Tsukuyomi -Moon Phase-

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Komirai's avatar By Komirai on Aug 9, 2012

This series is for those who prefer their vampires to be cute as kittens more often than they are dark and brooding. The mood of the series, like Hazuki's personalities, tend to alternate between the two, although it generally works better when emphasizing the moe aspects, which it does a lot. That said, people with an aversion to cat-eared girls and little-sister types are advised to stay far away.


The plot tends to switch between stretches of seriousness and levity: the first two episodes deal with Hazuki meeting Kohei and escaping the castle, then settling into a silly daily routine before dealing with more villains a few episodes later. The story has some difficulty balancing character and relationship developments with plot progression unless it separates such things into different episodes. Perhaps this is why, despite several of the tragedies that various characters suffer, there is little emotional draw to them. Also, as with many adaptations of unfinished manga, a number of plot threads are left untied with the series conclusion, although the series does conclude solidly enough.


The cast are entertaining, although some people may find a number of the younger females straddle the line between adorable and irritating. Hazuki starts off as a stubborn and slightly spoiled little girl, but grows into more of a kinder, caring person over the course of the series. Kohei is the typical kind-hearted and honest but unimpressive boy with an unusual ability/curse that you've seen in so many other series. The supporting cast brings a bit of liveliness to the show. Haiji brings a bit of humor as Hazuki's cat-like pet, frequently scolding her master's servant Kohei. Seiji brings a bit of class as the cool-looking and talented relative of Kohei. The best characters, though, are probably Ryuhei and Elfriede, who regularly tease the lead characters, but also connect to each other on a deeper level and share some of the most tender moments in the series.


One can't really talk about Moon Phase without mentioning it's stylistic quirks. As with pretty much any work directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, one should expect interesting and different uses of light and color in many scenes throughout. The typical depiction of the house were much of the story occurs is also diplayed much like a dollhouse, opened up so as to see in all the rooms at once. Also, infamously, yellow washpans are known to come crashing down on various characters for comedic effect.

Designs for the characters are crisp, and backgrounds are appropriately detailed. Action scenes may not be breath-taking, but they are more than adequate for the task they mean to achieve. While the initial television episodes did have a few problems during important scenes, these were all rectified in the DVD release.


Voice work for both languages is well done, although Monica Rial can't quite match the level of cuteness that Chiwa Saito attained playing Hazuki (a minor issue). Background music for the episodes is chosen appropriately for the scene, although it is at times a little overbearing. The dark scenes are supported by haunting and gothic-sounding tones, while the cheery moments are punctuated by spunky and playful tunes. The most catchy song (for good or bad) is absolutely the opening theme, "Neko Mimi Mode De". It's particularly surprising when it drastically interrupts the gloomy introductory scene of the first episode with it's bubbly, sugary tune, simplistic lyrics, and bright colors. The song is devastatingly appropriate for the show. A couple of episodes have an alternate opening song, "Tsukuyomi Mode", that is less syrupy and not so overly energetic, but similar. The closer, on the other hand, is slightly melancholy and more subdued, but leaves little lasting impression.


Moon Phase sets out to be a vampire series built around the concept of "moe", and it largely succeeds. At times, it tries to be something a little more, and it is less definitive in its achievement when attempting this, but rarely strays far from its strength. In all, the series is an entertaining diversion for those looking for something just a little different.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall
AzureWatcher's avatar By AzureWatcher on Jan 4, 2010

This is one of the most absurd things I have seen, in spite of its length.

The story revolves around an almost normal boy who happens to be born to a family with spiritual powers. He meets a very cute girl in a ruined castle he photographs - a vampire.

From there on the fun starts. There are both funny and serious facets to the story of their evolving relationship.

Although there are a few scenes which I could make without overall the series is very well done.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
triplestrike's avatar By triplestrike on Jun 1, 2011

Story: Annoying vampire girl starts living with her slave, plot comes in later and changes when necessary, changes are pretty smooth.

Animation: Pots falling from the sky all the time. Everything else is nothing too spectacular.

Sound: Opening song will grow on you a little. Outro is better, and has a neat french version. When setting changes drastically the music does too, this is done well.

Characters: Mostly annoying, character development changes them but it takes a long time and they revert slightly.

Overall: I must offer praise to the way it doesn't follow ordinary structure. (Minor Spoilers) The setting changes the feel of the anime drastically. The castle doesn't last long but does a good job of portraying a gothic feel. The house setting makes it seem much more ordinary, like most anime's, girl moves in with guy, they have slight arguments, it's silly but comfortable. Setting changes again to mountains and this setting also changes the characters tremendously, more than expected, and they stick with it, they break common structure and stand by their decision, I respect this, it is what pushes it away from other animes. Not exactly worth watching, but it only gets better once you start (which may not be saying much).

