I want to start this blog with the first series that I ever read, Crescent Moon. The series that started it all for me!
image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent_Moon_(manga)
I actually own this series, so I will be reading the official English translation rather than reading from a website.
The back cover reads:
“Mahiru Shiraishi has an uncanny ability to bring good luck to everyone she touches -except herself. She’s constantly haunted by a recurring nightmare that ushers her to a dreamworld. There, she encounters a tribe of demons -a werewolf, vampire, fox, and bat- called the Lunar Race. Destiny calls when they need her help to recover their source of power, the stolen “Teardrops of the Moon”. In this fantasy adventure, Mahiru must battle the rage between the human race and the Lunar Race, whose powers are awakened by the dark side of the moon.”
Crescent Moon has 25 chapters through 6 volumes. My review will be below, and if you continue reading below the stars, you will see my explanation and my recounting of what I read.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
May 19, 2018
So, I finally found some time to read this manga. I just finished volume two, so I am on chapter… …? This manga has a strange chapter labeling system X.x Each chapter is listed as a part, like “Waiting for the Moon: The Descendant of the Princess Meets the Demons Part 1”, and that one goes on to part 5. So at the beginning of volume 3, I’m at chapter seven.
I have read this series at least a dozen times over the years, but reading it and knowing that I’d have to write about it has helped me notice details I never have before! Of course, that also makes it difficult to write about since I can’t write this from a neutral perspective. I know everything that’s going to happen, but I’ll do my best not to spoil anything out of turn in my descriptions.
So, at the start of chapter 7, we’ve met our main character, Mahiru Shiraishi, and the rest of the main cast. There’s Nozomu, Misoka, Akira, and Mitsuru of the Lunar Race -the demons of the series. They work for/with Oboro and Katsura, also of the Lunar Race. By chapter seven, we’ve also seen the Emperor of the Lunar Race, Shirogane.
The plot of the story so far is that they must steal/collect the Teardrops of the Moon that were stolen from the Lunar Race a long time ago. Since the loss of the Teardrops, the Lunar Race has been losing power, and now, their children can no longer grow up. The race is dying.
The main character, Mahiru, was just a high school girl at the start of the series. She could “give luck” to others, but she herself was fairly unlucky. By chapter seven, we learn that she’s the descendant of the human princess (the daughter of a high ranking official anyway) that promised to marry a demon. The princess forgot about her promise and was almost married to the emperor of Japan, but her demon came for her and stole her away. The army attacked and killed the demon and stole the source of his power, the Teardrops of the Moon, and the princess was married to the leader of the army instead. Thus Mahiru’s family is born. For some reason, this gives Mahiru the ability to give luck to humans and demonic power to the Lunar Race simply by touching them (the Lunar Race can transform into their powerful demon forms effortlessly if she is around). By chapter seven, she can also see/locate the Teardrops and from time to time, will glow like one.
The Lunar Race has a nice twist on demons (they’re my favorite type, anyway. In fact, I compare all other descriptions of demons to Crescent Moon since this was the first manga I ever read). In this series, all demons -Eastern and Western- are part of the Lunar Race. We’ve seen tengu, werewolves, werefoxes, vampires, and ogres/horned demons so far. The Lunar Race has a human form and a demonic form, and the flow of power they have access to depends on the moon. During full moons, they are very powerful, and during the new moon, they have trouble with simple spells and transformations. While in demon form, they’re nearly invincible and can even withstand gunshots and rocket launchers. However, since they are an ancient demonic race, they have a weakness to synthetic, man-made things like sleeping gas. Back in the day before the Teardrops were stolen, humans and the Lunar Race lived together -this matches up with portrayals of ancient Japan- and they would attend festivals. Members of the Lunar Race enjoy singing, dancing, partying, and just having a good time; they’re not inherently evil beings. They’re just alive, and they want to stay alive.
I bring up the history of the Lunar Race because at the beginning of chapter 3 (which is also the beginning of volume 2), Mahiru moves out of her aunt’s house and into the Moonshine Bar (which is the base of operations for the Lunar Race). Oboro explains that they opened a bar because it’s reminiscent of the ancient days, and this shows that the Lunar Race hasn’t really changed. Just like they enjoyed festivals back in the day (with singing, dancing, and joy), they still feel the same way today, and that’s still their focus (when they’re not trying to get the Teardrops of the Moon back).
Speaking of Oboro, that brings up a plot point! Turns out that he’s the uncle of Emperor Shirogane. For whatever reason, Oboro gave up his right to rule and came to the human world, but Shirogane is convinced that Oboro wants his old position back.
By chapter seven, two Teardrops of the Moon have been recovered, and a third one has been found. One of the recovered Teardrops was used to revive Mitsuru who was killed by sleeping gas (Mahiru brought him back), so it no longer has any power. And at the end of chapter seven, Akira was kidnapped!
My only hang up with the series so far regards the policemen, Kusakabe and Youhei. The police approved a higher budget so they could catch the “Moonlight Bandits” (aka our four favorite Lunar Race members), and Kusakabe gives the order to call in “those kids”. Apparently, “those kids” are expensive experts or else they would’ve been called in a long time ago. And as soon as they’re called in and Kusakabe meets them, he starts bad talking them! Like they’re just kids rather than highly regarded professionals! The only reason this bothers me is that they’re supposedly well known. Kusakabe should have known about their abilities, reputations, and probably something about their ages, but it’s only after meeting them (before they can actually do anything but give information) that Kusakabe disregards them like it’s a bunch of baloney. If he didn’t think they could do the job, why did he waste the policy’s budget on them? And the manga doesn’t say that the higher ups told him to hire them; he’s the one who brings up the idea and gives the go ahead to call “those kids”.
But that’s as far as I’ve read this time. I’ll of course add more about the series as I continue reading.
To read part 2, please click here.