Manga / Moyashimon

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Moyasimon logo and the show's mascot, A. oryzae

Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture (also known as just Moyashimon) is a manga series, adapted to anime by TMS Entertainment in 2007 (with a second season in 2012) and live-action in 2010, which tells the account of Tadayasu Sawaki. The son of a yeast maker and a first-year college student at an agricultural university, Tadayasu has the ability to see, touch and talk with all sorts of micro-organisms and bacteria. These microbes appear to him as bug-sized creatures that come in all sorts of shapes with whom Tadayasu can interact. It concluded in 2014 after ten years of intense work.

  • Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki - The main protagonist of the series. His middle name is usually omitted.
  • Kei Yuuki - Tadayasu's childhood friend, the son of a sake brewer who secretly thinks of herself as a girl trapped in a boy's body and is also in love with Tadayasu.
  • Professor Itsuki - Professor at the university. A mysterious old man with a passion for fermentation of all kinds who knows of Sawaki's ability.
  • Haruka Hasegawa - Postgraduate student and Itsuki's assistant. A short-tempered, no-nonsense and somewhat sadistic woman from a wealthy, over-protective family.
  • Hazuki Oikawa - A freshman and a compulsive neat freak who carries disinfectant tissues and antibacterial sprays around with her.
  • Kaoru Misato - A sophomore with a mustache and beard who wants to use his knowledge of brewing to earn some easy money.
  • Takuma Kawahama - A short, overweight sophomore and Kaoru's buddy. Seems to have a thing for insects and such.
  • Aoi Mutou - Itsuki and Hasegawa's assistant; known around campus as "Miss Agriculture", but also know for being a bit of a lush.
  • Madoka Nishino - A quiet, sullen high school senior working part-time on campus late into Sawaki's first year. Allegedly hates sake.

The Department of Agriculture building on the school's campus is a near identical replica of the Real Life University of Coimbra in Portugal (up to and including the school flag being the Portuguese flag).

Not what would happen if they made a Tales game about agriculture. Or with Pokémon or Digimon.


