Synonyms: Moyasimon, Tales of Agriculture
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 12, 2007 to Dec 21, 2007
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.801 (scored by 14744 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
comedy educational science slice of life
SynopsisEnter Tadayasu, a freshmen college student who can see and talk to cute, chibi bacteria and other microscopic organisms. It's not all fun and games like it sounds though, because it gets him into all sorts of trouble. Join Tadayasu as he enters his first year at the Agriculture University, what crazy events await him?
Related AnimeAdaptation: Moyashimon
Side story: Moyashimon: Kin Gekijou Deluxe, Moyashimon CGI Anime
Sequel: Moyashimon Returns
Characters & Voice Actors
Moyashimon sports a basic but acceptable animation budget, and for the most part it handles itself just fine. The character designs could almost be called generic, but this is one of those rare cases where color choices make all the difference. The colors are toned down, almost a bit dirty-looking--perfect for an anime set at an agriculture university--but the character designs are still very easy on the eyes. Other than that, the animation is consistently fine, holding together when it needs to be serious and reserving its shortcuts for the sillier moments when they can be used well. Then there are the microbe designs, which are kept simple, cute and marketable. It doesn't look great, but there's an earthy charm to it, and that's nice to see.
Rather than the usual bouncy music I normally associate with slice-of-life, Moyashimon's soundtrack is a little more eclectic. It can get a little repetitive, but between the few pieces they have to work with I think it manages to span the show's various tones and scenarios quite well, ranging from folksy-sounding traditional Japanese music to a more modern-sounding triumphant anthem. College is a time for experiencing variety, and I think that's what they were going for. I have no complaints.
When it comes to voice acting, the lack of an English dub means Japanese is your only option. Voice work and delivery are, of course, paramount in any comedy worth its frames, and that goes double if it's in a language you don't speak. Thankfully, the seiyuu cast here can belt out their lines with hilarious conviction. Of particular note are Tomomichi Nishimura, whose take on Dr. Itsuki is always a joy to listen to, and the talented Daisuke Sakaguchi, whose natural snark makes Sawaki's character a lot more fun.
I cited this show back in my Tatami Galaxy review as one of the few anime that addresses college life, and if nothing else it's laudable for that (as a quick aside I'll mention that Moyashimon, Honey & Clover and The Tatami Galaxy were all noitaminA shows, make of that what you will). This series is quieter, humbler and simpler than its younger cousin, but it still gives a well fleshed-out look at college life and the plethora of experiences that come with it. Like The Tatami Galaxy, Moyashimon downplays the academic side of college to focus more on the element of self-discovery, and it makes for a nice breath of fresh air without coming across as escapist fluff.
First and foremost, Moyashimon is a comedy. A few of the jokes in this show are a little too understated to have any punch, but for the most part the humor walks a fine line between down-to-earth near-believability and glorious bombast that makes it a delight. The art style is simple enough that it works well for their visual gags, the setting is distinctive enough to set up some scenarios you've never seen in an anime before, and the characters are fun and genuine enough that they're easy to get behind even and especially when they're being complete buffoons. Dr. Itsuki in particular takes his passion for biological sciences to delightful extremes, and the cartoonish microbes themselves can take simple science lessons and make them a helluva lot more fun.
Speaking of science lessons, the chemistry and biology in this show are well-researched, as are the elements of farming and business, so if you happen to enjoy getting a little trivia out of your entertainment they're a tasty treat on the side. If that doesn't interest you it might be a bit much to sit through, but they're generally kept brief, simple and funny. Even if you don't understand all the science and business talk, it shouldn't make the show as a whole any harder to follow.
If there's one thing that really elevates Moyashimon, though, it's the characters. Dr. Itsuki isn't just a fun guy to watch, he's also a surprisingly insightful mentor and the guidance he gives his students may turn out to be more helpful than they realize. An upperclassman named Mutou is still recovering from a breakup when that relationship had more or less defined her direction in life. Kawahama and Misato, a duo of upperclassmen who initially seem like comic relief buffons only interested in money and sake, end up showing a surprising level of maturity and supporting Sawaki when he needs it most, and Sawaki's best friend Kei goes through an arc I dare not spoil; suffice it to say it's an issue rarely touched upon by anime. If there's one recurring theme throughout Moyashimon, it's that you need to find your own path and determine your own future, and college is the perfect time to discover just what that future might be, and Dr. Itsuki's assistant Haruka Hasegawa stands out as a particularly poignant example of this, though again I won't spoil why.
