Until the Full Moon vol. 1 – Sanami Matoh

Until the Full Moon, or Full Moon ni Sasayaite, ran in Be Boy Comics in 1998. It was first published in the states in 2005, and has now been re-released by Kodansha USA. A total of 2 volumes, Until the Full Moon is a fantasy yaoi manga that plays on humor and seduction to support its cliche character archetypes.

David and Marlo

T to B: David and Marlo

The Gist: Aristocratic vampires Marlo and David, friends since childhood, have been reunited after ten years in order for the boys’ parents to finalize an engagement. Yes, you see, Marlo has some funky werewolf genes that during the full moon transform him into a female! David doesn’t seem to care what gender Marlo is, he’ll seduce him all the same. Until Marlo suddenly goes missing right before the wedding, and David is out to find the culprit.

The Characters/Romance: David and Marlo make for a pretty typical couple, if you don’t count their werewolf and vampire traits. David is the more comfortable with his sexuality, as he doesn’t hesitate to try to kiss Marlo whether he’s male or female at the time. Marlo is torn by his attraction to David. He isn’t sure if he should reciprocate the relationship, since he is a guy most of the time. David plays the more dominate role and the author makes it obvious that Marlo is the submissive one.

Despite all the fantasy elements added to the story, Until the Full Moon is essentially about following your heart and accepting who you love, no matter preconceptions. This story was my first foray into yaoi.  I chose it because I thought the transformation from male to female would make the story interesting. I’ll admit, however, that two guys kissing just isn’t my thing. Outside of that, the romance of this series caries the main plot.

Old vs. New Cover - I guessing David and Marlo are the two blondes sitting on the sette? Very different look.

Old vs. New Cover

The Art: I chose to read Until the Full Moon based solely off reading the premise and the cover art. Little did I realize at the time that the cover art on this reprint does not reflect the contents inside. The series was originally published in 1998 and the style of that time is evident in the work itself – big hair and older tone patterns. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just seems like false advertising on the cover. 🙂 The new style makes it hard to tell who our main characters are on the new cover, when it’s quite obvious on the older one.

Example of characters, toning, and paneling

That said, Matoh has a good grasp on drawing manga. Nice character designs, backgrounds, paneling, and toning. Action sequences flow well, and the seductive scenes have less toning and more simplistic line art. It’s intriguing to see how her style has evolved as well. The cover art and one short story in the back of the volume are both recently drawn, over a decade later. She’s gone to a more simplistic style with fewer lines. The use of a computer is evident. I was pulled into the series by her newer style, but I still like the more detailed line art of this older series. I especially like Matoh’s older colored pieces. She has a continuous theme throughout all her series of using her characters and greenery.

The Audience: Older teen and up is most appropriate for the content and steamy love scenes.

The Media: Until the Full Moon volumes 1 and 2 are available in North America from Kodansha USA comics.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥♥♥1/2

I don’t have any other BL references to compare this to, but the fantasy elements make it a fun and interesting read.

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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