Full Moon O Sagashite was adapted into an anime in 2002, which, according to The Other Wiki, enjoyed high ratings in Japan. Though the premise remained the same as the manga, it was noticeably Lighter and Softer and had a different ending due to the fact that the anime Overtook the Manga.The anime is available in North America via Viz Media. The DVD releases were halted due to poor sales, only going as far as episode 28. However, all 52 episodes are available on Hulunote However, they are based on Viz Media's DVD masters. Additionally, the episodes are subtitled only.
In addition to the tropes listed on the manga page, the anime consists of:
Adaptation Dye-Job: Mitsuki's hair from black to brown. Takuto's hair from black to gray. Fuzuki and Hazuki from blonde to brown. Madoka's hair from straight purple to dark red. Aoi's from green to black! Nobody's eye colors are the same in the anime except for the shinigami. Meroko's outfit is black in the manga but is changed to red in the anime with the consent of Tanemura herself; she designed all the clothes for the anime!
Adapted Out: Sort of. Sheldon wasn't revealed in the anime due to the anime overtaking the manga. The manga reveals that Jonathan is a disguise used by Sheldan, the head of the pediatrics ward. Takuto mentioned their boss gave them the name "Negi Ramen", and that's it. Mystere was adapted out for the same reason, but a stand-in took her place.
Also, the president of the record company with whom Oshige has an affair is replaced by a different character in the anime.
Madoka to a point as well. In the manga, while Madoka is willing to go to some lengths to best Full Moon, she has a strong sense of pride and refuses to cheat to win. It's seen especially after the commercial contest, when Madoka resigns upon learning that the lyrics she used to win were written by Mitsuki. In the anime, she has no such qualms, and spends the entire first half of the series using increasingly underhanded tactics to try and one-up Full Moon. She goes too far when she tries to start rumors about Full Moon and Wakaoji having an affair; it causes her career and popularity to take a big hit, and throws her into a fit of despair. She ends up befriending the twelve-year-old Mitsuki, who helps pull her out of it.
Be Yourself: What Mitsuki/Full Moon learns in episode 5.
Break the Cutie: In the anime, Mitsuki loses the will to live after finding out Eichi was dead all along and goes into a doll-like state (complete with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness) until Takuto convinces her to live for her own sake.Takuto goes through severe emotional and physical pain from his previous memories.
Chekhov's Gun: Those little mascots that Mitsuki made for Takuto and Meroko for the Christmas episode? Very important in the finale.
Cry into Chest: Oshige does this to Wakaouji in episode 43 after berating herself for all she can't do for Mitsuki, who is currently having an Heroic BSOD after discovering Eichi has been dead all this time.
Darker and Edgier: The last couple arcs of the anime, which deal with Eichi's death, Mitsuki becoming suicidal after finding out, Takuto's returning memories, Mitsuki's approaching death day...
Declaration of Protection: Takuto's sworn vow to Mitsuki from episode 11 all the way to the bitter end. Against impossible odds, he keeps his word.
Defictionalization: The anime-only Nostalgic Music Box from the Eternal Snow-era episodes was made into an electronic toy by Bandai. Because it was a toy, and not a traditional wind-up music box, this is a borderline example. Besides Eternal Snow, the toy also played "Myself" and "New Future". It is rumored that only 50 copies were made.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Mitsuki's grandmother. Though it has a set back when Mitsuki tells her to let her chose who to trust her life with she eventually learns to love music again though it was only through dealing with Mitsuki's Heroic BSOD after discovering that Eichi was Dead All Along that allowed her to realize just how important Mitsuki found music and singing aka they were her life.
Going along with this, the way her face is designed is also softened. By the end, she truly looks like a kindly grandmother.
Demoted to Extra: In the manga, Jonathan is revealed to be a disguise for Sheldan, the head of the death pediatrics ward. In the anime, however, Jonathan is pretty much a throwaway character who only exists to follow Izumi around and annoy him. Sort of justified when you remember that the relevant events in the manga didn't occur until long after the anime had ended.
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: NAS totally cheated in this part, placing myco of Changin' My Life as the seiyu of Mitsuki, as majority of the songs in the anime are by Changin' My Life. Especially egregious when Mitsuki as Full Moon sings, her voice shifts to myco's natural voice. Especially Eternal Snow.
Driven to Suicide: Just like the manga, this is how one becomes a Shinigami. Also in one of the last arcs of the anime, Izumi tries to drive Mitsuki to accidental suicide, although it doesn't succeed.
Face Palm: Takuto has some truly epic ones in the anime, on account of being the most logical and intelligent of the trio.
Foreshadowing: At the end of episode 39, Mitsuki is talking about seeing Eichi again, and a bell starts ringing. Meroko thinks it's a New Year's bell but Takuto corrects her with "It's a church bell". This scene, while subtle, can actually feel a bit ''chilling'' if you already know the plot from there: Eichi's death is revealed naught but three episodes later.
Ghost Amnesia: All Shinigami are subject to this since remembering their previous life, especially when they are still a rookie, will lead to Critical Existence Failure and turn them into a wandering ghost. Takuto is the big example in the Anime as he's completely forgotten his previous life as the lead singer of ROUTE:L.
Heroic BSOD: Mitsuki has a couple: one when she learns about Eichi's death, and one after her throat surgery, when she loses Takuto and Meroko.
Heroic Sacrifice: Three times. Mitsuki offers her soul to Izumi to save Takuto (though he doesn't take it), Takuto dies not just in body but also in spirit to save Mitsuki, and Meroko sacrifices herself to save Takuto. Thank God all three of them are rewarded...
