Full Moon wo Sagashite by Kuzu Ryu Sen

English Title: Searching for a Full Moon
Also Known As: Fuuru Muun wo Sagashite, Mangetsu wo Sagashite, FMwS
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Format: 52 Episodes
Allegiance: Studio Deen/NAS
Director: Kato Toshiyuki
Vintage: 2002-2003
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Because of a promise she made two years ago, 12 year old Kouyama Mitsuki desperately wants to become a singer. However, this is impossible because of a life threatening throat tumour that makes singing or talking loudly very painful. But when the Shinigami duo Negi Ramen tell her that she has only one more year to live, Mitsuki seizes the day and attends the Seed Records New Artists Audition in secret. With a little help, this act starts her on the road to becoming an idol, and puts her closer and closer to fulfilling her promise.

Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen 
Overall 9.25

Wow. Simply amazing. It’s not often that I can be absolutely blown away by an anime, and a mahou shoujo to boot. Full Moon wo Sagashite, while appearing to be stereotypical shoujo fare from the outset, quickly develops into one of the most powerful dramas I have ever seen. Trust me, it’s not just another “little girl given magical powers to look cute typeEstory at all.

Like most mahou shoujo anime, Full Moon wo Sagashite starts out slowly, in order for the viewer to get a feel for the characters. However, the show slowly starts to pick up steam by the middle of the first 26 episodes, and by the start of the second 26, has become an unbelievable roller coaster ride, with plot twists and emotion-wrenching moments right up until the powerful grand finale. The characters are all fleshed out rather nicely, and their personalities complement each other and the plot very well. This story also is unique in that it functions without having a direct villain. Instead, there is a very powerful message conveyed to the audience through the story and character of Mitsuki, revealing the true villain of Full Moon wo Sagashite.

Naturally, since it’s a show about idols and singers, music and sound play a huge role. Full Moon wo Sagashite’s music can be divided into three categories: songs that have no relevance to the plot, songs that do have relevance to the plot, and background music. The songs that have no relevance to the plot, namely the OP songs by The Scanty, are nice, but don’t really add anything and are generally forgettable. However, the songs “by” groups featured in Full Moon are absolutely amazing, not only by themselves, but in contributing to the mood of various scenes in the show. I remember getting chills down my spine the first time Myself was played. Seiyuu work is commendable, although Mitsuki’s might take some getting used to, and the background tracks, while less spectacular than the vocals, perform their tasks amicably.

With so many high points, it was very hard to find any faults with Full Moon wo Sagashite. Besides the pacing at the beginning being a bit too slow, the songs were slightly overused throughout the series. Other than that, there were no real weaknesses to the show.

Full Moon wo Sagashite is easily one of the best mahou shoujo anime ever made, up there with the likes of Card Captor Sakura. Even if the first half puts you off, don’t stop! Endeavour to make it to the second half and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most powerful and moving dramas in anime.