Genre(s): Seinen, Comedy, Science
Age-Appropriateness: 15+ (implied sex, alcohol, some ecchi humor)
Harbour Rating: 7.3 / 10
Premise: Tdayasu Sawaki is a first-year college student at an agricultural university, and has a unique ability to see and communicate with microorganisms. Additionally, these organisms look like cute chibis, rather than what can be seen under a microscope by normal people. This ability has brought him a bit of fame, and one of the professors seems to already know about his gift. Tadayasu, the son of “mold farmers” for lack of a better name, enters the university with his good friend Kei Yuki, whose family runs a sake brewery.
Harbour’s Thoughts: I already know that my review is biased because I literally have a degree in Microbiology and work in a lab. But I do think this can appeal to many people. Moyashimon tells a story of self-discovery while also being incredibly educational. Some moments may gross out the uninitiated or germophobic, but they do a good job of explaining the technical processes of fermentation using adorable little microbes, and highlighting strange foodstuffs from various cultures. In the second season, the educational moments are fewer to allow for more story. I really enjoy learning about the way koji and yeast is used to make sake, so this disappointed me. But I can see how this would keep non-micro-nerds invested in the characters.
*Fun fact: The national mold of Japan is Aspergillus oryzae, or Koji mold, used in making miso, soy sauce, sake, shochu, rice vinegar, and many other foods important to Japanese culture. Ha.