Sawaki himself is a bit of a missed opportunity, unfortunately. There are hints at the beginning of the series that he used to really love seeing the microbes, and they bring that "forgotten passion" aspect of his character back for a heartwarming season finale while also raising the question of whether he has any worth outside his ability to see microbes, but between episode 2 and episode 11 what you see is mostly him being the straight man to all the weirdness that goes on around him. Does that make him unlikable? No, he's still a perfectly pleasant human being, if a bit weak-willed and easy to string along. I just don't think he should've been the straight man, that role exists primarily to play off of others and Sawaki could've been a much more fascinating character all on his own. There were still some nice little moments here and there, so I can't be too mad about it.
I'll quickly mention that second season of the show does exist, and while I don't consider it to be as good as the first season it is still more of a good thing, same great characters and all, so if you enjoy the first season, I shouldn't have to tell you to give the second a chance. I may end up giving that season its own review eventually, though I can't say when. I do hope that if there's ever a third season it'll set things back on the right track. The source material is still ongoing, so it's definitely possible.
Moyashimon is simple but effective look at college as a time to learn about yourself and find direction in life. It's not as complex or ambitious as The Tatami Galaxy, but its cast lovable and relatable characters more than make up for that. It's always charming and never boring. Give this show a chance and see if it strikes any chemistry with you. read more
If you're like me in that you tend to look for those quirky, odd, and oft times underrated anime, then rejoice, for Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture may be right up your street.
The original manga, created by Ishikawa Masayuki, began serialisation in Kodansha's Evening magazine in 2004, and in 2008 it won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Grand Prize as well as Kodansha's General Manga Award. The anime adaptation, directed by Yuichiro Yano (Mujin Wakusei Survive, Patapata Hikousen no Bouken), and produced by Telekom Animation Film and Shirogumi Inc, was released in October 2007.
The story takes place at an agricultural university in Tokyo (something which I'd never heard of before, and I was surprised to find that it does actually exist), and centres around a first year student named Sawaki Souemon Tadayasu, who is attending the university along with his childhood friend Yuuki Kei. Sawaki, who is from a family of tane-kōji-ya (mold-starters, or yeast producers), isn't really interested in attending university, and has simply tagged along with Kei (who's family runs a sake brewery, and are long time customers of the Sawaki family).
They are taken under the wing of the highly eccentric professor Itsuki Keizo, and old friend of Sawaki's grandfather, and are given a crash course in fermentation on their first day (you'll understand when you watch the first episode).
Now, one would expect this to be a normal comedy, however Moyashimon has one big difference - Sawaki can see and interact with microbes, germs, viruses and bacteria, and all without the use of equipment of any sort. Only a few people know of his ability and, as far as anyone is aware, he is the only person in the world with it.
Cue the shenanigans.
The character designs are very good in this show. Each character is very clearly an individual, however the real stars of the show are the microbes themselves. Their design was pure genius as they are both cute and funny at the same time (especially with their big cheesy grins). The backgrounds are nicely detailed, with the university environs having a strangely authentic feel to them. The animation throughout the series is very smooth, and the usage of CG, especially for the microbes, is almost seamlessly tied in with the normal animation.
One thing I did like about the style of the show was that it wasn't afraid to go for the overly dramatic in certain scenes, and this actually enhances the comedic moments which often follow.
Sound is another good area for this series. The effects are well used, and serve to enhance the various scenes. The thematic music is nice and quirky, and is often highly reflective of the fact that this show isn't really meant to be taken seriously. The OP, "Curriculum" by Ifu Sarasa, is an extremely catchy pop song, and I never get tired of watching the video that goes with it as it is extremely well choreographed. The ED, "Rocket" by Polysics, is just as good, just as catchy, and very well choregraphed too.
