Saturday, October 6, 2012

Anime review: "Moyashimon"

As I already said, I think this is a poor anime year. I am not really sure how I found this anime, since it is from 2007 and it doesn't have some great rating, but as I didn't have anything else to watch, I decided to give it a try.

"Moyashimon" is based on interesting idea, and when you read its short description on AniDB, you can get a completely wrong idea about it. Nominally, the story is about a boy named Sawaki who can actually see microbes: not as they look when you look at them with microscope, but as a kind cute little "monsters" who communicate with him. He is just entering Agricultural college with his childhood Kei, and both of them are conscripted by famous (but little wacky) professor Itsuki and his attractive assistant Hasegawa, to help them in their research.

Well, although all this has its place in this anime, at the same time this is a slapstick comedy about college life, sake and growing up, including a lot of sexual innuendo and fan-service moments. There is even few episodes where microbe don't even appear (The Spring Festival). Every episode starts with the recap of the previous one, there is normal OP and ED, and at the end there is a short educational movie about bacteria, so the real action last even less than in normal anime. You are right to ask how all this stuff fits in 11 short episodes. The answer is that it doesn't! The anime doesn't really have an ending and all this feels more like an introduction than a real season. Considering that there is a second season of anime and that manga is still ongoing, this is maybe even true. Another problem is the non-existing over-all plot; there is few threads started, but they are strangely left unfinished and unexplained.

On the other hand, anime is full of good jokes and interesting characters. Well, humor is actually pretty individual thing: if you find "being picked as the lucky student to perform cow's ovaries examination" funny, you could like this anime. As I said, there is lot of sexual jokes, but nothing really crass. Characters are one-dimensional and unreal, but they work well together. "Moyashimon" has a strong educational streak about microbes, which you either like or hate.

One of the weaker points of this anime is the design of characters. Few of them are designed purely slapstick, but even those who are drawn "real" are very unimaginative and... Ugly is a bit too strong word, but non-pretty. Colors are also pretty bland, which is a big negative point for me. On the other hand, a big positive point is that people change clothes regularly. I really can't say anything, being positive or negative, about the sound and music.

All in all, "Moyashimon" is good anime, with some interesting setting and good jokes, definitely is not a hit series, owing to its lack of proper story or direction. Even if you find this interesting, I would recommend looking for a review of second season before starting with the first one.

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