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Manga / Crescent Moon

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Crescent Moon (未完の月 Mikan no Tsuki) is a shōjo manga by Haruko Iida and Takamura Matsuda, which ran in Asuka from 1999 to 2001. The story is about a high school girl named Mahiru Shiraishi, who has the ability to grant others good fortune by touching them. She herself does not benefit from this good fortune, and occasionally laments that this is because she has given all of her luck away to others.

One day, Mahiru finds herself approached by four mysterious youths. The youths are not human, but are members of a supernatural race called "People of the Moon" or the "Lunar Race." The four are the vampire Nozomu, the werewolf Akira, the kitsune Misoka, and the tengu Mitsuru. Together, the four form a band of thieves called the Moonlight Bandits. The Moonlight Bandits steal gems known as Teardrops of the Moon, which the Lunar Race can use as a source of power. The Lunar Race is dying off, and hopes to use the Teardrops to preserve themselves.

Mahiru learns that she is the "Descendant of the Princess", and that her ancestors were responsible for stealing the Teardrops of the Moon from the Lunar Race. She has special powers that allow her to locate the Teardrops of the Moon, as well as the ability to draw out and enhance the abilities and powers of the Lunar Race. Though at first she is hesitant to assist the Moonlight Bandits, a desire to learn more about her powers convinces her to assist them. She moves in with them at the night club where they worked, named Moonshine.

The Moonlight Bandits' thefts put them into conflict with the police, with police inspector Kimiteru Kusakabe, who has dedicated himself to catching them. They also come into conflict with an ancient order of magic-using humans called Dawn's Venus, which is dedicated to the destruction of the Lunar Race.

