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@Full Moon, Volume 1 by Sanami Matoh

@Full Moon, Volume 1 (1998)

by Sanami Matoh

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Until the Full Moon chronicles the relationship between David and Marlo, members of aristocratic vampire families. Marlo is half vampire and half werewolf, but possesses the unusual tendency to turn into a woman rather than a werewolf during the full moon -- a trait passed on from the particular tribe of werewolves that his family is descended from.

David is a womanizing creep of a vampire, which is saying something -- as all of the vampires in this story surpass the highest mark of campy cliche. David and Marlo have been friends since childhood however, and Marlo's realization about the peculiarity of his transformation opens up the possibility of a relationship between the two that had until now gone unsaid.

The first volume actually does seem to hint at some meaningful character development for both Marlo and David, as Marlo begins to accept himself and David begins to grow away from the superficiality that has dominated his perception of others. David repeats consistently that it "doesn't matter [to him] whether [Marlo] is a man or a woman".

There are some problematic, sexist undertones at times that are hard to ignore, but it seems clear that much of the intended message is acceptance and loyalty, and that's very positive.

I had a very difficult time getting past the art in this manga. I guess the style just doesn't click for me. The end of this volume has a chapter that seems to either be illustrated by someone else or in a drastically different style from the rest of Matoh's work and I enjoyed that section much more despite the fact that the characterizations and tones were identical. I think the way that Matoh illustrates faces and hair were the most distracting for me -- the actual facial features of every character seems to take up a very small amount of space in the middle of their heads, and the forehead and chin areas are enormous. I find it interesting that she chooses to exaggerate features in this way rather than in the way that many other manga artists appear to. I'm hoping that it eventually grows on me as I would like to see where this story goes. ( )
  vombatiformes | Jul 14, 2013 |
A sequel to Until the Full Moon, this did not grab me as much as the original series. The art is more modern manga style, which I found less appealing. Marlo and David are now married, Marlo spends more time as a woman and (as a woman) is chased by a rival vampire, Clive, and a shy werewolf, Chris. There's a bigger cast, and a whole magic city filled with werewolves, vampires and witches, but we don't really get to know much about them. I hate to say it, because I really liked Until the Full Moon, but I found this sequel sort of pointless. ( )
  catfantastic | Sep 2, 2012 |
David and Marlo are cousins, and part of aristocratic, vampire families - and these vampires hit every cliche in the book - wearing the long black capes, turning into bats, living in giant mansions! - friends when they were little, since Marlo's family moved to the United States, they have not seen each other for ten years. Now, Marlo's family has come to Europe to seek help from David's father, the world's best vampire doctor. It turns out Marlo takes more after his werewolf mother, but instead of turning into a wolf in the light of the full moon, Marlo takes after an obscure, ancient werewolf clan and transforms into a woman! Their crazy parents decide the most logical course is to have David and Marlo get married!

Until the Full Moon is a surprisingly fun, funny and sweet manga. Although David is a player and attracted to pretty girls, the manga shows that he has had strong feelings for Marlo for years. He repeatedly states that Marlo's gender doesn't matter to him either way, and he seems to be equally attracted to Marlo as a man and a woman. I have to say I really enjoyed this manga - it's sweet and fun. On a side note, the cover art (of this edition - published by Kodansha USA in 2011) seems totally unrelated to the interior manga both in terms of style and characters which is pretty confusing. Overall though, this is a fun, unique and romantic manga. ( )
  catfantastic | Jun 16, 2012 |
David (a vampire) and Marlo (half vampire, half werewolf) had grown up together until Marlo's family had moved to America. Now, ten years later, David is thrilled to hear about the return of his former best friend. However, when Marlo returns he is obviously hiding a secret and worse, he has no interest in renewing his friendship with David. Marlo's family has returned with one purpose, to seek out David's father in the hope he can help with Marlo's problem. The problem is that he changes, not into a vampire (Marlo has always regretted his fangless status) and not into a werewolf. Instead Marlo changes into a girl during every full moon. Much to Marlo's horror David's father comes up with a very strange solution to the problem. He wants David and Marlo to marry!

This was quite an unusual story, even for a manga! It was actually quite good and I was surprised by how much I liked it. Although pains are taken to let us know that David is something of a womanizer it is also clear from the get go that he has always harbored deeper feelings for Marlo, and that is even before he discovers his genderbending issue. The story wasn't overly adventurous but it wasn't boring. With a kidnapping and a fantasy sequence thrown in, it was more than just a story of relationships. It is my understanding that the manga is just a two volume set and have happily ordered the second book. I'm looking forward to it! ( )
1 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Sep 22, 2007 |
Yes, this is a little light on the Yaoi side of things. Marlo spends a lot of time as a female in the book, and there is no sex. However, the story is witty, well developed and the love story IS there. Also, there is angst in abundance as Marlo struggles for his feelings for David which began as a young man and which he still has. I enjoyed this enough to check out the Mangaka's other work.

If you've already read through most of the hard Yaoi available in English (like I have), and are looking for something fun, with a Yaoi theme, this is definitely worth picking up. ( )
1 vote jshillingford | Jun 20, 2007 |
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"Marlo has a problem. On the night of the full moon, this half-werewolf, half-vampire undergoes a mysterious and terrifying transformation: He turns into a girl. Desperate for a cure, his parents call on Doctor Vincent, a long time family friend. But Marlo wants to keep his condition secret from Vincent's son, the vampire playboy David. Unfortunately, the secret gets out, and a new problem surfaces: David is interested in Marlo's female form! If a remedy can't be found, their parents believe the next best solution is marriage - a marriage between Marlo and David!"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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