Hidden Depths: EVERYONE. From Mitsuki's grandmother who's tragic life has led to her associating music with nothing but grief and pain to Wakaouji-sensei who was originally part of Mitsuki's father's band to Madoka who was broken by the entertainment industry when she was child, resulting in her bitter, cynical attitude. Even Izumi counts as a few lines he says in episode 46 and later in episode 51 suggests he's given up on being anything but a Shinigami and thus has resigned himself to his fate.
Important Haircut: In the anime, Meroko shears her hair in order to transfer her powers to the weakening Takuto, letting him transform Mitsuki for her last performance.
Inconsistent Translation / Bad Export for You: Untranslated songs and signs aside, in the Hulu version,note which again, is based on the R1 DVD version the first four episodes present the opening credits in their original Japanese (complete with the "Sit away from the TV" message), with the eyecatches featuring the original Japanese title. From episode 5 up to episode 8, overlays are used, with translated versions of the credits, and the logo removed from the eyecatches, and the aforementioned "Sit away from the TV" message also removed. From episode 9 to episode 16 however, no credits (or episode titles) appear at all (though one episode reveals the name of an episode in the subtitles), and the wrong endingnote specifically the first is used, compromising the "ending theme starts before credits" effect. Beginning with episode 17, the translated credits, translated episode titles, and the correct opening(s) all mysteriously return, staying for the remainder of the series.
In episodes 40 and 41, some lines of dialogue aren't even translated at all, and at least a couple translations either have the wrong context, or are just plain wrong outright. On subject of missing translations however, it seems to only happen when the characters think, including during flashbacks, with the subs randomly showing up then disappearing. The Hulu versions use soft subtitles based on Hulu's closed captioning feature, with thoughts sppearing in italics, so it may or may not be possible that the episodes were being uploaded incorrectly.
Invisible to Normals: The shinigami except when they're in plushie form, transformed into someone else or in their human form. There's nothing about being inaudible to normals, though that takes special items.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Unlike in the manga, Meroko truly does love Takuto. But, after playing the Clingy Jealous Girl for so long, she eventually decides to support him and Mitsuki's relationship. She even helps Mitsuki figure out that she does love Takuto and that its okay.
Though a few moments suggests he's just better at hiding his heart of gold.
Lighter and Softer: Compared to the manga, which had more themes about suicide, life, and death, the anime series focuses more on slice-of-life episodes from Mitsuki's singing career and uses a brighter color scheme (i.e. changes Meroko's Stripperific costume to red instead of black), although it does get a good chunk of darker episodes near the end with Eichi's death. An excuse for this may be because the series had overtaken the manga, or, on a smaller scale, Executive Meddling.
Reiterating the whiplash, After Mitsuki is devastated by losing Takuto and Meroko the very end brings them all together one last time. It does not help that the song playing in the background is 'NEW FUTURE'.
And even when the entire episode is done seriously, the opening or eyecatch will immediately throw you.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Izumi reveals that he was the one responsible for Negi Ramen getting Mitsuki assigned to them, because he knew that Takuto's past was related to Mitsuki and thought that Takuto being in contact with Mitsuki would restore his memories of his human life and cause him to disappear. If they hadn't been assigned, then Mitsuki would have been looked over by a Shinigami pair that had no connection whatsoever to her. Which means that a) she wouldn't have gotten to live her dream as Full Moon and b) she would have died as scheduled.
Overtook the Manga: Possibly one of the greatest examples, since the anime started in the same month that the fifth chapter was published and ended a year earlier.
Title Drop: The title is sung thanks to "New Future". And it happens a few times at that, most notably during the first and final episodes.
The Power of Love: One of the most emotional examples shown in anime: Takuto loses all of his memories, yet when the time comes for Mitsuki to die, he protests, saying he can still feel her in his heart.
Rooftop Confrontation: A (mostly) non-fighting example in Episodes 45 and 46 when Izumi attempts to take Mitsuki's soul by driving her to accidental suicide. Takuto, Meroko, and Fuzuki all show up to foil him, but the event culminates in Takuto regaining his memories from his human life.
Sacred First Kiss: Takuto spends a whole episode of the anime trying to prevent Mitsuki from sharing this with a boy who just wants to embarrass her, but it turns out the wind knocks Mitsuki and Takuto into an implied accidental kiss.
Song Of Courage: Mitsuki sings "Myself" in ep 49 giving Meroko the strength to push on and get the "cure" for Takuto turning into a ghost. It is both heartwarming and awesome.
Mitsuki also has a tendency to gives heartwarming speeches that are accompanied by music or even result in her singing. Each time is very sweet.
Status Quo Is God: Averted in the anime when Mitsuki tries to tell Oshige-san and Dr. Wakaoji that she is Full Moon; she succeeds by getting Takuto to transform her in front of them.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Discussed in regards to Takuto's feelings to Mitsuki. However, they manage to work things out anyways.
Transformation Sequence: Mitsuki is given one when she turns into Full Moon. A rather simplistic sequence is used for the first half of the series, but a more elaborate looking, Magical Girl-type one was used in the second half. Meroko also gets a short sequence when she shapeshifts.
Tragic Keepsake: Mitsuki's pendant turns into this, as does the picture she has of herself and Eichi.
Wham Episode: The end of Episode 41 where Takuto finds out that Eichi's been Dead All Along. And then Episode 42, when Mitsuki subsequently finds out.
You Can't Fight Fate: What the Shinigami are told to do. Meroko flat out states that they "serve fate" and its hinted that a lot of Izumi's actions and attitude is because he firmly believes this. However...
Screw Destiny: What Meroko and Takuto ultimately decide to do in Mitsuki's case and they succeed too, though not without a lot of pain and they almost didn't make it; but their ultimate boss shows up and reveals this is what she wanted all along.