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Dated 3 April 2007: To Heart and Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs

To Heart and FMoS DVDs
To Heart and Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs.

Welcome to the End Times. I hold in my hands Full Moon wo Sagashite and To Heart DVDs. There was a time when I was certain these two shows would never be licensed and released in the United States. Now I don't know what to think.

I have to conclude that any show is now fair game. Who knows? I believe even Kokoro Toshokan, Pitari Tenshi, and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou may be licensed one day soon. Hope springs eternal.

Look, there's even a Region One Di Gi Charat DVD. The ORIGINAL Di Gi Charat with the fucked up licensing issues!

And To Heart had terribly degraded masters. Right Stuf faithfully restored what they could get. (Also, M-LOCK DVD case!) It's a lot of work for a show with no plot where essentially nothing happens. (But damn if it ain't good.)

I'm serious. Don't be at all surprised to see R1 Maria-sama ga Miteru DVDs one day. I should take a preemptive screen shot of Yumi making one of her surprised faces in anticipation of such an announcement, to tell you the truth.

Oh, and for any potential readers with enough swing to convince Bandai, Geneon, or FUNimation to pick up new properties, add Futakoi Alternative and the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series in the queue, please.

Dated 24 November 2008: Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs

Mitsuki
If you don't own any Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs, you're wrong.

How many Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs do you own? I have seven, and I would own more except there hasn't been a new release since December 2007. Given the shape of the current anime market (i.e. the bubble popped—predictably, I might add), it makes me worry if we'll ever see the six or so remaining discs.

Mitsuki
If you've never watched Full Moon wo Sagashite, you're really wrong.

I understand Full Moon wo Sagashite is somewhat of a difficult title to market. For years, it was often lamented as one of the "this will never get licensed, EVER" shows along with To Heart and Kokoro Library. Well, we got two out of three, but Full Moon wo Sagashite is 52 episodes long and a shoujo clock show to boot. It's got one of the best endings of all time, but how do you get people there? Gunbuster has one of the best endings of all time, too, but it's only a six-episode investment.

Mitsuki
Yes, I'm serious.

How do you convince people to commit to a 13-disc series? Hell, I went years without watching even a minute of the show despite hearing exceptionally rave reviews from people with established credibility I could trust. And I watched it for free. But, come on, it's about a 12-year-old girl dying of throat cancer who transforms into a 16-year-old girl to become a singer.

Mitsuki
You're going to have to trust me on this one.

But it's more than that. I finally decided to give it a chance after seeing a screenshot featuring two shinigami characters. Now, I had watched enough anime by that point to develop a mental image of what shinigami might look like (and no, they weren't anything like Momo, and only a little bit like Rukia). Meroko and Takuto were not what I had in mind.

Daniel and Momo
Daniel and Momo from Shinigami no Ballad.

So I figured Full Moon wo Sagashite had to be at least a little different. I set my reservations aside and gave the show a chance without preconceptions. Turns out, it is different. And it also turns out Full Moon wo Sagashite is really damn good.

Madoka
Madoka should have believed in Takasu who believed in her.

This is one of the very few shows I broadly recommend. And I also encourage all y'all to buy the DVDs, because quite frankly I suspect the title probably could use more sales. I hope the long interruption since the last release (with no release date for the next installment in sight) isn't indicative of abandonment—but even if it is, maybe it's time to put your money where your mouth is. That is, just how committed to "supporting the industry" are you? If ever there was a series that deserves it, it's Full Moon wo Sagashite.

Dated 19 December 2008: Still waiting for the eighth Full Moon wo Sagashite DVD

Full Moon wo Sagashite DVD 7
This is the cover of the last R1 Full Moon wo Sagashite DVD released.

I just wanted to point out it has now been more than a year since the last Full Moon wo Sagashite DVD was released. MORE THAN A YEAR.

You know who didn't have a year?

THAT'S RIGHT.

