Headline: Crescent Moon
Originally posted August 23, 2014
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This is the second of my six-part review for the different volumes of Moon Phase.
Volume 2 is a personal favourite of mine, because it begins to highlight just how much Hazuki (Monica Rial) is adapting to her new life and the people around her. In the beginning (episodes 1-5) we’re introduced to Hazuki’s personality and we just accept it as who she is. In the second volume (episodes 6-10) however, we start to see the consequences of that personality and how it causes her to make bad decisions (e.g. distrusting and manipulating people). This provides Hazuki with the challenge of being more considerate to the people who are nice to her and proving she doesn’t always need to resort to vampire tricks.
The second volume also introduces 3 new main characters. Two of which are voiced by my favourite anime voice actress, Luci Christian. The first of her characters is Hikaru, the more mature and outgoing of the Mido twins. Luci and Monica have worked together before on the anime Negima!? (as Asuna and Konoka respectively). But whereas their characters were best friends in that, series, here they are bitter enemies. Hikaru can’t stand to be around a “demon-girl” and Hazuki can’t stand two younger girls getting in the way of her and her “slave“. This results in several confrontations, where both Luci and Monica try to out-do each other in terms of bitchyness.
The second character Luci voices in Moon Phase is Haiji, who becomes a talking shikigami cat in episode 6. How the little feline went from being male to female I have no idea. But seeing her on screen is always a treat, because she’s so darn cute! Perhaps the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen in anime – no offence Hazuki. Then again, what would you expect from a character who replaces her ‘L’s and ‘R’s with ‘W’s (e.g. “I’m Sowwy Mastew”).
Although, Monica Rial is unquestionably the star of Moon Phase, I also feel the series really helps to show off Luci’s talents, because, like Monica herself, she is one of few voices actors, in my view, who can successfully pull off being both cute and bitchy – I mean that in a good way.
One final thing I’d like to comment on for Volume 2 are the opening and closing credits. The opening theme Neko Mimi Mode, is just so cute and memorable that just watching the opening credits is reason enough to buy Moon Phase on DVD – although I have noticed a constant mistake in which they show Hikaru having black hair and red eyes, instead of blue eyes and hair. For anyone who’s not a fan of the regular opening credits and all it’s randomness, there’s a sexier version at the beginning of episode 9. Lastly, one thing I didn’t mention in my first review was that I really enjoy the creative ways they present “To Be Continued” (in Japanese symbols) before the end credits and the riddles they sometimes give after them: e.g. “Where do animals go when they lose their tails? The retail store.” (Episode 2)
If you’re a fan of Negima!?, Funimation Entertainment, Neko Mimi (cat ears) or cosplay, then you should definitely buy this DVD along with the other volumes in the series (if they’re all available on Amazon.) In the first part of my review I said this series was family-friendly. However, things do begin to get a little darker from episode 8 onwards. And by the fourth volume, it may no longer be considered PG.
As this was part of a series of reviews, I started off by saying which part it was. Unlike my Sword Art Online reviews – where I said each one continued from the last – this simply informed readers there were more reviews I’d written for Moon Phase, and they could find and read them if they wanted to. (Saying something like “continuing from my review of Volume 1″ would probably make them think they’d have to.)
Volume 2 had new characters and character development. So I decided to summarise the episodes more than I did in Volume 1. The second paragraph does this well, without giving away any plot-spoiling details.
However, the review does have its set-backs. I don’t think it was necessary for me to mention Luci Christian and Monica Rial working together on Negima!?, since they’ve worked together on numerous animes before. Actually, there’s a lot of small details I talk about towards the end which aren’t entirely relevant. Even the one I wanted to mention about riddles feels out of place, because it was just something I forgot to add to my Volume 1 review. Although, keep in mind, I was trying to make each Moon Phase review as individual as possible with these small details.
My language also changed part-way when I spoke about Haiji. I stated to sound less professional and more like a fan-boy. I should’ve expressed myself differently, so the reader knew I was still serious about what I was writing.
The first half of this review is good, but I think the second half is slightly lacking.
Let me know what you thought of this review in the comments below. Also, see my reviews of Moon Phase volume 1 and 3-6.
The new set of reviews (including the remaining Moon Phase volumes) will be released some time soon. I’m also thinking I might change the format of these posts so the review is first and my comments on it come afterwards. Don’t be surprised if the posts I’ve already made change as well.
If you have the time, see my other blog (https://georgeharvey2015.wordpress.com/). And as always, stay tuned.
(Image courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Phase-Artist-Not-Provided/dp/B000ION2AI)