Still to early to judge if ‘Moyasimon’ is a worthy replacement for ‘Genshiken’, but it is looking possible!
Writer/Artist: Masayuki Ishikawa
Translation: Stephan Paul
Adaptation: Stephan Paul
What They Say
Tadayasu's odd ability to see germs with the naked eye has come in handy for lectures on exotic (and stinky) fermented foods and sake. However, he's going to need more than his natural gifts to survive the university's spectacular Spring Festival. Only great perseverance and a bit of luck will get him through a harrowing competition to achieve the grand prize - a night of attempted debauchery.
A trip to the liquor store with the whole lab leads Sawaki to a bacteria monster. It isn’t attack of Mothra or Godzilla, or anything like that, but it is a storekeeper that has so many bacteria around him Sawaki can’t see him. Turns out it has something to do with the backroom of the shop where they spend time alcohol tasting. It kind of even looks like a small bar more than a storeroom.
Apparently foreigners aren’t the only drinkers that don’t know how to choose a good sake, cause I know I don’t! Sawaki and the others all want to find a sake that they can enjoy to broaden their palates away from just beer. This visit with the liquor shopkeeper quickly turns informative, especially when Professor Itsuki shows up. This is also where this ‘Moyasimon’ might lose readers. I enjoy the bacteria lessons as an added layer to a story about college kids trying to make it through school. Maybe not as instantly appealing as the otaku characters of ‘Genshiken’, but funny and interesting all the same.
A new character in the form of an old student shows up in this volume. Initially, she is covered in grime and backpacking disgusting samples of bacteria for Professor Itsuki. Sawaki quickly puts her in the “no thanks” category of attractiveness for women at his school, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Once she gets a shower and borrows a friend’s cheerleader outfit, this new girl, Muto, is quite attractive. Good looking and popular around school, as Sawaki quickly learns.
A couple of drinking parties and some hazmat disinfections later, and Sawaki finds out just how weird an agriculture college can be. Every year the school has a festival that locks all the students inside. It is an interesting game since everyone has to trade cash for tickets on the first day and wear a balloon on their head. While the students party, a team of attack students wander around the campus trying to pop student’s balloons. A student has to wear his balloon to buy stuff, but if the balloon is popped by the attack squad, the loser has to forfeit his tickets. This could cause some big problems after a day of not being able to buy food. The only way the festival ends is if the students solve the mystery for ending the festival. This year they have to beat the leader of the attack students to get the key to the front gate, but only the leader knows it. Will Sawaki and the others ever get out!
I’m enjoying ‘Moyasimon’ more with each volume. With the first volume it was a lot of bacteria lesson plans, and that kind of overwhelmed the characters. First volumes are always hard because they have to establish everything, but this second volume got a chance to flesh out a couple of characters and introduce a new one. Muto, the student that returned from collecting bacteria samples abroad, is a lively character that promises plenty of comedy relief down the road. The dominatrix-dressing Hasegawa also got a chance to flesh out as a character. She says she can’t drink, but what she really means is she doesn’t hold her liquor well. Add that and Professor Itsuki’s 100,000 yen aphrodisiacs he sold Sawaki and the other guys, and you have a hilarious morning after with Hasegawa in the middle. You’ll just have to read it to find out what happened!