|Original Manga||Yuki Urushibara|
|Format||Anime (TV), Manga|
|# of Episodes|| 26 (original) |
20 (Next Passage)
Sum it up in a Sentence
Exterminator (of kinda-sorta-but-not-really bugs called Mushi) wandering around in feudal japan.
Mushi. They are neither plant nor animal, but instead a primordial existence that is perhaps the closest to "life." Most people are unaware of their presense, and only a select few can even see them. Yet Mushi affect human lives on a daily basis, and sometimes in a very harmful way. To help people cope with Mushi, Ginko wanders helping people's problems with Mushi. He, and others in this profession, are called Mushishi.
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Also relaxing, mysterious, and melancholic:
It's a bit hard to quantify what makes Mushishi so good. There isn't any real action of sorts, nor is there an ongoing plot or storyline. The show is 100% about Ginko's daily interactions with different people and different Mushi, and every episode is self-contained. A few characters reappear from time to time, but it would be easy to watch the show out of order and not lose anything. I suppose, in the end, it's the presentation. Mushishi is a simple show that works off of creating atmosphere and setting; every story Ginko encounters is new and interesting, and simply observing it feels like a privilege. It somehow is able to turn the viewer back into children playing with insects; it instills that sense of wonder into you. This may be fictional nature, but somehow it still feels like some weird animal planet special and by god it works. Ginko is, without really doing anything much at all, a total badass for no real explicable reason. He, like the show, simply gives off an atmosphere of melancholic, relaxing bliss. In the end, it is an anime that is able to escape the trappings of so many others. It is serious without being overdramatic; an adventure into nature itself and all of the mysteries that life can present. And, on a side note I suppose, the show is also blessed with some of the most stunning animation and music pieces you'll hear. Both perfectly suited for what the show was going for.
Mushishi is without a doubt one of my most beloved anime series. The artwork in this series is the best anime has to offer in my own opinion, the background seem to be drawn with meticulous care to all the details. The choice of colours, a green too green to be a prevalent shade of the real world contributes to the series sense of otherworldly as each story unwraps with it's own presentation of the facts. The attention to the individual storyline is the most amazing aspect of this series with every episode being it's own contained story which is fully explained and unravelled in it's timeslot. Recently there has been a live action movie released when I am eager to see based upon the initial adaption to the anime screen.
I love Mushishi. It's like House M.D. crossed with a paranormal Miyazaki flick. Maybe. Maybe what I just said was stupid. But Ginko's got House's mysterious charisma and he can fix any spirit-related medical condition in an episode, and I'm clamoring for whatever little piece of his past I can get. He's also just an amazingly developed character. I watched Mushishi only once, a year ago, but I can easily recall his voice and his way of talking.
The anime only covered 5 volumes of the manga, which is still ongoing at 8. I must check that out, but what I really want is a second season, because I can't see how the manga could hold up without the perfect music and art direction that the anime provides. Nothing can match Mushishi when it comes to that profound melancholia.
But... my god, don't even think about watching the live action movie. It's the worst thing I've ever seen.
A strange yet deeply compelling blend of the serene and the surreal. This series has an excellent command of imagery, music, and atmosphere, and you should watch it.
Official Mushishi TV Website (Japanese)