Full Moon o Sagashite 1 by Arina Tanemura: A

From the back cover:
Young Mitsuki loves singing and dreams of becoming a pop star. Unfortunately, a malignant tumor in her throat prevents her from pursuing her passion. However, her life turns around when two surprisingly fun-loving harbingers of death appear to grant Mitsuki a temporary reprieve from her illness and give her singing career a magical push start.

This is the first manga I’ve read by Tanemura, and I’m extremely impressed by both plotting and art. It’s super cute. I mean, really really cute, but it manages not to be obnoxious. The super cutest thing is Guu-chan, a pet pig, but though I tried and tried to find a screencap to link here, I couldn’t do it.

I’ve seen the anime for Full Moon, and I rather wish I hadn’t. The memory of all that dreadfully monotonous filler kept intruding as I began this volume, but gradually dissipated as the story lines began to diverge. Acts and motivations are ever so much clearer in the manga, so I will try to forget everything about the anime except for Ogata Megumi as seiyuu for one of the characters.

Like the best kind of stories, there may be some outer conventions that seem really silly, but the story is about a lot more than some twelve-year-old girl getting transformed into a pop star. Characters make tough choices, some rather dark fates may be looming on the horizon, et cetera. If pressed for a complaint, I’d say that it’s rather hard to care about plot twists regarding Mitsuki’s career when all that aforementioned looming is going on.

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