Manga Review: Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture vol 1

Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture vol 1
Story and Art by Masayuki Ishikawa
Translated by Stephen Paul
Published by Del Rey , imprint of Random House, Inc.
ISBN10: 0345514726
ISBN13: 9780345514721
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Linda Yau

Imagine always having the ability to see micro-organisms with your naked eye. What would it be like? Would you embrace this ability, shun it, or would you learn to cope with it? That is how Tadayasu Sawaki lives his life. He stopped speaking about this unique ability, but learned to cope with it. Now the story begins with him starting as a freshman at an agricultural college with his friend Kei Yuki, and this is a story of their experiences.

I have been waiting to read this manga, and I am pleased about this book. There are several reasons why I feel this way; one is because of the cute representations of the micro-organisms. There are explanations, foot notes, and parodies about the behaviors of micro-organisms that live in every day life. Second issue is on the explanation of agricultural science. People hear about farming, and agriculture, but for urban cities dwellers, it makes it harder to realize an education or efforts out there are to provide resources for feeding the planet. Third is the theme or message of a possible way to look for alternative sources in producing food.

In this book there is the introduction of Sawaki and Yuki, along with a colorful cast of supporting characters. My favorite scenes were when the Professor was bringing out the smelliest foods, and the reactions of everyone around him. Also outside of volume 1 being a good beginning of this story, I am not sure how the story would turn out in the rest of the chapters. There has already been a hidden agenda revealed by the professor, and how Sawaki would tie into the equation. His skill of being the only person that can see the cute micro organisms can undoubtedly alienate people. What happens if everyone else finds out of his ability?

There are currently eight volumes in Japanese, and with the second English volume of this series being published soon. Moyasimon is a cute story that would please readers of slice of life, and wanting to maybe take a glimpse into a scientific field.