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.
Moyashimon is a textbook example of a show not living up to potential. A highly original concept and a very strong cast of characters ultimately let down by a poor plot and a crushing lack of urgency. It does get major plus points for having the balls to do something different, especially considering the anime environment at the time, rich in shonen action and school life shows.
There is no denying Moyashimon is a highly original concept, the story follows Tadayasu Sawaki who has the ability to see microbes with the naked eye, as he enrolls at an agricultural university. One of the
key theme of the storyline is manipulation as many of the characters only take interest in him because of his ability. Unfortunately this promising concept is let down by a shoddy plot, that is paced terribly. Over a quarter of the series is taken up by the Spring Festival arc that does next to nothing to progress the story. As a result of this, the series has to conclude everything and come up with a worthwhile ending in the last three episodes. Something that fails miserably, characters are given their own storylines but there are no serious attempts to conclude any of them.
The animation is also not particularly solid, the series cant decide if it wants a realistic look or a comedic one. This is shown best by the character designs, some characters lkike Sawaki and Harsegawa would fit into any realistic anime whilst others, Itsuki, Kawahama and Misato in particular are hard to even take seriously, the fact Moiyashimon is a comedy is no excuse for such extremities in character design. The backgrounds and environments are decent enough, but much like NHK, there's nothing to stand out from the crowd.
Moyashimon is an easily forgettable audio experience, the background music is bland for the most part and does nothing to evoke the viewer. The opening theme "Curriculum (カリキュラム)" by Sarasa Ifu is a nice piece that suits the series well, unlike the ending theme "Rocket" by POLYSICS which is just a mess really. The voice acting rescues the audio experience with excellent performances from all the seiyuu's.
One of Moyashimon's strongest points is it's cast, almost entirely on the grounds of character personality and not their lame storylines. A lot of the character's personalities clash in a way that ensures maximum comedic effect, Sawaki and Hassegawa in particular. Above the characters are funny, interesting and just plain likable. A special mention is in order for the microbes, they really make the show.
Moyashimon is a really enjoyable show, but entirely from a comedic point of view, there is an abundance of laughs and its unusual nature gives a charm that keeps the viewer's attention 'til the end. Be warned though, trying to take it seriously will just get you lost in scientific jargon and be left confused. The episode count doesn't do the show justice, it should have been longer to make the character's storylines worthwhile, that or it should just be eleven episodes of all out comedy
Jeez, talk about misleading. After stumbling upon this show with the funny-looking creatures headlining it, I thought it was a poorly done children's show or something. Even reading the synopsis didn't help improve my hastily conjured prejudgment of the series. But, after watching it, I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Moyashimon had an interesting premise. At first glance, you may think it as a run-of-the-mill school slice-of-life anime, or worse, a poorly done microbiology lesson packed into an 11-episode series. To tell the truth, there were times when the show could have gone all the way to either direction, but I'm
sure glad it didn't. There wasn't any over-arching plot to it at all--just a group of friends living their college lives; with the clincher that one of them has a very unique ability. Many were complaining about that ''plotless-ness'' approach it had to its very enticing concept but frankly, that was the great thing about the show. Shows like Moyashimon don't really need an over-arching plot to tell their tales. Moyashimon is already strong enough to stand on its own, without the need for convoluted, cliche-stricken, and conspiracy-laced fiction. The show's story is robust in its simplicity. And, a dark and brooding feel would effectively ruin the show.
Art-wise, the show could hold its own against its counterparts. It had good enough animation, fine settings, and lovely character designs. While everything else about it wasn't exactly things to write home about, the series' character designs were gorgeous. Especially the ladies. They all looked good. Even if they were based on the original manga's designs, they made their transition to anime very, very smoothly. I, for one, can't just stop myself from pausing for a few seconds just to take in the beauty of Hasegawa, Oikawa, and Mutou(Man, I wish they were real ;_;). Also, the different microbe designs were fun to look at as soon as you get used to them. They're very quirky and unique and I was pleasantly surprised that their appearances were based on real microbes; not just something pulled out of the artist's rear end.
