I have actually been dreading the fact that I need to talk about this show. I have my reasons, and I will explain, but what I thought to be a light hearted show about farming, ended up being the least fulfilling show I can recall in recent memory. Christ, at least Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan inspired me to come up with a show about Pedophilia. If you want to know more, I have jumps for a reason.
Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture (Sub) Review
Length: 2 Season, 11 episodes each
Studio: Shirogumi and Telecom Animation Film
The show follows a naturally blonde college freshman named Sawaki, who is attending an agricultural college and has the unique ability to see microorganisms, or microbes. Other than that, he is the nice guy archetype, but throughout the show I can’t think of anything he does that doesn’t have to do with his ability. He is attending this college with his friend Yuki, who I don’t recall doing anything in the show, at all, until he started dressing up like a Gothic Lolita maid and worked at a Sake store… Yeah, that’s a bit of a spoiler, but I have literally nothing else to talk about. And as for the possibility of a character with a hidden sexuality, and maybe a deeper interpretation of a character from a traditional family being allowed to express himself in this new world- Nope, it’s just for the LOLs!
Are you kidding me? There is no societal view on the matter, and everyone just shrugs the fact that some sake brewer’s son likes to dress up in a dresses while selling sake? This is a major oversight, but based on the plot, I’m not surprised. If you had me tied down until I explained what the central plot, what the ultimate goal of a Moyashimon, a show that is not a comedy, slice of life, and probably falls into the drama category. I’d struggle beyond, “It’s about a guy who is trying to learn about life, maybe friendship, and learn about fermentation.”
So, all I can talk about the characters, but they really aren’t all that interesting. There is Itsuki, a quirky professor whose character design makes me think that this show isn’t trying to be serious, due to his lack of a mouth. And there is a really interesting backstory about his going through the struggle of living with sins he committed during WWII by being a young and rash scientist, but it is barely glanced over, since we need to talk about fermentation. Remember that bit on the end of the title? That Tales of Agriculture tag? Well, Tales of Fermentation is far more fitting. There is not one thing that is dwelled on other than things that involve fermentation, which basically means decomposition of things from what I can gather. And the favorite subject for this show, is making various versions of alcohols. If you want to talk about alcohol maturely, fine, but lable your shows as such, because I think they mention farming once in this entire show.
Then we’ve got Haruka, a leather clad scientist who pulls off a tough girl act, when she’s being forced into a marriage subplot. And I don’t even think she really cares about this school, she’s just hiding from her fate, which might be cultural commentary, but it’s pretty damn subtle or outdated if it is suppose to be. We also have a duo of Kaoru Misato and Takuma Kawahama. Two sophomores who are in deep financial woes and want to profit from using Sawaki, but they become friends, obviously, and could probably be omitted from this entire show. I complained in Angel Beats how so much of the show could easily be cut, but with Moyashimon, I’m not even sure there is anything left after the fact. These two charactertures of humans never really evolve past comic relief, but you don’t need comedy when there is nothing depressing or serious going on. The entire show has this problem of not having much of an atmosphere at all. A bit ironic how the atmosphere in the show is busy with enlarged microbes whenever Sawaki’s point of view is shown.
And with the two characters of Hazuki Oikawa, a neat freak who Sawaki wants to get busy making blonde babies with. And I guess is a hard worker or something, but I watched this show via simulcast and she was not in the past few episodes, so I took the memory of her and threw it out my earholes. And when I nearly forget all your characters after a month, you know your show has issues. Same thing for the drunkard, but apparently attractive, Aoi Muto. All I can remember is simple traits the exhibited, because they are just that unstimulating.
It is hard to even critique something beyond this, because there is just a sheer level of incompetence at work with the unimaginative characters, and the lack of anything for them to do. I mean, just look at this abridged series of events: Trying to get money for the Sophomores, trying to get the girls via arousal treats, which results in the two best moments. Haruka’s drunkard laugh as she scars a man with her nails, and the two uninteresting girl’s implied lesbian sex scene… Really? Sawaki losing his ability for half an episode, and get it back via arousal. Yes, really. The construction of a fermentation cellar, which never really got done, and going to France, where they establish that people speak French, but they are seen speaking Japanese, when it is established how rare that is! Seriously, there is a pointless winemaking Gothic Lolita girl who Sawaki wants to also knob because she has the same face as his friend, Yuki, the crossdresser, who is totally normal in society’s eyes!
Oh right, animation. The show does something that I haven’t seen in a while, and that is get a slightly different art direction later on. Except it is a slightly different artstyle. The first season has one of the most straightforward artstyle that could be replicated by an anime creator machine. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but nothing stood out in season one. But season two took both a very awkward transition back into itself, since it’s only been 5 years since the last one, and came out with a more visually appealing set of more cartoonish character models. Which I guess helps, but it somehow looks only slightly less dull. I know that I’m picky with animation, but other than a few silly reactions or unique caricature of a person, the show really just falls on the average line in terms of animation. Oh, and the designs for the microbes? They are simplistic, but still very boring to look at unless they’re made of clay or in the real world like the season one intros had them.
Maybe I just lack a motive, or want to see some conflict in my shows. However, I have no idea what the hell is going on with Humanity Has Declined, and Yuru Yuri doesn’t even follow the basic flow of time to the point the show actually reencounters event made previously. Yet I love both of those shows. There is a point where I cannot be bothered to care about your show, and I passed it well before the 25% mark.
I recently complained about games trying to be realistic and came to the conclusion that realism would be boring in its most potent form. And that is just what this show is, something that takes a weak premise and just rolls with it as straightly as possible. Trying to tell an emotional tale of life is in no way bad, but when it flops, it is all the more embarrassing how it broke both of its legs trying to swim. Maybe I’m the wrong person for this show, but I can’t figure out how this thing is suppose to be appealing to anyone.
Have a positive or negative response? Please leave one below, it’s the only way I’ll improve.