It’s time for our usual isekai trash review and this time we’re looking at Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy.
I know I come into these reviews a little combative, but I unironically love isekai despite how saturated anime is with it nowadays; so I’m absolutely ecstatic that there’s no shortage of things to watch.
Tsukimichi belongs to a subset of the isekai genre which is centered around revenge. It’s become more common in recent years as titles in the genre try harder and harder to distinguish themselves from one another.
But the great thing about revenge isekai is that in my opinion they’re tuned into what isekai is all about. It’s wish fulfillment in its purest form. The hero imposes his own morality on an untamed fantasy world, what’s not to love? Only this time there’s a target for the hero to express their power on in a more personal way rather than some nebulous demon lord.
We’ve seen this revenge story play out in series that weren’t even founded on revenge fantasies like the Clayman arc in Tensura. But is revenge enough to make an isekai stand out in the current climate?
Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy
Director: Ishihara Shinji
Premiere: July 7, 2021
Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy began as an ongoing novel series in 2012 by creator Azumi Kei. Since then a light novel, manga, and now an anime has followed in its wake.
The show follows Misumi Makoto, a young man who’s sent to another world as per a promise made by his parents. The truth is that his parents were originally from this fantasy world and with the help of their world’s goddess were sent to Earth to live peacefully.
The god of the moon Tsukuyomi is the god from Earth tasked with sending Makoto to the fantasy world; however he warns Makoto that the goddess of the fantasy world is difficult to handle, which he soon learns.
The goddess is immediately displeased with Makoto’s appearance, unbeknownst to him, she’s curated her world to her own preference that all humans are beautiful. To that end, the goddess decides he doesn’t actually want Makoto and dumps him in the far corner of her world to die; giving him the paltry “blessing” of being able to speak with all creatures but other humans.
Tsukuyomi, upon seeing this unfold, saves Makoto’s life and gives him a proper blessing of power. He explains that Earth humans are actually powerful naturally in this world since Earth is magically and physically harsh on humans. Of course this is more than enough to get him started with some cheat stats.
Of course the edge of the world is no place for anyone to live, let alone someone used to modern comforts. Thankfully his otherworldly resilience sees him through and this first creature he encounters is a highland orc maiden. After rescuing the orc, he learns they regularly sacrifice their people to the “Shin”, a powerful dragon.
After learning a bit of magic, Makoto takes it upon himself to face the Shin and save the orcs. The fight is relatively short and makes Makoto’s power clear while also explaining what exactly his gift from Tsukuyomi is.
Tsukuyomi’s blessing creates an area around Makoto that he can influence almost entirely at will without the use of mana. He can heal wounds, hide his presence, and other things that are yet to be explored.
With the Shin defeated, it makes a contract with Makoto which further illustrates how powerful Makoto is as the contract is designated as an “80-20” contract with Makoto as the superior. Once the contract is made, the Shin takes the form of a female samurai.
One of the Shin’s powers is to create a demiplane it can hide in and with Makoto’s influence it’s not become a fertile land. Thus, with fertile and accessible land at their disposal they begin a plan of saving the misfits left behind by this world’s goddess and making a city where everyone can live peacefully.
This show moves quick, I’d warn about spoilers but that’s literally the first episode. So to Makoto is pursuing revenge against the goddess by basically sticking it to her when he can, but as they say “the best revenge is living well”; and the show combines elements of kingdom building like in Tensura and revenge like in Rising of the Shield Hero.
There’s a few things to pick apart about the artwork of Tsukimichi. The first is that it’s incredibly faithful to the manga and the second (I know I mention it all the time but it’s a pet peeve), the lack of 3DCG.
Studio C2C has more than proven themselves capable of handling fantasy backgrounds and flashy shows of magic without overly relying on CG. We’ve seen their work previously in Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina which was visually stunning.
As a more action-oriented series some of that scenic detail is lost but compared to the typical isekai it’s more than enough.
The voicework is fantastic and Hanae Natsuki suits Makoto perfectly with a slightly higher pitch than most male VAs and is largely known for voicing Tanjirou in Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer. The two female leads are performed by Kitou Akari as Mio who’s known for her work in Blend S as Hinata Kaho; and Sakura Ayane who’s previous work includes Ochako Uraraka in My Hero Academia.
Ultimately, Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy adeptly combines the revenge and comfortable life subgenres of Isekai. Fans of the genre will recognize the series as one of the few gems up there with TenSura, while those ambivalent to the recent glut of isekai will find it more entertaining than most.
If you end up watching the show and find yourself wanting more, a second season is already in the works!