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Title:
  Full Moon O Sagashite vol 1

UK Distributor:  VIZ Media

Created by:  Arina Tanemura

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  5.99

Number of Pages:  208

ISBN:  978-1591169284

Reviewed:  2nd December 2007 

Reviewer:  Ami-chan

 

Full Moon O Sagashite tells the story of Mitsuki, a 12 year old girl who suffers from throat cancer.  She dreams of becoming an idol in order to fulfil a promise made to her love Eichi.  Unfortunately, she only has one year to live and it is the responsibility of Takuto and Meroko who are both part of the shinigami (God of death) duo Negi Ramen to make sure that she lives her time before collecting her soul.  The first few chapters show how Mitsuki meets the duo and convinces them to use their power to make her into a 16 year old so that she can enter a singing competition.

The creator Arina Tanemura is not only responsible for creating this manga but also others such as The Gentleman's Alliance and Kanshaku Dama no Yuutsu.  Her work is primarily shojo and most of her work has been published in the Japanese magazine Ribbon.

As you read through the first volume of Full Moon you will not only fall in love with the characters introduced, but also with the style of drawing used.  Each panel is beautifully drawn and conveys well the emotion that each character is feeling at a particular point; from Mitsuki's joy after transforming into Full Moon for the first time to Meroko's jealously every time someone goes near her beloved Takuto.  If you do not like fan service on every other page then Full Moon will meet that requirement as there is none in the entire manga.

Although the description of the story above may appear to be dark, it is surprisingly light hearted and flows well between chapters.  This could be explained yet again by the character designs used, as shinigami are hardly menacing when they are dressed up in rabbit and cat costumes and can transform into plushie counterparts!  

The story is very character driven as it focuses on Mitsuki's fight for life and her dreams to come true no matter what obstacles may face her way.  It is very interesting to see the character of Full Moon develop as, although she looks like a sixteen year old, her personality still remains at a very innocent twelve.  It is this naivety in all things from her music career to relationships which makes her all the more loveable. 

Overall, the first manga is a good introduction to the story and the characters involved.  Each chapter makes you want to read more to find out whether Mitsuki can really reach her goals and become an idol.  However, it should be noted that this manga may not appeal to everyone's tastes as some people may find it too sweet for their liking.

I only hope that now that the manga has been released in the UK that this will lead to the anime also being released over here.

Extras

Throughout this volume you will find Tanemura's comments on the creation of the manga.  It is these such comments that helps you understand the manga in further depths.  You will learn about how it was created along side the anime and the inspiration behind several of Tanemura's character designs.  She also goes on to write about her own passions and hobbies.  The only drawback here is that sometimes some of the cultural references are not explained fully so are lost in translation.

At the end of manga one there is a bonus section, which has four mini panel mangas. These tell small and funny stories which give an even greater insight into the characters and their creator. 

Product: Extras:
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