Posted by psgels on 3 March 2014 with categories: Mushishi

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.

12 Responses

  1. Juno says:

    “But no, expectations should not be too large. Something’s going to mess up. Something will go wrong.”

    I have a feeling that you may be saying this NOT ONLY because there’s precedence for it in anime in general, but so you can love it even more if it DOESN’T mess up. =P

  2. bakanishi says:

    Really enjoyed Mushishi this time around :) speaking of which, a new OVA “Natsume Yuujinchou: Itsuka Yuki no Hi ni” came out recently- did you have time to watch it?

  3. sudachi says:

    Cool! I’ve been meaning to check out Mushishi for a while, so this gives me the perfect excuse to get started.

  4. Starss says:

    This OVA got me rewatching the original series and I realised every ED is actually different. The instrumental piece the episode ends with extends onto the credits. It’s beautiful how every ED is tailored for each episode to keep the ambience flowing after the story is over.

  5. chuu says:

    You say only episodes 1 and 20 are necessary for understanding the OVA, yet catching all those cameos during the eclipse scene felt really special and heartwarming!

  6. One Piece says:

    I haven’t really watched! But i am going to asap!

  7. kero says:

    Just watched, loved the eclipse bit where they flashed to the backs of different characters, although I don’t remember recall most of them.

    I wonder if the instrument that they use is the anklung, because it sounds like an anklung, but I’m not sure.

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  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:57 AM)
    Id like to see a mecha show where we didnt fight aliens. How about a futuristic human war or something remotely fresh like that.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:55 AM)
    @Emma: you know I actually never seen Gasaraki, but the for bringing it up since it always escapes me. I might watch an episode of that tonight perhaps.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:54 AM)
    Interestingly enough most anime scholars divide mecha shows into ‘pre-Eva’ and ‘post-Eva’, since the influence of that show was so great that it altered the very DNA of mecha shows that proceeded it.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:51 AM)
    Im interested in this rahxephon show now.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:49 AM)
    Rahxephon borrows so liberally from Eva that I saw it as a tribute more than a rip-off, and I actually enjoyed it. That, Death Note, Monster and Kimi ga Nozumo Eien were the only anime series that I watched with my Japanese ex and I got her to actually enjoy them. Many adult woman from Japan dislike anime as they deem it too nerdy, and she hadn’t watched one since the original Hunter X Hunter; so it was a miracle that she got into those as much as she did.
  • BrendanVGC
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:48 AM)
    I think the mecha genre has become too much of cardboard cutouts of their predecessors and its really uninteresting nowadays. Actually i think this applies to many anime genres nowadays. The main characters are all copy pastes of each other
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:43 AM)
    Anno is a great animator/cinematographer. As much as I like Eva I’m hoping to get the last rebuild so he can do something original again for a change. Many peolke don’t knkw that Miyazaki hired Anno to fill in the animation for the elder gods in Nausicaa since he deemed it “too hard to do”.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:42 AM)
    I only made it haldway through Rahxephon on two attempts to watch, Bones have no grasp of pacing…
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:41 AM)
    I have to wonder Bam, Rahxephon must have incurred your wrath as a poor mans Eva.
    Also what did you think of Gasaraki? There was another cerebral mecha one.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 08:38 AM)
    …one of my relatives scarily resembles Gendou in appearance to the point where I showed him and he laughed.
    I was probably too old for Naruto once it came along and it would have been the time I was getting bored of inuyasha’s manga that I discovered it.

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