl.
Admittedly at first I expected this story to just be cute. Something light, something fluffy to "baw" at for a while. It is as sure as hell cute, but there is a hell of a lot more to this manga that initially meets the eye.
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.
A story that will have you crying, laughing, smiling and hoping throughout. Full Moon wo Sagashite is a manga for, mostly girls, or anyone who enjoys a classic love story... with a twist. Mitsuki is a character everyone will love, and will have you deciding who is best for her and who isn't the right guy. But anyway, onto the review!
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.
This is one of the best shojo manga ever. At first I thought it would be just another girl-loves-boy, happily-ever-after story, and I wasn't exactly psyched when I saw the girl was a singer (I don't like celebrity manga too much). After I started reading, though, I realized it was so much more than you typical shojo flick. This story deals with pain and loss, and at times (especially when I'm reading the lyrics that Mitsuki sings) I just want to cry. Mitsuki's love is so sad and moving, it hurts to see her put on a happy face.
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.
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.