Full Moon Vol. #07 - 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. #07

By Chris Beveridge     January 08, 2008
Release Date: December 18, 2007

Full Moon Vol. #07
© Viz Media

What They Say
Full Moon turns to Dr. Wakaoji for help with her comeback single. But the good doctor refuses her request, which leaves Takuto fuming!

Contains episodes 25-28:
Please Dr. Wakaoji?
My Message
I Won't Lose
Is Mitsuki an Expert on Love?

The Review!
The past is visited as we learn more about what Wakaoji is like which in turn shows us more of Mitsuki's parents.

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, there's a tinge of sadness to the characters expressions this time. Lots of stars float in the background while the characters look good even as it gives away a little bit of the change that occurs in these episodes. 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)
The seventh volume moves the show past the halfway mark of the series and introduces some nice simple changes to its format. Many shows of this length tend to change out their opening and closing sequences around this time and Full Moon is no exception. It comes at a pivotal change in events through which the focus of the characters begins to change in another direction, a direction that further solidifies events.

Of the four episodes on this volume, the first three are the ones that count before the show goes off on a simple standalone adventure. Watching Mitsuki help a friend get closer to a boy she likes is something that's nice to see and it fleshes out her dual role as Full Moon and Mitsuki, but thankfully it was just a single episode. What made it feel out of place is how it came after three episodes that really started to rework the series nicely, so it felt like we went off on a side quest that doesn't really help much. The three episodes prior to it cover a lot of good ground though, from dealing with Wakaoji's past, Mitsuki's parents relationship and touching more on what Madoka is up to in her quest to best Mitsuki in the Eternal Snow competition that's come up.

It may be naïve as hell, but watching the repercussions of Madoka's efforts to take down Full Moon is fun to watch. As both girls continue their rise up into fame, Madoka uses some of what comes with the territory to ruin her image, such as arranging a meeting with a guy and letting the tabloid play it up as improper. Some of Madoka's earlier attempts at discrediting Full Moon played to the same kind of angle so it wasn't a surprise to see her doing it again. What is a surprise is how her producer handles things. Her attitude towards becoming a star has been single minded as is appropriate, but she continues to be unsure of how her producer is dealing with things. Even when he goes to great lengths to make everything work, she undermines him by doing the tabloid thing. That leaves him with the mindset that she doesn't have faith in him to produce a song that will win by merit alone. Naïve, and simple, but it's a nice change of pace from the usual cutthroat exec stereotype.

The meatiest storyline in this volume deals with Wakaoji as Mitsuki and Oshige try their best to get him to come out of retirement to help produce the Eternal Snow song. With it being a song from his former band, having him help her recreate it for a new audience would give it an instant hook and provide a great deal of media coverage. In a way, it would legitimize it more than what Madoka is doing. Convincing Wakaoji to go through with it is a different matter though as he made a break with the past and is focused on medicine, especially since he's lined up to be the next director of the hospital. Through Mitsuki and Oshige's attempts, we get to see more of his past and the band, which in turn also has us learning more of Mitsuki's parents.

With Wakaoji's relationship with them providing the hook, and the discovery of a music box that Mitsuki's mother had, how that relationship went is explored just a touch. Mitsuki has paid for that relationship with her grandmother since she despises music for what it's done to her life, taking her daughter away not once but twice. The expansion of this character really adds something new and worthwhile to the show as it gives Mitsuki something that comes with age – understanding. So much of what she's been doing is focusing on her goals and needs that she's not been aware of the impact on others and how they've suffered. Combining this with the way Wakaoji has changed, Mitsuki is given more reasons to succeed since she knows the impact it's having on people besides herself.

In Summary:
While Full Moon certainly hasn't become complex or overly emotional, it has continued to be enjoyable and very heart warming as it has Mitsuki trying to achieve her goals. Her view of the world at the start of the series was natural as she was focused on her health and her desires, but now they're becoming attached to others and she's finding herself being lifted up even more by them. The secondary cast of characters is having some new life breathed into them and the past is quickly becoming more relevant, even if it does push the boundaries of coincidence too often. When all is said and done though, this show just makes me smile and is something that you can easily expose to new younger audiences who will become very interested in it.

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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