Searching for the Full Moon

Also Known As: Fuuru Muun wo Sagashite, Mangetsu wo Sagashite, FMwS
Genre: Drama/Romance
Length: 7 Volumes
Allegiance: Shueisha
Mangaka: Tanemura Arina
Vintage: 2002-2004

Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen

Kouyama Mitsuki is a 12 year old girl who lives with her very strict grandmother and her maid in an old fashioned Japanese house. The reason: Mitsuki has a malignant tumour in her throat. However, surgery is out of the question for Mitsuki, for it threatens to kill her dream of becoming a singer, so she must remain home and be careful not to overexert her body or her voice. One day, everything changes when the Shinigami Combi Negi Ramen arrive bearing news that Mitsuki only has a year to live. This spurs Mitsuki into action, and she rushes desperately to the Seed Records New Artists Audition with Negi Ramen in hot pursuit. Can she achieve her dreams before her year is out, or will the immense odds stacked against her crush her childish ambition?

Research Agent Report by: Orax 
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
7.50
9.25
8.50
8.50
Overall 8.25
(not an average)

I postponed reading Full Moon wo Sagashite thinking that it would just be a retelling of the anime, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. More romance, more complete character background, and even different plot events made this manga a surprise and an exciting read despite having watched the anime already. 

For the most part, the manga had a more serious overtone to it which was quite appreciated, but there was one problem I found quite silly. The manga went too far in trying to portray Mitsuki as someone who could convey the feelings of a song to an audience. After all, when Mitsuki begins to sing in a language that she is completely unfamiliar with, it does more than just make me raise an eyebrow. As for the other characters, they were well developed and many of the characters whose backgrounds weren’t revealed in the anime get the attention they deserve here. I personally found the secondary characters more interesting and enjoyable than the main ones, and herein lay a flaw with the plot. So much focus was put on the secondary characters that Mitsuki’s singing career only surfaces mostly at the beginning and at the end. When the manga mentioned that there was to be an upcoming concert, I was literally surprised that I forgot Mitsuki was still a pop idol. 

Despite these character problems, the manga still remains emotionally strong. Instead of plot events, it relies on its strong characters to move the audience. As a result, the magic that made the anime a hit is still quite present in the manga. Toward the end, it’ll be obvious that the manga borrowed some aspects from the anime, but it only helped the mood. 

The franchise of Full Moon wo Sagashiteremains strong and highly enjoyable. The fact that the manga was more serious in tone than the anime was refreshing and much preferred. Unfortunately, some plot problems hindered the manga diminished the appeal of plot events that should have been dramatic and powerful. Regardless, even if you’re not a fan of Full Moon wo Sagashite, this a solid shoujo romance worthy of anyone’s time.