Full Moon Vol. #06 - 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. #06

By Chris Beveridge     October 20, 2007
Release Date: September 18, 2007

Full Moon Vol. #06
© Viz Media

What They Say
It's Full Moon's first day back at work, and she's refreshed and ready to focus. Too bad Madoka's hanging around to trip her up at every turn!

The Review!
As Mitsuki progresses further with her career, Madoka continues to throw obstacles in the way that messes things up for the better.

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 is like the others in how it's bright but it also puts some uncertainty into it with their expressions. Lots of stars float in the background while the characters look good as they play up the competitive nature, though Mitsuki comes across as more worried than anything else. 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 uses the artwork from the cover in its design. The foreground is very clear and detailed while the background uses the same design as the covers' background as well. 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)
Full Moon nudges up towards the halfway mark with this volume and it continues to chart Mitsuki's progress as a singer. The four episodes on this volume really stand alone for the most part but they are working the larger narrative of bringing everything together in order for her to properly succeed as a recording artist. Of course, all of this is being done so that she can reach the heart and mind of Eichi and you can't help but think there are far better ways of doing it. Yet you cannot help but to enjoy the earnestness and innocent of Mitsuki as she pursues this goal.

The bad seed of the series at the moment continues to turn up as Madoka causes most of the problems here. She's been upset about Mitsuki from the start in how she seemingly came out of nowhere, got deals and started to be promoted as heavily as others who have worked long and hard. It's actually quite understandable when you look at it, but as anyone connected to that industry or almost any other will tell you, it happens more often than you'd care for and you have to either roll with it or find a way to take advantage of it for yourself. Madoka does try taking advantage of it but more in the vein of taking Mitsuki down in the process rather than using her to propel herself even further.

Madoka's tactics are unscrupulous but she is at least playing within the realm where it's almost expected at times. When Mitsuki is getting back into the swing of things after her break, it's Madoka who is trashing her outfit which sends everyone else into a tizzy. When Mitsuki finally gets her solo debut and the agency books a concert hall and sets up all the events surrounding it, Madoka is able to call in the concert hall and cancel the concert by pretending to be from the agency. That's certainly hard to believe happening without causing a bit more inquiry by the concert hall side, but even this event causes things to turn out in a positive way for Mitsuki as her them of Moon and Stars for the concert gives them an idea that really works well, providing you don't want to sit down for it.

The worst thing that Madoka does to Mitsuki however comes when Mitsuki is setting things up for her second single. We start to learn more about her father as she wants to sing a song that her father wrote for her when she was little and it's where were learn what band he was in and some minor if intriguing background pieces. The band, Route L, was popular but eschewed going the normal route by avoiding video recordings and performances for TV shows and the like. They preferred the real sound of concert halls, bars and other places to get the word out. When Oshige realizes the family connection, they push hard to get that song that means a lot to Eichi and Mitsuki out there. But a casual comment made towards Madoka reveals the song and she pushes harder and faster to get it before Mitsuki can present it.

The story that surprised me the most with this volume was what is really a throwaway piece. With Oshige and Wakaoji now in the know with the Death Spirits and what Mitsuki is up to, Oshige decides to move closer to where Mitsuki lives in order to give her an easier out with her grandmother. Oshige is crafty in getting people over to help out with the moving, including Wakaoji. There's obvious pairing potential going on here between the two and they find an amusing way of pushing that even more with a competition. The more Oshige gets involved with Mitsuki's life, the more interesting and fun she becomes since she's a headstrong and confident woman but one who isn't cruel or mean spirited. There is a really nice family feeling that comes from seeing Oshige, Wakaoji and Mitsuki working together on things, which of course is tainted by the reality of Mitsuki's situation.

In Summary:
The Full Moon series continues to be charming and fun as we watch Mitsuki chase her dream in a very child-like fashion. The obstacles along the way may be predictable and the use of the same song over and over may wear things down a bit, but the inner charm of Mitsuki and the growth of the supporting cast is what gives it some real shine. There are some really good moments here that help to slowly build up the storyline which is something that a series of this length is able to do. They're not rushing things here, which early one did hinder things a bit, but feels far more natural at this juncture. Just short of the halfway mark, Full Moon is simple, light but good fun that has me interested to see how it will play out in the second half.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 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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