** Warning: Possible spoilers? Honestly, I wouldn’t say there is some, but maybe I overlooked it. Well, warning’s here anyway. **
Well, this post is very long overdue. I had a hard time finding where to slot it during the Halloween season. In the end, I just chose to wait. But, we’re finally going to discuss Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu, or TSUKIMICHI -Moonlit Fantasy-, a series I had been anticipating all year.
Quick synopsis for those who don’t know what it’s about. The series follows Makoto, who, with the blessing of the god Tsukoyomi, is transported to another world to fight against the demons. However, the goddess who summoned him thinks he’s ugly, so she banishes him to the far reaches of the world, believing he’s more fit to be amongst the other ugly creatures than with her beloved, beautiful humans (stylized, “hyuman”). In the Wastelands, he befriends numerous non-humans, as well as learning just how ludicrously powerful he is. Not wanting anything to do with the Goddess or her war with the demons, he tries to live a peaceful life as a merchant. As you might expect, though, trouble always seems to find him.
This series is a well-done “power fantasy”, following an overly powerful protagonist. Saitama from One Punch Man is probably one of the best known examples at the moment (if you don’t know who Saitama is, go watch One Punch Man! It’s great). TSUKIMICHI, unlike with Saitama, downplays it. How exactly? Let’s get into it.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know how important pacing is to me, so let’s get it out of the way now. This anime (and the series in general, if you’ve read it) has a measured pace. While the anime might feel a bit slow at times, it’s actually sticking to a similar pace as the written works. Events in the series don’t feel rushed, which is a huge plus for me. Only downside for me was I wished I binged it rather than watching it as it released, as some episodes feel like they’re just build up.
Now, for the story. I really like the downplayed approach to power fantasy. There’s something enjoyable about knowing some characters are underestimating him, though it can be frustrating sometimes! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻. But he feels so normal that it’s almost relatable.
It’s his casual approach to situations that drives many of the interactions and events in the series. Makoto’s not looking to show off or use his power, and so he’s usually pretty reserved. But, let me just say how amazing it feels when he gets serious. It’s SO satisfying to see him flex a bit after him sitting back quietly while leaving most of the work to Tomoe and Mio. Speaking of them…
The cast in this series is awesome. Makoto, as I had said, is a pretty relatable person. Coming from a largely peaceful world, brutality isn’t something he’s used to. I’d like to think most of us would approach his situation in the same way he has.
Tomoe and Mio make for excellent leading side characters. Tomoe and her obsession with period dramas from Makoto’s memories, and Mio’s… strange tastes… and insatiable hunger are unique, and their complete and kind of excessive loyalty to him is funny, but the fact that they acknowledge his immense strength may be the biggest part of their characters. With most of the rest of the world not being aware of just how strong he is, it’s great (and arguably necessary) to have characters who know and can preach it to others. I find it frustrating when a character’s strength is a secret to literally everyone.
The rest of the cast fits similarly. Shiki, who we haven’t gotten to see much yet due to the span the anime focuses on, is the most grounded of his direct servants (Tomoe and Mio can be a bit… umm… insane?) and does end up serving Makoto well in events after the end of the first season. Ema has the most generic “kind girl” personality, despite being an orc. Overall, the characters are unique and likable.
The animation quality is above average, for sure. While the normal interactions are pretty standard, I really liked the battles. They did a good job of incorporating dazzling artwork with a clear display of power. You KNOW how much power is in each attack just by look. The way they display some of the subtle details of the characters’ emotions and thoughts is good too, beyond the typical sweat drop.
The music was top-notch. While I wasn’t a fan of the opening song initially, it grew on me after an episode or two, and really does fit the stark contrast between his personality and the world he’s thrust into. But the battle music. Let me tell you, epic as fuck, perfectly suiting the sheer power he demonstrates every time he gets serious.
I really liked the voice acting too. Each character sounds how I expected and hoped, and their performance is great. The delivery is also great, and makes the comedic moments really land. Really completes the overall solid production.
Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu will be in my top three anime for this year, no question. Everything I liked about the manga was here, and it was a good adaptation. Only potential issues for me was my inability to just marathon the series (though that’s on me), and a bit of rush at the end. I’m pretty sure there’s a bit more development before the events of the last episode, but I forgive them this time, as you NEEDED to see that last fight this season. Also, Makoto, please give in to Tomoe and Mio’s advances. You know you, and the viewers, want it.
If you’re looking for some excellent power fantasy anime, and really like the isekai genre, this should be the first series you watch. Now, while I eagerly await season 2 (SO PUMPED), I need to keep an eye out for a blu-ray release, as this is definitely a series I want in my collection as soon as possible. Probably some figures too…
Well, there you go. Let me know down in the comments who your favorite character is. I think I’ll put my vote in for Mio (I’m a sucker for Japanese beauties in kimonos…). See you in the next post!