Moyashimon live action, episode 2: Let’s be friendly (with cows)

The second episode of Moyashimon mixes in some things from a couple different anime episodes altogether, but otherwise, it seems pretty faithful to the original. Well, except for that big budget, blockbuster style intro. Moyashimon: Coming to a theater near you! For a second, I thought I downloaded a troll sub.

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For whatever reason, Haruka’s high profile dad makes a surprise visit to Agri U to express his displeasure with Haruka’s postgraduate studies.  And oh yeah, her S&M outfit as well. But the lecture gets interrupted, when Oikawa Hazuki makes her debut, arriving at Prof Itsuki’s lab carrying a large stinky, Hongeohoe and a can of Surstromming. For a germ freak, Hazuki seems unfazed at ruining her jacket with the stink and slime of the Hongeohoe.

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Whatever plans Haruka’s dad had to pull her out of class is laid to waste when Itsuki dishes out little slices of the Hongeohoe and follows it up with a nuclear stink bomb by opening up the can of surstromming. The smell overpowers Haruka’s dad, knocking him out, forcing his minions to retreat in disgrace. I don’t remember Haruka’s dad ever barging in on the lab in the anime, but I do have a crappy memory when it comes to that sort of stuff. Still, it’s a funny scene, with your typical asian comedy overreaction style and gives us a little more insight into Haruka’s character. I’m guessing they’re just props, but it’s pretty cool seeing the hongeohoe and surstromming in real life. On a separate note, I can’t say I’ve ever seen hongeohoe in real life, but I’ll have to keep my nose open for it next time I’m in Korea.

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With that odd little scene out of the way, we see Tadayasu settling into the Agri-U life and getting friendly with Hazuki. Like feeding the calves. And getting all "Let’s be friendly" with a cow’s ass. Only in Agri-U. Meanwhile, Haruka tries to remain skeptical about Tadayasu’s ability, she seems to be gradually coming to terms with it. Even if it annoys her that Tadayasu’s able to do things naturally, that she’s struggled for.

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Even if Tadayasu hadn’t noticed the killer O-157 bacteria in the salad and saved everyone’s lives, I’m not sure I would’ve eaten anything wearing the same suit that was pitching poop and partway up a cow’s ass. Oh sure, his arm was covered. But that’s the sort of things that leaves a mark on you. Like when your shoelace accidentally brushes a public bathroom floor. You never forget. It’s never the same.

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Hazuki tries to get Tadayasu to spill the beans on how he knew that the salad was toxic. But Tadayasu manages to hang onto his secret identity for another day. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Kaoru and Takuma’s rare cateripllar bacteria. An ill fated mention of cooking dinner in their pigsty room sends Hazuki on a bacteria murder-suicide rampage, which only comes to an end after she knocks herself out with her anti-bacterial chloroform spray. Luckily for her, she ends up on Tadayasu’s shoulder and not the random otaku hanging out in the room.

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It’s not college without random sleepovers. And it’s not Moyashimon without cute bacteria shows. This scene was actually one of my favorites from the anime. Unfortunately, they didn’t show much of Tadayasu’s past, but it’s a really good scene to show his relationship with the microbes (as odd as that sounds. I guess you can anthropomorphize anything).

So far the live action has been great. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it captures the unique sense of microbe wonder that the anime conveyed. Little details are different (no Kei introduction yet), and it feels like they’re moving at a faster pace (hopefully they end at a better point than the anime did), but it’s been fun to watch. It helps that the source material’s good, but the actors have done a mighty fine job selling the characters as well.

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