Full Moon Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Full Moon

Full Moon Vol. #02

By Chris Beveridge     September 22, 2006
Release Date: September 19, 2006

Full Moon Vol. #02
© Viz Media

What They Say
At Full Moon's first interview, Mitsuki tries too hard to act like a 16-year-old. But when she meets some friendly high school girls, she learns that the most important thing is being yourself!

Contains episodes 5-8:
Her First Assignment
A Long Day in the Studio
Full Moon Debuts!
Is It Really a Hit?

The Review!
Mitsuki starts to get more of a feel for being a singer and finds herself in a much bigger world than ever before.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series sports a pretty well done stereo mix which is utilized for the various songs that fill the show. The dialogue sections are more center channel based or have a slightly more full feeling but it all comes across very clean and without any noise or distortions. The dialogue portion doesn't have a lot of standout moments but it is well balanced by the vocal pieces. In sampling both tracks, we didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback. The audio issue from the first volume on the Japanese track is also thankfully absent here.

Originally airing in 2002, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The source material for the show look to be in really good shape but it's not entirely problem free. With it being a shoujo series, there are a number of the usual design elements that go into it which result in something of a soft looking print, often accented by the colors used. The transfer looks really good throughout but there's some edge cross coloration that shows up in certain areas, typically along the edges of hair, as well as some less than solid colors when there are close-ups of Mitsuki's hair or certain panning sequences. There's very little noticeable aliasing though which is a plus but the show isn't a heavy action piece either. For the most part, this is a very good looking transfer that will look good to most viewers.

Using the same artwork as the Japanese release, this volume looks good here with its main shot of Mitsuki in clear vibrant colors while Full Moon in her performance outfit is behind her. All of this is nicely set against a starry sky with feathers falling about them. The English language logo is nicely done as it retains the full name (though solicited just as Full Moon) and the banner strip along the bottom for the volume number and title isn't obtrusive. The addition of the Shojo Beat logos doesn't detract at all. The back cover is a bit text heavy though as it provides brief summaries for each of the four episodes as well as talking about the manga. The discs features and technical information is all over the place and the runtime is in small type in between a group of technical logos. There's a lot of production information and legal text along the bottom which is done in very small type which can be a bit tough to read as it's white on pink. The layout is decent overall but it just feels a bit too text heavy. The insert replicates the front cover artwork and brings in the chapter listings for each of the episodes while the reverse side is a big advertisement for the Shojo Beat brand, from the magazine to the Full Moon manga and to other manga. It's a good looking piece overall though and if it helps bolster the shoujo side a bit I can't complain.

The main menu is a nice simply setup that plays up the starry and romantic nature of the storylines premise with a shot of Mitsuki in the foreground that's clear and detailed while behind her is Full Moon in her performance outfit looking positively alive. The background has the stars and sky close to them which fades into white and blue around the edges. The layout is straightforward and easy to navigate and the logo looks great here as it include the full title just like the cover. Access times are nice and fast and the disc picked up the players' language presets without issue.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the basic setup out of the way for the series with the first volume, the second set of episodes starts moving Mitsuki further towards her goal as she gets into the recording studio, does a live performance and starts to press the flesh a bit with the fans. The more that we see of her in these situations the clearer it is that she knew little beforehand of what it really takes. We also see that even though there's only four years difference between her real age and her stage age, there are plenty of differences between the two when it comes to a social setting.

The social side of things isn't too much of a surprise since if you have kids even a year apart their interests can be worlds apart, never mind when it's a four year difference. During her first interview, she gets out into the field a bit and in the midst of it stumbles upon a group of girls the same age as her Full Moon stage name. To them, she comes across as being almost a country bumpkin since she's not aware of using texting or playing games on her cel phone. And with this shows 2001 vintage, not knowing that kind of stuff at that age would be quite laughable. Mitsuki's able to kind of smile and laugh her way through it but she has that realization about how different life is when you're older.

With Mitsuki, it's a bit easier to understand her not being quite so socialized as other kids since she has been out of the loop for the last couple of years. A later episode on this volume has her trying to be friendly with kids at her school after her CD single debuts but she's completely unable to connect with them. She's spent so much time out of school from being weak and she's unable to do sports because of the same issue that she's never made the kind of connections to others. Meroko comes in rather handy during this as she's able to transform into Mitsuki and appear to others as Mitsuki with a radical personality change. But just that little bit of help and Mitsuki managing a bit of singing on her own in front of others is all the start she needs to make new friends.

Mitsuki's life goes through a fair number of changes during this volume as he career gets underway. In some ways it feels like things are moving very fast for her as she goes from an interview to recording her single and then to a live debut performance as the new CD single is about to be released. This seemingly happens over the course of a couple days or a maybe a week or two but things move very fast at this level of the pop idol music world. Each of these instances provide some challenges for Mitsuki, from trying to get to the event because her doctor can't provide cover for her and to having Takuto in doll form being stolen. The little stories along the way go towards building some background characters that might have more impact later but also towards showing Mitsuki having influence with her personality and good nature with others.

This volume works out pretty well in comparison to the first where it's taking the good that Viz did with it and built upon it. The ending sequence changes along the way in this volume so we get that with the scrolling credits. The downside is that it looks like the credits really aren't changing all that much if at all, something Viz has done in the past to the annoyance of credit whores like myself. Visually, the show looks really good even with its budget and obvious shortcuts that show through on occasion. The design style of the show continues to be very much in the lighter and more ethereal colors with a heavy emphasis on pink but it looks really nice throughout. While I'm sure there will be dark moments here and there, it's refreshing to watch something that's meant to be happy for the most part and reflects it in the settings.

In Summary:
Still very early on in this series, Full Moon is moving along well with its light and fun atmosphere while still making sure that Mitsuki goes through a number of real world type of challenges. Naturally, there's still quite a few bits of mischief and mirth that comes in with Takuto and Meroko to keep it lively. Some of the events in these episodes seems to move the show along at a quick pace but it's all for getting Mitsuki into the place she needs to be for the show to really kick into gear. With plenty of episodes still to go, we're very much still in the set up phase of the show and it's shaping up nicely. Full Moon is a great contrast to a lot of the other kinds of shows out there right now.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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