Full Moon o Sagashite
||This article possibly contains original research. (December 2008)|
|Full Moon o Sagashite|
Cover of the first volume of the English release of Full Moon o Sagashite
(Furu Mūn o Sagashite)
|Genre||Magical girl, Romance, Supernatural, Tragedy, Drama|
|Written by||Arina Tanemura|
|Original run||January 2002 – June 2004|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Toshiyuki Kato|
|Original run||April 6, 2002 – March 29, 2003|
Full Moon o Sagashite (満月（フルムーン）をさがして Furu Mūn o Sagashite?, literally "Searching for the Full Moon") is a Japanese shōjo manga by Arina Tanemura. According to the furigana, the kanji 満月 in the title are read furu mūn ("full moon") and not mangetsu or mitsuki, the Japanese words for the full moon. In North America, the series is published as Full Moon, although the full title is given on the front cover.
The manga was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from January 2002 to June 2004 and collected in seven tankōbon volumes. The manga is published in North America in English by Viz Media. The series was adapted as an anime television series produced by Nihon Ad Systems, which ended before the manga was completed, plus an OVA distributed with an issue of Ribon. The series was broadcast on TV Tokyo, where it enjoyed high ratings, and is also licensed in North America by Viz Media.
Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Kouyama is a talented girl who dreams of becoming a singer, but she is afflicted with sarcoma, which is curable only through a surgery that could ruin her vocal cords, and lose her ability to sing. The tumor in her throat already affects her ability to breathe well and sing loudly. Her grandmother also hates music and is completely opposed to Mitsuki's wish to audition. Mitsuki's dreams seem impossible to achieve, until one day she is visited by two shinigami, whom only she could see. The shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, inadvertently tip Mitsuki off that she has only one year left to live.
Mitsuki then realizes she cannot wait any longer to fulfill her dream, so she runs away from home and the shinigami, to try to audition for a singing competition. However, the shinigami stops her before she is able to audition. She moves Takuto, the male shinigami, to agree to a compromise: if Mitsuki promises to go quietly when her year is up, he would help her become a singer, so she could leave the world with no regrets. Takuto gives her the ability to transform into a completely healthy 16-year-old, so that she could meet the age requirements of the audition, and sing without hindrance.
Despite heavy competition, Mitsuki wins over the judges with her excellent voice and her enthusiasm for singing, sealing a contract with Seed Records. To conceal her true identity, she chooses the stage name "Fullmoon".
Mitsuki had decided to become a singer two years before, when she was 10 years old. She had made a promise with Eichi Sakurai, a 16-year-old boy she met at her orphanage, that the next time they met, they would both be closer to their dreams. Eichi wanted to become an astronomer and Mitsuki wanted to become a singer. Shortly after, Eichi was adopted and emigrated to America before Mitsuki could express her feelings for him. Mitsuki hopes that by becoming a famous idol, Eichi would be able to hear her sing and realize her feelings for him. This is a tale of growing up, falling in love, awareness of life and death, and desire to move forward.
Differences between anime and manga
Because the manga continued to be written after the anime series completed, the plots of the manga and anime take different paths after the point of Mitsuki's first singing audition. The two stories share common themes, but events develop differently as the series advances, and some of the characters in the anime have different histories and personalities from their manga counterparts.
For example, in the manga, Mitsuki is never allowed to go to school, while in the anime, Mitsuki attends grade school regularly, and many episodes involve her interactions with classmate friends.
Also, in the anime, Mitsuki tries to convince Oshige and Wakaoji that Fullmoon is her "older sister." However, by episode 19, Mitsuki decides to end the charade, admitting to Oshige and Wakaoji that Mitsuki and Fullmoon are one and the same, and that she changes via Takuto's and Meroko's magic. She proves this by performing a transformation in front of them (much to their astonishment), and Wakaoji and Oshige become friends with Takuto and Meroko for the rest of the series. By contrast, in the manga, no human other than Mitsuki knows about the shinigami in detail. Oshige and Wakaoji eventually deduce Mitsuki is also Fullmoon, but they never know specifically how that was accomplished. In only one frame do they mention a time when Mitsuki told them of shinigami, and Wakaoji says simply, "I believe her."
