Moyashimon: the curriculum of enjoyment

As much as the contrary suggests otherwise, I major in Biology. As I have written countless times before, however, I am discontented with it, but since I graduate in little more than a year (as well as slacked considerably the year before as an act of revolt against my parents), I look forward to the future. (To make a long story short, I never wanted to be in Biology. I preferred Literature or English much more; things happen, however, and here I am.)

moyashimon's microbes
From Aspergillus to Saccharomyces, these are Moyashimon’s microbes

Despite stigmatizing Biology, however, I know and am fully aware of the roles it play in our society: I am not blind to its importance. Persistent and careful study within this field has greatly contributed to the general improvement of man’s quality of life. I am certain that everyone knows this; I do not need to like this subject, however. I feel constrained with the study of this course: I very much prefer writing more (I guess more than 200 blog-posts can attest to this). Writing is limited only by the laws of English; even so, this limit is not even imposed on everyone: if one can communicate even without following these laws, he is free to do so. In addition, I would argue that writing is much more creative and liberal than being merely locked onto a microscope, cutting up carcasses, or vivisecting cow pies. I digress, however.

What I set out to establish in the previous paragraphs was that despite being a student of Biology I abhorred the tedium and ennui that pervaded me primarily because of the limits that were imposed by its laws. It was, thus, not only a breath but a tank full of fresh air inhaled when I discovered Moyashimon. For the entirety of my college life I have had Biology subjects (and will still have them in my remaining year): watching microbes gambol around and smile made me beam brightly because of the imagery’s absurdity and cuteness.

moyashimon's figures
If only they were sold here …

It was a classic case of defamiliarization: I had been used to looking at faceless rods, spheres and voids that I was taken unawares by the uniqueness of the series and its imagery. Some microbes moved, that was certain; in this series, however, they were almost human: they smiled and talked! It was an astonishment that was all the more shocking because studying bacteria was also part of my majors.

Moyashimon‘s pedagogical value

After viewing the first episode with gusto and a smile tacked on my face, my very first thought was that biology (microbiology, to be more exact) would have been a lot more exciting and enjoyable if it were taught like that. I am absolutely certain that Moyashimon would invite a lot of children to be interested in the world of microbiology.

This was not my only impression, however. I also thought how effective it was for pedagogical purposes. Of course, after the viewing the matter is to be elucidated and explicated upon, but I am sure that both the transmission and translation of information will be easier with regard to a challenging subject like microbiology. This is primarily because lingual translation will be bypassed. No longer does one have to read and then internalize the word to translate the information in order to comprehend the subject matter; the animation itself will be representative of the relevant information itself, bypassing the usage of words in reading because the words will be already interpreted by the sense of hearing instead of vision. This would lessen the load on the sense of sight, and facilitate learning immensely. Of course, these are merely hypotheses.

The music of Moyashimon

I believe this is where bias comes in. I cannot discuss the tastes of other people, so allow me to comment on the values of the OP and ED songs. I shall start with the ED because I do not have much to say about it. I appreciate the quirkiness and the fast-paced nature of the ED: it really fits the fun that could be found in the series.

I absolutely adored the OP, however. Not only was the music exactly apt for the series (upbeat and lively, but more subdued than the ED), the accompanying animation was also more pleasant to the eyes (for me, that is). In addition to that, the lyrics really struck me. I understand very little Japanese, but from what has been subbed and from context clues, it really reflected the me of yesteryear: I only studied when there was an absolute need to; I enjoyed myself to the detriment of my studies; I slept soundly and well; I had a devil-may-care attitude that even now, I do not regret. I must say that life was much more colorful for me at that time, but I am also aware that I have a responsibility to find a job in the near future, thus, I must salvage of what is left of my university years.

moyashimon's OP
How can you not like the OP?

I was happy, however, and only that mattered to me at that time, because in the end, life is the final exam, and its curriculum is enjoyment. One cannot have lived if he did not enjoy life to some degree: otherwise, it would have been a death. The message of her song is so apt, especially with the lot of Japanese people today trapped in the structuring of their society. A lot sleep very little just to obtain excellent grades that they have forgotten what life is all about: living. I admire Sarasa Ifu’s song because it acts as a wake-up call to a lot of people in Japan: she calls upon them to ‘let mistakes be mistakes,’ and in general simply enjoy the vicissitudes of life.

As a singer, also, she is not lacking in looks.

