First off, I want to say how much of a fan I was of the original Moyashimon. It had something different to it that really made it stand out from all the rest of the series’ at that time. Focusing more on the educational part of agriculture with a good amount of humor to keep you entertained. It was truly a great series that deserved a sequel.
Fast forward five years later; Moyashimon finally gets an anime sequel as Moyashimon Returns. Everyone is back doing their thing at the college, learning more about fermentation. This is about where it stops with being the same as the original series. The new season takes some twists and turns I was not expecting and really made me scratch my head on where this is all heading.
But, I stuck with it till the end. Did it win me over or did it just ask more questions?
To give you a short and to the point review, it was OK. Not good or great but just OK. Throughout every episode I watched I was just waiting for something to happen. I don’t really know what that would be, but all I can describe it as is spark. Like in the first season, you had a lot of time where you would have these ‘ah cool’ moments. It felt refreshing to see something different then your normal anime. Then we come to this season where, just like in a long relationship, the spark is gone. Trying to pin point what is missing is not an easy task because I’m not sure what I’m really looking for the series to be. All the elements were there in that; the characters returned, the microbes, the microbe theater, and the educational learning. But something just didn’t add up this time around.
I don’t think the show as a whole was very balanced. It seemed to focus on whatever it wanted to at the time. When it was time for a lesson, it was time for a lesson. No real nice segues into the learning and the story telling parts. Even one episode felt like the learning part was dropped in there last minute like they forgot that they were doing it. Then in the later episodes, it disappeared all together. The only real constant in the whole show was the Microbe Theater at the end of each episode. Also I can’t even blame this on a new director because it is the same as the first one. The only thing I can blame is him being inexperienced as a director with only this and a couple of random episode from a couple other series.
One thing I do have to bring up is the character design this season. It does look a lot like the first season but a bit cartoonier. It was off just enough to make me frown a bit. I mean Hasagawa was one of my all time hottest women in anime...until this season. She just wasn’t as smoking hot now. Again, she and her clothes were just way too over the top for my liking. So that killed a little bit of the joy that I had in watching. The other thing that drove me mad was the eyes. Those dead soulless eyes that would pierce right through you as you watched. Apparently they took blinking out of the equation to save some money in the budget because there was not a whole lot happening. Believe me; the wide eyed expressions were frightening at times.
At any rate, Moyashimon Returns was a wonderful try to get that magic back of the first series but falls short on its overall appeal. The story was not consistent throughout the short eleven episodes. We only get an actual story about halfway through and even then it was too late to save it. At least, that’s about where I checked out was about halfway after figuring out where it was going. There just wasn’t any spark or charm in it for me to say that it was a good show. They are even hinting that it’s not over, with a small confusing ending. We’ll see if that pans out or not later. I’ll still recommend the first season to just about anyone, but then tell them to steer clear of this one.
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