Mitsuki's love for Eichi plays a lead role in her quest to be a singer. When she was 10 years old, she fell in love with Eichi, who was then 16 years old (anime); he was 14 in the manga (relationships with that age difference are allowed in Japan). She wishes to be a singer because she thinks her songs will reach America, where Eichi lives, and will recognize her. However, in the manga, Takuto finds out that Eichi died in a plane crash the day of his departure and Mitsuki knew all along and pretended that he was still alive. In the anime, she goes to America to meet a doctor who might treat her illness and uses the chance to track down Eichi's adoptive family, who tell her that Eichi died in a car accident two months after moving. In both versions, she becomes emotionless and blames herself for his death. In the anime, she is so depressed that she gives up singing, refuses to eat and sleep, stares at a photo of her and him, and considers suicide. In the manga, she continues with singing but does so so that she can exhaust herself to death and "go to the world Eichi is at". At the end of both versions, with the help of her friends, she realizes that Eichi would have wanted her to live and fulfill her dreams, so she continues singing and fulfills her promise to him.
In the manga, Takuto is more blunt about his feelings for Mitsuki. Mitsuki becomes more aware of her feelings for him earlier and even goes on a date with him. At the end, he awakens from a coma (he wasn't really dead) and reunites with Mitsuki three years later. While in the anime, he holds back his feelings for her and doesn't confess until her final concert. At the end, he is granted a second chance to live and has no memories until Mitsuki calls for him and seems to realize who she is.
In the manga, Meroko still has feelings for Izumi, who is more open about his love for her. Izumi is also more amusing and teasing than his cold and cynical self in the anime. Meroko accepts that she loves Izumi the most and they become partners again in the manga, while in the anime, Meroko tells Izumi that she only loves Takuto now (even though her love is unrequited.)
In the manga, Izumi is, overall, a good guy. He cares very much for Mitsuki and is still in love with Meroko. He suffers greatly because he has all his memories of his human life and why he killed himself. Although he can be very mischievous and unintentionally cruel, he means no real harm and only wants Meroko back and to help Mitsuki. In the anime, Izumi is depicted mainly as being a villain with no concern for Mitsuki. He is a minor character and Meroko no longer loves him or cares about him. While not entirely evil, he is not a good person at all.
In the manga, Mitsuki is cured of her illness by her frequent transformations, which lessened her cancer, after she agrees to take the surgery. In the anime, Mitsuki takes the surgery after her final concert and it successfully allows her to keep her voice.
In the anime, there was a difference between an angel and a shinigami (death gods). Meroko, who was previously a shinigami, was promoted to an angel when she was willing to exchange her own life for Takuto's. While in the manga, both entities were one and the same. Mitsuki relieves them of their shinigami title by reclassifying them as angels.
- Mitsuki Kōyama (神山 満月 Kōyama Mitsuki?) Voiced by: myco (Japanese), Katie Rowan (English)
- A 12-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pop singer, but who has a tumor in her vocal cords which restricts her ability to sing. She grew up in an orphanage, and then later went to live with her strict grandmother, Fuzuki, who forbade her from singing. When Mitsuki learns that she'll die if her vocal cords aren't removed, she refuses the surgery, saying she is more afraid of never singing again than she is of dying. With Takuto's help, she transforms into Fullmoon (フルムーン Furumūn?), a 16-year-old pop idol, completely free of cancer and able to sing. As Fullmoon, she is discovered by Seed Records during an audition, and in both the manga and anime she is depicted as releasing several hit singles. The anime ending theme songs are all supposedly sung by Fullmoon. Mitsuki chooses the stage name Fullmoon because mitsuki means "full moon" in Japanese, and because her childhood friend, Eichi Sakurai, wants to become an astronomer, and the name reminds her of him. Mitsuki decided to become a singer when she was ten years old, because she made a promise with Eichi that they would fulfill their dreams the next time they met.
- Mitsuki desires to become a singer because she wants to tell Eichi that she loves him. Mitsuki lost contact with Eichi when he moved from the orphanage to America. In the manga, after he leaves, Mitsuki wanted to call him in America to tell him her feelings but later finds out on television that his airplane crashed right after takeoff in the ocean and sees his name on the list of the deceased. Although she knew about his death all along, she went into denial and pretended to not know due to her intense pain. Eventually, the shinigami find out about Eichi's death, and Mitsuki is forced to admit to herself that Eichi is gone forever. In the anime, Mitsuki does not learn about Eichi's death until two years later, when she travels to America with Ms. Oshige and Dr. Wakaoji. She finds out from his adoptive grandparents that Eichi and his adoptive parents died in a car crash. Upon learning his death, Mitsuki runs away and goes to Eichi's grave, wanting to die and be with Eichi. Upon her return to Japan, she becomes extremely depressed and decides to give up on singing, despite numerous attempts to convince her otherwise. However, after Izumi's attempt to take her soul and hearing Takuto talk about his memories and how he regrets committing suicide, Mitsuki decides to sing again so she can live her life to the fullest.
