Kikuko InoueNao ToyamaMitsuo IwataHaruka Shiraishi
Tsuki ga Kirei
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: T
Also known as: as the moon, so beautiful
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Seiji Kishi
Writer: Yuuko Kakihara
Actor: Atsushi Tamaru, Chiwa Saito, Eishin Fudemura, Haruka Chisuga, Haruka Shiraishi, Honoka Inoue, Kazuo Oka, Kentaro Kumagai, Kikuko Inoue, Konomi Kohara, Makoto Kaneko, Manaka Iwami, Mark Ishii, Misono Suzuki, Mitsuo Iwata, Mutsuki Iwanaka, Nao Toyama, Rie Murakawa, Ryoko Maekawa, Shoya Chiba, Yuya Hirose
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19019
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 7 January 2019
Tsuki Kirei
It's a terribly nice, gentle little show about chaste romance between fourteen-year-olds. (There's another couple in their class who are shagging, though.) Our two heroes are pretty hopeless, to be honest, at first being paralysed by the terrifying hurdle of... uh, talking to each other. Online, they're okay. They can send phone texts. That's about the limit of their social skills and courage. However they slowly drift into synch with each other, in a way that struck me as pretty realistic in its take on how a timid fourteen-year-old is likely to be in such things.
Surreptitiously, the show even has teeth. Decisions can have consequences. Not studying because you want to Write Your Novel... well, that won't make things easier when you decide, whoops, that you want to get into a high school. You can understand why they'd keep their relationship secret at school and I can imagine lots of teenagers doing the same (especially given what their classmates' reactions will be), but it also seems possible that Chinatsu wouldn't have started developing those feelings if she'd known the situation. Embarrassment and shyness can create victims. (She's not the only one in that boat, though, and the show's taking quite a nuanced view of the wrong side of a romantic triangle.)
In the end, the storytelling becomes mature enough that it would be a spoiler to say whether or not there's a happy ending. You'd understand completely and even feel oddly satisfied with any outcome. Azumi and Mizuno are well matched, but there's a lot of cluelessness there and I could cite moments of insensitivity in the last few episodes that you could imagine being suggested as grounds for a divorce. I'm particularly impressed that Mizuno didn't turn go nuclear on seeing what Azumi put on the internet in ep.12, without asking permission or even consulting her. I'd have been fearing for my life if I'd done that.
The show seems to think it's romantic... but I suppose they're fourteen-year-olds with hormone-addled brains. Someone young and dumb enough can see anything in anything.
Azumi wants to be a writer. He even seems to be quite good at it, but I wanted to string up that editor in ep.6. (Azumi's only fourteen! Jeez!) He's well-meaning and gentle, but I have the feeling that he needs practice at understanding other people. Note his mother's comment on secretly reading his manuscript, which is funny but also has a point. He's also capable of empathy/comprehension problems when Mizuno's upset.
Mizuno, meanwhile, is a shy star of the track and field club. She hates the limelight, but she enjoys running. She also has a close friendship with the much more outgoing Chinatsu, which she values to a surprising degree.
GOOD THING: random throwaway scenes after the end credits. The supporting cast get some of the spotlight and make you laugh.
BAD THING: the CGI background people, who are so badly and slowly animated that they're like anti-gravity zombies.
This show is delicate, subtle and nice. I enjoyed the foreshadowing in throwaway moments like, for instance, Chinatsu stealing a bite of Akane's ice lolly. Our two heroes can seem almost painfully fragile, but there's also something sweet about seeing them together. It's like watching two children. You can imagine two eight-year-olds behaving like that, with their unspoken empathy and meshing tastes. (They both like traditional Japanese things, for instance.)
Oh, and make sure you watch all the end credits.