Review: Moyashimon (もやしもん)

If there is anything I should start these resumed reviews with, it’s several apologies. Sorry for not having a review sooner. I had no internet and no computer while I was moving out in preparation for the demolition of my house, as it was hit by a tree, breaking the foundation. Thankfully, insurance is replacing it, but I have been immensely busy moving out. A second apology is due to any fans who emailed me. It turns out that my email recently got hacked, and they started spamming everyone who had ever contacted me or who I had ever contacted. So for the dozen emails I had received that were fan mail, and the only dozen I have received about this blog, my sincerest apologies if you received any spam. The problem should be remedied.

Anyways, back to reviewing! This time, it’s the anime Moyashimon,  also known as Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture, which is based on an apparent earlier anime series by the same name and a manga series, also by the same name.

If it wasn’t already obvious from the title, Moyashimon is an agriculture related anime. This particular version in summer 2012 seems primarily related to brewing as a use for farmed materials. It discusses various liquors and alcoholic drinks, and talks about how they are made, the fermentation process, and other such topics.

The big thing that distinguished Moyashimon form various other shows is the fact that the main male character can see microbes, and they appear as small cute creatures that talk to the main character. This also allows him to talk to the microbes for plot details, advice, or simply to see how they are doing their job, such as fermenting something.

The first thing I thought of when I started watching that was the GA Art Design Academy anime. Both actually share a lot of similarities. They both feature a basic cast of characters, who are studying in some specific program at a school. In Moyashimon, it happens to be in an agriculture college, and the characters seem to be studying brewing, while the GA students are studying art and design. In both cases, the characters do various things and take some time to explain what they are doing, or the basis of what they are doing. GA introduces the viewer to some of the most basic aspects of various art, such as some introductory ideas in photography that allow most any beginner to take a picture with reasonably good layout. Moyashimon is a little more specific, as instead of art and design in general, it focuses more on brewing, and most everything they teach relates to brewing in some way. Such things include the various wine producing regions of France, as well as the various grinds of rice that go into sake among other things.

But they vastly differ in other ways. In GA ARt Design, the characters are some really basic somewhat vapid moe type characters, and all are young girls. Moyashimon, on the other hand, has a cast of various characters that it takes time to develop into individual people, and actually devotes plenty of its plot to character development instead of just playing around.

Moyashimon also has a varied and interesting group of characters. There is the professor that the students are studying under, a researcher who works under him doing something with various bacteria and fermentation (perhaps a masters student or a doctoral student) as well as one girl who is almost always drunk, the male lead who can see microbes, a fairly basic female character who can be best described as well-grounded, a male character who runs/assists in a liquor store and is always cross-dressing, and two other male characters who seem to screw around, but with generally good intentions.

Given that I am utterly exhausted at this moment, I can’t recall the names of the characters.

Plot: essentially, the plot follows these students as they work under the professor doing various tasks related to liquors and brewing, and get explanations of various features and ideas in agriculture that go into the production of alcohol. A little later, one student is to be married off in France, so some go over there to bring her back. This section of the series is where the characters really start to show their individual personalities in a much greater light and really begin to grow. Nothing that would be considered too much of a spoiler.

Another nice thing is that Moyashimon simply presents that characters as they are. In either the very first or second episode, the cross-dressing character is shown, and it is interesting to note that none of the other characters show any negative reaction. They simply all accept the cross-dressing and seem to be accepting of the fact. In fact, the whole series is somewhat like that. Various other people are met, especially in the trip to France section, and characters that seem overall ‘good’ people are treated as accepted by all the main cast, regardless of various things that would be seen as negative traits. It is nice to see any sort of character who accepts the good with the bad, and this simple fact helps add dimension the the characters and makes them more human.

Score: 5/5 very good

pros: Interesting, fun, unique, good, and you will learn something. good character development, interesting plot, and varied and unique people.

cons: as the show starts, it seems to expect you to have read the manga or seen the previous anime series.

Overall, a very good series.

You can watch it on Crunchyroll here.

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