- In the manga, it is revealed that Mitsuki can see the shinigami if there is a soul of a dead person surrounding her. Mitsuki realizes that the soul is Eichi, who has been watching over her since he died. She is hit with the Scythe of Fate, which removes Eichi's soul from her body. In the anime, it is never explained why she can see the shinigami. Izumi offers a theory that her illness, which made her close to death, and her belief in escaping her impending fate, made her capable of seeing the shinigami.
- Halfway through the series, Mitsuki realizes that she loves Takuto but feels guilty for it because she is afraid of forgetting Eichi. With the help of Meroko, she decides that she loves them both and is able to confess to Takuto, as well as accept that Eichi would have wanted her to be happy. By the end of the series, she is cured of her illness and is able to pursue a singing career and relationship with Takuto, but keeps Eichi in a special place in her heart. Mitsuki's corkscrew hairstyle was inspired by Ai Kago of the group Morning Musume. Mitsuki herself is modeled on one of Arina Tanemura's assistants, Airi Teito.
- Eichi Sakurai (桜井 英知 Sakurai Eichi?) Voiced by: Ryohei Kimura (Japanese), Graden Gant (English)
- Mitsuki's childhood friend and first love. In the anime, he is six years older than her; in the manga, he is four years older. He is a kind and gentle boy, and dreams of becoming an astronomer. In the manga, Eichi used to hate the moon because it saw him cry after his grandfather's death, but after meeting Mitsuki, he grew to love the moon. After his parents died, Eichi lived with his grandfather. When he died as well, Eichi moved to the orphanage where he met Mitsuki. They became fast friends, and he eventually fell in love with her, confessing his feelings just before moving to America. Mitsuki was heartbroken when he left, as she could not yet confess her true feelings to him. Part of the reason she wanted to become a singer was to find him.
- In the manga, Eichi dies when his flight to America crashes, which Mitsuki learns when she watched the news of the crash and saw his name on the list of the deceased. In the anime, Eichi dies in a car accident a few months after moving, which Mitsuki doesn't find out until she travels to America two years later. In the manga, Takuto's first assignment was taking Eichi's soul, but Eichi refused to depart the world and said that only one girl could take or release his soul. He becomes a ghost and watches over Mitsuki, which gives her the power to see shinigami. He stays with her until the end of the manga, when he sees that Mitsuki is happy with her career and with Takuto, and leaves with a smile and with tears in his eyes.
- Fuzuki Kōyama (神山 文月 Kōyama Fuzuki?) Voiced by: Kazuko Sugiyama (Japanese), Maureen Jones (English)
- Mitsuki's maternal grandmother. She took in Mitsuki when she was 10 and barely spoke to her, likely because she saw Mitsuki as the reminder of the affair that stole her daughter from her. She initially hates music because she believes that it has stolen everyone she has loved. She argues when Mitsuki sings in her house. After Mitsuki runs away from home to become Fullmoon, disappearing from her life, Grandma Fuzuki constantly worries about her, gradually accepts the fact that she cannot keep Mitsuki from music, and the two reconcile. In the manga, as a young woman Fuzuki was best friends with Moe Rikyou (the human who became Meroko), and they both fell in love with a violinist, Seijuro Koga. He chose Fuzuki as his fiancée, but Fuzuki refused the engagement out of loyalty to Moe. When Fuzuki announced this to Seijuro, she gave him a final kiss, but Moe, already hearing of their engagement, misread the scene, ran off, and committed suicide in despair. Fuzuki later married another man and had Hazuki, who became Mitsuki's mother. Seijuro married another woman, who gave birth to Aoi Koga--Mitsuki's father. In the anime, Fuzuki was engaged to a man who wanted to become a famous pianist. He became obsessed with practicing the piano, and when she suggested he should relax a bit, he said she did not understand and left Japan, breaking Fuzuki's heart. At the end of the manga, Fuzuki reunites with Seijuro (both are by then widowed), and they attend Mitsuki's concert together--strongly implying they are finally a pair.
