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Kodomo no Jikan – 01 »« Snapshots: Juushin Enbu

Snapshots: Moyashimon

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking this season has a lack of original shows, but now there’s a remedy: Moyashimon (もやしもん Tales of Agriculture) just started airing in the Noitamina slot on Fuji TV, Thursdays at 24:45, where it will run for 11 episodes.

Previously known for the splendid Uninhabited Planet Survive, director Yano Yuuichirou joins prolific screenwriter Takahashi Natsuko (Bleach, School Rumble) to animate this peculiar manga by Ishikawa Masayuki. It’s currently out in 5 volumes, having been in publication since 2004, and with its cutesy deformed design seems popular among children, despite actually being meant for adults.

The main character is Sawaki Tadayasu, a regular Japanese blond guy (uh) who’s just moved to Tokyo to attend a college of agriculture, along with his best buddy Yuuki Kei (with proper black hair). The trouble is, Tadayasu isn’t very regular at all – in fact he can see, touch and speak to germs. Being able to discern what types of germ inhabit a puddle of goo can be quite useful, and this potential is clear to Itsuki Keizou, a germ researching professor, who’s an old friend of Tadayasu’s grandfather. Not everyone is convinced Tadayasu is telling the truth, however, and to prove his abilities he’s put through a rigorous test by the department’s graduate student and resident bondage babe, Hasegawa Haruka.

With the enormous audience of the Noitamina block, this production appears to have been supplied with ample money, because few shows have looked quite as HD as this, with wonderfully crisp art and solid animation by Shirogumi. I’d like to praise the music composed by the excellent Satou Naoki (Eureka Seven, Heroic Age) , but the fact is that it’s so subtle that I barely even noticed it. On the vocal side, Tadayasu’s played by Sakaguchi Daisuke, who’s recently been showing up a lot in supporting roles, most notably as Sunohara in Clannad, and he’s good at giving his characters a slightly retarded comical side, which seems fitting in this case. Childhood buddy Kei is handled by Saiga Mitsuki, a woman who always seems to end up playing young men, lately with Jomy in Terra e. Miss Hasegawa’s done by Oohara Sayaka (Alicia in ARIA), which is interesting, because she gets to be much nastier than her usual “kindly elder sister” parts. Looking at the website’s character page, it can also be noted that we’ll eventually hear familiar voices like Konishi Katsuyuki (Kamina in Gurren-Lagann), Noto Mamiko (Matsuri in sola), and Kanda Akemi (Asuna in Negima!).

Moyashimon is an amusing show, in spite of how wacky it sounds. It’s easy to think these floating germs and viruses would be gimmicky and annoying, but it’s done tastefully without feeling excessive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of stories they can create with these remarkable little buggers. With the more adult setting of a college campus, we’ll hopefully be spared any ridiculous teenage angst romance as well, which there’s quite enough of this fall. On top of this, Moyashimon was also given one of the most interesting openings I’ve seen in a long time. I really need to learn more biology terms to follow this, though.

Reminds me of: You tell me, mister. Mushi-shi?

October 12, 2007 at 3:26 pm
25 comments »
  • October 12, 2007 at 3:30 pmDrayen

    kinda makes reminds me of yakitate japan, a ridiculous theme with a main character with a ridiculous power ;p

    although talking with germs beats the solar hands in terms of ridiculousness.

  • October 12, 2007 at 5:07 pmislandloner

    you should definitely blog this!

  • October 12, 2007 at 5:33 pmMilkmaster

    “With the more adult setting of a college campus, we’ll hopefully be spared any ridiculous teenage angst romance as well”

    O RLY? Honey & Clover anyone? Noitamina as well. And after watching Gurren Lagann I believe that everything’s possible…

  • October 12, 2007 at 5:38 pmSasa

    Yeah, and when did Noitamina ever has shown teenage angst? Paradise Kiss? Ayakashi? Haha.
    Also, Nodame was set in the college environment too.

  • October 12, 2007 at 6:36 pmJekyll18

    Yep blogging this would be interesting. I’m sure to follow it all the way thru. Hopefully some subbers will pick this up.

  • October 12, 2007 at 7:54 pmkdp

    Thanks Patrik! Looks like a good one to follow.

