- Alt. Name
- Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
- Release Date
- Winter 2006
- No. of Episodes
- Group TAC
- Light Novel
Looking Up At The Half-Moon is a 2006 Romance Drama anime series from now-defunct Japanese animation studio Group TAC. At the same time, some of the studio’s previous works will be familiar with their catalog with series such as One Stormy Night, Black Blood Brothers, and even Gilgamesh. However, with so many anime series created yearly, some of them slip through the cracks of time, and sometimes their real unknown gems. Others wonder if an anime series produced by a studio is no longer around worth watching? Could an anime series that came from a studio that filed for bankruptcy in 2010 be all that good?
After contracting hepatitis, Ezaki Yuichi has been confined to a hospital, away from his friends and family, much to his displeasure. To relieve his boredom, he has taken to sneaking out of the hospital, usually putting himself on the receiving end of a beating from his nurse. Upon meeting a girl his age also staying in the hospital, he is immediately captivated by her beauty. However, Akiba Rika’s personality is not quite as captivating as her beauty. She is rather selfish, moody, and bossy. Still, as the two spend more time with each other, they become closer, sharing the ordinary joys and trials of budding teenage romance, even when darkened with impending tragedy, for Rika’s condition does not leave her much longer to live.
When most anime series can be summed up within a single paragraph, it tends to be a red flag towards the story. However, it is a good thing when a series like this can be done in one section. For a series that’s only six episodes long, the story does not waste time on the facts and details, especially for unnecessary filler. While the story is a bit more fast pasted than expected, the amount of emotion the viewer may feel towards these characters is no less than a regular-length series. Another positive aspect of this story was that the drama of the situations did not feel forced and was used realistically within the story as if the events were happening in real life, which is a pleasant surprise.
There is nothing special within the story outside of the common storytelling aspects, and unfortunately, the sudden negatives within themselves are vastly available. For instance, The story is bare-bones, basic, and uninspiring. The story is borderline written as a teenage soap opera, but what makes this stand out is that the dialog between the characters is downright terrible. For most of the series, there is nothing to sink the viewers’ teeth into, sure there are characters they’ll like, but outside of that, they’re basic, and the viewer will want more.
Another negative aspect of the story is that the episodes are not evenly paced, considering that the series is only six episodes long. Some episodes will give the viewer dread and question if they accidentally continued another episode without knowing they did. While some viewers may enjoy this story, the vast majority will find it forgettable and think of many other similar series that have done it better. However, the ones that have done it better did go to a minimum of twelve episodes long.
When it comes to the art style of Looking Up At The Half-Moon is, as what the viewer would expect, a little outdated. While this is not a negative per se, it doesn’t help the series either. The art style is sharp and not rememberable by any means, but to some, they might seem realistic though that would push being polite way too far. The colors are dark and dull, which work well with a topic and are a pleasant addition. Perhaps the lackluster color tones and bleak designs are a little outdated but still watchable.
The animation production within this series was a little saddening, not because it lacked any real firepower, which it was. But it was saddening because the quality of the animation seemed old and outdated when it premiered. While some may not notice the laziness within the animations, one will quickly notice the still framed and repeated scenes throughout the series. The opening animation was pleasant and calming, which was nice to experience; however, the song was the better part of the two. Its soft pop sound and simplistic approach made this a fine choice for an opening theme song.
Though when it comes to the characters within Looking Up At The Half-Moon, viewers will wish that the series was longer, perhaps not for the right reasons. Yuichi Ezaki is a seventeen-year-old high school student hospitalized for hepatitis A. He is a standard rambunctious teenager who feels trapped within the hospital walls. He has never experienced love or even gone on a date with a girl, which is partly why he is so hellbent on getting out of the hospital to see his friends and live life.
Rika Akiba, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. She is a seventeen-year-old girl who has been hospitalized for most of her life due to a severe medical condition. She has close relationships with her doctor and nurse within the hospital that make her feel like she has friends, but she sometimes yearns for teenagers her age. Due to her being in the hospital for so long, she has no friends and spends her time reading books by her favorite author, Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
The last of the essential characters is Akiko Tanizaki, the nurse who tends to Yuichi. She deeply cares about the relationship between Yuichi and Rika because she understands their situation and roots them on any chance she gets. She acts much like an older sister to Yuichi and will not hesitate to hit him or even make fun of him when he deserves it. She is highly manipulative and nosey when it comes to him, but she has her tender moments and goes above and beyond to care for her patients.
Even though Looking Up At The Half-Moon is only six episodes long, the series feels a lot longer. The story has good intent and can easily be seen as a solid try, but as a whole, it’s subpar in every sense of the word. Viewers questioning whether they should watch this series or not must be warned that the characters are better than the story gives them credit for. Yuichi’s development is remarkable and exciting to watch, and for an extremely short series, they at least got something right.
This anime is hard to recommend because even though it is older, it gives the impression that when it premiered, all the judgment it’s receiving now was happening back then. Looking Up At The Half-Moon is below average in practically every category, but if they continued the series, who knows where it’d be if they had more time to flesh everything out. Don’t question if this anime is worth it and saves your viewing time. It is well worth skipping.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.