There are more than enough anime-series with high-school antics. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about university-antics series. I could be mistaken, but 2007 only featured two of them: Nodame Cantabile, which aired earlier this year, and Moyashimon. Incidentally, both were noitaminA-series. Basically, Moyashimon takes place on an agricultural university. The selling-point is the strange ability of the main character, though: the ability to see bacteria, depicted as cute stuffed-toy-like creatures.
The great thing is that Moyashimon would have been an excellent series, even without the germs. It’s got enough material to remain fresh for eleven episodes, and some of the best jokes of the series don’t involve any germs at all. The major good point for this series is the script: the dialogue has been cleverly written to not only teach a few things about germs, but also showcase some hilarious situations in which the characters end up in. If it wasn’t for Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, I’d label Moyashimon as the most eccentric series of the year, but unlike with Labyrinth, I mean this in a good way.
As this series takes place in college, it also means that the characters are refreshingly different from the high-school-kids, and they’ve all gone out of their puberty. The result is that the series doesn’t seem to care about stereotypes beyond the main character, and all but him are immediately fresh and different from usual. I especially liked the antics of the two upperclassmen that Sawaki, the main character, befriends. There’s a bit too much useless fanservice here and there, but that’s just a very minor problem.
The major problem with this series is that it could have been more. Some scenes drag on a bit too much, and it really feels like the cartoony germs had much more potential than what they showed in the series. The final episodes are also not something to look forward to, as they suddenly introduce a dramatic element that gets nowhere, resolves nothing and has a rather bad conclusion. The scriptwriters of this series are really talented, and I wish they’d have more opportunities to show it.
Still, what they do manage to show here is excellent. Moyashimon is a short, well-scripted and imaginative comedy about campus-life at an agricultural college, with perhaps a few humps and bumps along the way. It’s a shame that there doesn’t seem to be a noitaminA-show scheduled for the Winter-Season, because this timeslot always offers refreshingly different and yet excellent series.