- Yoneya "Yone" Tanaka (田中 よね Tanaka Yone?) Voiced by: Mayumi Akado (Japanese), Suzette Mattar (English)
- Fuzuki's maid. She acts silly at times, but cares deeply for both Fuzuki and Mitsuki. Tanaka is skilled at cooking, cleaning, shopping, and appears to take pride in her abilities as a maid. She is also something of a snoop and often eavesdrops on conversations. In the anime, Tanaka is shown as loving music and she has a radio with headphones so that she can listen without Fuzuki knowing; Mitsuki sometimes uses this to blackmail Tanaka. Tanaka also has a crush on Wakaoji and is jealous of Oshige, mistaking her to be Wakaōji's fiancée. In one episode, she challenges Oshige to a contest to see which of the two would make a better bride. Although Tanaka wins all events, she concedes the contest when she sees Wakaoji and Oshige laughing together, believing the two are in love (which is actually true in the manga, but not in the anime).
- Keiichi Wakaōji (若王子 圭一 Wakaōji Keiichi?) Voiced by: Teruaki Ogawa (Japanese), Gerrick Winston (English)
- Mitsuki's doctor. He played keyboard in the band ROUTE:L along with Mitsuki's father, Aoi Koga, and Takuto Kira, but he quit after Aoi's death. Fans called him the "Prince of ROUTE:L" because wakaōji means "young prince" in Japanese. In the manga, Wakaōji performed the surgery on Takuto to remove the tumor in his vocal cords and witnessed Takuto's suicide. Mitsuki learns that Wakaoji loved her mother because of a letter he thought she had written him, but Wakaōji falls in love with Oshige when he discovers the letter was from her. In a side story, he asks Oshige to marry him and she accepts. In an episode of the anime, Mitsuki asks him to go out with her and he says yes. He cares for Mitsuki because she looks like her mother.
- Masami Ōshige (大重 正実 Ōshige Masami?) Voiced by: Tomomi Seo (Japanese), Kris Rundle (English)
- Fullmoon's 28-year-old manager, and a former avid fangirl of ROUTE:L, especially Wakaoji. She started out as an unsuccessful idol singer, under the stage name Yuina Hanakazari (花飾 結菜 Hanakazari Yuina?), before moving into management. In the manga, she has an affair with her boss out of loneliness despite his being married. She truly loves Wakaōji, having been smitten with him since his days in Route:L, but she feels she is too old and unworthy of true love with a man. To cope with this despair, as well as with the pressures of her job, she often loses herself in a bottle of sake. (In reality, Arina Tanemura says Masami is a heavy drinker because Tanemura's editors like to drink, and Oshige's name is a hybrid of the editors' names.) At the end of the manga, Wakaoji discovers Masami is the one who composed the mysterious love letter, making her the one he really loved all that time, and so asks her to marry him.
- Madoka Wakamatsu (若松 円 Wakamatsu Madoka?) Voiced by: Kana (Japanese), Carol-Anne Day (English)
- Madoka Wakamatsu is the stage name of Chisato Kurebayashi (暮林 千暁 Kurebayashi Chisato?). Madoka is Fullmoon's rival in the music industry, who at the same time befriends 12-year-old Mitsuki. While talented, she is constantly upstaged by Fullmoon because she initially lacks the heart Mitsuki gives her songs. In addition, she is insecure because she had plastic surgery to make herself beautiful as a celebrity and was disowned by her family as a result. Madoka has a small pig called Gu-chan (ぐっちゃん?), who worships her. Although she sometimes takes out her anger on Gu-chan, she is genuinely fond of him. In the manga, Madoka is shown as having pride as well as ambition: she refuses to cheat to win over Fullmoon, even once resigning a commercial offer to Fullmoon when she realizes that Fullmoon would have won if Madoka hadn't inadvertently stolen her lyrics. In the anime, Madoka is not above using underhanded tactics to best Fullmoon and does so several times, although she eventually changes her ways--particularly after learning some humility the hard way. In both versions, Madoka cares very much about Mitsuki/Fullmoon by the end of the story. At the end of the anime, Madoka brings Mitsuki flowers following her surgery, and at the end of the manga, Madoka cries when thinking about Fullmoon having cancer: "Why? Why does it have to be her?" (chapter 29).
