Moyashimon Returns – 07, 08, 09
「かごの鳥」 (Kago no Tori)
“Bird in a Cage”
「グランニクリュ街道にて」 (Guran’nikuryu Kaitou Nite)
“On the Route des Grand Crus”
At last, the France arc! There has been a lingering issue concerning Hasegawa’s future since the first season, but the issue is reaching closure with this arc. Amongst her conflicts are…where does Hasegawa belong? Is it to stay a ‘bird in the cage‘ under her father and fiance’s thumbs, or does it lie back at the Agricultural University? These few episodes have been great exposition for our lovely violent grad student, but these problems are not just limited to Hasegawa–in fact many of the characters in the novel face this universal problem in some shape or form.
Firstly, to speak about the actual episodes: they’re a refreshing change of scene. I enjoy the show’s ability to poke fun at France, but what’s even better is their way of explaining how French sounds like Japanese (and how the French apparently understand Spanish). Seeing into Hasegawa’s past has also been an interesting exposition–I never thought I’d see Hasegawa in a frilly dress, but apparently it’s possible if you back in time! How did she get from being shy and being in frills to being a sadist who likes leather? I guess college life changes people! Other than Hasegawa, the addition of Marie into the cast brings life into the show. She provides a small amount of fanservice, but also a whole array of emotions to react to the ridiculous shenanigans of the agricultural students and the insulting etiquette of the uninformed. Honestly, I wish she’d become part of the main cast, but those chances are slim.
However, with the end of episode nine, I feel that we have seen enough of Moyashimon to make a guess at its central theme. Sawaki struggles as the 2nd child to uphold tradition back home. Yuuki tries his best to explore his new life and what makes him happy. Oikawa fights to try and find a suitable place in the loop of the story. Misato and Kawahama search long and wide to finally make it rich. Muto is unsure of where her future lies. Marie fights to find the true meaning of winemaking. Many of the characters in the story have some sort of ‘belonging’ crisis, which perhaps can be labeled as the central theme of Moyashimon. It is however, not until the introduction of the France arc that this theme becomes explicit. Sawaki himself verbally acknowledges the shared struggles that the charactrs share when comparing himself to Marie. “The difference between me and her is that I’ve never tried to find an alternative to get out of [our situation].” The different ways that the characters approach and resolve their identity troubles is something that’s become apparent, even with the Oikawa arc. If I had to guess, three problems will probably be resolved by the end, leaving the rest to be resolved in the final arc of the season.
At this point, it’s apparent what the resolution to Hasegawa’s problems will be, but the resolutions concerning our new couples are still a flip in the air. Although it would be awesome if Marie went to Japan to study (rivalries anyone?), I feel the show will make her stay in France, with maybe a small hint of cutesy romance as Sawaki leaves. As for our other awkward couple…it’ll probably end up being a running gag throughout the series where they end up in misleading situations, but any actual steadiness from the two will probably be reserved for the very end. However, this leaves Yuuki hanging, who shows himself to care about Sawaki even from far away. Now that the second season is closing itself, will we see a conclusion to this intersting character as well?
Overall, this arc has done a great deal so far in bringing Moyashimon back to a more stable pace. Although the events may still jump around, keeping the focus on France has allowed for the exposition of the series’ main theme, just in time for the conclusion.