Moyashimon Episode #01 - Mania.com



TV Series Review

Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: NA
  • Video Rating: NA
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: NA
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Moyashimon

Moyashimon Episode #01

Moyashimon Episode #01 Review

By Chris Beveridge     July 08, 2010
Release Date: July 08, 2010


Moyashimon
© FUNimation

What would your life be like if you could see and communicate with mildly snarky microbes from all walks of life?

What They Say
Agriculture student Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki can see microbes with his naked eye! On the first day of school, his abilities allow for a very revealing first impression of Professor Keizou Itsuki.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga of the same name, Moyashimon is a new eleven episode live action series with CG bits that delves into the world of germs, microbes and all the little things that make us who we are without realizing it. The manga, released by Del Rey Manga in the US, has been out for a bit and doing fairly well and there's an anime incarnation as well I believe. Live action adaptations of manga and anime certainly aren't a rarity and a title like Moyashimon actually makes perfect sense since the "outlandish" parts of it are perfectly suited to being done in CG.

The show revolves around new college student Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki who has come to Tokyo to go to the agriculture college. One of the main reason's he came there was to get away from certain things back home but they ended up following him to Tokyo as well. Sawaki has the special gift of being able to see the microbes that make up life and communicate with them on some level. When he opens a box of miso sent from home and it spills, the little microbes come pouring out saying they they're ready to brew and have some fun. Sawaki is resigned to these things being back in his life and they amusingly comment that he's essentially no fun.

The college life is a difficult one in general and we see the usual things happening here, even at an agriculture college where every club goes after a new student, including an American Football team that wants to bring him in. That he gets mocked by the microbes only makes it more amusing since they get under his skin. There's a great little stream of commentary from the microbes as they move along with him and observe the various groups that try to recruit him. Sawaki manages to avoid most of the groups though as he just wants to get to the professor he's there to study under, but he ends up getting dragged into an unofficial club involved with brewing, something that's not allowed for legal reasons.

The sheer amount of sake they're brewing in there is hilarious but the amount of destructive microbes that are eating away at it and turning it bad is even scarier, especially since only Sawaki can see them and they're positively overwhelming to him. Sawaki's able to eventually explain this to the guys in the club and the professor he's been looking for and they're pretty understanding of it, which means they've probably drank more of the sake than they're letting on. Professor Itsui takes Sawaki on eagerly because of this special skill though and that means lots of lab work for him, which is technically a good thing but it exposes him to a myriad of amusing and interesting microbes.

Sawaki has to go through a couple of challenges from a very bondage oriented student that the professor knows in order to prove what he sees, but he's able to get through it for the most part. Giving Sawaki a potential love interest is fun (though your mind runs to what kinds of things he might see in an intimate relationship when it comes to microbes) and that could keep anyone from getting seriously involved with someone. Sawaki doesn't exactly make friends with her though with what he does see and she doesn't believe him even though the evidence is strong. The real star here though is the microbes as they just have a whole lot of fun. Moyashimon goes fairly predictably because it is rather standard sitcom material in a way but it does it with a charm that works and left me smiling throughout while trying to not think of the real implications of seeing things like this.

In Summary:
Moyashimon will make you glad that you can't see these things since we'd never eat or drink anything ever again. The show has a good sense of fun and creepiness about it as we watch Sawaki being overwhelmed by the mildly comical microbes that are reminiscent of the aliens from Toy Story except that they talk more. Sawaki's college life gets off to a rocky start here and it's one that you can't help but imagine will be difficult at an agricultural college where you have cows walking down the lanes with students running behind to shovel up all the crap coming out of them. Thankfully, we avoid seeing those microbes this time around but it's likely only a matter of time. Moyashimon's a lot of fun and I hope that FUNimation is able to tackle some other live action shows as time goes on since there are some very fun ones out there that I'd love to see. Moyashimon is going to be a disturbing highlight to my week for the next few months.

View the episode here.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
ericf 7/9/2010 1:41:03 AM

Great review! I loved the anime (though it didn't have any story arc at all and therefore no real ending) and I liked this live action version too.

 

Just one note. Haruka Hasegawa ("bondage" girl) is actually Professor Itsuki's assitant, not a student.

ericf

1 

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