Mushishi holds a really special place in my heart. Back in November 2005, when I started up this blog, Mushishi was one of the first shows I picked up to cover weekly. At first I didn’t think much behind it: it just looked interesting and I wanted to cover it, but as it went on I started to enjoy it more and more. But even then it took me a long time, even after the series had finished, to realize what a special series it was, and that we’d never get anything like it again.
Many series tried, but none got as many things right as this show did. That’s something I definitely realized after I watched this OVA, and how we’re in for something really, really special here. I mean, my big fear was that they’d compromise, and that the second season would feel underwhelming. But amazingly, this OVA kept everything that made Mushishi to be one of my favourite shows out there.
And I know that usually, I’m not one of those people who lauds shows who do just the same in their sequels, but Mushishi is one of those series that is the exception to the rule. It knew exactly what it should keep doing, and yet this OVA contained a new story that adds to the Mushishi universe, and that story was amazing. You can see some CG here, but the creators kept it within limits and bounds.
Apart from that, the soundtrack is just amazing as usual. The voice acting is still brilliant and subdued, the atmosphere is still there. It still has the single best ED ever created for an anime, It still knows how to tell a perfect short story. I mean, really. This will be big. If the TV-series is like this then it’s got the potential to be the best series in years. But no, expectations should not be too large. Something’s going to mess up. Something will go wrong.
I mean, seriously. I don’t know whether it’s because of heightened emotions of finally seeing one of my absolute favorites again, but I still cannot believe how much I enjoyed this episode. I actually got teary-eyed from watching it and it made it seem so easy. I mean hell, this is EVERYTHING I’m looking for in an anime. The story wasn’t necessarily incredibly complex or so, but it was told perfectly. The focus was on bringing all of the different characters to life, and the creators really succeeded in showing that this really is about ordinary people living their lives. It’s incredibly relatable as it dealt with simple, but relatable problems.
Now for those who are wondering: Mushishi is a collection of standalone stories. In order to understand everything about this episode, all you need to have watched are episodes 1 and 20 from season one. That’s nothing, especially because these episodes are awesome to watch anyway.