Moyashimon Returns – 11 (END)
Well…that ending snuck up on me…I wasn’t expecting the end of this series for another one to two episodes! Give me a moment, I need to compose my thoughts.
Moyashimon has closed itself, leaving us wondering where the series will go from here. Even the show acknowledges that a third season is still unknown (much more honest than say…*cough*Nyan Koi*cough*), so we are left once again saying goodbye to Tadayasu, friends, and all of our microbe pals.
First off, the actual episode. The way the story wrapped up Marie’s dilemma is an interesting one. I didn’t expect the show to actually capitalize on Marie’s father’s condition in a good way rather than having it as an obstacle they needed to overcome. It truly is a splendid idea for the estate to start making delicious juice–everyone wins! Other than the obvious benefits of Marie’s father being able to assist in the process and everyone else working together, the compromise truly satisfies Marie’s desires. Earlier on, Marie had mentioned that she disliked how wine was an instrument to display, sitting in one’s cellar for years at a time, perhaps doomed never to be tasted. Unfortunately, even though her ideas were sound, sticking with wine would’ve been impossible; high quality wineries are not made for mass consumption, but rather as symbols of wealth and glamour. Personally, I share Marie’s distaste the art of wine turning into a vanity fair, so when she proposed grape juice…it warmed my heart. The colors during those moments were the most vivid of the series, for it reminds me of the old colors of the first season. Overall, Marie wraps up her story nicely. Though it’s unlikely at this point we’ll see her again as a recurring character, it was a nice subplot that pushed the main characters closer together.
Last episode, I called that Yuuki would somehow catch word of Marie somehow, SOMEHOW! Although this episode confirmed that (what great friends Sawaki has), I was not expecting that falcon punch! Yuuki’s love for Sawaki goes beyond what she’s consciously aware of…but it’s such a shame that we don’t get to see more of that this season! However, there was some compensation seeing Mutou and Oikawa greet Hasegawa back with such emotion. I was beginning to miss them as characters, so seeing their overreactions gave me warm fuzzies inside. Hasegawa seemed to enjoy it as well, having come back to a group of people who genuinely want to be with her…both in a platonic way and perhaps a romantic way as well. However, again, it’s such a shame that the season has to end now! There’s too many things I wanted the series to go over before the season was over, such as Yuuki x Sawaki! That being said though, this is a perfect time to transition into…
For those of you who have been following my coverage, you should well know how disappointed I was in the pre-France episodes of the second season. The art style lost a lot of detail and richness, the plot jumped around without any clear purpose, and the character aspirations…just didn’t make sense. Oikawa’s desires felt forced, even though her claim to being in the ‘out-group’ was justified. Until she gained the insight through the bar incident, all of her actions basically required dragging people around without…much purpose or direction. Due to this, a lot of the other characters received less screentime, such as the much-needed Yuuki and developing Sawaki outside of Oikawa’s grasp. The only antics that ‘made sense’ in terms of their purpose were Misato and Kawahama’s desire to raise the funds to save Hasegawa. Though their methods were questionable, their intentions were clear and admirable. It was here though that marked the show’s improvement in the second half.
As a new arc emerged, with introductions out of the way, things got better. Hasegawa received the proper development that she needed, finally resolving that lingering issue of her freedom from the first season. The nice thing about this development though is that all the characters finally worked towards a common cause. Whilst the first half was full of scattered plots and objectives, the second half created one unified goal and theme, allowing for a more consistent exposition of the characters involved. Kaoru becomes an understanding character, Sawaki finally starts to face his dilemma with Yuuki, and Hasegawa gains a newfound appreciation for her friends. While some of the characters may have been placed in the shadows, this was a development for the better. At the rate the first half was attempting to tackle developing all the characters, none of the characters would have been fleshed out properly. Using the France arc to focus more on specific characters was the best move the show could make, though the third season (if it ever comes) will have to play catch-up with the rest of the characters now.
Speaking overall, I have to conclude that Moyashimon, after many years, manages to do a fair job, though is not able to replicate the uniqueness or the twists of the first season. Whilst it was enjoyable to see the Microbe Theater week after week, it was a bit saddening to see how the microbes as a whole played a smaller role than the first season. Yeast gained a major role as Sawaki’s shoulder microbe, but the effect that microbes had on the first season just didn’t feel as significant as last season. Perhaps this is due to high expectations–on its own, Moyashimon Returns has been an okay show. At times it made me laugh, at times it made me sympathize with Hasegawa. However, the twists like Yuuki being a crossdresser or Sawaki losing his powers, the feelings of surprise that accompanied them, couldn’t be replicated this fall.
Above all, Moyashimon is unique and stands out from shows solely from its strange premise. Like how I make claims with how Shirokuma Cafe stands out with its animal premise, Moyashimon stands out with its microbial setting. Although I wish the anime would’ve played on its unique premise more, the second season integrates it enough to keep it well…Moyashimon. Although I wouldn’t heartily recommend this series to anyone looking for a fresh new premise to watch, I would recommend people who have watched the first season. It starts off slow, but the France arc works out enough to warrant a watch. Those of you who were looking for some Yuuki development…this was not the season, but Marie perhaps is a small compensation for that void.
To end on a positive note though, the plot has interested me enough to check out the manga, so a possible post on the manga from here on out may be possible, depending on how good the source material is. For now though, thanks for following to the end, and I’ll see you guys next season! Keep on brewing!