- Aoi Koga (古雅 葵 Koga Aoi?) Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi
- Mitsuki's dead father, and former guitarist and songwriter for the band ROUTE:L. He acted as a father figure for the orphaned Takuto. In the manga, he died in an accident while driving Hazuki to the hospital to give birth to Mitsuki; in the anime, he died when Mitsuki was one year old.
- In the manga, Aoi is shown as a laid-back, cool-tempered man. Arina Tanemura states that "He loves wearing Buddhist priest work clothes!" Aoi was very close to his bandmates and friends, Keiichi Wakaōji and Takuto Kira. He asked Takuto to name his daughter, and Takuto decided on Mitsuki (vol. 4, bonus manga, Totsugeki Dokodoko). He is only briefly seen in the anime, including a scene where he gives a music box to Hazuki when she named their daughter Mitsuki.
- Hazuki Koyama
- Mitsuki's dead mother. Like Mitsuki, she was physically weak and often fell ill. She is also a spitting image of Mitsuki. She had loved Aoi for a long time, against the wishes of her strict mother, and married him after becoming pregnant with Mitsuki. In the anime, she is scene in flashbacks attending Aoi's concert and receiving the music box Mitsuki now has from Aoi. She died giving birth to Mitsuki.
- In the anime, she was confident she was carrying a girl and agreed with Takuto that Mitsuki was a perfect name. She rarely appears in the manga, only in a couple of flashbacks.
- Nachi (那智?)
- The lead singer of the duo OZ, who befriends Mitsuki (as Fullmoon) because she was the first person in the music industry to genuinely smile as she spoke to him. He cherishes her friendship and takes it upon himself to find a stalker hurting people close to her. Nachi and Madoka fall in love, though Gu-chan is jealous of him. When Madoka finds he has an old photo of her with her unattractive childhood fiancé, Sōichirō Shidō (紫堂 総一郎 Shidō Sōichirō?), she assumes Nachi is Soichiro's friend, pretending to love her to get revenge for her rejection of Soichiro. Madoka apologizes to Soichiro's mother and asks to break off the engagement because she loves Nachi, only to discover Soichiro is Nachi, after having plastic surgery to become an idol in hopes of making her love him. In the end, they remain engaged and a happy couple. Nachi does not appear in the anime.
- Hikari Hayashi (林 光理 Hayashi Hikari?)
- Hikari was Takuto's girlfriend while he was alive. Takuto discovered that she was cheating on him and the two were on the verge of breaking up when Takuto attempted suicide and went into a coma, after which Hikari realized that she still loved him. She later sees Takuto (visible to humans while he was about to go on a date with Mitsuki) and attempts to revive their relationship, which causes problems between Takuto and Mitsuki. Hikari kisses Takuto (during Takuto's and Mitsuki's date) which Mitsuki sees. Takuto later tells Mitsuki that he broke up with her to which Mitsuki replies that she is glad. Hikari only appears in the manga.
The shinigami are the spirits of humans that committed suicide, who are then punished with the task of collecting souls. If a shinigami fully remembers his or her past life before becoming a full shinigami, he or she disappears and becomes a ghost to wander about. In the manga, Mitsuki is the only human who knows about the shinigami (other than Grandma Fuzuki, who befriends Meroko in her "plushie doll" form, but does not know she's a shinigami, nor realizes Meroko is a friend from many years ago). However, in the anime, when Mitsuki admits to Oshige and Wakaōji her double-identity, she also admits the existence of Takuto and Meroko, as well as their supernatural powers. Oshige and Wakaōji befriend Takuto and Meroko, and frequently interact with them when they're in doll form.
- Takuto Kira (タクト·キラ?) Voiced by: Yakkun Sakurazuka (Japanese), Jeffrey Watson (English)
- Takuto is Meroko's partner and trainee, and they are assigned to take Mitsuki's soul. His shinigami costume is a cat outfit plus a backpack with wings, without which, as a trainee shinigami, he cannot fly. Takuto is capable of transforming into an anthropomorphic cat plushie. Moved by Mitsuki's plight, he transforms her into the 16-year-old Fullmoon. Takuto falls in love with Mitsuki as the story goes on, and despite the 12 year age difference between them, they become a couple at the end. As the series progresses, he remembers his past as Takuto Kira (吉良 托人 Kira Takuto?), the lead singer of ROUTE:L, the band that both Mitsuki's father and her doctor were in. After a malignant tumor in his throat took his voice, he attempted suicide by jumping from the top floor of the hospital, witnessed by Dr. Wakaōji. He remained in a coma for the next two years. In the manga, a twelve year-old Takuto named Mitsuki before she was born, and later met her at the orphanage when she was four years old and promised to protect her. At the end of the series, Takuto saves Mitsuki's life, violating fate and his duty as a shinigami.