Sarasa Ifu
How can you not like the singer? πŸ˜€


I am not submitting this as an essay, but I found the use of headings a good practice to organize a post like this. (Besides, I am not fond of mincing words like some.) Moyashimon is an enjoyable series at the very least, and to me who is involved with its subject matter heavily, viewing it is such a relief. Its music is also apt and beautiful. This is among the best of 2007; microbes or not, this show is awesome.

19 Responses to “Moyashimon: the curriculum of enjoyment”

  1. Ryan A Says:

    As a singer, also, she is not lacking in looks.
    This is among the best of 2007

    2X Agreed!

    The OP tune reminds me of the H+C tune. Lively bacteria are fun ^^

  2. tj han Says:

    Hehe, after the first 3 episodes, Moyashimon has no more bacteria but transforms into something like Honey and Clover.

  3. westbluef Says:

    I second the OP…
    (one of the best ones that I heard this year)
    and as for Moyashimon,
    Kiviak anyone?

  4. korosora Says:

    I want a plushie. Mmmm plushie.

  5. TheBigN Says:

    tj han: I disagree. There’s still a mention of microbes here and there, but they do take a backseat to Sawaki and co.

  6. westbluef Says:

    I would say that the focus on the bacteria is in microbe theater and they really do take the back seat in the show itself.

    On a side note:
    @Michael: I didn’t know you were on Asuki…

  7. Michael Says:


    Yes. πŸ˜€


    I await this development.


    I am on ASuki; I just don’t post there as often anymore because my life has become busier, lol.

    Kiviak? :[




    Well, if another H&C is brewing – then, KAMUSUZO~~

  8. Kljigen Says:

    How can you not like the singer?

    I don’t like her. The end.

  9. 0rion Says:

    “…it acts as a wake-up call to a lot of people in Japan: she calls upon them to Γ’β‚¬Λœlet mistakes be mistakes,Ò€ℒ and in general simply enjoy the vicissitudes of life.”

    Wow interesting, I guess I never really thought about the message of the song (I was too entranced by the dancing microbes). >_>

    The more I think about it, that’s kind of an undercurrent theme for the entire show – taking something that’s normally tedious, stuffy, and boring and injecting almost embarrassing amounts of fun and whimsy into it.

    Great post!

    P.S. – Sarasa Ifu is awesome. ^^

  10. Bons Says:

    I agree with nearly everything except for the music, not because I don’t agree, but because I don’t really pay attention to the lyrics or anything. In general I found that the music in Moyashimon has been used to accentuate something to make it more amusing, like every time the situation becomes “serious,” super-serious music will be played, even though you know it’s a funny and cute show. Anyway, that’s all I have to say. I enjoyed your review a lot.

  11. usagijen Says:

    I’m looking forward to the day Moyashimon become a JDorama =3

    I was tempted to buy the Oryzae-tan plushie online… it’s quite expensive (especially in our standards), but I would’ve bought it, if not for the additional shipping charges =___=

    Who knows, if Animax or Hero shows it here, we might soon see it being sold in the local stores, imitation or not πŸ˜›

  12. Michael Says:




    Yeah, the whole show is a defamiliarization with many things and ideas. Thanks.

    Yes, she is.


    Thanks for reading the review. πŸ™‚


    LOL. Will that ever happen?

    I want to buy it too, but … see, I don’t have as much money as you, and yes, it is REALLY expensive. I’m going to buy myself an imitation. :p

  13. clarisse Says:

    out of completely nowhere, i am here posting to say hi and kudos for being a h&c fanBOY. you are a rare breed, friend. also, you a filipino, as am i, so i am even happier at your existence.
    for the record, i stalked you from ASuki. let it be known that i was only there to read the best translation of Waltz, and then started reading the rest of the thread…
    what univ do you go to, if you mind me asking?

  14. Michael Says:


    I go to the Ateneo de Manila University. πŸ™‚

  15. clarisse Says:

    nice. i had a lot of friends at ateneo. most of them were athletes. more kudos to you. LOL. i keed.
    hope you figure the whole doctor-writer dilemma. :]

  16. Michael Says:

    So that means you’re older than me, hahaha. Thanks for the kudos.

    And thanks for the support. πŸ˜€

  17. Ryan A Says:

    I’ll never know what to expect when reading the comments here. ^^

  18. Moe Otaku! Says:

    The OP animation is just astonishing… I absolutely adore it. However, I’ve yet to really take the songs lyrics to heart considering that I’m so overjoyed and amused at the dancing microbes πŸ˜€ I agree that this is by far the best series of 2007… but wait I like ef a tale :X… well it’s definitely one of the best πŸ™‚

    Great piece, hope to read/see more…

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