Anime Review · DVD Review

Moon Phase (Volume 1)

Headline: New Moon

4/5 Stars

Originally posted August 19, 2014

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

I wanted to buy Moon Phase on Amazon for a long time, since seeing the episodes online. But I was never able to because a couple of the DVDs were unavailable at the time. That’s why when all 6 were available, I purchased them without hesitation.
Moon Phase is probably my second/third favourite anime dubbed by Funimation Entertainment (behind Negima!? and perhaps Gunslinger Girl), because it has a good balance of humour, emotion and dark elements. The first few episodes show this well through the characters, who give off just the right feelings at just the right times. Their voice actors are also very well-chosen – particularly Hazuki’s.
Monica Rial is now my second favourite anime voice actress to Luci Christian – who also appears in this series – and like Luci I can instantly recognise her voice in whatever anime she performs in. Monica Rial to Moon Phase is what Brina Palencia is to Spice and Wolf, or Luci Christian is to Negima!? and Princess Tutu, or Laura Bailey and Caitlin Glass are to Gunslinger Girl. As leads they make the series their own, and Monica Rial is no exception. She plays Hazuki very well with her multiple personalities and mood-swings. In the first two episodes we see her as timid, graceful, loving, rude, bitchy, teasing, funny and more. And that’s just one of the many things that makes Monica a good voice actress.
One thing I’d like to mention about Moon Phase is the opening credits. They are unlike anything you will have ever seen before at the start of an anime. If you were to watch them, without knowing what the series was about, you’d never guess it was about blood-sucking vampires. To say they’re misleading is almost an understatement. Also, you don’t have to watch all 25/26 episodes of the series to be satisfied. Just buying this volume and watching the first two episodes is enough, because they feel like a miniature series in of themselves.
In conclusion, Moon Phase does well to reinvent the vampire genre so that it’s family friendly and adorable, whilst still maintaining some elements of darkness. Anyone who’s a fan of Funimation Entertainment or Negima!? should buy this series because it captures the same charm. Alternatively, if you have a fetish for Neko Mimi (cat ears) or cosplay, then this might be a good series for you, too.
I will be reviewing the other volumes of Moon Phase in the near future, so stay tuned.

Moon Phase was an interesting challenge for me. There were six volumes in the series and I had to write each of the reviews as individually as possible. But I also needed to maintain some connection between them, so readers would be encouraged to read them all – no matter which part they found first (on Amazon). To do this, I always mentioned the other DVDs and my plans to review them at the end.
I also did something creative with my headlines. As there were six volumes and six different moon phases (I could think of), I named each review after one of them. For example, Volume 1 was called New Moon, 3 and 4 were called Half Moon and the last volume was called Full Moon. (See the pattern?)
For Volume 1, I didn’t talk too specifically about what happens in the episodes, since I didn’t want to give away any spoilers. Instead, I discussed what made the series unique, compared to other vampire-themed animes. Whilst I was writing, I thought back to other Funimation series I’d seen and it made me realise just how talented my favourite voice actors were – hence why I talk about them so passionately here. I also realised how much I wanted to review these other series. (It took me nearly a year to do Negima!?, and I still plan on doing Gunslinger Girl.)
Looking back on Volume 1, I think it was probably my best-written review to date. There could’ve been an extra paragraph here and there, and a few things worded differently. But the overall layout was good and the information was clear.
Also, this was the first time I ended my review with “stay tuned“. It’s now become something of a catchphrase I use to conclude all my reviews and blog posts.

Let me know what you thought of this review in the comments below. Also, see my reviews of Moon Phase volumes 2-6.

(Image courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Phase-Artist-Not-Provided/dp/B000H30ALY)

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