Sound-wise, there isn't really anything to write about, except for the awfully catchy OP and ED songs. The OP was full of energy and it suited the brilliant live-action sequence very well. It was just so full of life and spirit that it almost betrays the fact that the show itself was slow-paced. Meanwhile, the ED was equally vibrant, and with its unique sound, you could find yourself listening to it nonstop without realizing it.
Moyashimon's characters were good as well. They filled their roles well and did their jobs for a comedic slice-of-life anime. Sure, they weren't completely fleshed out and only two or three were somewhat developed, but their quirks and funny antics more than made up for that lack of development. The whole dynamic among the two upperclassmen and Hasegawa for example, showed how funny a show about microbiology can be. Plus, there were hints of a pseudo-romance that were pulled off well without being overbearing. Some of them were very surprising--you'll know when you watch it--that could have been pulled out of the moon or something, but nevertheless entertaining. Moments of character fanservice were done tastefully--not showing too much nor too little--but they were still awfully hot and weren't out of character, unlike the gratuitous fanservice other shows throw around.
The series, despite being seemingly grounded on microbiology, doesn't turn into a giant snorefest by drowning you in terms only PhD students can understand. It' safe to say that it's really not about science, but how the characters blend in with each other and how microbiology is just a device used to bind them all together in a tightly packed can of comedic slice-of-life. If you want to watch it for the scientific technobabble, this show is not for you. Character interaction is the show's strong point and ultimately the best reason for anyone to watch it. Moyashimon is the only proof that microbiology could still be fun, after all.
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.
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.
When I first heard about Moyashimon I was really excited. I thought the concept was quirky and interesting. But now I'm kind of wondering what my other reasons for finishing the show were other than 'it's only eleven episodes.'
The animation varies. It looks great in some places, okay in others, bad in some.
The sound is good; the voice actors are talented and they do a good job while the background music was nothing special.
Getting past the 'how is buying a super-special aphrodisiac, advertized as something will turn your intended target into a sex slave that will not be able to resist you,
any different than date rape?' question (no joke, the protagonist and a couple supporting characters actually pursue said aphrodisiacs for 2/11 episodes), the story is kind of all over the place. I enjoyed the bits on how it's like to go to an agricultural school and the science behind certain microbes and the process of fermentation. I just wish it focused on that... Instead we get this sort of runaround with supposed character development that never goes anywhere. What I learned from the last episode was that apparently I was supposed to be wondering about what the protagonist should do with his life instead of inherit the yeast business, which he never really raised an objection to in the previous episodes, so this internal conflict really felt shoehorned in, along with everything else. Usually character development hits you out of nowhere and then it ends which makes it feel like "here, have this arbitrary excuse for us to tell you about this thing we forgot to mention early on." These moments come to no real conclusion of epiphany so you end up just taking in this worthless info and moving on. Something about all this worthless information made it hard to stomach when the show started to ask me to start caring or enjoy the fan service.
But speaking about fan service, there's this elephant in the room I'd like to address. Unfortunately I cannot talk about this without getting into .... spoilers (?) though one would assume you need a plot before you can spoil it. The protagonist gets kissed by his best friend (male) after he figures out the mysterious cute girl he's been seeing around lately is said friend. I can't even fathom what the lead in to that moment was. I think I rewatched the part right before it about five times, and I still have no clue. Maybe it's my delicate North American sensibilities but, I usually don't kiss my best friends on the mouth as a joke, be them boy or girl. Usually I enjoy seeing guys or girls kiss; I won't deny that. But, then they never really address it, even though it's kind of important. Later on when one of the characters does comment on the guys kissing situation it's in homophobic rage, and the one who is going on that homophobic tangent is a girl who had a one-night-stand with another girl (she's not gay! It all the aphrodisiacs fault!). And all this is just one Big-lipped Alligator Moment stuffed inside another one. It all left me kind of confused and pissed off at the same time. I was too busy trying to deal with these emotions to even enjoy any of it.
So what I wanted was a quirky science show about life in an agricultural university ... what I got was How Not to Do Character Development the TV show. The only thing worthwhile I got out of this show was the science, and believe me, I loved those portions, but I got nothing else.