This series provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: The style of the anime turns from fairly realistic and mundane proportions to rounder faces and larger eyes with the second season. Somewhat justified in that this style reflects the original manga more closely than the first season had.
  • Art Shift: Kawahama and Misato's faces occasionally turn to a high-contrast pride/sarcasm expression reminiscent of the Moon's "face" or the Puchuus from Excel Saga.
  • Bastard Girlfriend: Hasegawa. In-universe Misato is horrified by Hasegawa's drunken advances.
  • Bedmate Reveal
  • Berserk Button: Badmouthing sake, making bad sake, or preventing Kei from making sake is a very good way to get on her bad side.
  • Blessed with Suck: Tadayasu Sawaki's ability to see microbes, but because for most of his life only a few people even believed that he could, it's caused him more trouble than he thinks it's worth.
    • Cursed with Awesome: But eventually, he accepts that he has this ability and that people are willing to make use of it, and the microbes accept him in turn. His newfound confidence to be useful also allows him to temporarily let others see microbes like he can.
  • Bokukko: Aoi Mutou
  • Brought Down to Normal: Tadayasu Sawaki loses his ability to see microbes for a while, which apparently happens on occasion whenever he gets too startled.
  • Blob Monster: How Sawaki sees the Hiyoshi Liquor Store Owner outside his store, as the microbes apparently love to be with him a lot.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Hasegawa.
  • Catch-Phrase: The various fungi and bacteria seem to be fond of saying "Kamosu zou!" ("Let's brew!")
  • Character Filibuster: Do not get Professor Itsuki started on the wonders of fermentation, unless you want to get hit by one of these. In the manga, his explanations fill entire panels.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: The missing student from the first episode. Turns out it's Hasegawa; she has overprotective parents.
  • Club President: Aoi Mutou; of the UFO Club.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Hasegawa's tendency to beat the crap out of Misato and Kawahama at the slightest provocation.
  • Cool Old Guy: The professor.
  • Conspicuous CG: The microbes and several cars in the anime.
  • Dancing Theme: Dancing microbes in the anime's opening and closing credits.
  • Day in the Life: Several chapters often focus on the adventures of microbes hidden in the background, as they sometimes discuss their plots to overthrow humanity, in a cute way.
  • Deus ex Machina
  • Dirt Forcefield: Averted, when Aoi Mutou first shows up, she is dirty, not to mention smelly, as she hasn't bathed in two weeks.
  • Driven to Suicide: Years ago, the chief brewer for Kei's family brewery hung himself in shame when his aversion to modernized sanitation for experience led to Hiochi bacterium spoiling years of inventory. The disaster is what motivates Kei towards trying to learn how to eradicate Hiochi entirely.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The author apparently had to remind readers in early chapters of the manga that Kei was the son of a sake brewer, not the daughter. May have been foreshadowing for Kei coming out as transgender.
    • Sawaki mentions that Kei often dislikes being called feminine and girl-looking as a kid, though mysteriously anyone that did it back then found their sheds lit aflame by a mysterious white-robed woman.
  • Educational Short: The Bacteria Theatre at the end of each episode.
  • Elaborate University High: It has to be as it is an agricultural/eco-technological based university.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Kei is one.
    • Marie in the second season also goes by this style of dress, except her dresses are mostly white to the former's black.
  • Engaging Conversation: Happens to Sawaki when Nishino proposes to him so his ability to see microbes can help her family's brewery.
  • Everyone Can See It: Kei's attachment for Sawaki.
  • Fat and Skinny: Misato and Kawahama.
  • Femme Fatalons: Haruka uses these when she punishes Takuma and Kaoru, drawing blood in the process.
  • Foreign Queasine: Itsuki-sensei has a fondness for bizarre fermented foods from around the world. Considering his seminars and the series as a whole has a noted focus on fermentation, these come up fairly often.
  • Gargle Blaster: A food version — hongehoe, fermented stingray sashimi. Tastes fine until the ammonia hits the nasal cavity...
  • Gay Aesop
  • Gender-Blender Name: Kaoru Misato gets a double dose of this; both his first and last names can be used as female names.
  • Gonk: Takuma Kawahama and Kaoru Misato, though their appearance softens further into the manga.
    • A lot of the men in the Autonomous dorms also account for this, along with many of the idol fans during the Harvest Festival.
  • Green Aesop: But averted in some instances. On the one hand, the whole show is about ecology. On the other hand, treating fields with chemicals works (agricultural science!) and biofuel-powered tractors don't (it's still just an experimental model, and the coal-powered tractors work just fine).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: When Kei overhears that Sawaki had spent time in France with Marie (who was essentially Kei's doppelganger in all white), she unconsciously smacks him in the back of his head. Kei does not understand why that happened.
    • When Kei finds out Hasegawa took Sawaki and co. with her to get Marie from the United States, she decides to tail them under the notion of keeping them concentrated on not ignoring their first time making sake. While this is true, the others aren't so convinced it's the only reason.
  • Groupie Brigade: In the live-action adaptation, the UFO Club is depicted as this for Aoi Mutou.
  • Guys Are Slobs: A lot of the health hazards presented in the series either came from the Autonomous Dorm, which includes Misato and Kawahama's room and the UFO Clubroom, or inattentive male students (A guy who made curry for orientation without washing his hands). In fact, the UFO Clubroom had been fumigated at least three times before disbandment.
  • Hilarity Ensues: When Tadayasu demonstrates his ability for Itsuki and Haruka.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Oikawa and Mutou mock Sawaki for making out with Kei, a "boy" from their perspective, only for it to be pointed out that they were caught in flagrante delicto together under the influence of the aphrodisiac.
  • Identical Stranger: The first thing Sawaki notices and the audience is told by A. oryzae about Marie is how she looks strikingly similar to Kei. The even both have the same Elegant Gothic Lolita fashion sense.
    • Kaneshiro was also like this, looking like a tan Kei without the dress. They are referred to by the main cast as "the doppelgangers".
  • Info Dump: If the cast is not explaining subjects themselves, some chapters involve a sudden exposition segment by the microbes themselves in order to explain terminology and history.