- At the end of the manga, he is seen as a human again in the hospital, having lost three months of memories. Three years later, he reunites with Mitsuki during her concert. Mitsuki jumps off stage mid-song and confesses her feelings to him. They kiss amid cheers from the concert crowd. In the anime, the circumstances of Takuto's death are changed: he is in a motorbike accident and dies rather than remaining in a coma. After being given a second chance at life, Takuto has no memory of his former lives as human or shinigami, but still carries the cat charm Mitsuki gave him. In the final scene, Meroko (now an angel) leads Mitsuki to Takuto. Mitsuki calls out to him, and he recognizes her.
- Meroko Yui (めろこ·ユイ?) Voiced by: Chieko Honda (Japanese), Leda Davies (English)
- Meroko is a rabbit shinigami with long ears, capable of transforming into an anthropomorphic bunny stuffed toy. Her shinigami costume in the manga is black; whereas, in the anime it is red. Meroko is particularly insecure in relationships. At one point she laments, "I've finally run away from love... but when I fell in love and lost it, I realized that there's no place to run anywhere, anymore. Do I have to repeat this forever? Is this my punishment?" (bonus story in manga volume 3,A Kiss for Meroko). This insecurity gives her jealousy towards Mitsuki. Meroko is Takuto's partner and has an unrequited infatuation with him. Her jealousy in the manga causes her to act out almost violently against Mitsuki. In the anime, she is more passive; however, the anime depicts her love for Takuto as being much deeper and more permanent than the manga (possibly because Izumi is a villain in the anime, while he is mostly a good guy in the manga.) Meroko is Izumi's former partner; in the manga, it is Izumi who selects her unique costume so it will match his. Both the manga and the anime reveal that Izumi and Meroko kissed shortly before he betrayed her by ending their shinigami partnership. Meroko is forced to train Takuto as a replacement. The anime does not address Meroko's past, while the manga does: As a human, Meroko was named Moe Rikyō (里匡 萌 Rikyō Moe?), and was the best friend of Mitsuki's grandmother, Fuzuki. Fuzuki was in an arranged engagement to another man, but both she and Moe fell in love with Seijuro Koga, a handsome violinist. However, Seijuro returned only Fuzuki's affections and arranged things so the two could be engaged. Fuzuki's loutish ex-fiancé was passed on to Moe, who, shocked by the new arrangements, sought out Fuzuki to verify the truth. At the same time, Fuzuki broke off her relationship with Seijuro and was giving him a final kiss when Moe arrived. The upset Moe ran away; soon afterwards, her new fiancé attempted to rape her. Feeling betrayed by her friend, Moe committed suicide. In the manga, Meroko learns Seijuro is Mitsuki's grandfather and assumes Mitsuki is the descendant of Fuzuki's betrayal. In a rage, Meroko tries to take Mitsuki's soul with a whip, but Takuto intervenes. It is later revealed that Fuzuki did not marry Seijuro but later married another man, with whom she raised Hazuki Kouyama, Mitsuki's mother; Seijuro married another woman, and their child was Aoi Kago, Mitsuki's father.
- Meroko eventually makes amends in the manga both by befriending Fuzuki in her rabbit form and by appearing silently as Moe, allowing Fuzuki a chance to explain and apologize although shinigami law prevents her from replying.
- The manga ends with Meroko and Izumi reconciling their relationship as well as becoming shinigami partners once more because she realizes it was always Izumi whom she loved the most. In the anime, Meroko is exiled from the shinigami and resolves to become a ghost in order to save Takuto; in reward for this kindness, she is made into an angel and given Takuto's soul to deliver a second chance.
- Izumi Rio (いずみ·リオ?) Voiced by: Megumi Ogata
- Izumi is a cold and distant shinigami assigned to the Pediatrics Ward. He can transform into an anthropomorphic dog plushie, but rarely does so because it takes a lot of energy and he says it is embarrassing. He likes to call other characters by nicknames.