  • October 12, 2007 at 10:23 pmmangaka-chan

    Microbiology for the win! XDXDXD

  • October 12, 2007 at 10:56 pmKaminaLives

    The Germ-Whisperer, anime style? Still, the funky premise aside, the character designs look fairly interesting. I’ll be sure to give this show a shot. This fall season has been kinda disappointing, really, with the only current series I’ve been keeping up with being Baccano! (awesome ensemble cast show), Dennou Coil (can’t believe this one hasn’t been picked up to be blogged), and Shigurui (though admittedly for all the beautiful animation and samurai action, the gore makes it extremely hard to watch). Even supposedly good shows with neato character designs and animation like Dragonaut and the latest Gundam have some strange off-putting quality I can’t quite place (lack of likable characters, for starters, I guess).

  • October 13, 2007 at 1:18 amfullmetal proxy

    heeh. pretty cool OP

  • October 13, 2007 at 7:00 amShippoyasha

    Both OP an ED are trippy and AWESOME. Best OP/ED duo of season. Easily.

  • October 13, 2007 at 7:59 amej

    I wonder if this will get subbed?

  • October 13, 2007 at 4:56 pmAnvilfactory

    This sounds interesting, hahaha. Hope it gets subbed.

  • October 13, 2007 at 8:27 pm0rion

    I know what you mean about all the biology lingo!

    麹、オリゼー、クリソゲヌムアオカビ…OMGWTFBBQ!

    Anyway, yeah I’ll definitely be following this one. Along with Kaiji, it should prove to be one of the more unique and interesting shows of the season.

    As soon as that lil’ yellow orize dude with the dreads walked out and started boppin’ with the OP, I knew this was gonna be an epic show. =D

  • October 13, 2007 at 8:55 pmSkyLark

    Someone needs to tell that chick to get back to turning tricks out on the street. Ugh.

  • October 14, 2007 at 9:02 amJayars

    Wonder why she called him a bondage fetish, when it’s supposed to be either feet or latex fetish… umm… I didn’t say that… heard it from someone else… really…

  • October 27, 2007 at 12:39 pmlinnah-chan

    @Drayen
    Yep, reminds me of yakitate too. And that blonde looks (and probably acts) like Kawachi too!LOL

  • November 3, 2007 at 8:19 pmMM

    Sawaki totally reminds me of Edward Elric for some reason. I just watched the first episode, and now I can’t get that impression out of my head. I think it’s just the facial expressions (plus the blonde hair). But they seem to act so similarly, I don’t think I’ll be able to not think of him as Ed now that I’ve had that impression. xD

  • November 6, 2007 at 10:41 pmrina

    the correct word is not just germs..its MICROBES.
    he can see all MICROBES.

  • November 6, 2007 at 10:43 pmrina

    o..forgot to add..the show totally rocks.i love it!

  • December 8, 2007 at 10:12 pmYanagi Sou

    @MM

    haha, I know! after the first ep, I was thinking “so this is Ed Elric reincarnated in our world…and he’s not short this time…I hope.”

    from alchemy to seeing microbes…quite an interesting twist. pity Paku Romi didn’t do Sawaki’s voice, although I hear a lot of her as Haraken of Denno Coil

  • December 8, 2007 at 10:13 pmYanagi Sou

    ack, my comment got cut off. I haven’t heard Sakaguchi Daisuke much except as Roan in Ragnarok the Animation, which sucked (the series, not his voice)

    Moyashimon is definitely going to be pretty high on my list for anime I’m going to watch :P

  • April 18, 2008 at 8:26 pmSk Sayuri

    HEYY MOYASHIMON! I lovveee moyashimon!!! hehe

    I love the part where he (the blond guy, I dont have the names down yet)

  • April 18, 2008 at 8:28 pmSk Sayuri

    HEYY MOYASHIMON! I lovveee moyashimon!!! hehe

    I love the part where one of the micro-organiziums flies (or rather ‘floats’) into his (the blond guy, I dont have the names down yet) mouth. Then he’s like oh snap! then spits it out! LOL then he’s like YUCK!

  • May 8, 2008 at 1:55 amTan

    I’ve watched this anime, and I like it alot. I wish that they were longer though, 11 episodes are way too short. I want more!!

  • September 20, 2008 at 8:43 amdesho?

    …what?