What makes Moyashimon an interesting anime is how it handles its distinguishing device. The gambit that individualizes Moyashimon from the rest of anime, Sawaki’s ability to see and characterize microbes from the naked eye, does not dominate the anime nor is it essential to any storyline or characterization besides trivial matters and various educational oddities. Instead, the anime is above its remarkable gimmick, able to manufacture a product beyond floating organisms and their often inconsiderate quips. That is to say, Moyashimon is an anime that could survive without its imfamous device, without its microbiological brethren, a trait that most anime cannot even fathom to try.
The eighth episode of Moyashimon was effectively an episode without Sawaki’s microbe vision. Though the familiar species of yeasts and bacteria graces across the screen from time to time, their roles were fundamentally limited, only being used as mascot characters or for an explanation of French wine that would’ve seem more appropriately fitted for Misato or Kawahama in explaining their passion for wine to Sawaki. The result was nothing more than a fabulous episode reuniting Hasegawa with her fellow lab-mates over a confrontation and the introduction of Marie, a character who’s appearance resembles Yuuki, personality akin to Oikawa, and a past that parallels Sawaki. And even if the microbes were present and played some form of a role in this episode, their presence would be insignificant given how the story evolved and the episode played out. Those adorable, cartoony microbes simply aren’t needed anymore.
And this isn’t the first time Moyashimon has been able to perform such a feat. And this isn’t some new trend either. Moyashimon is an anime that’s always been able to survive without clinging onto the ‘visible microbe’ device and relying on it for substance and nourishment as it went about its business. Besides a quick storyline involving Sawaki losing the ability to see the microbes, an ironic point to make considering the topic of this post, the first season of Moyashimon created a wonderful anime without depending on its gimmick for constant support and advancement. Instead, Moyashimon has developed into a well-rounded anime that uses its characteristic device as a means to enrich its setting, bring attention to the importance of microbiology, and provide examples to the viewers of how microbiology affected human history and continues to affect our daily lives. Moyashimon uses its distinctive device in a way to enhance the anime, not be the anime. And this seemingly disregarded and surprisingly simple aspect of Moyashimon is just a part of what makes this anime delightful and unparalleled compared to the norm.
Why is it always, and it is always, that an arranged marriage is shown in an anime, one of the sides is shown to be incompetent, thoughtless, and socially backwards. Aren’t these kinda people the ones who go through prestigious academic programs where they’re molded and formed into the sophisticated crowd that presents themselves at formal parties and private social gatherings? You know, the kind that is able to put on a front around the upper class and act refined and dignified among their guests? Yet in any form of media, they never are. I realize that these characters are structured to show how insensitive and selfish arranged marriages are, but aren’t they trying too hard? Like, seriously, we already know it; you don’t need to pull something so cliché like Ryuuta’s current character that it just comes off as lazy and uncreative. Had the character been a bit more attractive and selfless, perhaps even interested in Hasegawa’s research, then the story regarding Hasegawa’s arranged marriage would present much more hardship and actually resemble a real struggle. It would actually make this story interesting rather than a mundane retelling of so many ‘arranged marriages-gone-wrong’ storylines that show their ugly head every so often. But never mind that, the arc is almost over and hopefully the anime will be rid of such an unimaginative character and scenario.