  • Intimate Healing: Sawaki kisses Nishino on the lips in her sleep in order to migrate the bacterium causing her strep throat to him.
  • Irony: Oikawa is a neat-freak who has an issue with germs in general. Come the end of the second season however, as Sawaki soon finds out, she's apparently a microbe-magnet on the scale of the owner of the Hiyoshi Liquor Store, to the point Sawaki could no longer see her anymore under the cloud of microbes orbiting around her.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Tadayasu describes hongeohoe (stingray sashimi pickled in urea) as tasting like toilet paper that's been soaking in a campsite urinal for weeks.
  • I Will Wait for You: Hasegawa tells Misato she will not date anyone for at least two years when he graduates to see what kind of man he can improve into.
  • Kissing Under the Influence:
    • Hazuki and Aoi (Aphrodisiac), Haruka (Aphrodisiac + Alcohol).
    • In the manga, Hazuki and Aoi were also incredibly drunk. Judging by the number of empty glasses in front of each, topped off with a beer stein of shōchū (25% ABV), it's no wonder they hooked up.
  • Love Potion: Professor Itsuki's "Sexual" chocolate.
  • Mascot: A. oryzae, the microbe pictured above.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Several between Misato and Hasegawa after the France arc. This led to Kawahama spreading rumors and Kaneshiro attempting to shut the door on them to give them privacy.
  • Ojou: Haruka Hasegawa, but she's more like an empress than a princess-type.
  • Only Friend: Sawaki to Kei, which is why she cherishes their friendship so much.
  • Overprotective Dad: Hasegawa's father.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Used as weapons during the spring festival.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Marie and her family are blue-eyed, and all have hair in shades of blonde.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: What Sawaki professes him and Kei to be forever, so Kei wouldn't be alone. That doesn't stop Nishino from telling Kei to profess her love to Sawaki anyways.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The live action series, which starts off the bootlegging sake scene much earlier and Kei appears later on as a student in his crossdressing guise, rather than joining the school with Sawaki at the same time.
  • The Professor: Itsuki, who goes to great lengths in the pursuit of agricultural science.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sawaki, Misato, and Kawahama avoid an awkward What Did I Do Last Night? situation by making it look even more ridiculous.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The author sometimes refers to Kei as "a man among men" in jest whenever a chapter exemplifies her femininity.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Every single microbe.
  • Robotic Reveal: The "Boss" of the spring festival is a robot build by the computer club.
  • Say It with Hearts
  • School Festival: Very unusual in that everyone is locked in for entire time the festival is on and you have to figure out the rules for this year's event before the rules hit you.
    • The school has had plenty of other festivals occurring as well, including an emulation of Oktoberfest.
  • Secret Keeper: Most of the main cast are aware of Sawaki's ability to see microbes, though when Sawaki thought it fair to let Oikawa in on it, she dismisses it entirely.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Aoi's former boyfriend suddenly disappeared from her life without a trace. There was a mysterious piece of paper left behind in his empty apartment with indecipherable runes written on it (rumours that it's actually a note with the words "I'm in love with someone else" are all filthy filthy lies). Obviously, he was kidnapped by aliens, and if you try to insinuate something else she will drink herself into a stupor.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the second season, with the woman visiting the Hiyoshi Liquor Store with a box labeled Kanou Farms.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Sawaki with Kei.
    • Interestingly enough, Kei will also deny this thanks to an internalized belief that two men shouldn't be professing love to each other, even when most of the main cast immediately call out that Kei is literally the last person who should be saying that.
    • Hasegawa and Misato will vehemently deny any sort of accusation that either of them have gotten closer to one other.
  • Shipper on Deck: The A. oryzae from Sawaki's household heavily endorse a relationship between Sawaki and any girl that shows interest, this includes Kei. This includes holding up signs that say "True Wife" and "Just go for it!"
    • Everyone else in the main cast just assume they're together as well.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • If you're willing to accept that the over-enthusiastic Itsuki tends to overstate the importance of microbes from time to time, most of the factual information given on microbes in Moyasimon is generally correct.
    • As amazing as it sounds, Itsuki's obsession with microbes Transforming The World is itself an example of Showing Its Work.note 
    • For that matter, other than some of the "human drama" bits, the depiction of the agricultural university IS rather similar to what goes on in Real Life at agricultural research universities (or ag-research colleges of state universities).
  • The Snark Knight: Hasegawa is committed to science; bad science or You Fail Logic Forever in her presence will trigger a rant.
  • Speaks Fluent Germ: Tadayasu.
  • Stripperific: Haruka Hasegawa's usual clothing under her labcoat.
  • Those Two Guys: Misato and Kawahama.
  • Transgender: Kei Yuuki
  • Trash of the Titans: The student-run dorm, especially Misato and Kawahama's room.
    • The room for the UFO Club is constantly quarantined whenever Sawaki is forced to be there.
  • Tsundere: Haruka Hasegawa (who enforces her tsudere-ness with a bullwhip) and Hazuki Oikawa.
  • 12-Episode Anime: Well, eleven eps plus three "Microbe Deluxe Theatre" Educational Short films.
  • Wall of Text : Itsuki-sensei is prone to delivering these in increasingly small font-sizes. Sometimes everyone else gets squished between the speech bubbles.
  • Walking the Earth: What happens to Sawaki's older brother after he left the family for a job overseas. He ends up living out in New Orleans.
  • Webcomic Time: The series itself lasted more than 10 years, but the story concludes at the start of Sawaki's second year. Which means only a year had passed.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Tadayasu seems like the closest to normal in his little circle of friends.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Hasegawa at the end of volume 2.
  • Whip It Good: Hasegawa.
  • Widget Series: ...Yep.
  • Wild Take: Sawaki seems to alternate between being snarky and being weirded out.
  • The Worm That Walks: Played for laughs, the A. oryzae often pile together to form a giant version of themselves or in the shape of a human being in order to cheer Sawaki up.

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