Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Favorite Manga #3: Full Moon: O Sagashite

Mitsuki is a 12 year old girl who's only dream is to become a pop idol, so she can be seen by the one she loves, but she has a sarcoma which needs surgery that could damage her vocal cords.  When she sees two shinigami (death gods) who say she only has a year to live she's desperate for her dream to come true.  Since she wasn't supposed to know she was going to die the shinigami make an agreement with her.  They will let her transform into a healthy 16 year old version of her self to try and become a singer as long as she doesn't fight them when it comes her time to die.  Will on year be enough to become a singer and reach her lost love?

Mitsuki: Mitsuki is a sweet girl who has a pure heart.  She never hides why she wants to become a singer (she loves singing and wants to be seen by her lost love, Eichi).  She is very dedicated to succeeding and won't allow anyone, even her grandmother, to stand in her way, but she also won't fight dirty to get where she wants.  She's an all around likeable character.

 Takuto: A shinigami in training, it was his idea to allow Mitsuki the chance to become a singer, though he did not expect her to succeed.  At first he doesn't remember his life as a human, but as he does, he feels even more drawn to Mitsuki.  I find Takuto to be a completely adorable character.  He's a nice guy, though a little rough around the edges, and he had trouble dealing with his grown feelings for Mitsuki, especially knowing that he and his partner will be the ones to take her life.

Meroko: Meroko is Takuto's partner and training him how to be a shinigami.  She acts infatuated with Takuto and wants to keep him away from Mitsuki, but her true reasons are surprising.  At times she can be spoiled an unlikable, but eventually she and Mitsuki become friends, and she has a surprising connection to Mitsuki.
(Image is of Meroko and Mitsuki)

I originally watched the 52 episode anime and absolutely loved it.  I enjoyed the sound track as well as the story.  When I first tried to read the manga I got a poorly translated scanlation, and was confused, but I loved the anime so much that I gave it a second try.  I am so glad that I did, because I loved the story in the manga as much as the anime.  While the story in both is similar (Mitsuki is dying in a year, and wants to become a singer to reach Eichi, so she gets the shinigami to help her).  Much of the rest of the story is differento.  The story in the manga is perhaps darker and sadder in a lot of ways, and there is aslo more connection and character back stories.  I adore both versions of this story and think that if you like one version you should look at both.  If you are interested in Japanese pop idols, this story might be interesting to you.  If you are like a cute romance, this one might also be for you.

Ok, I said it back in my review of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, and I'll say it again, Arina Tanemura is my absolute favorite manga artist.  I enjoy her stories a lot, but its her artwork that really takes my breath away.  She has a lot of line work and its just amazing to me.  Full Moon is a great example of why I love her art so much.  Its just beautiful.  A strong 5 out of 5. (if you like her art style, you might also check out Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, which is also a good story, and beautiful artwork)

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