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Manga Review: Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase Volume One by Keitaro Arima

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Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase Volume One is a manga by Keitaro Arima, and it was published in North America by Tokyopop in 2005. The series is rated “T” for teens ages 13 and up; however, after reading this volume, I personally believe this is manga is more suitable to readers who are 16 years of age and older.

Kouhei Mido is a photographer who only seems to be able to capture pictures of ghosts. His mother was a medium, but Kouhei didn’t seem to inherit her abilities. He is sent to investigate Schwarz Quelle castle, a European castle that was purchased to become a tourist spot, but appears to be haunted.

While Kouhei is investigating the castle, he meets a young-looking girl named Hazuki. It turns out that she is a kind of vampire; unfortunately, when she bites Kouhei to turn him into her slave, it doesn’t work. However, when they are being chased by the servant who is supposed to be keeping an eye on Hazuki, she convinces Kouhei to break a crystal ball object in order to release the kekkai that keeps her trapped in the castle.

After Hazuki escapes, she follows Kouhei back to Japan, saying she needs his help to locate her mother. At the end of the volume, it’s hinted that someone is after Hazuki, but the reader has no idea who it is or why they are after her.

One of the biggest things that bothered me in this manga were a couple of panels that showed Hazuki topless. Normally, nudity in manga isn’t a big deal to me; however, since Hazuki is depicted as being either pre-pubescent or in early puberty, including this nudity does start straddling a line toward child porn.

It may turn out that Hazuki is like Mina Tepes in Dance in the Vampire Bund, a vampire with a child-like depiction who is actually much older; however, since this idea is never introduced in this volume of Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, I have no way of knowing whether or not this is the situation. With what information I had as I read this volume, seeing this kind of nudity made me feel a little uncomfortable.

Admittedly, I’m personally not a big fan of stories that feature vampires, so I had a feeling going into this manga that I probably wasn’t going to be interested in pursuing this series any further. Sure enough, that’s exactly how I felt when I reached the end of this volume.

Between that and the potential underage nudity in this volume, I’m not planning on pursuing this manga series any further. However, manga readers who enjoy vampires and supernatural elements will probably find some enjoyment in Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.