Moyashimon Returns – 01
OP: 「Wake Up」 by ClariS
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「もやしども起つ」 (Moyashidomo Tatsu)
Welcome to the second season of Moyashimon! It’s been almost five years, but the Agricultural University and its microbes are back with a tempo that starts quickly off the bat. If you have not seen the first season of “Moyashimon”, the show will show you no mercy in introducing to you what’s going on. I t fully expects you to be acquainted with the setting, as well as knowing exactly where the first season left off. If you watched the first season and are hazy on the premise (it has been awhile), I highly recommend rewatching at least the latter half of season one as a refresher.
Assuming you are prepared, let’s begin the exploration of what this first episode is all about, both the good and the bad.
The Character Designs…ヾ(*д*)ﾉ゛
The character designs for the majority of the cast have gone through fairly…significant changes. I’m tempted to call it a downgrade, but it seems the reaction towards the change is mixed. In case you are unaware, here is a comparison of the four main female leads for quick reference. Eye size has been increased from more realistic proportions to more ‘anime’ standard sizing, though this also results in more detailing for the eyes. Skin colors have been changed to a much lighter tone. Hair styles have gone through slight to complete changes in color as well as losing detail. Their faces have become rounder and the necks have become thinner. In my personal opinion, I have to agree with what my friend Xumbra asked when I first posted this picture: they could possibly be catering to a more ‘moe’ desiring audience, as well as reducing production costs by simplifying the design.
This irks me the wrong way for two reasons. First off, the characters now look like they’re more in high school rather than college. The more realistically proportioned design by Takaoka Junichi gave the characters a better display of maturity appropriate for college, but now…all the characters look at least 4 years younger. Apparently, the character designer for this adaption, Higuchi Satomi, is making his debut as character designer for Moyashimon; such inexperience is reflected in this episode.
Secondly, the change in design is even more a departure from the manga’s own artwork, which also used more conservative proportions to set the university mood correctly. It was a style that worked well for both the manga and the first season, so it becomes a distracting disconnect for followers from the first season to see this sudden shift. I can only hope it can be blamed on production costs, because if they had the resources to continue the previous art style…*shiver*. However, I have heard some people are not bothered or even favor this new design, so I must excuse my bias…for it comes off really strong.
If you’ve come this far though, know that the design, if it even bothered you at all, will probably the biggest gripe you’ll ever have to face this episode. The pacing slows down for no one, picking up exactly where the first season left us off. Running plots continue to flow from the first season, such as Hasegawa and her one-night scratch and the brewery finally completing itself. For the uninitiated it’s a bummer, but once the first season (it’s only one cour) is tackled, the transition into the second doesn’t miss a beat. Although it was a tiny bit clunky for Sawaki to out Yuuki to Kawahama, Misato, and the rest of the bunch quite casually, it gave that much needed reinjection of Yuuki back into the series after his disappearance halfway through season one. The crossdressing tendencies and strong feelings that Kei had were not really explored in great detail last season, instead opting to explore the triggers that shut off and turn on Sawaki’s microbe vision. Now that (s)he’s back, I expect them to expand more on those issues.
Kei isn’t the only one given a shove in development; Oikawa, the only one unaware of why Sawaki is a weirdo, finally puts her foot down. If any romantic rivalry between Yuuki and Oikawa is going to happen, Oikawa’s gotta get in on the joke eventually. Last season, we were hinted at (if kissing is a subtle hint) possible romantic interests involving both Oikawa and Yuuki towards Sawaki. If the OP isn’t posing an inappropriately placed love song, I expect this conflict to become a major point in the coming episodes. Considering how efficient the pacing is, they should resolve this new conflict easily within a 12 episode timeframe.
Microbes and Education
However, even though Moyashimon is charging in plot-wise quickly, there’s still plenty of room to give the true stars, microbes, their time! Now that Sawaki has regained confidence in his powers via tsundere hug, microbes have returned with newfound energy! They have graduated from writing names on pieces of bread to organizing an army and teaching biology! I enjoy that the microbes are getting more screentime (they were lacking in the School Festival), as well as the hodgepodge of information about brewing! It’s a cultural experience whilst also being an entertaining and informative one. Now that the brewery is finally open, expect that these lessons and micro-skits will only grow in number from here on out.
Miscellany and Conclusions
Of course, this is where I am obliged to talk about logistics of the show as well, lest someone kill me for not mentioning seiyuu! Fear not, as all the leads have reprised their roles, which means the masterful Saiga Mitsuki will continue to voice both male and female Yuuki, Noto Mamiko is still Miss Agriculture, Sayaka Ohara will keep whipping and yelling at people, and Sunoha–Sakaguchi Daisuke will command microbes to write on more stuff. Yuuichi Yano, most likely responsible for the continued pace, keeps his title as director. ClariS, either seen as wildly overrated or a mysterious sensation, performs a pretty catchy love song OP (sadly not in CGI), whilst Hiiragi, who performed the OP for Natsume Shi, plays the ED (CGI, but not as cool as the OP from season one). Okay…that’s enough for this season–I’m not really cut out or experienced enough to expand on the world of staff and seiyuu. Have a trap as my way of making it up to you!
From here on out, let’s get brewing! Hopefully by the end, we’ll have learned enough about fermentation to truly appreciate the art of alcohol and microbiology, and not just how Yuuki is going to be a boss trap in the future. As always, look to the alt-texts for more casual shenanigans, and I look forward to seeing your comments!
ED: 「最近」 (Saikin) “Recently” by Hiiragi
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