7/10 story
7.8/10 animation
7.8/10 sound
7.7/10 characters
7.6/10 overall
MOJ's avatar By MOJ on Apr 22, 2010

What a ride. This anime is quite different from many others (or at least the ones i watch). But let me say something beforehand: NEVER is it OK to put a child in the place of a much older girl....

First of all the cuteness was absolutely disgusting. I was jaw-dropped when i first saw the intro of this show. I have watched some pretty gruesome things in my life but never have i ever been so appalled. They had everything from "cute" fairies who speak all like "I'm sowwi mastah" to little girls in adorable cat suits. I'm not sure they left out ANYTHING that they didn't make the girls wear. From french maid outfits to nurse costumes, you name it. It might of worked out if the girls were shown to be a bit older (at least in their teens) but i guess due to the strange...ehm...fantasies of some people, the producers decided to keep the girls very young...

This was a mix of action/comedy and it did seem like it. The comedy parts were good enough and the action was average at best. One thing that did really annoy me was those water buckets/sinks dropping out of the sky and hitting the characters' heads (that was intended to be the comedy part it seems). Though they did look funny sometimes, it was more irksome than humorous and at a few parts, it worked to destroy the serious mood so well that i felt like punching the producers. Another aspect that ruined a potentially good series was that horribly annoying fairy (which was originally a cat)...you just have to experience it yourself to see what i mean

Story

Not much of it. The summary tells us that this Kouhai person will help find Hazuki's mother (both of them are main characters). That played very little role in the anime itself. It was more like a side plot. Actually i don't think there even was a solid plot to go with. The whole story just revolved around the two main characters trying to protect each other (with the help of friends and family). It is filled with holes that prevent it from becoming good e.g. Who is the father of Hazuki? Why does he want to keep her in the castle? Why did her mother leave? etc.

Whatever the story at the time maybe, at the end it got extremely ridiculous. I won't say how as that would be a spoiler but the writers effectively murdered whatever goodwill i had towards them. They also tried to put in some twists but you could probably predict them before the cause of those twists even happens.

Animation

The animation and effects were not too bad but considering other animes also aired in the same year, it is comparatively cheaper looking. The fight scenes had some good effects to them and were enjoyable most of the time. Though i don't think the writers were very creative with the fight scenes since it seems like most of the time our heroes were fighting  possessed trees. Character design was bad. Faces were unreal and unproportional. Some characters like Hazuki's mother looked as if they were taken from a 1990s anime. They even seemed to change during the whole series. At some time Hazuki looked much older (like a senior teen) and at others she could be mistaken for a 8 year old. The rest of the characters seemed not to change too noticeably (though change was there)

Sound

Hated both the opening and ending themes. Opening theme was too cute for my tastes and the ending theme was just as bad. To be honest i didn't listen to the whole ending theme because of the picture they decided to put with it which was just plain freaky. The music throughout the episodes however was average (meaning much better than the OP and EN songs). Sound effects were done better and i really liked the voice acting (English dubs). I especially liked the laughing voice of Hazuki at some parts

Characters

This could very well be the lifeline of this series. There was very little background given to any character (even the main ones). One major problem would be that there were way to many characters. It was like they were trying to cover up the awful storyline with as many characters as they could. Each had very different personalities which brought a lot of spice and life into the mundane plot. Most of the characters are likable and just watching them interact with each other is fun (particularly when you throw in the comedy aspects). There seemed to be a good connection between each character at the start (they genuinely had the feel of being good friends and caring family) but near the ending of the series that connection visibly deteriorated.

Conclusion

Overall this series was filled with holes and annoyances. Went against all my tastes and recommendations but surprisingly...it was VERY enjoyable. Even with all the cons and almost no pros i had a great time watching it. I learned to stomach the cuteness and get past the plot holes and behind all that was a fun series with quite a few laughs.This had a potential to be MUCH better but even now it is very entertaining. More than just a time passer and i do recommend this to anyone with nothing better to do

4/10 story
6/10 animation
4/10 sound
8/10 characters
6/10 overall
SacredTessaiga18's avatar By SacredTessaiga18 on Jan 1, 2014

NO SPOILERS HERE! :)

Nekomimi style!! Moon Phase is beautiful. To me this anime hits my heart in the right place. I loved how different it was compared to other anime I have watched. Its so cute and funny I love the charecters. It was very easy to fall in love with this anime. Hazuki and Kohei's love is gorgeous. I love that when they kiss its not on the lips but perhaps somewhere else, but it sorta means the same as if on the lips. If you're a girl you will definitely enjoy this anime! :)

-Brook

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall