Original Run: July 21, 2021 - September 22, 2021 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Comedy, Fanasy, Isekai Based on the Sereis Created By: Kei Azumi
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy-. Reader discretion is advised.***
Makoto Misumi (voiced by Natsuki Hanae) thought he was just an average person. Then, everything changes when a goddess calls in the promise Makoto’s parents made many years ago. For you see, Makoto’s mother and father came from a parallel world, and to get to Japan, they had to offer up the thing they loved most.
Accepting his fate, Makoto is excited to begin his isekai adventure. However, the goddess who summoned him thinks he is unworthy of her world. She banishes Makoto to the edge of the earth.
Despite this, Makoto realizes that his parentage has granted him immense power. So, to spite the goddess, he decides to use his strength to forge a life for himself.
But things go south almost immediately.
Soon Makoto picks up two powerful subordinates, the invincible dragon Tomoe and the dark spider Mio (voices respectively by Ayane Sakura and Akari Kitou). Together this trio becomes living legends, and no matter where they go, they always leave an impression.
Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy- (Tsukimichi) was an isekai; this show was blatantly open about that fact. It was so open that we can almost consider this series to be a parody of the genre. Except, I use the word “almost” because Tsukimichi was far too grounded and narrative-driven to be such a thing.
This show was a legitimate attempt at telling a full-fledge isekai anime, albeit a silly one whenever possible. Therefore, you can expect many of the same plot devices, story beats, and overpowered-ness seen in other like-minded series.
While it may sound as though I am setting this review to be dismissive towards Tsukimichi, let me assure you, that is not the case. On the contrary, this series built itself a fun, enjoyably goofy, and immensely satisfying personality. Without question, this is a show I want to see more of, and as of this post going live (November 2021), it would seem as if a season two is in the works.
To understand what sort of series Tsukimichi is, you need to consider it as an amalgamation of several other isekai anime. This show is a combination of:
- Overlord’s level of untouchably powerful main characters
- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’s state-building
- KonoSuba’s absurd-style of off-the-wall humor
Also, throw in the occasional sprinkling of Re: Zero’s darkness, and boom, you’ve got Tsukimichi.
But even with so many elements from multiple shows, Tsukimichi was its own thing. Its core story was unique enough that this series didn’t simply retread familiar ground. To use an analogy, if you go hiking through enough forests, eventually everything begins to look the same at first glance. However, once you dive a little deeper, you’ll see a charm not found anywhere else.
Now, I won’t lie; there were times during Tsukimichi when the story could get quite slow; I mean, you can make opening a shop only so interesting. But even during these less energetic moments, this show found ways to keep your attention. And the strongest tool – or, rather, tools – used in this regard were the series’ three main characters, Makoto Misumi, Tomoe, and Mio.
This trio was immensely entertaining. They were this wonderful combination of unity and disfunction. Whenever there was a fight or someone looking to start one, Makoto, Tomoe, and Mio were unbeatable. It was particularly gratifying when some bigheaded adventurer thought they were hot stuff and arrogantly bad-mouthed the party.
Tsukimichi did humbling extremely well.
And yet, Makoto, Tomoe, and Mio were always going after one another. Okay, sure, Makoto was often in salvage mode whenever Tomoe and Mio got out of hand, usually when they were fighting over who was stronger and more deserving of Makoto’s attention. But there was enough back-and-forth between each of them.
Additionally, it was never not amusing when even in the face of an imminent attack, neither Tomoe nor Mio, in a jealousy-fueled rage, could not – or would not – control their bloodlust.
When we get right to the heart of the matter, Tsukimichi was a joy to watch. Most of the time, the series was nothing but full-throttle shenanigans. Still, when it needed to, the story could turn real serious real quick.
Granted, this show struggled to do the same in the opposite direction. Although Tsukimichi had no trouble triggering somber moments, getting back into the comedy was always a bit jarring.
Nevertheless, I cannot wait to see where this series will go. Tsukimichi may not have knocked things out of the park, but it was a solid example of how to do an isekai anime well.
I have seen bad isekai anime. Tsukimichi wasn’t anywhere close to that. Except, I have also seen outstanding isekai anime, and the same sentiment is true.
It is a good thing this series relied more on humor than tension. Of course, when I use the word “tension,” I mean it in the sense of worrying about the characters’ safety. That was never in question. There was never a scenario where I thought one of the members of the trio would lose.
This is the bane of the isekai genre. Whenever a story gives its protagonist ultimate power, it makes it hard for anyone to fail. To get around this, shows like Tsukimichi tend to rely on overall spectacle.
Having everything be as flashy as possible can work, and it did work here. That wasn’t the problem. No, the biggest issue – or more accurately – the biggest potential issue for Tsukimichi was when it tried its hand at being serious.
There was a tinge of cold-bloodedness in this series that always felt off whenever it came up. It never felt right when there was straight-up murder in this story.
To give you an example, near the end of this series – I won’t say when exactly to avoid spoilers – there was a scene that did not fit. It was disturbingly out of place. Although it was a key development point for a certain character, this show did a poor job preparing us for it.
Such unfeeling brutality isn’t unheard of in isekai. But seeing it happen in Tsukimichi so late in the game was a shock. It makes me wonder what direction season two might go in.
All and all, this show hit the right notes.
This series was funny, wonderfully entertaining, exciting, and, most importantly, satisfying – a nice accomplishment given the over-saturation of the isekai genre. I’m confident most will get a lot out of this one, and I can’t wait to see how it continues.
Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy has earned itself a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Tsukimichi -Moonlit Fantasy-? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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