Retro Play: Full Moon o Sagashite

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Some animes are deceptive, and Full Moon o Sagashite is one of them. The show follows a twelve year old girl who gets magically turned into a teen singer. She also has two spirits who are dressed up as a bunny and a cat who follow her around. Yeah we know, it sounds a bit like the beginnings of a Sailor Moon episode. And much like Sailor Moon, it does has a rather fluffy beginning but as you go further down the rabbit hole, pun intended, you see how things slowly get more emotional and thought provoking.

But first onward with the cutesy! You’re going to see a lot of bright colors, the poppy music that’ll remind you of everything shoujo stands out, and then of course your cute mascots. Well here’s you darker tagline. The character Mitsuki knows that she’s going to die. Instead of letting it get to her, she decides to take things in stride and live her remaining days with pep and optimism to spare.

This adds a darker element of temporary-ness to the story. What the classic anime does well though is keeping the peppy but also balancing it out with some understanding that the reality of the situation is still forever lingering. As a matter of fact, the momentum of the anime is what makes the impact of the character’s impending death even more heartfelt.

From an artistic perspective, the anime screams shoujo with it pastel colors and its traditional looking characters. It’s actually quite charming to see how the animations of yesteryear pervaded the genre and to decipher what’s been left behind and what’s continued to thrive in the modern shoujo story.

The anime will ultimately leave a bittersweet feeling in the pit of you stomach, which is part of the beautiful deception it gives you. You’re going to feel a sense of mono no aware (awareness of the temporal nature of the world) when watching this, and it’s totally worth it!