Dated 27 January 2009: No Means No

Yumi and Yoshino
Kotori
Mitsuki

Dated 6 May 2012: The Ai Yori Aoshi and Full Moon o Sagashite Re-Watching Projects

Ai Yori Aoshi and Full Moon wo Sagashite DVDs
Still miss Pioneer. Still bitter about Viz.

In observance of the 10-year anniversaries of their first airing, I've started re-watching Ai Yori Aoshi and Full Moon wo Sagashite this season as well, rationing myself to a single episode of each per week to roughly approximate the original broadcasts. I have all the available (R1) DVDs of each series, but I'm going to run out of Full Moon wo Sagashite once I reach the end of its seventh volume, as Viz never released the second half of the show. All the episodes are available in streaming format, but it's not the same. Pioneer, on the other hand, did an exceptional job with its Ai Yori Aoshi DVDs and collector box—arguably better than the series deserves, considering how far the anime falls once the setting relocates from Kaoru's little apartment to Aoi's massive mansion and a bunch of cockblockers move in. It also occurs to me that I've been blogging about anime now for more than 10 years, although the very early posts were honestly more sporadic than regular. I should dig up and incorporate those old archives to see just exactly how many anime blog posts I wrote back during the Geocities days.

Dated 8 September 2012: Status updates for the Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, Full Moon wo Sagashite, and Ai Yori Aoshi re-watching projects

Kaoru and Aoi
Aoi lap-pillows the shit out of Kaoru.

I finished re-watching Ai Yori Aoshi even though that meant going outside the one-episode-per-week framework I previously decided upon in my attempt to mimic its initial broadcast schedule from 10 years ago. This was not because Ai Yori Aoshi is so great I couldn't help myself, but rather because I was re-watching it via my old Pioneer DVDs, so it was easier to burn through a block of five episodes in a row than to fuss with disc swaps every week. I don't mean this as another sign physical media are dead, since I do still value the tangible qualities they impart, but there are certainly inconveniences associated with optical media that seem anachronistic in an ever-increasingly instant-gratification age.

Nadia
Nadia is pouting in this scene because
Jean never visits her bunk. True story.

I don't remember Nadia being such a harpy. That girl just will not stop bitching. Frankly, I am amazed Jean manages to put up with her unrelenting complaining and her hippie bullshit. Then again, maybe it's a good thing that she's so disagreeable all the time. Were it not for her acerbic personality, Jean probably wouldn't be able to keep his mind on science and aeronautics. He's at that age, y'know. And they're stuck on a boat together (and/or island sometimes). And she doesn't seem to like wearing a lot of clothes. And she's a very bendy and athletic circus acrobat. I'm just sayin'.

Madoka
I love Madoka even though she is not a cunt all the time.

Full Moon wo Sagashite? Still the best anime of all time, although I guess you wouldn't necessarily realize it at this point (episode 22). After 10 years, Full Moon wo Sagashite still remains somewhat of a difficult sell, particularly now that in many respects it not only is "old" but it sort of looks old, too. I'm not sure what it is...perhaps the lack of shiny skin? Since Full Moon wo Sagashite aired in 2002, myco (Mitsuki and Fullmoon's voice actress and singer) has released a solo album, my collage, and another album as the lead vocalist for the band Quintillion Quiz. I was able to purchase a my collage CD, but Quintillion Quiz's Mement Mori appears to only be available on iTunes. Both albums are good, but Mement Mori in particular is a steal at only eight bucks or so for the entire album. It rocks quite a bit more than myco's earlier work with the band Changin' My Life. I'm afraid I have no idea what Kana is up to these days, though....

Dated 25 February 2013: In re Honda Chieko

Numerous sources, including Anime News Network reported seiyuu Honda Chieko died 18 February 2013 at the age of 49 from cancer. Among her many roles, she voiced the shinigami Meroko in Full Moon wo Sagashite, the show I consider to be the best anime of all time.

49, sigh. That's much too soon.