Posted by psgels on 15 October 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mushishi


Mushishi is one of those rare series you can only run into once in a long while. it consists out of 26 episodes, and each of these episodes tells a story about ordinary people, living in the quiet areas of medieval Japan and their encounters with the creatures called Mushi. Only a select few can see them, they’re living beings, just like any other animal or plant, though at times, their lifestyles clash with humans, making them sick, or giving them strange abilities.

The story centres around a Mushishi: Ginko. A Mushishi is an expert about Mushi. He knows a lot about them, and how to cure people who are bothered by the Mushi. The message of this anime is that everyone, both humans and Mushi, isn’t really evil. They’re only trying to live their daily lives.

I am happy to say that each and every one of the stories, told in Mushishi turned out to be simply awesome. It’s just one huge chunk of non-stop atmosphere. Each episode takes its time to tell its unique story. The beauty of this is that not every one of the cases can be solved. At times, people are fated to die, or people have to live with a horrible burden for the rest of their lives. At other times, however, only after years and years the problem can be solved.

Another great aspect of Mushishi is that at times, it likes to make time leaps of a number of years, in order to show how characters gradually evolve, along with their problems and issues. Almost each of the stories told in the 26 episodes left me with such a satisfied feeling. And especially the better stories were just one big adventure.

The creators made an excellent use of the music and background tunes in this anime. While standalone, they’re not really special, but when they’re added in stories with such a huge atmosphere, the two only strengthen each other. The character art style used is unique, and really fits, and not to mention that the background art of each of the different landscapes presented is just absolutely gorgeous.

This anime doesn’t have a lot of bad points. Some of the episodes around the end of the anime were not as good as usual, though the final episode is one of the best again. And there are indeed more episodes which are better than others. Still, overall, this is an amazing anime. Definitely worth to be recommended.

13 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Mushishi is possibly my all-time fansub favourite! Every episode is different but all meet an incredible standard, both in the lush visuals and powerful storylines. At times it’s a supernatural fanstasy, at others a portrayal of very real human nature; either way I can’t recall a single instalment being disappointing.

    Sadly there wasn’t the opportunity to catch the last ep but it looks like Funimation have their eye on the licence. A DVD release of this awesome series can’t come soon enough! Good to see it’s made such an impression on the fan ommunity – not many series deserve the hype they get but this one certainly does.

  2. karitaru says:

    I am sorry to say that I watched 9 episodes of Mushishi and still can’t find anything good about it. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that this is one of my worst anime ever.
    I don’t look for blood and fights, yet I look for good ideas, which I couldn’t find here.
    Sorry if this offend anyone, but it is better than not saying the truth.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Heh, it’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. You should see my rants on the different harems which appeared when the fall-season started. ^^;

    Still, you’re the first one I read about and who hated the show.

  4. Konrad says:

    I’ve just started on the series, and have only been able to see two episodes, thanks to Gaiaonline’s Cinemas. Uhh, but I definately look forward to getting the DVDs. I’m very pleased with this series thus far.

  5. Archer says:

    this is one review i totally agree with you,it is one of my top 5 favorite anime,but i don’t think this is for everyone since there is no action,but for me who prefers story over anything else,and mystery this anime is perfect.i heard that some people don’t like Ginko that much they find him boring but i think that he is a great main character we see that he really has feelings,that he is not almighty,he cannot save everybody but he tries and i think that his behavior is kind of realistic
    the music also makes this anime so good but i liked the animation,the art a lot better it was just wonderful
    in the end i think some of my favorite episodes were episodes 5,14,17,21 to be honest i lived all the episodes
    indeed to bad that anime like this are so rare but if they would not be they would not be this amazing and enjoyable

  6. Z.A. says:

    psgels Im new to ur blog site and i watched this anime cause I saw ur review on it and u gave it such a high mark. i never heard of it before. i decided to watch a few eps, and was waiting for some huge crisis with action sequences to happen.
    by the time i reached ep 10 i realized i was waiting in vain – nothing huge was suppose to happen, except for the fact that i was experiencing storytelling on another level (which can be considered huge).
    i immediately understood why u were saying this is a rare masterpiece – , but i still had doubts.
    all my doubts disappeared by the time i reached ep 26, and i started to feel exactly the same way u did – and i realized i dont want this anime to end either! the storytelling of each of the episodes of the anime is on another level which i havent experienced before. the FULL 20 min of each ep has been masterminded to tell you the intro, problem, solution, result, ending, aftermath.
    the last time i saw an anime with ‘per episode technique’ was GITS season 1 and 2 long time ago and i considerd it to be a landmark anime in terms of storytelling, but now im not sure after watching mushishi. i know gits is different genre but im referring to storytelling.

