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Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5

01/03/2011. Contributed by Phil Jones

Buy Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5 episodes 19-22 in the USA - or Buy Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5 episodes 19-22 in the UK

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Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5 episodes 19-22. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72805. 1 DVD 125 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: GBP 15.99 (UK).

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After all the events of the previous episodes, Hazuki and Kouhei flee to the relative safety of Mido shrine. There, Kouhei tries to learn the arts that come easily to the rest of his family. Living in semi-isolation, he only gets to see Hazuki and the rest at night on full moon when Hazuki needs to feed. Hazuki, however, does little in the way of work spending most of her time at the shrine. The two of them find it hard to be apart and when Kouhei becomes hurt in training, it becomes another reason for them to be together. Things are not all rosy though as Arte the lady vampire princess and her two sidekicks are seeking to kidnap Hazuki. Even with all the magical protection that Kouhei’s grandfather provides things, do not go well.

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So after having both a change of scenery and a shift in pace and the series having had a time to settle a bit after the defeat of Count Kinkel. We are now presented with a protected mountain and a new enemy with sidekicks. Not as stronger character as Count Kinkel or menacing for that matter, Princess Arte is a bit of a damp squib. The two sidekicks provide elements of humour, but the series at this point seems to have lost a bit of pace and sparkle. There are still the completely barmy asides such as the cat ears and some impressive visual elements that you’d expect from the director Akiyuki Shinbo. It just feels a bit flat, as if the series has peaked too early with the impressive final battle with Count Kinkel and all that led up to it. Mind you, I think this series has right from the start tried to balance, gothic violence with romance and comedy elements. These episodes just feel a little unsure and I think that’s down to the weak story elements. The shift away from a more brother-sister relationship for Hazuki and Kouhei to that of a more romantic one means that we lose some of the edge and tension that has provided many of the more interesting interactions and storylines previously. The action scenes are probably the high points especially with some of the better music to bolster them. Altogether, the music works but like the visuals ranges quite widely. The dubbing still like much of other Funmation anime differs at times from the original sometimes with plotlines having a somewhat differing feel and meaning.

There is still plenty to entertain though. The cuteness of Arte’s character and the sheer bonkers humour stops this from becoming tedious and unwatchable. Hopefully, the story will start matching the otherwise, high production style in the next volume.

Phil Jones

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