This series provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: While the Lunar Race has many strengths and immunities, they also have vulnerabilities that humans do not have.
  • Asian Fox Spirit: Misoka Asagi, the leader of the Moonlight Bandits.
  • Author Avatar: Takamura Matsuda appears as a Cute Kitten in the Bonus Material at the end of the volume, and directly addresses the reader to comment on various things. Her husband appears as a giraffe.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Akira's personality fits this trope, as he is very friendly, sometimes to the point of being over enthusiatic and affectionate.
  • Blow You Away and Shock and Awe: Mitsuru Suou has wind and electricity powers.
  • Bonus Material: The volumes have bonus material, including things like information about the development of the manga and the names of the characters.
  • Born Lucky: Played with. Mahiru has the ability to give others good luck, but regards herself as unlucky.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Because of this Dark and Troubled Past, Mitsuru is rather angry and angsty, while Mahiru is gentle and patient. Mitsuru initially distrusts Mahiru, but through Mahiru's patience and kindness begins to break down the barriers between them.
  • The Caper: Much of the plot revolves around the Moon Bandits planning and executing robberies.
  • Caper Rationalization: The Moon Bandits are thieves, but they are stealing back things stolen from their race centuries ago, and need them to cure a disease that threatens their race with extinction.
  • The Charmer: Nozomu Moegi is a smooth talker and a hit with the ladies.
  • Charm Person: Misoka Asagi has the power to hypnotize people.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Childhood marriage promises are referenced in a Story Within A Story about a girl that makes such a promise to a demon.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: The Lunar Race is currently ruled by a child emperor.
  • Class Trip: Mahiru's class goes on a trip to Kyoto.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: The members of the Lunar Race use the name of their guardian colors as surnames.
    • Souh: Dark Red
    • Moegi: Yellow Green
    • Yamabuki: Light Yellow
    • Asagi: Light Blue
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Mahiru lost her parents in a car accident when she was young.
  • Changeling Fantasy: From ordinary student to descendant of a fantasy princess.
  • Cliffhanger: The second volume ends with Akira disappearing into some sort of magical spell.
  • Dance Party Ending: At the end of the final volume.
  • Familiar: Nozomu's bat is linked to him, and he can use it to communicate to people over a distance.
  • Faux Death: The police use a knock-out gas that creates this effect on the Lunar Race.
  • Flashback Cut: A brief flashback to Mahiru's parents death.
  • Good-Guy Bar: The Moonlight Bandits live and work in a nightclub.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Mitsuru gets angry very easily, and sometimes even goes into a crazy berserk mode. One of the other characters describes him as having anger management issues.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Misoka is half-human.
  • Healing Hands: Mitsuru has the ability to heal members of the Lunar Race.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Dawn's Venus is a group of humans dedicated to hunting down and destroying the Lunar Race. They view themselves as an order of Demon Slayers fighting monsters, however in fact they are exhibiting Fantastic Racism.
  • Implausible Hair Color: Somewhat invoked in the story. Mahiru at first thinks that Nazomu is foriegn, because of his blonde hair and blue eyes. However, he speaks with a thick Kansai accent and was born and bred in Japan. It is latter revealed that he is a case of But Not Too Foreign, being half-British.
  • Immune to Bullets: Regular guns are described as being about as effective as water guns against members of the Lunar Race.
  • Lunacy: The Lunar Race is strongly influenced by the phases of the moon. They are strongest during the full moon and weak during the new moon.
  • Mineral MacGuffin, Dismantled MacGuffin and Gotta Catch Them All: The Teardrop of the Moon is an ancient gem stolen from the Lunar Race by humans. It was shattered and pieces are scattered throughout the world of men. The Moonlight Bandits track down pieces of the Teardrop of the Moon.
  • Monster Mash: The Moonlight Bandits are comprised of a vampire, a werewolf, a kitsune, and a tengu.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Mahiru and the Moonlight Bandits use singing to help Mitsuru Suou recover his control when he goes into berserk demon mode.
  • Never Be Hurt Again plus I Just Want to Be Badass: Mitsuru was raised by humans but was betrayed by them. As a result, he distrusts everyone and wants to be more powerful so no one can ever hurt him again.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Mahiru Shiraishi, who uses this exact phrase to describe herself. As so often happens with the trope, she turns out to be not so ordinary.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Nozomu Moegi. His major power is using his bats to spy and talk to his comrades through. Being a vampire, he cannot eat solid foods, and sustains himself on soup and juice. He is not bothered by the sun.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Akira Yamabuki. His major abilities are super-speed, super strength, and an amazing sense of smelling and hearing. He can take on human, Little Bit Beastly, or Wolf Man forms.
  • The Protagonist: Mahiru Shiraishi
  • Romance Arc
  • Sacred First Kiss: Mahiru and Misturu
  • School Swimsuit: The main character loves swimming, and appears in a school swimsuit in the opening scenes.
  • Seers: Keiko is a seer for Dawn's Venus.
  • Shapeshifting: All the members of the Lunar Race can take on alternate forms.
  • Sprouting Ears: Mitsuru is sometimes drawn with Panda ears, to symbolize when she is angry.
  • Stellar Name:
    • The names of each member of the Lunar Race are based the moon and the kanji character for the moon.
      • Mitsura: Full Moon.
      • Nozomu: Full Moon.
      • Akira: Full Moon.
      • Misoka: Day before the New Moon.
      • Oboro: Hazy Moon.
      • Katsura: Another name for the moon.
    • The names of the major human characters are based on the sun.
      • Kusakabe: Before Daylight
      • Mahiru: Mid-Day
      • Youhei: Sun Boy
      • Asako: Morning Girl
    • There is also a group called Dawn's Venus, whose members all have names based on stars and planets.
      • Hokuto: The Great Bear
      • Mutsura: The Pleides
      • Keiko: The Fire Planet, aka Mars
  • Super Drowning Skills: Mitsuru Suou can't swim and flounders around even in shallow water.
  • Super-Senses: All of the Lunar Race
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Kimiteru Kusakabe is a police inspector attempting to capture the Moonlight Bandits.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: As a token of affection, Akira gives a piece of candy to Keiko, a member of Dawn's Venus and therefore an enemy of the Lunar Race. This exchange is part of Akira's attempt to befriend her, because he has a crush on her.
  • Team Chef: Akira is an excellent chef.
  • Theme Naming: The author uses this for all the major Characters. See Colourful Theme Naming and Stellar Name.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Nozomu is charming and popular with girls.
  • Youkai Own Nightclubs: The Lunar Race owns a nightclub because dancing and music is associated with moon worship.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: invoked The English translation mistakenly refers to Misoka Asagi as female in the first volume. This is corrected in latter volumes. It doesn't help that the character has a rather feminine looking hair style.
  • Weird Moon: Some of the art work presents the moon in a rather stylized and unrealistic manner.
  • Youkai: Called the Lunar Race. Several types appear, including kitsune and the tengu Mitsuru Suou.