Greetings! RishRaff here, eager to get another post up. The anime I will be talking about today is Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase. There are a number of reasons I sat through this anime, which was interesting to say the least. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with how I ended up acquiring all 25 episodes of Moon Phase on DVD…
Also, fair warning, there will plot spoilers, both major and minor, for Moon Phase
Summary: The story is about the relationship between freelance photographer Kouhei Morioka and Hazuki, a young girl who descends from a royal vampire lineage. At the beginning of the story, Kouhei travels to a castle in Germany to take photographs of paranormal phenomena for his friend Hiromi, who is the editor of an occult magazine. At the castle, Kouhei meets Hazuki, who feeds on Kouhei’s blood and claims him as her unwilling servant. Although this “blood pact” is supposed to bind Kouhei to Hazuki as her obedient slave, her act has no effect on Kouhei. Following an action-packed sorcerers’ battle in which Kouhei and his cousin manage to free Hazuki from her captivity in the dreary castle, Hazuki travels to Tokyo, and takes up residence with Kouhei in his grandfather’s house in Japan. Hazuki claims that, because she fed on his blood, Kouhei is now her servant, but Kouhei continually refuses to obey her, especially when he thinks her requests are unreasonable. Despite their fighting, the relationship between the duo progresses over time — even in the face of repeated attacks by opposing vampires — until Kouhei becomes determined to protect Hazuki from the vampire servants of her family, who are determined to retrieve her by whatever means necessary. -Wikipedia
Moon Phase goes back to the first day ever of the random DVD game between LowKev and I. While digging around the DVDs, LowKev actually pulled Moon Phase. If I remember correctly, it was to make a joke about how Hazuki was wearing what was basically a wedding dress and cat ears. However, I recognized the series, and had seen it mentioned online. I was not sure if it would be any good, but decided to give it a try. Also, the price was pretty nice, being 12$ for the full series. Anyone who has ever bought actual anime DVDs knows this is a good deal.
Anyway, it took me not long to start watching it, and initially I was very hopeful. The set up of the story was well done, especially the setting, and intriguing enough to make me watch the first 6 episodes (essentially the first of the 4 DVDs in bundle). Unfortunately, the quirks from the series popped up very quickly. Some are actual issues, and some are just aesthetic things I did not care for.
Apparently this is pretty common in several of Keitaro Arima’s, the writer, works, but the building was render very strangely. It showed the cross section of the house, so one could see what was going on in each room. I did not see this until episode 3. The reoccurring gag of a bath pan dropping on people’s head was just really weird and seemingly meaningless, so I found it really annoying. I had actually seen the same gag in some other anime, notably Rosario + Vampire (maybe its a vampire anime thing?), but it was far better done in those.
Before I get into more negatives, here are a few positives. The closing is really nice to listen to, and I did actually liked it quite a bit. In fact, it would’ve been a much better choice for the opening. The plot was actually interesting, with the reasons for all the people pursuing Hazuka was because she was the only vampire who could walk freely in sunlight, which is an interesting twist with the typical vampire stories. Hazuka and Kouhei’s relationship was actually interesting as well. Also, while the animation was older, it was still decently nice to look at, and the opening setting at the German castle was awesome. Now for actual issues with the anime…
First off, the opening is absolutely atrocious. It goes completely against the suggested mood of the series (more on mood later). The song has a weird cat theme going on, with cutesy animations and Hazuka just generally being cute. The song itself is annoying and just unpleasant to listen to. I am not sure what the director was thinking. I normally don’t pay much attention to soundtracks, unless they are really bad. Here is the opening for reference:
Some of the plot points were just dumb, like Kouhei being just too oblivious to the supernatural that it flat out gives him immunity to it. The biggest issue, by far, was the inconstancy of the mood. Looking at any of the pictures in this post, and the fact that most of the anime takes place at night (cause vampires), you might expect a darker anime. Looking at the actual characters, a somewhat lighthearted romantic comedy could be feasibly expected. The actual anime attempt to mix these genres, to limited success. There are very abrupt changes in the mood of the anime at times that just really send mixed signals about what the actual mood should be. In very serious moments, there are sudden bursts of comedy, that should not be happening. The opening and ending only compound this problem, since they are also so different in mood.
I do not really see myself pursuing to finish Moon Phase, even though I would be fully capable of doing so. A few friends of mine expressed an interest in watching it (not LowKev), so maybe I will watch it with them some day in the future. For the time being, I will not finish the series. What did you guys think of Moon Phase? Feel free to comment below! With that, this is RishRaff signing off.