Enter 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?
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 :)
Every now and again an anime comes along that restores my faith in the creativity of Japanese visual culture, especially given the number of sequels and game-based shows we seem to be getting lately. Moyashimon is just such an anime.
Besides the initial premise, which involves our hero being able to see, and communicate with, microbes, we're faced with a cast of delightful characters, from the leather-clad lab assistant, the saki-obsessed sempai and the rather odd collection of friends and co-students to the slightly insane (and dare I say lecherous) professor.
The first couple of shows might leave you feeling a bit like you've just sat
through a science lecture as we delve into the world of microbes (with the advantage of some delightful microbe-enhanced food jokes). Word of warning... it might be best not to eat while watching this.
Once the cast is established, it switches into full-blown comedy, with some serious laugh-out-loud (and possibly taboo) scenes playing themselves out.
Without a doubt one of the best and funniest off-the-wall comedies to come out in recent times. If you're looking for something different, you could do far worse than watch this.
This is such a nice break from epic fighting or sci-fi anime. This is just a short and sweet look at the life of an ordinary student with an extraordinary ability.
1. Unique. How many other anime out there feature a kid at an agricultural college who can see microbes?
2. Interesting Characters. All of the main characters are interestingly eccentric, but not annoying, tiresome, or too over-the-top.
3. A nice, fun, sweet little story. It's not the funniest comedy out there, but it had enough laughs in it to make every episode a relaxed, enjoyable experience.
4. Ecchi-esque, but not ecchi at all.
You'll just have to watch it to understand.
1. Minor plot points. For example, the plot twist involving the main character's best friend came out of nowhere and didn't seem to fit in. Also, some relationships didn't have enough time to develop as much as I'd hoped.
2. Too short. I would have loved to see another 12 episodes or so.
If we’re talking about anime industry right now, we probably know what the characteristic of anime industry, one of them is making normal things into cute (girl) things. Moyashimon is one of the anime that use the characteristic, they change the appearance of microscopic organism like bacteria, into a cute chibi creature. There is nothing wrong with that moreover it makes us to see the microscopic organism in the different way and Moyashimon showing what microscopic organism are and how useful they are in our everyday life. In this anime, you’re not just watching for entertainment but also learning about microscopic organism in the
Moyashimon story began when Sawaki and his childhood friend Yuuki Kei goes into agricultural university, he is not just an ordinary student, he is somehow can see the microscopic organism with his own eyes. With his unique skill, he joined with the eccentric Professor Itsuki Keizo to research more about microscopic organism such as germ, bacteria and other creatures.
The story in this anime is really light-hearted and simple to follow, there is no overdramatizing or complicated matters that would make us scratch our head. The problem that occurs in this anime is usually what we’re always find in our real life (aside from Sawaki special skill) like how to deal with our friends, having fun in campus, etc. The comedy in this anime is good since its so subtle, they didn’t exaggerate and push the viewers to laugh. The comedy in this anime is enough to make us chuckles or at least smile when watching it. Anyway, they represent this story in slow pace and the way how this anime connects each scene to another scenes is really intriguing encourage us to watch more and more.
Another aspects that we should consider aside the entertainment side is the education part. Like I said before, this anime also make us learning about microscopic organism. In every episodes, after the ending song they make a short animation where all the chibi organism like bacteria interacts with each other and telling us what contribution that they make in our life. This is quite fun to watch since the chibi is really adorable and the voice is also cute and pleasant to hear. I bet the education system would be more better if they use this style.
The art in this anime is quite top notch for anime that airing in 2007. Great detailed background, good settings, nice coloring, lovely character design and the CG are mixing well with the background though they just using the CG for the microbes. The transition between each scenes is also very smooth. They really put the efforts for this section and you can really see it.
If there is a reason why this anime great aside from the learning side, it’s the characters. The character designs are very well made, they all were gorgeous especially the girls though its basically based on the original manga. However, the winner of this character designs is of course the microbe. They successfully makes something “disgusting” like bacteria turning into an adorable chibi creature. Its cheesy grins is really suitable with the microbe since the microbe in this anime portrayed as happy and energetic creature. Moreover, the microbe is usually shown in CG which makes third times more cuter. You just cant be helped to love this one.
Sawaki, our protagonist is pretty much shown as slugger and always accepting what happens with him in this case being dragged by the people and events surround him. As the only people who can see the microbe with his naked eyes, he seems really doesn’t mind and act like it was nothing due the past that many people disbelief with his unique skill. The other main characters, Yuuki Rei is shown to be as a nice guy and as to be told have feminime side. As the son’s sake brewery owner, he is quite harsh if its about sake. Though as the show progresses Kei began to fade out as main character due some “inner” problem that occurs to him.
The other characters that really noticeable is of course Professor Itsuki, He is shown as the old guy who have infatuation with the microbes. Aside from his unique personality , he is also an insightful mentor and professor who doesn’t mind to help his student if they need a help. Last, Haruka. Haruka is Professor Itsuki’s assistant. She tends to use sexy outfit which pretty much looks like sadistic woman, the outfit itself really represent Haruka personality which shown as hot-headed and violent girls however later in the series, she is also a tsundere.
Last, the sound. From the music, they have Sarasa Ifu for their opening with her song “Curriculum”. This song is quite catchy pop songs, her lovely cute voice and song is really suitable with the anime since the song is quirky and sounds fun which represent the anime itself. Aside from the music, there isn’t any problem with the voice actors. They really done well with their own respective roles especially Tomomochi Nishimura (Professor Itsuki), his voice is really suitable with Professor Itsuki, he really brings out the Itsuki personality.
Moyashimon is surely one of the anime that I really recommend if you want to watch a light-hearted comedy anime. Great story, amazing characters, lovely music what else can you expect from this series? Somehow I just don’t get it why this anime is so underrated, at least this anime need some more recognition.
Some anime are awesome because they're based on awesome ideas. Others are awesome… even though they have really stupid premises. Have you ever stopped to consider the premise of your favorite anime? We have.