Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora

Title:Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
Looking up at the Half-Moon
The Skies of the Rising Half-moon
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HIRATA Hiroaki
KOBUSHI Nobuyuki
Music - MITSUMUNE Shinkichi
YADA Kouji
In a winter when he was in the second grade of the high school, Yuichi is hospitalized because of hepatitis. Soon his condition improves so much that he gets bored and frequently sneaks out of the hospital, for which he's scolded and punished by the nurse Akiko. One day he observes a girl of his age, by the name of Rika, in the east wing of the hospital (where the patients with serious illnesses are said to be located). Fascinated by her beauty (and encouraged by Akiko) he begins to befriend this girl who appears very selfish and capricious at first. But when Rika eventually opens up to him so much as to tell him about her degenerate heart valve and her forthcoming surgery, he begins to judge her differently...
[TV series, 2006, 6 episodes, 25 min]

There is also a live-action drama - more info at D-Addicts.

1:30min Series Opening - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:1462#2279]
This anime reminded me of a visual novel (tragedy), I once saw about the same subject. Although for the life of me, I can't remember that novel. I decided to pick this up hoping it would be the same.

Art, Animation and Character Design
The art was above the norm. Animation was pretty smooth as well. The character designs were a cut above the norm too. Well illustrated and colors were vibrant. Most of the characters looked like your typical types from other anime however, here they looked a bit more refined thus adding to the overall quality of the art.

The OP was pretty okay. It was catchy and lively..... but not my taste. At times, when the mood permitted it, a sorrowful piano piece would play to enhance the moment of sorrow in the scene. The ED was really good. Very soft vocals and pianos. It's another depressing piece... but fit the anime perfectly.

Series and Episode Story
This is a pretty strait forward story about two hospital patients, Rika and Yuichi. There's not a lot to this story such as plot twists or love triangles or anything like that. Instead, it's simply about... life and relationships. How simple life is, yet how exciting and complex it can be.....and fragile. There's no development as far as characters are concerned, but this type of anime don't really need in-depth character developments. Sometimes just knowing enough about our character's current situation is good enough. The general feel of this anime is one of sorrow or depression........ but in the end.... bittersweet. In the end, It almost had me in tears. I got so attached to our characters and how it ended, it left me only imagining what "might" or "could" have been. Dammit! I hate this bittersweet feeling!!

Overall, it's a really darn good anime. It's a light-hearted, yet effective story to make you either feel good in the end with a box of tissues and runny nose or leave you sighing a bittersweet sigh.

Last updated Monday, February 23 2009. Created Monday, February 23 2009.
Buy 9 8 9 7 9 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1462#1552]
Following in the footsteps of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien with well-executed romantic hospital drama is Looking Up at the Half Moon. The series felt unusually short for a TV series for me the first time I seen it. But, I got enough out of the story and characters to know all that is taking place within that short number of episodes. The four central characters of Yuichi, Rika, Tanizaki, and Dr. Goro have believable personalities with how they each face the situations in front of them and make mistakes along the way with their character growth. Yuichi is the central character of this series as he must choose whether or not to have a relationship with Rika considering that she will die young. For Rika, Yuichi is a fresh face for her to be with since she's faced hospitalization for a good amount of her life and knows the inevitable fact about her remaining life. Tanizaki plays the role of support for the coupling. Goro tries hindering Rika and Yuichi's relationship due to his own past tragedy.

But the show's plotting isn't completely perfect. The presence of the archetypical perverted old man and the Zebra Mask comedy bits detract from the drama of this series a bit.

In the artwork department, this series has plenty of beautiful color and detail with the scenery. Character designs are quite good as well, especially since Rika looked like a beauty with how she was designed. There isn't much in the way of action so animation isn't noteworthy for this series. With exception to the ending music, much of the music to this series doesn't stand out.

Being the first 2006 anime I've seen, Looking Up at the Half-Moon made good use of its six episodes to tell a believable hospital love drama.

Last updated Sunday, September 14 2008. Created Sunday, September 14 2008.
Buy 8 8 9 8 10 9 chibi [series:1462#2380]
Hard to believe so much drama could be packed into only 6 episodes, yet not feel hurried or incomplete and without limiting the number of characters. I love how the creators refrained from introducing deus ex machina elements into the story, as if they were telling us that real life is interesting enough without having to be manipulated. Nobody is really keeping the two main characters apart, the story is ostensibly a straightforward one about dealing with life and relationships. And no obviously set-up situations to milk emotion from the viewers, yet I was choked up several times by the weight of the simple tale. All the main characters were strong and three-dimensional, adding even more interest to the main drama. If I had one criticism it would be that Rika, the female lead, could have used some more development. She retains her apparent selfish streak right to the end, and I think it would have helped the story a lot if we had at least a better understanding of her nature. All in all, a powerful story well-told with a satisfying, if bitter-sweet, ending. But life's like that, ne?

Last updated Saturday, December 09 2006. Created Saturday, December 09 2006.
Buy 9 8 10 7 10 8 Devil Doll [series:1462#752]
[Score: 85% = maxmum "Buy-". Other recommended non-Fantasy Romance Drama anime: Koi Kaze, Lamune, Suzuka, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Hachimitsu to Kuroba II]
  • Drama: High (increasing towards the end of the series)
  • Comedy: Low/Med (mostly from Akiko who's not quite your standard nurse, and from "Zebra Mask")
  • Action: Low/Med (with occasional violence coming out of nowhere)
  • SciFi: None (plain old earth, normal people)
  • Ecchi: Low (actually some ecchiness used as story element instead of teasing the audience)
Just one year after Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu there's another 6 episodes series with striking parallels and almost the same power. The same four lead character roles, the same four side characters, just a pure medical drama this time and no Science Fiction elements. (Just to name a few parallels: The doctor's surprising outburst, the girl's condition, the boy's growing awareness and his dedication towards the end, the novel being read during the narration...)
  • AKIBA Rika has been in hospital all her life, and hardly ever found the will to live on. This will change during the series, but at the same time make it even more difficult for the girl to handle the pressure of her surgery.
  • EZAKI Yuichi isn't the typical male without a brain, he's learned some lessons already. So with some flaws typical for his age he handles the difficult situation quite well, but falling in love with such a beautiful, fragile girl can be quite painful in a situation like this.
  • TANIZAKI Akiko, hospital nurse as well as biker gang member, serves as the comical relief now and then, but she can also be quite understanding at times and really wants to help her patients.
  • NATSUME Goro, the surgeon of this hospital, turned out to be the most interesting of these four characters by far (another parallel to Iriya no Sora). Frustrated by a crucial defeat during his career he has become cynical and almost desperate, hardly able to fulfill his job any longer - but Rika's fate will ultimately lie in his hands... or maybe not?
So what do I consider not top class about this anime?
  • The Music is hardly noticeable, except for the soft, melancholic ED song.
  • Beautiful Art but not much movement to be shown, so no outstanding rating for Animation.
  • The same cliffhanger having been used twice and some of the fan-service elements of the first episodes weren't my cup of tea, and the silly "Zebra Mask" appearing in situations where I didn't want comedy elements. Both resulted in a 2 points downgrade for the otherwise perfect Episode Story.
But look, that's about all I have to subtract from a perfect 100% score! Characters and Series Story are the best aspects of this OVA, even more so as they don't need anything supernatural as story device - reality can be impressive enough.

Last updated Wednesday, August 10 2011. Created Thursday, October 05 2006.

Other Sites
Original Site for the series http://www.hantsuki.com/

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