The voice actors are very well chosen for their respective roles. Sakaguchi Daisuke does extremely well in the role of Sawaki, and manages to bring a certain long-suffering, and slightly bored quality to the character. The other seiyuu are also just as good, but then the cast for this show is extremely talented in the first place having worked in shows as diverse as Aria, Genshiken, .HACK//, Negima, Baccano! and Bamboo Blade. Almost every member of the cast has had a leading role in a popular series, and even the Aspergillus Oryzae are voiced by Touma Yumi (who plays Urd in Ah! Megami-sama).
The characters are very good throughout the series. Sawaki is fairly used to disbelief at the start of the show, so it comes as a shock to him that other people are not only aware of his ability, but also accept it. A good portion of the show sees him being dragged along by events and other people, and while at first he seems like he has no backbone, one should remember that he finds it very difficult to trust people, and so tends to take the easier option of just going along for the ride. Kei has his own, more fundamental, problem to deal with, and as the show progresses Kei seems to fade out as a character (although once the reason for his problem becomes clear, then it all begins to make sense).
The most memorable characters though, are definitely the eccentric and mysterious Itsuki Keizo, and the microbes themselves (who have their own quirks and prejudices too).
Each of the characters is portrayed in a very realistic manner, and I found it ironic that many of the traits they displayed were as familiar to me as my own hand - as they may be to anyone else who has attended university, lived in a dorm, or had dealings with a professor who seems more than a little off-the-wall. .
This is very much a comedy show aimed at a more mature audience, and I enjoyed it immensely. Younger viewers may not like much of the more subtle humour or the quasi-educational stance the show sometimes takes, although these are often amusing in their own way. This hopefully won't dissuade anyone from watching the show as, aside from the whole deal with Sawaki seeing microbes, this is one of the most realistic university based comedies I've seen, and at times harks back to the classic Animal House.
Moyashimon is a hugely underrated show for many reasons, but for those of you want something lighthearted, funny (in a sometimes surreal and nauseous way - you'll understand if you watch the show), and a little more "real" than the norm, then you should give this a try.
However I would advise hypochondriacs and people who are obsessive about cleanliness to steer clear :) read more
Agriculture, mood, feeling. The slice of life element with some occasional comedy.
both are good slice of life about agricultural studies in Japan
While both shows are slice-of-life with an agricultural basis, Moyashimon focuses more on bacteria/microscopic organisms and various types of brewed drinks, whereas Silver Spoon looks more at farm animals and dairy.
Those interested in both relaxing and informational shows with fun and quirky characters should check it out.
There is a lighthearted mood present in both series of Moyashimon and Gin no Saji. Then, there's the school life setting along with the characters and themes. (involving agriculture)
In Moyashimon, there is the addition of supernatural themes inserted in. However, both series follows a format of agricultural style in terms of its themes. There is also lighthearted comedy as well.
Slightly educational slice-of-life comedies that take place at an agriculture school. Several characters have the same personality, and the feeling you get while watching them is identical.
There are only a select few people who can see the small creatures that are always there but most people can't see. Both animes are somewhat light hearted and have an earthy feel... if that makes sense.
They both are about men who can identify and interact with creatures that influence everyone's daily lives despite being invisible.
Both stories are about "other forms" of life, Mushi in Mushishi and Microbes in Moyashimon.. We are invited to those beautiful world, exploring it, enjoying it and we can study many things from those stories..
There is a different where Mushishi is more of drama, Moyashimon more oriented at comedy.. Both are great stories ! but I think Moyashimon is little underrated here..
Two rare gems in the anime world, these two series are often overlooked in terms of their qualities. Let's break this down and check out their similarities and why they are likeable:
Both series involves a main character who can see what others cannot. Talk about uniqueness and having that special gift/curse. (however you look at it)
Both series have a bizarre yet entertaining environmental feeling to them that makes the series likable.
While both series have different genres, they both involves supernatural themes and deserves some more attention that they should be.
Opening Theme"Curriculum (カリキュラム)" by Sarasa Ifu
Ending Theme"Rocket" by POLYSICS
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