Full Moon O Sagashite, vol. 1

Mitsuki Koyama is a twelve-year-old girl who aspires to become a great singer one day so that she can become famous, and most importantly fulfill the promise she made to her long lost love Eichi that when they meet again, they would both be closer to fulfilling their goals. However, her grandmother (with whom Mitsuki is living) is extremely strict and forbids Mitsuki to sing or to do anything else that her grandmother thinks might be objectionable or dangerous, like leaving the house or having fun of any kind. To make things even more difficult for Mitsuki, her life is endangered by the fact that she has throat cancer, and going through with the operation would mean that Mitsuki would be left without her voice for the rest of her life, thereby shattering her dreams of becoming a singer.

Mitsuki decides that she would rather die and try to achieve her dreams in the little time she has left to live rather than lose her voice, and fortunately for her two powerful yet comical shinigami (death gods) arrive to lend a hand. Takuto, who can, among other things, turn into a cat, and Meroko, who prefers to be a rabbit, use their powers to advance Mitsuki’s career. Meroko shapeshifts into Mitsuki so that her grandmother doesn’t get suspicious while the real Mitsuki is away. The two shinigami then transform Mitsuki into her future sixteen-year-old self, known to the rest of the world as Fullmoon, and Mitsuki begins to shine and show the music industry and the world what a talent she is.

As readers, we are treated to some truly beautiful artwork and endearing characters. Even the chief villains, Mitsuki’s grandmother and her chief rival Madoka Wakamatsu, are likeable and can be sympathized with for the most part, as can the somewhat inscrutable Takuto and Meroko. Full Moon O Sagashite is a gripping story full of twists and turns that will have you laughing one moment and crying the next.

Creator Arina Tanemura provides a hilarious yet informative commentary on the characters and their designs, fan letters she has received, her production staff, and what her life was like and what she went through in developing and producing Full Moon; this is almost as enjoyable as the story itself and provides even more depth and background information. Full Moon O Sagashite may not be for everyone, particularly very young readers (it is rated T for teens, which is about right), but it is certainly worth checking out. The cliffhanger of an ending will leave you eager to find out what happens in the next volume.

Full Moon O Sagashite: Volume 1
by Arina Tanemura
ISBN: 9781591169284
Viz Media, 2001