Moyashimon | 01

by

Moyashimon
Screencaps, Sina

I’m torn between shock and laughter. This animation is unique.

Sunohara Youhei‘s (Clannad) seiyuu voices the main character, Sawaki Tadayasu. Basically, he can see microbes ever since he was a kid.

Sina is a Chinese streaming site, it’s all I can find atm. Veoh is still an option for those who don’t mind installing their software. Stage6 is growing but the community isn’t as big as V. Might find a lot on DailyMotion but it’s mostly French.

Spoilers ahead.

Cast and Terminology
Sawaki Souemon – Tadayasu’s grandfather
Yuuki Jujo – Kei’s grandfather
Agriculture University – school located on the outskirts of Tokyo
Yuuki Kei – Tadayasu’s friend who collects information quickly and efficently.
Sawaki Souemon Tadayasu – special boy who can see, touch, and speak to microbes.
Goto – president of Agriculture University.
Hasegawa Haruka – a student at Agriculture University.
Professor Itsuki Keizo – a friend of Tadayashi’s grandfather.
Sawaki Yeast Shop – Sawaki family business. Tadayasu is being forced to succeed his father in the family business whether he likes it or not.

Synopsis

It’s a quiet beginning in the countryside with two friends, old man Sawaki and Yuuki Jujo, chatting about their grandsons who will attend a university in Tokyo. Standard chit chat until they talk about old man Sawaki’s grandson, Tadayasu. He claims he can see microbes. Yuuki doesn’t believe it. A good reaction that probably mirrors most viewers thoughts too, but old man Sawaki believes because he once saw Tadayasu playing with something in the storage room. The flashback shows a young boy playing with balls of light similar to fireflies.

OP @Youtube.
….. Kawaii.

After an intro like that, Kei and Tadayasu must be extraordinary kids! But alas, they’re quite average. Kei is pegged as the sharp, dependable guy, and Tadayasu is the sullen brat (very uncharismatic). If anything is out of the ordinary it’s the university. At the opening ceremony, there are police on campus, students sit outdoors in the mud, the university president gives a speech in a gardening outfit complete with straw hat, and the highlight of the ceremony is an announcement by the registrar’s office. Student Hasegawa Haruka is missing. Freshmen are asked to contact the university registrar or police if her body is discovered buried somewhere on campus.

The surreal Law & Order episode is the tip of the iceberg. The bizarreness continues as they explore the school. Six feet dikon, dung-happy scoopers, and biohazard suits are the norm. Tadayasu’s beautiful image of Tokyo is crushed just like that. Poor Tadayasu, but that’s reality for you.

The mystery is, why are two normal kids going to a farming school, I mean “agricultural university”. Kei is secretive about his reason(s). Keeping a secret from his best friend, very suspicious. Note the way he answered just as he walks into the shadows (it’s a cool effect though). As for Tadayasu, his father wouldn’t allow him to go near Tokyo unless he attended that particular university. (T-T) Such a cruel parent.

So the ultimate question: can he or can’t he see microbes?! He can! Kei thought Tadayasu didn’t see microbes anymore but it turns out he still does though not as much. However, there’s a bunch of them floating around the campus (recall he was staring into the sky during opening ceremony). Tadayasu freaks when he sees the source, a huge microbe generating grave. The site has a marker with the name “Hasegawa”.

Suddenly, it’s CSI: Nippon! The site is marked off as a possible homicide location, and Tadayasu sweats bullets under Tokyo police interrogation. He just keeps on racking up bad memories as the day progresses.

Then an old man, who looks likes an adult version of Ojii-san from Dennou Coil, enters the crime scene like a monster from horror flick and creates even more delightful memories for Tadayasu. He digs up the grave and releases a horrific stench into the surrounding area, people cry out in agony and are reduced to tears.

It’s not Hasegawa in the grave but a fermenting seal. Putting the clues together, Hasegawa was pickling birds inside the seal like the Inuit’s in a process called “kiviak”. However, the birds are not eaten because the delicacy is drinking (eating) the intestinal fluids according to Kei. Then ojii-san gives them a shocking demonstration without warning, and sucks the fluids out of the birds butt. LOLOLOLOL

He gives a full oral history lesson on “kiviak” to the boys who are paralyzed by the noxious fumes emitting from ojii-san’s mouth. It turns out the eccentric old man is Itsuki Keizo, the professor, Tadayasu was told to meet by his grandfather. They’re his students from now on. And right on que, the university’s resident bondage student, Hasegawa makes her grand entrance. Professor Itsuki ruined her research project while she was on her way back from a trip. If people had bothered to look at the marker staked in the ground, they’d have read “Hasagawa’s Experiment”. Since she’s back the police are cast off like yesterdays trash.

The professor and Hasagawa test Tadayasu’s special ability. Well the professor wants to test him but Hasagawa wants to debunk him as a fraud. He’s able to correctly identify all the microbe samples they show him. Hasagawa refuses to believe it and bombards him (literally) with bacteria.

The tests determine he’s able see microbes (he tells them they have ethic qualities, play games, and have feelings), hear and talk to them, and touch them too (he grabs one floating in the air, they put in under a microscope and confirm it). He can also eat them (he got in his mouth and he spat it out).

She’s really pissed off because he can easily see what took man centuries to discover. How sad. She’s trying to make herself feel better by proving him a liar but she’s the one that looks crazy. She’s speechless when he diagnosis her with athletes foot. “All you need is dry feet and cleanliness…”

A comatose-looking, yellow microbe floats by Tadayasu. He immediately warns Kei who panics. His family business must deal with perishable food. Fructivorans are gushing out of a window from a lower floor. When Tadayasu points to it, Kei looks at him with an odd expression.

The professor compares Tadayasu to mice. The naive boy has no idea he’s about to become a living lab rat.

ED @Youtube.
….. if only microbes really were this cute. There’s no way the hairy stuff that grows on decomposing food can be cute in any way, shape, or form.

Parting Thoughts

Like other animation of it’s caliber, Moyashimon integrates CG into animation. So far it’s used mainly for backgrounds like the road in Mayoshimaon (actually think the whole walking scene on the road is CG because the characters’ movements is odd). Similar CG is used for the floors during the intro segment of Bamboo Blade. Moribito is the only I can think of that used it for miscellaneous characters, the army of footsoldiers and the tentacle creatures from the spirit world. The question is can serialized animation break the CG barrier for characters without making it look plastic and without breaking bank.

Anyway, Kei is the biggest enigma. Until his motivation for joining the school is revealed, I get the feeling he’s not really Tadayasu’s friend.

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