- In the anime, Izumi's background is not mentioned and he is portrayed as a cold-hearted antagonist. He makes several attempts to steal Mitsuki's soul, and although he claims to love Meroko, he frequently does things to hurt her. He also implies that he was responsible for Takuto and Meroko being assigned to Mitsuki in the hopes it would cause Takuto to remember his past life as a human and turn him into a ghost. The anime portrays Izumi's sole motivation as the need to regain Meroko and cause Takuto pain in the process. At the end of the anime, Izumi seems to grow sympathy for Mitsuki when help maintaining her Fullmoon transformation during her finale.
- The manga illustrates Izumi as mischievous but not sadistic, and over the course of the series, he also befriends Mitsuki and the others. He is open about his love for Meroko and wants her back by his side. Izumi's background in the manga is elaborate: In his human life, he was a boy named Lio Izumi (泉利緒 Izumi Rio?) whose mother was abusive; it is implied that the young Izumi looked much like his late father, thus invoking his mother's rage. In a desperate attempt to see his mother smile again, six-year-old Izumi ran onto the train tracks - but though he saw his mother smile as he was hit, Izumi woke up again as a shinigami, dissatisfied. In the manga, it is stated that Izumi retained all of his memories after death, a very unusual feat for a new shinigami. Eventually, Mitsuki helps him realize that he didn't want to die - he had wanted his mother to call him back from the tracks. At the end of the manga, Izumi finds peace and Meroko realizes that it was always him whom she loved the most. They team up once again and become sweethearts. Three years later they are still watching over Mitsuki and are happy to learn that Takuto was never dead - he was in a coma this whole time.
- Jonathan (ジョナサン Jonasan?) Voiced by: Norihisa Mori
- Jonathan is the shinigami who becomes Izumi's partner after Meroko leaves. He wears a top hat and often speaks rather odd phrases in English. Throughout the series, he appears subservient to Izumi, while conducting covert operations including revealing to Mitsuki that the shinigami already knew that Eichi was dead and becoming a fanatic who tries to harm Fullmoon and her friends. In the manga, it is eventually revealed that he is really Sheldan (シェルダン部長 Sherudan-buchō?), the head of the pediatrics ward. He attempts to take Mitsuki's life, but is stopped by Takuto, Meroko, and Izumi. He was the second shinigami to be born, and shows great affection towards Mystere. In the final chapter, he uses up all his powers to heal Takuto's throat and give him his voice back, and disappears along with Mystere. In the anime adaptation, Jonathan's role is minor, acting only as Izumi's sidekick and a source of annoyance.
- In an author's freetalk in the manga, Tanemura mentions that one day at work, she drew a picture of what she thought Peeves from Harry Potter looked like. She showed it to her assistants, who laughed and said it did not look anything like Peeves. Tanemura decided not to waste it, and used the sketch as the design of Jonathan in ghost form.
- Death Master (死神主人 Desu Masutā?)
- Also called Mystere (ミスティア Misutia?), the Death Master was the first human soul to descend to the Underworld and is the crowned queen of the Underworld. After discovering she could take the souls of humans, she encountered a dying young girl who asked her if she was a shinigami, which convinced her that she was one. Fragile and sentimental, she is believed to be the most powerful shinigami. When Meroko enters her room to erase Mitsuki's name from the rolls of the dead, Mystere gives her the keys to free Takuto, and later she listens with a smile to Mitsuki's final performance as Fullmoon. At the end of the manga, when Mystere and Sheldan disappear after using up their power healing Takuto's throat, they seem to show great affection for each other, and Mystere says that unlike the last time she died, she has no regrets about it. In the anime, there is no backstory to her, and she appears briefly near the end, forgiving Takuto and Meroko, forbearing Mitsuki's and Takuto's deaths, and granting Meroko the status of an angel.
Full Moon O Sagashite was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from January 2002 to June 2004 and collected in seven tankōbon volumes. Contributing assistants to the manga consisted of Ai Minase, Airi Teito, Akoko Asakura, Kanan Kiseki, Kayoru Asano, Konako, Kyakya Asano, Megumi Nakamura, Miwa Sawakami, Niki Seisou, Noriko Funaki, Rina Asuka, Ruka Kaduki, and Saori Hinano.
