OP Sequence

OP: 「SOS」 by たむらぱん (Tamurapan)
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「入学」 (Nyuugaku)
“Entering University”

Being a drama, this series didn’t get any mention in the Summer 2010 Preview, but is actually airing in the top noitaminA time slot this season. The 11-episode anime adaptation aired in the noitaminA time slot back in fall 2007, and most of its episodes were covered here. Those familiar with it will already know about the premise involving an agricultural university student named Sawaki Tadayasu (Nakamura Yuuichi), who possesses the unique ability to see microbes with the naked eye and interact with them. The story starts off much the same way with Tadayasu attending his new school due to a professor there named Itsuki Keizou (Kurosawa Toshio), who knows about his ability from his grandfather. Hilarity ensues when he gets picked up by second-year students Misato Kaoru (Nishida Kouji) and Kawahama Takuma (Kimura Akihiro) in an attempt to recruit him into their Brewing Club where they’re illegally distilling sake, after which Itsuki’s graduate research assistant Hasegawa Haruka (Katou Natsuki) tests Tadayasu’s ability for herself and refuses to believe it even when he picks up on her athlete’s foot.

That’s the short introduction of this series, which those familiar with the anime or manga will already know about the humor that comes from the scientific side of things. I generally have reservations about any live-action series that’s adapted from a manga or anime, but must say I’m impressed by how nicely this one turned out. The microbes are clearly a challenge, but the CG used to animate them don’t look terribly out of place at all. In fact, the scene with Itsuki walking out of his microbe cloud looked really good, as was the one with Tadayasu flailing his arms like crazy trying to fight his way through the ones pouring out from the huge vat of sake. The comedy didn’t lose its touch one bit and I found myself amused just as much as I was impressed when the camera started panning around and alternating between Kaoru and Takuma’s perspective of Tadayasu’s frantic behavior. In addition to the microbes, the CG is also subtly used in various other scenes such as the cow manure and mutant vegetables on the cart in the beginning, and even the aforementioned vat of alcohol tipping over. As for the microbes themselves, they still had their goofy voices just like the anime, with Touma Yumi making a return voicing Oryzae for example.

In some ways, the humor works surprisingly well in a live-action drama, as the kiviak scene where Itsuki’s sucking the fermented seagull’s intestinal fluids was ridiculously more disgusting in 3D. I was pretty appalled by their depiction of it yet found myself laughing my ass off at everyone’s reactions. Of course, another improvement in 3D is Katou Natsuki starring as Haruka, who is all about the revealing, bondage-type, latex outfits. The only other series I’ve seen Natsuki in is Hana Yori Dango 2, so I never saw her bringing out Haruka’s violent and somewhat sadistic personality as well as she did. I could get a sense of Oohara Sayaka‘s portrayal of Haruka in the anime from her acting, so that was a plus in my books. I’m curious to see what Muto Aoi and Oikawa Hazuki will be like played by Chisun and Haneyuri respectively, but what throws in me for a whirl is that Yuuki Kei is played by a girl — Okamoto Azusa. Kei’s sexuality was always questionable, but I always thought he was still a guy first and foremost and not a gothic lolita. Saying that it’s an interesting change would be an understatement, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see how it all plays out.

So far, I really like how this drama is shaping out already since it has a similar feel to the Nodame Cantabile one (…one of the few good live-action adaptations), so I’m going to continue watching it. Much like the anime, it’s only 11 episodes long. I won’t be covering any more episodes on the site, but really wanted to get an introduction post out to share some quick thoughts.

* This live-action drama is being simulcasted by FUNimation on their streaming site and YouTube channel. The usual region restrictions apply for both, though the YouTube one is a bit more lenient.


ED Sequence

ED: 「海へいこう」 (Umi he Ikou) by SEAMO
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼


  1. Didn’t expect you to blog this. I really enjoyed the anime, but I’m not really a big fan of doramas, so I’ll pass on this. The first episode wasn’t bad tough, but I missed Sawaki’s friend (though it looks like he will have an apperance, according to the OP). I think I will rewatch the anime instead.

    1. Live-action treatments make it “acceptable” for non-otaku to watch in Japan and admit out loud they watch it. Yeah, that is sucky but anime is still less-than-acceptable viewing pastime to the general public in Japan.

      The live-action treatment opens up the potential audiences for manga and light novels (which, oddly, are acceptable activities to the general public).

      1. Wow, is that really true? I guess that explains the late night broadcast times for anime (something that also took me by surprise).

        Did this social stigma arise from the negative image portrayed by “hardcore” anime otakus? I’m just curious about Japan’s society.

      2. now THAT is interesting! my only question to what you said would be “then why the heck do they MAKE SOOOO MUCH ANIME????” i mean it’s freaking relentless, all genres, comic translations, movie adaptations, products…. you say the “general public” but I’m curious as to if there are THAT many otakus to warrant that much anime production in japan..

        BROOKLYN otaku
  2. i don’t know but maybe i can watch this ,usually i prefer korean dramas because i think koreans are better in acting skills and are more natural but sometimes japanese live actions surprised me ,like the film of battle royale or the drama version of great teacher onizuka ,they were good.

  3. This looks awesome, I loved the anime and the OP it had to it! so this should make a decent reminder of the storyline way back……2007 you say? Awesome, find a place to watch it soon

  4. you’re doing live action now?

    In that case, could you do shows like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. The current ones are Double (replace by OOO in September) and Tensou Sentai Goseiger respectively.

    That or, DO A BARREL ROLL! (sorry I had to say that)

    1. Much like A.M mentioned above, dramas are nothing new to the site. I haven’t really been keeping up with any as of late, but this one’s based on a manga/anime and airing in an anime time slot, so I felt compelled to write a post about it. Well that, and it was surprisingly good too.

  5. Sawaki is supposed to be a chibi.Does not compute.
    The anime never really tried to force laughs because it relied on the absurdity of the situations.
    The drama seems to have the misconception that you need to act goofy and overexcited to get people to laugh.Or maybe it’s because I rarely watch japanese dramas in the first place.

    1. It’s probably this. Japanese act is different (not worse, just different) than what a lot of Westerners are used to. The Japanese are much more boisterous and exaggerated.

      Anywho. Two Kamen Riders in one series? I shall definitely watch!

    1. i don’t know the japanese equivalent ,but the koreans equivalents are

      house – surgeon bong dal hee
      24 – ?
      dexter – ?
      it s always sunny in philadelphia – ?
      robin hood – historical dramas like iljimae , queen seon deok or dong yi
      james bond – thriller/blockbuster dramas like iris
      soap operas – trendy dramas like full house

  6. Looking at the OP it feels like they’re making Kei had a sex change rather than crossdressing and another reason why they didn’t show his male self in the beginning. Is it hard to find trap actors?

  7. What’s with the lack of Sengoku Basara 2 coverage? Omni acknowledged the mistake of not covering season 1 on RC, yet the new editors are doing the same for season 2?

    Hard to believe a anime blog does not cover a Production I.G anime (read: best animation of any series this season) that airs on Fullmetal Alchemist’s highly televised time slot.

    Keep reviewing those cliched high school animes though.


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