  7. KaminaLives says:

    Thanks for recommending Mushishi. What a wonderfully imaginative series and the way each episode approaches its subject matter is great. Very philosophical in a live and let live kinda way.

    My favorite eps have to be 12 (Ginko’s origin and first Mushishi teacher) and 20 (where they introduce Tayuu, Ginko’s other half). Another fave is the one involving the teleporting cocoons and the twin sisters (I had been wondering how Ginko and the Mushishis managed to stay in touch and got wind of news in villages so fast, this explains it).

    I just love the slow, deliberate pacing of each story and how it took the time to unfold in telling the plight of the characters, human and mushi alike. Sure there was no grand overarching story, but the episodic nature of the show works because that’s how life usually works, taking things day by day, and then showing the consequences (and every action has ’em in this series) months or years later.

    If there’s one gripe I have with the show is that they didn’t reveal nearly enough about Ginko’s past (just enough to get a basic picture of how he feels and thinks). The man still remains a bit of a mystery, which I do believe helps sell the series too (it certainly kept me watching). And Tayuu; I so wanted to see her in another episode since her character was so awesome in #20. Plus she and Ginko really are great together; her noble tragedy and inner strength complements Ginko’s somewhat more worldly and cynical nature quite nicely.

    I had also wondered why Ginko seems to be wearing thoughout the series what looks like Western-style clothes (collared shirt, a trenchcoat, boots or shoes, and pants) instead of the kimonos and sandals that every other character seems to wear. There must have been a reason; I just found that part about his character odd. The time frame of the show left me guessing too; I don’t think it was medieval (given Ginko’s clothes and his use of scientific devices like a microscope and glass slides), probably more toward the Meiji era or a little earlier than that.

    The last ep basically left me hanging and wanting more. I managed to find the live action movie of Mushishi and it seems to retell certain episodes in the anime (including #20, heh), so I’m hoping that’ll hold me over until I marathon the next series that grabs my interest. Again, Mushishi isn’t for everyone, but if you love the slice of life approach to storytelling and deep philosophy of man vs. nature, this series is one of the best.

  8. kokutou says:

    This anime was incredible. Of all the shows I’ve seen, this has to be in my top 3, maybe even my favourite. Although some were better than others, this show was incredible in the way it continued to produce, one episode after another. There was little that tied them together, other than our main character, Ginko, and yet each story felt so fulfilling. As a whole, this show really shines out the rest of them and was always able to leave me not only satisfied, but craving more of that heartfelt goodness. Simply the best storytelling I’ve ever seen.

    Plus, as mentioned earlier, the transition from episode to credits was the best I’ve seen. Might not have been the best music ever but it always fit the mood.

  9. Allibaba says:

    Some people just don’t like these kind of show, episodic and the characters come and go so fast. If you’re, like me, the kind of person who can’t really enjoy shows where they don’t really give a crap about the characters or grow attached to them and their development, then these show may seem pretty dull.

  10. mike says:

    I hooked from the first episode of this anime and I also didn’t want this anime to end – well actually I’d have liked it to end by about episode six, but I never give up on an anime once I’ve started so kept watching desperately looking for any form of plot or character development.
    By the end I was tearing my hair out and becoming more and more irritated by the trite homilies and two dimensional characters that were regurgitated each episode…

  11. eve says:

    Hi,
    I love this anime. The ideas of the mushi beings, the artist’s style, the world… its soothing somehow… I am no pro in the area of anime or the comics etc – just know what I like.

    Does anyone know if there is anything like this in any mythology?

    Thanks

  12. marktheknife says:

    The mushi are influenced by Shinto ideas. That’s all I got.

    Other than that, I just want to make a note to remind everyone of the manga as well…the anime makes it up through the first story of volume 6, leaving about 4 more volumes of material! I’m planning on reading them when I get the chance.