That is how I should sum up Moyashimon. It has a good grip on comedy but there's not enough of it going through the whole 11 episodes. There's some educational elements injected here and there but the lessons didn't attract my interest both in whatever they're teaching and the story itself. What did interest me is it's difference in whatever was being subbed at the time. Let's see, it's called "Tales of Agriculture". Yes. It sounded boring but it did pique my interest.
The simplicity in both art and sound works for the anime for some odd reason. Almost everyone can
tell that they busted their budget on the OP which is the best thing going for this anime.
The second best thing going for this anime is the lead character. The funny scenes usually involve him and something gross happening. The other characters are just there to fill up the screen so there's really nothing going for them.
It isn't bad "BAD" but anyone can live without watching this unique piece of anime that seems to have lost its direction halfway through. However, if you're like me who has a tendency to lean towards the "road less travelled" then just try it out. It wouldn't kill you.
Rare ideas are few and far between. That sentence was redundant, and this one explaining it is supercilious. But at the same time, had I not said either, the concepts wouldn't have been introduced to your mind.
Moyashimon works in a similar way. The idea behind the show is simple, innovative, and original. A first year university student is capable of seeing microbes and micro-organisms (even viruses), distinguishing them, and even picking them out. The art design of the microbes was cute, fun, and gay (I use that term under the classical definition), and the character that went along with the microbes was entertaining. The show
itself builds it's entire base around this idea, the characters themselves wouldn't even matter (aside form Itsuki), and this is probably Moyashimon's greatest flaw.
See, there's no problem with the above statement, considering the focus of the show is on the microbes, it's alright to have a fairly generic cast, you don't mind it all that much. Beyond that, you have one or two main characters which dialogue can revolve around, and bring in amusing supporting characters like the microbe monster, or the two second years, and the show is pretty amusing, entertaining and enjoyable. Moyashimon however, failed to notice it's own setup, and was obliterated as a blast with a 10 mile radius was set off. It appears that the directors decided to plot bomb the series in the end to help finish the story in the short 11 episodes.
Now, that too, I can appreciate. If you want to finish a story as it's meant to be told, if you want to report the appropriate ending as it's written in the manga (I haven't read the manga, I'm only going by the progression of the episodes, that we definitely missed some things in between), that's fine. But Moyashimon suffered from it. We weren't properly introduced to really develop empathy for the actual characters. The attention is on the microbes (though they say very little) and Sawaki, the boy with the gift. You can't just shove a bunch of problems in, completely unexplained by the storyline, and expect the viewer to empathize with their position, much less celebrate the resolution. To an outsider, it's just killing time.
That being said, Moyashimon started out wonderfully. I eagerly awaited watching the next episode, I became endeared to the microbes and their personality, and the Kiviak in the first episode certainly left a lasting impression of Itsuki, and the experiences Sawaki and the others would experience in this university. The various educational experiences were friendly to an outsiders perspective, and one doesn't find themselves confused trying to follow what's going on. The show continued with much the same tenacity, and even when the reported plot bomb did go off (a seperate side-story for pretty much every character), the one important plot point (being Sawaki's and the microbes) keeps you interested and somewhat groan free. Beyond that, it leaves you satisfied and contented with the ending, and overall pleased with how you've spent your time.
The soundtrack was poignant, the OP and ED were cute, the art style was great, especially considering the microbes, the story was palatable and the characters were generic but functional. Overall, you can enjoy this series for what it is, as what it is, is fairly enjoyable.
See what I did there? That's called going full-circle ;)
Moyashimon is a lighthearted show, one that doesn't take itself too seriously. At times it was interesting, and enjoyable, yet at other times it made me question why I was even watching it.
Like any slice-of-life anime, I feel the characters are the most important aspect, and the characters in Moyashimon are all written fairly standard. They're very much based around your standard anime archetypes... yet, most of them also have a specific trait that props them up, differentiating them just enough to keep them from being overly generic. Still, this only makes them slightly more interesting... changing them from one-dimensional characters to two-dimensional characters.
of the show tends to follow these characters in a new plotline with each episode. There is an overarching plot as well, but it's fairly light. The problem is, the series tends to place more importance upon the overarching plot than is needed, and that takes focus away from the individual episodes. Speaking of the episodes, they tended to be a mixed bag. I liked some episodes more than others, but by the end, I was left feeling pretty unimpressed by the majority of them. The story just feels kind of bland and uninteresting.
