Full Moon wo Sagashite by Lady Sage

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: Lady Sage 
Overall 9.50

Full Moon wo Sagashite, in many ways, bears more resemblance to mahou shoujo series of old such as Creamy Mami in which the young protagonist is given powers not to save the world, but to simply become an idol and enjoy herself. However, most of those series were nothing more than lighthearted fluff, whereas Full Moon wo Sagashite draws from its rather depressing premise to bring us a series that is, while often bright and fun, at heart a very moving drama.

Admittedly, there is little at first to distinguish FMwS from other series of its breed. The first ? of the series mainly deal with Mitsukifs life as an idol singer. While it is necessary to cover such events integral to her rise of fame, some of it is distinctly filler. Some such episodes are very good and entertaining, and serve the series and characters well; a few are frankly dull and serve the series no purpose.

The characters of Full Moon wo Sagashite truly shine. Many of them start of unlikable, from the angry and antisocial Takuto to the selfish and clingy Meroko, but every one of them grows throughout the year that the series takes place over. Mitsukifs optimistic, buoyant personality saves the series from becoming a constant downer ? yet, she does have moments where she must cope with her tragic reality, and such moments are heartbreaking. The single character that does not receive sufficient development is Jonathan, an obnoxious Shinigami that serves no purpose.

The music of Full Moon wo Sagashite is consistently good and often excellent, which is fortunate considering how much of the series centers around music. There are only so many songs so they tend to get repetitive, but all of the songs are lovely enough that they are always a pleasure to hear. Myco is a lovely singer ? but she does not, by any stretch of the imagination, sound like a 12-year-old girl. However, she adjusts quickly enough, so that she is on par with the rest of the cast. The seiyuu work is nothing short of outstanding, from newbies including Myco and Saitou Yasuo to veterans Honda Chieko and Ogata Megumi, as everyone brings out the multiple layers of their respective characters.

As the show reaches its final quarter, the filler disappears suddenly, and the tragedy apparent in the premise starts to show through. Everything starts to come together into an emotional rollercoaster ride, building up to a three-hankie ending that is most definitely worth slogging through tedious filler for.