Moyashimon Returns – 03, 04
「チーム及川」 (Chiimu Oikawa)
The majority of episode three was spent wrapping the antics of Oikawa x Sawaki (x Everyone Else), with some Yuuki and Hasegawa developments to break things up. The intention was to keep progressing the various plots whilst still driving the main Oikawa arc, and it does fulfill on that promise. Yuuki is phased in, the mystery is finished, and Oikawa finally calms herself down. Though the development is done, it comes off a little iffy. Like episode two, this episode tries to tackle on too many issues at once that it becomes hard to focus on any single one of them. The episode did close the mystery and Oikawa arc, but the effect it was supposed to have was…weak. Oikawa is barely any more a character than she was when she started this, and the resolution to the mystery seemed to fall flat. It was expected that whatever was down there would not be as big as they predicted (because it’s Moyashimon), but the actual resolution could’ve panned out to be more than a place to hide beer from Mutou.
Normally I’d blame time for making Moyashimon and its sequel so different, but in reality, I watched the first season immediately before watching the second. There definitely is something different in terms of handling plot from episodes one to two, and I think it’s the amount of focus spent on various aspects of the show. The sequel definitely focuses more on the informative aspects, which I personally appreciate, but as a result it cuts into time spent on developing their main plot. In the first season, although various events were going on, the show’s ultimate focus (and time) was spent on the dilemma that Sawaki was facing. Here, time has been more equally distributed to the various subplots occurring, but in my opinion, makes the situation worse. The plots themselves are also more oriented towards microbes than the first season, but the characters’ interactions suffer as a result. The plot slows due to this, with fewer interesting actions happening.
However, thankfully the plot seems to be moving in a more focused direction, towards Hasegawa’s arc, which finally begun itself concretely in episode 4…
「変化の秋」 (Henka no Aki)
“A Fall of Changes”
Here two things are done right. First, the episode makes better strides in kickstarting and focusing on Hasegawa’s arc (which, if my predictions are right, will whisk them places). The series has slowly been tiptoeing up to this point, having Hasegawa fade out of the picture before finally getting on that plane. Hopefully this is a sign that more fleshed-out plot is to come. Hasegawa’s backstory has good potential to be explored, and assuming that the team is going to chase after her, will introduce a change of environment as well! We all know at this point that Hasegawa will eventually be saved and return back to research, but how we get there is the real treat.
Second, Oikawa finally got a proper development scene that clarified her conflict and helped resolve it too. Rather than trying really hard with the character development with a mystery, a more organic approach of using analogies is used. A likable character such as the assistant bartender really takes the burden of Oikawa attempting her own development. Instead of Oikawa spontaneously creating characteristics for herself, this bar scene instead lets Oikawa describe her troubles casually and letting the environment fix it for her. Although we didn’t get glimpses of the changes that happened due to the bar scene, I have hopes next episode will feature it to an extent.
If this is a sign that the plot has finally stabilized, then I welcome it with open arms. I’ve been iffy on the future of this series, but it looks like it just might pan out fine. It’s a show with a great premise; it’d be a shame to see it lose steam now.