MICROBE! MICROBE! MICROBE KNEE!
The only reason why Occult Academy was the best anime of the summer is due to the fact that the best anime of the summer wasn’t an anime.
The Moyashimon live action series was totally the best anime of the summer. It just happened to have a bunch of real life humans in it instead of pixels and drawings.
I’ve talked about the bulk of the series already in my previous post, so let’s get down to how the series ends.
Surgeon General’s Warning: If shit coming out of nowhere, over the top action, campy melodrama, and kickboxing goth lolis offend your sensitive constitution, stop reading this post.
The Moyashimon live action series was already decidedly more wacky and frantic than the anime series. Where the anime series’ biggest weird moment came down to a robot that looked like a dude cosplaying someone from 20th Century Boys, the live action series one-upped that with spider robots and UFOs pretty early on in the series. It had also indulged heavily in Hollywood movie like opening sequences, often rifting on the opening credits of action movies and horror movies depending on what was appropriate for that episode.
All of that comes to a head in the finale. Not only does the beginning of the episode undermine all of the “let’s go to France and save Hasegawa” build-up from the past few episodes (She was in Japan all along and they don’t find out until they try to buy tickets at the airport.), but the final episode becomes a classic final episode of a fighting anime series.
Yeah, a fighting anime.
It doesn’t play out like the “Rescue Hasegawa” scene from the anime, where they sneak into a restaurant and lay a massive fermented stink bomb on the joint. That’s fucking tame in comparison. The main characters, along with the entire agricultural school, literally lay siege on the mansion where Hasegawa’s being kept while the preparations for her arranged marriage are made. Football players, cheerleaders, and other students fight with faceless men in black to make a path for the main crew to get into the mansion. Robot spiders return to crush the evil cannon fodder. Dudes surfing on giant CG pillars smash into waves of suited villains. Several of the men in black are killed when they get carpet bombed by incoming aircraft. The damn thing puts to shame most anime series finales, and this is a damn silly live action drama.
But that’s just the beginning. Once the main crew make it into the inner sanctum, they begin to sacrifice themselves one by one so Sawaki can get to Hasegawa. The two girls hold off a wave of men in black at the pool. The two stooges throw themselves into the mix while in a crowded dining room. And Yuki makes the most noble stand of all, pulling out some Muay Thai moves straight out of a Tony Jaa movie to take down some dudes. And with each “sacrifice” we get your trademark “Go on and save her! We’ll be alright!” departing speech.
Note: This is the same silly story about the dude that talks to bacteria. Just wanted to remind you.
And the kicker to all of this is that the series still manages to tug all those heart-strings that the anime did, and if anything it does it better. The Sawaki/Hasegawa relationship gets pushed to the forefront, and while it may be a little sappy at times, they pull it off pretty well. Kinda sad that you have to turn to live action to see a halfway decent anime romance between adults.
Between Occult Academy and Moyashimon, I think the summer season was pretty damn awesome. Way I see it, a season with at least one good series is pretty good. To get two fucking awesome ones in the same three-month span is akin to a godsend.
Thank you, Anime Gods. You have blessed me. Now let’s see if you can one-up this with the so-called awesome fall season that everyone’s harping about. So far the only two series that I’m hyped about are the one about the crossdresser and the jellyfish otaku girl on noitaminA and Iron Man, and I have my doubts as to whether Iron Man’ll be any good. Everything else looks decent at best, but I’m not seeing anything that’ll rock me the way Occult Academy and Moyashimon did this summer or the way Cobra and Tatami Galaxy did earlier in the year. We’ll see how things go.