Moyashimon Live Action, episode 1: Let’s Brew!

If it’s good enough for NoitaminA, it’s good enough for me. Even though it’s not anime per se, I’ve decided to join in on the Moyashimon live action fun. Moyashimon was one of the first anime series I watched, and one of the more unique unique shows I’ve seen. Even though the anime unraveled a bit towards the end, I still have fond memories of the cute little microbes. If the first episode of the live action is any hint, 3D should be just as good as 2D (and if 3D Haruka is any indication, maybe even better than 2D).

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The OP song’s not bad, a catchy little pop song that would fit in just as well as an anime OP. Judging by some of the scenes, it looks like they’re going with a heavy dose of the Yuuki trap. I won’t spoil it any further. But, I never thought a trap could be so convincing in 3D. We’ll see how the acting goes, but based on just looks alone, I think they did a fantastic job with the casting. I also can’t wait to see 3D Mutou and Hazuki’s one night yuri stand.

This episode is basically your standard character introduction episode. Basically, Moyashimon follows Tadayasu Sawaki, a college freshman, fresh from his parent’s farm entering an Agricultural University. But Tadayasu’s got a special "power" – the ability to see and speak to microbes. Thankfully for us, these microbes aren’t the hideous looking blobs you might recall seeing under a microscope, but they’re cuddly, loveable chibis. Along the way, Tadayasu meets Takuma (the fat one, but not as fat in live action) and Kaoru (pony oni), who serve as the slapstick delinquent characters in the show. And they inadvertently help him meet Professor Itsuki – the fermentation king, who we see for the first time sucking on a bloody seal carcass, known as Kiviak. One of the more memorable scenes from the anime, the live action setup for it strays from the anime, and it ends up being not quite as funny, but seeing Itsuki suck out the goo was definitely cringeworthy.

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"But what about the microbes?" you might be thinking, "do they look cute?" And the answer is a resounding "YES!" The CGI for the microbes in the live version is pretty good. They’re just as cute in the show as they looked in the anime. Maybe moreso, because of their 3D textures. No, they don’t fit seamlessly, but the design style fits really well. At no point during the show did I think, "wow, this show looks cheap." The only dodgy part was when the Sake tubs fell over and all the fake liquid gushed out, but that’s forgivable. Plus, they have the same sort of squeak voices and personality quirks (cue random "LET’S BREW!") I got a kick out of the "gozaru" topknot Japanese yogurt bacteria, and was hoping we’d see some snooty French bacteria too.

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The highlight – from an eye candy standpoint – was seeing the hot-tempered and scantily dressed, 3D S&M queen Haruka. She actually looks about as close as possible to the anime version. From the hair color, to the outfit… to the outfit… legs… what was I saying? Real nice job casting! I’m looking forward to when she breaks out the whip to snap Tadayasu, Takuma, and Kaoru into shape.

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The ED’s pretty good. Fun to listen to, and the "animation" is both educational and cute, introducing us to new bacteria along the way.

The first episode of the live action show looks great. The show was funny, the real life characters were great and IMO faithful to the anime, and the CGI looks really nice as well. This might be blasphemy, but I also liked that they were willing to stray from the anime at certain points. My issue with the anime was that the microbes got the short shaft as the season went on, and the weird trap storyline took over the front lines. I’m hoping the live action version keeps Tadayasu and the microbes front and center.

11 Replies to “Moyashimon Live Action, episode 1: Let’s Brew!”

    1. Like RP said I think Nodame was a better bridge between the Japanese and English speaking fandoms; also I would add Gokusen. Moyashimon is tough because the fascination with fermentation is very Japanese. In the US we ferment alcoholic beverages and that’s about it. Maybe throw in yogurt and certain types of cheese. Japanese culture loves to ferment. Sake, soy sauce, Miso were just the examples given in the anime/drama. They routinely ferment all sorts of various vegetables as well.

  1. Agh! I was trying to bring this up in a certain anonymous imageboard, the fact that the only decent copy available is the Funi rip which is 360P and looks like cancer on my plasma tv. [FAGGOTRYRAWS] subbed it, but by god is their translation unintelligible. So my only options are the undecipherable 720P rip, the hardsubbed Funi rip, and a 2 gig transport stream.

    What are the odds that a decent fansub group would pick this up?

    1. Ah, yeah I waited a couple days to see if a group would pick it up, but haven’t seen anything yet. I actually thought the Funi stream looked better than the rip. I’m gonna guess that some group is going to pick it up eventually, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen until the show ended and they could batch it.

  2. I’m hoping they will play up the Hasegawa/Tadayasu relationship more in the drama. So that it isn’t so shocking when she smooches him at the end. Though I hope we’ll still get the microbes “shy-boy” afterwards. Also I noticed they introduced the Agricultural Council early so they don’t come completely out of left-field like they did in the anime.

    1. Was there a Hasegawa/Tadayasu relationshp in the anime? It’s been so long since I’ve seen it… I can’t recall there being anything going on between the two. Didn’t Tadayasu get kissed by his friend, Yuuki? Or are my memories all mixed up?

      1. Idk maybe it was strictly platonic or I’m reading too much into it but when Tadayusu loses his ability to see microbes Haruka basically asks him why he is even at the university if he can’t see them anymore. When they reconcile Haruka hugs Tadayasu to her rather fiercely. (which causes him to regain his ability to see microbes) After which the Oryzae call him a shy-boy and say he totally should have jumped her bones right there in the lab. The hug is depicted briefly in the final Moyashimon Theatre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLDL1b34dEQ

        So yeah maybe I’m reading too much into that hug. I’m crossing my fingers for it to be played up in the drama.

        1. Ah, I had totally forgotten about that scene! I don’t recall there being romantic intent behind it though, but I could be wrong. I guess we’ll see. Maybe I should’ve rewatched the anime to prepare for the drama.

  3. been currently following the manga and ill say this for it – its definatly taking an alternate path from the manga series.

    BTW – would it be okey to swap blog links?

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