The art seemed like an odd mix. Some of it seemed well done, with interesting looking characters, and a few really nicely animated moments... but then there's plenty of generic looking characters and some animation that verges on being sub-standard. Still, I'd say the art is above average, and it definitely gets bonus points from me for the designs of the microbes, which are all really cute, and iconic.
However, I would say the soundtrack isn't very memorable or iconic. Despite that, it still fits the tone of the show, and works well enough for the moments in which it is used. They get a lot of mileage out of a small sampling of songs. The overall audio mix is pretty decently done, too.
As for my enjoyment of it... I liked some parts of the show, but felt like there was also a lot of untapped potential in the characters and the story. It wasn't bad by any means, but the whole thing felt like it was very standard, and only had a few standout moments. It's a good show to watch during a lazy morning if you've got nothing better to do, but that's about it. I wouldn't watch it again, and I felt like some episodes were a waste of my time, but overall, I had an alright time with it.
In its everlasting quest to turn everything it possibly can into an anime of some sort Japan has now created a slice of life anime based around the ups and downs of a young man attending Tokyo's Agricultural University.
Rating stories in slice of life animes are somewhat pointless, save rating the concept. The concept here is undoubtedly unique, I have yet to see, or even hear about another anime centered around agricultural shenanigans. The story basically comprises of Sawaki and his other first year friends attempting to fit into university, and meeting a delightful cast of characters along the way. There are small dashes
of pseudo-romance, but the main focus is comedy.
On comedy, this show performs. It is absolutely hilarious, although somewhat mature at times, being subtle at points. If I were to have to put it into a category, it would be mature-slapstick. Slapstick with actual intelligence behind it. There are also inserts of educational information littered throughout the series. These are usually enjoyable, but it depends on whether one enjoys these quirks or not. Personally, I loved them, it is a great thing for one to have.
Some other things that one may also find somewhat comedic are the microbes themselves, as they look ridiculous. They are basically personified, magnified versions of the biological selves. They have high-pitched, chibi-like voices and when I thought about microbes being depicted in this way I could not help but giggle.
The art is solid, but nothing special. It is not the focus of the series, but it does the job well enough and is not garish in any aspects that I should so bee inclined to find that it ruined the comedy or the atmosphere of any particular scene. The female characters are attractive enough, (leather anyone?) and the design of the faces makes for great facial expression.
The sound, was quite forgettable for me, writing this review some time after I have watched the series I must confess that I have forgotten practically all of its soundtrack and BGM. Although this isn't exactly a bad sign, it isn't a great one either. I did recall that the ED was somewhat ridiculous and included rockets of some sort.
However, as I did not recall it failing the show in any capacity, I can safely say that the majority of viewers will not be irked by the soundtrack, nor BGM.
The characters, one of the shining, focal points of the series. The majority of viewer's favourites would be no other than the seemingly geriatric Itsuki, Keizou (who was apparently tinkering with potatoes all the way back in WWII). He is possess amazing athletic prowess, and great knowledge, and is, absolutely, amazingly, hilarious. A wise old sensei at one moment and a cunning deviant the next. An unpredictable enigma that takes orders from no one, but it is a kindhearted joker in a most unsuitable shell.
Hasegawa, the apparent tsundere is actually not that. As they have no place in a pure slice of life comedy. Her leather outfit speaks rebellion and that is what she is. Initially rejecting Sawaki's ability and being a very badass slice of life character overall, accentuated by the metric tonne of makeup; femme fatal if I ever saw one.
Sawaki, the show's protagonist is a young man who seems to have accepted people rejecting his ability and now in this new environment, whereby his ability is accepted, embraced, and thoroughly abused for the sake of science; he is not exactly overjoyed at all times, but one can safely say he is enjoying himself. His demeanor isn't bubbly or talkative, but can get extremely involved in particular things. Not so much a cynic, but almost, his early personality is quite laid back and simply follows along with whatever happens to be going on at the time. He later picks up and becomes a vey likable character, his shining moment being at a festival.
