Manga: Moyashimon

aka: Tales Of Agriculture
Moyasimon logo and the show's mascot, A. oryzae

Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture (also spelled Moyashimon) is a still ongoing manga series, adapted to anime by Telecom Animation Film 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.

  • 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.

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 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.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Pretty much averted.
  • Bedmate Reveal
  • Blessed with Suck: Tadayasu Sawaki's ability to see microbes.
  • Bokukko: Aoi Mutou
  • Brought Down to Normal: Tadayasu Sawaki loses his ability to see microbes for a while.
  • 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.
  • 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: Haruka'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.
  • Dancing Theme: Dancing microbes in the opening and closing credits.
  • 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.
  • 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 a transsexual.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Groupie Brigade: In the live-action adaptation, the UFO Club is depicted as this for Aoi Mutou.
  • Hilarity Ensues: When Tadayasu demonstrates his ability for Itsuki and Haruka.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kawaisa: All the bacteria and fungi are cute, even pathogens like O-157 E. coli and MRSA.
  • 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.
  • Ojou: Haruka Hasegawa, but she's more like an empress than a princess-type.
  • Overprotective Dad: Haruka'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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Secret Keeper
  • 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.
  • 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 Logical Fallacies 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.
  • Transsexual: Kei Yuuki.
  • Trash of the Titans: The student-run dorm, especially Misato and Kawahama's room.
  • Tsundere: Haruka Hasegawa and Hazuki Oikawa.
  • Twelve-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.
  • 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.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Kei Yuuki.
  • Widget Series: ...Yep.
  • Wild Take: Sawaki seems to alternate between being snarky and being weirded out.

Alternative Title(s):

Tales Of Agriculture, Moyasimon, Moyasimon Tales Of Agriculture, Moyashimon Tales Of Agriculture