  13. Vanichu says:

    Man, I wish there were more Mushishi episodes!

    I only watched it because you gave it a high rating and I’m glad I liked it as much as you did as well.
    It kind of reminds me of Natsume Yuujinchou, but in a different direction/way.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 09:02 AM)
    @Bam: sounds good to me really. The more the merrier. Let see if Mr. Aidan is alright with that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:57 AM)
    Not really necessary to make an account or give me the WordPress pass. I’ll just email the review to Mario or Aidan.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:55 AM)
    I’m willing to cover Berserk if nobody else is up for it.
  • afgm
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 08:35 AM)
    nobody’s reviewing Berserk? A SIN!!
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 07:17 AM)
    @Bam Read the Mob Psycho entry.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 06:27 AM)
    Where’s Berserk 04 review btw?
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:18 AM)
    I noticed something off about the animation and the dialogue was pretty piss poor at times but the latters kind of a given in these things and the prior was never distracting enough to take me out of the movie. I’m indifferent really to the Batgirl drama, don’t mind that its there, don’t care if it wasn’t.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Mob Psycho 100 – 02/03

This may be a surprise to some so I better start this with an explanation. As you know I originally planned to cover Berserk this season and have put up reviews of the last two episodes. However due to Berserks rather disappointing quality, my desire to cover it has vanished. I doubt anyone wants to […]

orange 04c

orange – 04

Orange takes it very slowly this week, even slower than its standard. Indeed, we can summarize the plot of the first 15 minutes just by one sentence: After Kakeru dating with another girl, Naho feels brokenhearted and avoids Kakeru like a plague. Which actually makes sense. After all, the guy already had a girlfriend so […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 03d

Thunderbolt Fantasy – 03

With this episode we basically get an idea where the show will head for the rest of the series and I pretty much enjoy the direction they taking so far. Of course it makes sense that in order to get past those obstacles, the band needs to ally with others who are most suitable for […]

Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! - 03 2

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 03

Plenty of action this week as we have faceoffs between Beatrice and Illya with Gil and Angelica firing legendary weapons back and forth. I wish there was a bit more fight animation here as while it was the same in the manga, it’s still a shame to have the scene cut away just when the […]

91 Days - 03 4

91 Days – 03

Seeing as things didn’t quite go to plan for Avilio last episode, it’s now time for him to prove his innocence to Nero. Avilio is playing his cards right and things would have gone to plan if it wasn’t for the man who lead them to Fango before. He states out of curiosity that he […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 17 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 17

While I did enjoy this episode and think that some interesting things have been brought up, I must admit that even my patience is starting to run out. I blame this mostly on the fact that I am watching this weekly instead of binge watching it all as the progression in these episodes has slowed […]

EVA 01b

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 01

Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the EVA franchise, and it’s not normal since EVA is a must for any anime viewer. I don’t really know the reason why I keep myself from watching it, maybe both because mecha is not my favorite genre, and the hype of EVA is just overwhelming that […]

Berserk - 03 2

Berserk(2016) – 03

Forgive me for the delay on this particular post but I must admit that in light of Berserks quality my interest in covering it has somewhat declined. I know that for every episode to come I will have to dance around the elephant in the room but this series isn’t making that easy for me. […]

Orange 03d

Orange – 03

So this week we finally encounter a love rival. Of course with a romance drama show like Orange there had to be someone who would stand on their way right? Except there’s not much of a rival really since Naho never stands a chance against the new girl Ueda. As she learns hard and clear […]

Latest Reviews

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]

Untitled-1

Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]

My Life as a Courgette a

My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

It’s never easy to make a good family’s animation. For movies aim at adults, the filmmakers can easily get themselves loose, go crazy and the audience can still get it. But for kids, these movies might be one of the first movies they’ve ever seen and that’s a huge responsibility. They have to aware of […]

Red Turtle a

The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12a

Bungou Stray Dogs Review – 62/100

Well, we don’t usually give a review on the first cour of anime show, given the fact that the second part will air next autumn season. But since I’m not certain I would cover its second half, plus I don’t think this series will improve itself, I might as well give Bungou Stray Dogs a […]

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]