In terms of enjoyment, I enjoyed it, immensely. The hijinks, the ridiculous university activities and quirks. The adorable microbes, all contributed to this fiesta of nonstop comedy. With aphrodisiacs, sake brewing, a 3 day festival involving paper fan beatings and the most disgusting food ever to grace this planet, one will be rollicking in their seat.
A very, very enjoyable anime.
Sawaki can see microbes, he's also a university student...in an agriculture university. This is the Tales of Agriculture with LOTS AND LOTS OF FERMENTED FOOD...
Tadayasu Sawaki voiced by Daisuke Sakaguchi is an interesting main protagonist with an interesting ability, heck even his setting he's set in a breathe of fresh air, university, instead of high school and at that though he's the typical dense protagonist but this isn't a romance anime. Sawaki is the the narrative focus of the anime and the only one who can obviously see the talking microbes. Again, Sawaki's ability to see microbes is the most interesting thing about him especially
with how he could utilize it to make a few bucks while being in university, but what with Professor Itsuki and a few others already knowing about his ability, yeah he gets roped into a few situations from a few characters, because of this he's a much more a reactionary character, it's not bad as he does get a plotline in the latter episodes but nonetheless.
Now for the hare- rest of the characters, we have Haruka Hasegawa voiced by Sayaka Ohara, one of the students who is at first extremely skeptical of Sawaki's ability and being the ice queen archetype of the cast, she was LA's favorite character (why, tsundere-a-la-ojou). She does get a certain plotline centreing on her, that of having a force marriage and that her father will only start once she graduates...yeah it's cliche to hell and back but ehhh...LA can forgive it because of Haruka's character was still solid. Aoi Mutou voiced by Mamiko Noto is "Miss Agriculture" for dubious reasons but she has a running gag of being smelly due to Itsuki's errands and is the ditzy character of the cast and LOVES alcohol and as such...she was LA's second favorite character. Hazuki Oikawa voiced by Akemi Kanda is a germophobe and in the same year as Sawaki and Sawaki has some feelings to her and to be honest, LA sees Oikawa and Sawaki to be a better ship but nonetheless a great constrast to Sawaki and the rest of the cast due to Oikawa's germaphobic nature AND she doesn't know about Sawaki's ability.
Next are the two butt monkeys of the anime, Kaoru Misato and Takuma Kawahama voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi and Noriaki Sugiyama, a bunch of seniors who at first utilize and kinda use Sawaki to get a quick buck, being poor university students and all. They are the butt monkeys throughout the anime and especially Haruka utterly hates both of them but they both get better trying to genuinely help out a situation, be it in for their own gain or not. Kei Yuuki voiced by Mitsuki Saiga is Sawaki's best friend and he's the voice of reason in the cast but he doesn't exactly get much screentime unlike the rest of the cast, somewhat justified in the latter episodes but character wise, he's just Sawaki's best friend who is also the son of a sake factory owner. Lastly is Professor Itsuki Keizou voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura and sorta kicks the plot with Sawaki and some of the smaller looser plotlines...at times. He is knowledgeable mostly about fermentation as well as giving advice to Sawaki, Misato and Kawahama as well and because of it, he's your "wise old sage" archetype.
Moyashimon does look at university life, like Sawaki and Kei going through agriculture lessons, mostly on the gross side as well as special events that kinda overshadow everything *cough* Spring Event but nonetheless looking at knowledgeable and accurate agriculture information was done well and comedically making the information being relayed in a nice, fluid and non-condescendingly boring way. Moyashimon mainly because of Professor Itsuki is obsessed with fermentation and to be honest even looking into that is actually interesting and comedic way and again all the more accurate as well.
The animation done by Telecom Animation Film and Shirogumi was pretty decent in all respects. Character designs and backgrounding was pretty good, though the costuming was particularly focused on Haruka...for ...obvious. reasons, though without even telling us, it kinda makes sense. The character designs also goes across to the microbes being "anime-fied" and they're decently cute. Yeah some CGI are used but reasonably so in some instances as they aren't suppose to be seen but personified so the CGI makes sense. The anime is mostly in the comedic moments and on Misato and Kawahama have the character facial animation to be chibified which makes sense. All in all, the animation was pretty good.
