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
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 04:57 AM)
    Space patrol Luluco > kokoro connect > Kiznaiver.
  • mamamoo
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 04:26 AM)
    kokoro connect > kiznaiver
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 12:09 AM)
    Man, and it was already doomed to fail.
    Well 8-bit is adapting it so I am sure it will be crap no matter what happens.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Saturday, Jun 25. 2016 11:03 PM)
    I haven’t played the VN, but a friend told me that they’re going with their own route that isn’t in the VN.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jun 25. 2016 10:46 PM)
    Rewrite adaptation>
    Rewrite adaptation receives 13 episode run only >
    > Show doomed from the start
    >Show will be rushed mess
    >Keyfans screams echoing
    >Laughs maniacally
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Jun 25. 2016 03:38 AM)
    wow, Mayoiga gets spin-off novels: first volume on Lion. Second will be on Koharun’s past. Interesting…
  • mamamoo
    (Saturday, Jun 25. 2016 01:16 AM)
    Also I’m happy Little Witch Academia is finally getting it’s well deserved series too.
  • mamamoo
    (Saturday, Jun 25. 2016 01:14 AM)
    I’m glad I jumped off the kiznaiver ship when I did honestly. I just saw nothing going for it after 4 episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jun 24. 2016 10:56 PM)
    Space patrol Luluco is better than it has any right being. Where Kiznaiver failed, Luluco succeeded. Plus on that last announcement of the next trigger anime…so…much…yes!
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Jun 24. 2016 10:19 AM)
    I’ll freely admit that my bias’s will make me actively just avoid something entirely or have me set with a pre-opinion at times, but at others I’m always willing to give something I’ll probably not like a chance to see if it’ll surprise me.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

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 […]

3

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 10

After the Horobi’s laser light show and having Biba-sama completely dominate the narrative with his super cool looking henchmen, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is back on track although it’s on different rails for here on out. Imprisoned by the Hunters and being caught in the middle of the impending final conflict between the Shogun and Biba, […]

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 […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game – 12

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 12 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 12

This looks to be the weakest episode of Re:Zero to date which does seem to be a trend when it comes to the arcs of the series. When looking over these twelve episodes I have come to find that the weakest episodes of the series are the first episode of an arc which does make […]

Mayoiga 12d

Mayoiga – 12 (end)

Mayoiga pretty much wraps up its story this week and for the series that focus much about anti-climaxes and inconsistency, this ending neatly conclude all of its main loose end. In the final twist of Mayoiga, it turns out that Koharun is God’s daughter (now I understand the inclusion of him in Mayoiga) and all […]

Kiznaiver - 11 3

Kiznaiver – 11

I believe I finally figured out something much like Agata of this episode did. Over the course of watching Kiznaiver something in the back of my mind bugged me about it. It was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but after watching this episode I believe it’s finally hit me. I now know […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 11d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 11

Bungou Stray Dogs strays to another side stories this week, it’s pretty much set up for the second cour, and in that aspect this week is a success one, both gives us a new light to existing characters and makes quite a bit of impression on our new characters. I kind of appreciate how the […]

Joker Game - 11 2

Joker Game – 11

Sometimes I wonder if Joker Game is intentionally trying to kill my sense of disbelief as it really does pull out some mind numbingly dumb things from time to time. Today’s “What!” moment comes right at the start of the episode when a young Yuuki escapes imprisonment by blowing up a live grenade in his […]

Latest Reviews

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 […]

akTwkhF

Stella Glow Game Review-60/100

I really should be getting Grand Kingdom or waiting for Mirage Sessions. My review of Stella Glow is way past relevancy being nearly 8 months late, but I finally completed this and it wouldn’t hurt to briefly wrap up my thoughts about the game created by the now-defunct Imageepoch. I somehow managed to get through Lord of […]

rs33

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Game Review – 87/100

Oh my. This game was just utterly, utterly incredible when it came out, so despite disliking the usual remasters (ahem, Valkyria Chronicles), I was pretty stoked when I learned I’d be able to play this again on better hardware. It came out really late into the PS2’s lifetime in 2007, so at the time, I […]

romance of 3 kingdoms

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 4: Chinese Traditional Animated shows

Welcome to the last part of our Chinese animated guide. This part will cover Chinese traditional art style, for me personally this is the most enjoyable group. The first thing you might notice in these shows are they were in different format ratio, lean more towards the Academy ratio format. I always find their traditional art […]

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]