Starting in January 2012, Full Moon O Sagashite was reprinted in four bunkoban volumes with new covers. The manga is licensed in North America in English by Viz Media as Full Moon, although the full title is given on the front cover.
|No.||Japan release date||Japan ISBN||North America release date||North America ISBN|
|1||June 14, 2002||ISBN 978-4-08-856380-0||July 5, 2005||ISBN 978-1-59116-928-4|
|2||October 15, 2002||ISBN 978-4-08-856408-1||August 23, 2005||ISBN 978-1-4215-0036-2|
|3||March 14, 2003||ISBN 978-4-08-856445-6||October 4, 2005||ISBN 978-1-4215-0059-1|
|4||August 8, 2003||ISBN 978-4-08-856483-8||December 6, 2005||ISBN 978-1-4215-0125-3|
|5||January 15, 2004||ISBN 978-4-08-856514-9||April 4, 2006||ISBN 978-1-4215-0266-3|
|6||June 15, 2004||ISBN 978-4-08-856542-2||July 5, 2006||ISBN 978-1-4215-0397-4|
|7||July 15, 2004||ISBN 978-4-08-856549-1||October 3, 2006||ISBN 978-1-4215-0476-6|
The series was adapted as a 52-episode anime television series by Studio Deen, directed by Toshiyuki Kato. It was broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 6, 2002 to March 29, 2003. The adaptation follows the manga closely until Mitsuki's first singing audition, before diverging. Several characters have different histories and personalities, and because the television series concluded before the manga was finished, the anime ended with a different resolution.
The television series is licensed by Viz Media, which released seven DVDs (the first 28 episodes), under the title Full Moon before putting further releases on indefinite hold, citing low sales potential. The songs are subtitled only, resulting in a dub that switches between English dialogue and Japanese singing.
Full Moon O Sagashite has two openings, and four endings. "I Love U" by The Scanty is used as the opening song for the first 26 episodes, while the group's song "Rock 'n' Roll Princess" is used for the rest. Changin' My Life performs all four ending themes: "New Future" used for the first six episodes and the last episode 52, "Myself" is used for episodes 7-26, "Eternal Snow" is used for episodes 27-42, and "Love Chronicle" is used in episodes 43-51.
Full Moon O Sagashite: Cute Cute Adventure (満月をさがして かわいいかわいい大冒険 Furu Mūn O Sagashite Kawaii Kawaii Daibōken?) is a ten-minute anime OVA that was distributed with the November 2002 issue of Ribon, the magazine in which the manga was serialized. It was produced by Studio Deen, and stars myco as Mitsuki and Chieko Honda as Meroko, as in the television series, but Hiromi Ōtsuda as Takuto. Set before the series ends, it features Takuto and Meroko trying to make their way to the studio in stuffed animal forms after Mitsuki accidentally leaves them home while rushing to work.
On April 15, 2004, Shueisha released a seventy-page art book for the series entitled The Arina Tanemura Collection: The Art of Full Moon (満月をさがしてイラスト集種村有菜COLLECTION Furu Mūn O Sagashite: Irasuto Shū Tanemura Arina Collection?). Viz Media released an English language edition in North America on October 21, 2008.
- "Viz Media. products. Full Moon". Viz.com. Viz Media. Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- Carlo Santos (2007-08-05). "Interview: Arina Tanemura". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Tanemura, Arina (2005-07-05). "Mitsuki's Case: Character Introduction sidebar". Full Moon, Volume 1. Full Moon O Sagashite. San Francisco: Viz Media. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-59116-928-4.
Mitsuki Koyama: Her hairstyle was taken from Ai Kago of Morning Musume. Her character model is Airi, my assistant. She's a girl who looks like a grade-schooler, although she's 19.
- Tanemura, Arina (2005-08-23). ""Madoka's" Standards: Penchi DE Shakin' sidebar". Full Moon, Volume 2. Full Moon O Sagashite. San Francisco: Viz Media. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-4215-0036-2.
- "満月をさがして／1｜集英社文庫(コミック版)｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社". Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "満月をさがして／2｜集英社文庫(コミック版)｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社". Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "満月をさがして／3｜集英社文庫(コミック版)｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社". Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "満月をさがして／4｜集英社文庫(コミック版)｜BOOKNAVI｜集英社". Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 2". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 3". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 4". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 5". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 6". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Full Moon, Vol. 7". Viz Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- Mikhail Koulikov (2008-04-19). "Viz Media - New York Comic Con". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Carlo Santos (2006-06-22). "Review: Full Moon DVD 1: I Want to Sing". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2006-08-04.
- "満月をさがしてイラスト集種村有菜COLLECTION" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- "The Arina Tanemura Collection: The Art of Full Moon". Viz.com. Viz Media. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-02-05.