Voice cast was decent all round. Sayaka Ohara was great as the ice queen Haruka, Mamiko Noto as Mutou as the ditz, Katsuyuki Konishi and Noriaki Sugiyama as the butt monkey Misato and Kawahama and finally Akemi Kanda as Oikawa...though with Oikawa LA first thought it was Rie Kugimiya who voiced her, then thought it was Kana Ueda...then both until LA found out who actually voiced her. Weirdest thing is, the majority of the microbes HAVE THEIR OWN SEIYUU's...just wow..and LA thought Tomoko Kaneda would just voice all of them but nope, LA knows this is a nothing detail but for LA seeing that just made the voice direction and cast all the more better. But nonetheless, the voice cast was decent with Sayaka Ohara and Mamiko Noto being LA's favourites.
Moyashimon does get serious, again aforementioned to Sawaki's central plotline which isn't exactly too serious but it's the clutch of the entire series, so whatever drama concerning that wasn't gonna just end like that but nonetheless it helped with Sawaki as a character, something that some of the characters even question about Sawaki's ability and the proceeding serious plotline it leads itself into.
Moyashimon DOES have some fanservice, unless you count Haruka's attire thrghout the entire anime, then there is a push on the yuri undertones with Oikawa and Mutou but with the yaoi undertones are ALSO here but taken under a comedic "misunderstanding" light, so all in all, the fanservice is extrmely light considering the anime we're taling about but the fanservice....serviced the fans...LA was pleased...*cough* more yuri undertones thanks *cough*
Moyashimon was nonetheless a great anime about fermentation and microbes and the crazy Japanese agriculture university life, it has a pretty decent cast from Haruka Hasegawa and even if the main protagonist was ONE of the weakest link even though he was still good as a reactionary narrative focus character. Moyashimon does continue with a second season but for this first season, it was a nice impression and solid grounding of what Moyashimon is and LA wants to see more, more from it's characters and more knowledge about those cute microbes...*ahem*
Kiviak IS actually a REAL thing though...you know what curiosity killed...
Having an anime about microbes is a strange concept yet Moyashimon makes it work. Mainly because of its strange a wonderful cast. When an anime gets the characters right it shows.
The story is based around Sawaki who can see microbes which look more cute and cuddly than what they do under a microscope. Sawaki joins an Agricultural University with his friend Kei where he meets a motley crew of strange individuals which includes his professor and his graduate student, the violent yet insecure, Hasewara who is probably the most interesting character.
Anyone who has been to or is at university will identify with Sawaki as he
starts off very innocent but with the help of his friends is able to stand on his own feet and adapt to life at university.
Despite the strong characters Moyashimon has a major weakness which is the story doesn't really happen. We are teased with potential stories such as Hasekawa's arranged marriage, the transformation of Kei into a loli gothic transvestite or a potential romance between Sawaki and Oikawa yet nothing materiales. Instead we learn about how fermentation make sake, miso and other fermented food and drinks.
However, the characters and comedy save the day making Moyashimon highly watchable and a lot of fun.
The initial idea for this series is very good, and the designs for the microbes are intoxicatingly cute (and still litter Japan).
However, the story for this series is dismal, the pacing is wrong and the episodes are disconnected thin excuses for narratives. The story goes nowhere and is forced to rely on it's characters, all of which are weak bar the microbes, which get nowhere near enough screen time.
I'm biased; I think slice-of-life is a waste of my time, but to be honest I wasn't expecting some run-of-the-mill coming-of-age life-decision-making cutsie univeristy trash when I read the synopsis.
Really dissapointing use of a great idea.
the series, and still do, just because of the premise. But I hate it for dragging itself out for 11 goddam episodes. A 1- or 2-episode OAV would have been fine, and wouldn't have had to make up stupid plot element to fill time.
I can't but feel bad about the harshness of this review because the animation is good, the microbes are awesome as I said, and the OP and ED are wicked. However... what a shame about the rest.
_Moyashimon_ is a great concept, with a disappointing execution. The bacteria element is almost completely unused or used in completely trivial ways, and while the spring festival was a very funny pair of episodes, the rest is just bland or like the protagonist's cross-dressing friend, unexplained and unmotivated.