Headline: Half Moon (First Quarter)
Originally posted August 24, 2014
No person has found the following review helpful or unhelpful (thus far)
This is the third of my six-part review for the different volumes of Moon Phase.
In my last review, I said things would begin to get a little bit darker from the 8th episode onwards. And this volume really delivers. Other than episode 11, which features Hazuki wondering around town in a giant cat costume, all the episodes feature a threat to either her or the people she cares about. She, Kouhei, Elfriede, Hiromi and Grandpa Mido are all targeted by the diabolical Count Kinkell – who is determined to kill the Vampire’s Lover (Kouhei) and return Hazuki to her castle prison. These episodes really show how close Hazuki has grown to her adopted family. Including the Mido twins (Hikaru and Kaoru) and Elfriede – who has become an ally.
This volume is a good ending to the first half of the series because the initial threat is gone; we now know the fate of Hazuki’s mother; and Hazuki learns something new about herself, which changes her way of life forever. What does she learn? Let’s just say she doesn’t have a weakness that most normal vampires have.
I am slightly disappointed the post-credits don’t give as many riddles as the first two volumes did, because they’re really fun to try and work out. (By the way if anyone knows the answer to the riddle at the end of episode 7, volume 2, let me know, because apparently Hazuki wouldn’t let Elfriede give the answer.) On a positive side, the opening credits (Neko Mimi Mode) are as cute and random as ever – fans of the sexier Moon Phase Mode are even treated to it again in episode 14. Another thing that continues staying cute is Haiji – voiced by my favourite anime voice actress, Luci Christian. It doesn’t matter if she’s cleaning, sleeping, flying or just talking, she’s still the most adorable thing ever.
If you have enjoyed the first two volumes of Moon Phase, then you’ll certainly enjoy this one too – as long as you aren’t squeamish, or easily unnerved by blood and violence. I said in a previous review that this would be the last family friendly (PG) volume of Moon Phase and that the rest of the series would be darker (i.e. rated 12). However, this was only because the DVD covers I got for the last three volumes said 12. I’ve noticed since that other versions of these covers still say PG, so don’t feel discouraged about buying them if you’ve enjoyed the first three volumes – you can judge for yourself if they’re family friendly or intimidating.
Also, as I’ve said before this anime is for any fan of Negima, Funimation Entertainment, Neko Mimi (cat ears) or cosplay.
Speaking of which, here’s one final piece of trivia for you. You may have noticed in Moon Phase that Hazuki calls Grandpa Mido, “Grandfather” out of affection. What’s ironic is that Monica Rial and Randy Tallman have played Granddaughter and Grandfather alongside each other before in another Funimation anime: the first season of Negima as Konoka and Dean Konoe respectively.
Like Volume 2, I started off by mentioning this was part of a series of reviews. I did the same thing for Volumes 4-6, so readers would always know there were five additional parts. I hoped this would encourage them to find and read all six reviews – no matter which one they found first. Another thing I could’ve done was mention the volumes I was still planning to do at the end of each review so they’d lead into each other better.
The connection I made between the parts was strong, but it didn’t affect their individual content.
When I read back this review, I wasn’t sure if I’d given too little information. It was the first time I mentioned certain characters, like Elfriede, and I didn’t really go into detail about the events of the episodes. In my previous reviews I’d held back specific information, so as not to give away any spoilers. However, there’s a difference between not giving spoilers and not giving anything at all. I doubted whether anyone would understand what I’d written, unless they’d seen Moon Phase up to episode 10.
My other flaws didn’t help either. I wasted time giving weak personal comments, or facts that were pointless or inaccurate. Not to mention I repeated things from previous reviews – when I was trying make each one as unique as possible.
If I were to review the six Moon Phase volumes again, I’d probably talk about all the characters and events much sooner (e.g. Volume 1). Then I could build on them every volume, explaining how they developed as the series progresses. This would also strengthen the connection between the separate reviews.
As it is now, I can understand why no one found this review helpful.