“Princess, Princess, why do you cry? In a forest painted by the setting sun I made a promise to a demon boy… that when the full moon ascends the sky in ten, I’ll become his bride.”
Aka: Mikan no Tsuki
Creators: Haruko Iida (original work), Takamura Matsuda
A soft lullaby, a demon warrior, a sad princess, and a strange world—these are the things that fill Mahiru Shiraishi’s dreams and fill her mind with questions. Mahiru is a young orphaned high school girl, who is rumored to give good luck to anyone she touches. Unfortunately, she seems to have the worst luck in the world. One day, Mahiru meets a group of demons from a tribe called the “Lunar Race.” When the members of the Lunar Race are touched by Mahiru, she draws out their hidden powers. The demons request Mahiru’s help in order to find their tribe’s source of power—crystals called the “Teardrops of the Moon.” Without Mahiru’s aid and the Teardrops of the Moon, the Lunar Race will be destroyed. In turn for helping them, Mahiru will learn about her powers and the reasons for her reoccurring dreams.
Crescent Moon is a manga targeted for the female audience. It is your “poor girl with hidden powers to save the human race” package deal. The protagonist, Mahiru, will have to struggle with life helping the demons and dealing with her human feelings, while coping with her past troubles and preventing an all out war between demons and humans. Yes, there’s nothing a young Japanese girl can’t handle.
The artwork is very unique. Characters are drawn kind of plain. Character expressions are drawn clearly and it is simple to pick up the tone of the scene by the characters. Their designs are not incredible, but still fit the overall artwork of the manga very well. The backgrounds in Crescent Moon are some of the best I’ve seen in a manga. There is rarely a page or panel with a blank background. Although detailed, the backgrounds do not distract the reader from actions or feelings in the scenes. A couple of the most beautiful scenes are when the characters transform from human to demon form. The first couple pages of each volume will begin with some of the best artwork. It simply looks so elegant. There is a lot going on each page, but the art is done well so there is not too much straining and overcrowding in and between each panel. From its detailed backgrounds to unique character designs, Crescent Moon’s artwork had me simply amazed. I truly wish some pages were available in color.
Here is a brief rundown on the main characters:
Mahiru Shiraishi: Mahiru has a girl-next-door personality—sweet, innocent, and cute to boot! Because of her mysterious power to give strangers good luck, she often feels left out and insecure. But, she’ll stick up for her friends and what is right, even if others will stand against her.
Mitsuru Suou: A member of the Moonlight Bandits. His natural demon form is that of a Tengu (a goblin). Mitsuru is hotheaded, vengeful and untrusting. He’s the character that has a mysterious unknown past and remains very distant—even from his own companions.
Misoka Asagi: Misoka is the unofficial leader of the Moonlight Bandits. He’s the collected and knows how to keep cool even in the most extreme situations. Misoka’s original form is a (very lovely looking) fox demon.
Nozomu Moegi: The vampire. He’s the pretty boy of the group. Nozomu is calm, heartwarming, and a smooth talker. Ladies would pretty much faint if he spoke.
Akira Yamabuki: Lastly, there is Akira—the young, playful werewolf. He’s naïve, friendly, and can instantly become friends with anyone. Akira is full of piercing on his face, but he is just ever so cute when he goes canine.
As you can see, the characters are your average “must have in a shoujo” story. Mahiru reminds me a lot of Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura. The character’s personalities are nothing the audience has not seen, but they are still characters anime fans do not mind watching (for the most part).
Picking up the first volume did not impress me much. I kept going with the series hoping for something new, never-before-experienced, twisty manga story (/end exaggeration). Unfortunately, this does not happen. The plot does stay strong and does not ward off the task at hand, however Crescent Moon lacks an original story. This series is not a manga I would particularly recommend to anyone, but shoujo fans or girls who are still new to manga. Oldbies, it would perhaps be best to stick to classics like Cardcaptor Sakura, Kare Kano, and such. Crescent Moon would not be on a list of “must have” manga, but it is still quite adoring to read.
By Bounty Huntress