Posted by psgels on 30 May 2014 with categories: Mushishi

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did here was highlight the duality of these little critters: they have both their positives and negatives. This episode really focused on the positives, while again not ignoring the negatives.

The woman who is cursed to keep all of the moisture inside her body. It killed a few people due to unfortunate circumstances (again, nobody is at fault here), however it also brings so much joy to the people when she arrives. What made this episode work so well is how well this series characterizes just about everyone: even the minor characters feel real. I mean, have you looked at the animation for this series? EVERYTHING IS SMOOTH AND LIFELIKE. I cannot recall a TV-series that has such consistently detailed animation for characters, and this series can pull it off because it’s not an action series: budget doesn’t need to be spent on elaborate action scenes, so instead it can go into the detail.

Mushishi really is a mature series like no other. Most series when they tell a story, resort to black and whites: there are clear heroes and clear villains, and even when the villains have reasons for their actions, their reasoning is often crazy in some way to the point where you can’t really hold a nuanced conversation with them. Here, everything has multiple sides to it, and it’s done in a really cool way.

And yeah, pretty much now that I’ve seen the preview of the upcoming summer season: I’m currently 95% sure that Mushishi is going to end up as the best show of 2014. There never has been a series that stood so far above all of the others in all other years that I’ve been blogging. It’s just consistently fantastic and detailed and in seven episodes I have yet to spot a weak moment. This show is just THAT special, and it justifies a second season really well: every episode continues to build upon the lore of the mushi, and we still see new stuff.

28 Responses

  1. Avatar Gon-san says:

    Your third paragraph pretty much described the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter, which you dropped.

  2. Avatar headachebaby says:

    This episode got to me more on the emotional level so far for season 2. I love Mushishi and was super excited for a 2nd season. The music is well done to draw the emotions out of each episode.

    I love the poetic quote of the Teru at the end when she realized what effect she mushi had on her future.

  3. Avatar Anraiki says:

    It has been about 8 years since the series started. Mushishi is probably my most favorite anime for story telling.

  4. Avatar Firechick says:

    I really need to watch the first season of this.

  5. Avatar bob mcmanus says:

    The sound design stood way out for me this episode, especially ambient, and in fact has been great all season.

  6. Avatar old wierdo says:

    of course I found the entire mushishi franchise to be quite interesting, and somewhat revealing as to the basis of Japanese lore. ultimately I see a recurring theme in this as well as several other pieces of anime-that being: the ultimate strength and resilience of the people of japan is a function of the efforts put forth by the peoples ancestors whose spiritual -‘remains’- if you will-manifest in the land itself. I imagine that it becomes difficult to sell traditional ideas to the kids these days, but when you live on an island nation, it becomes more important to attempt to do so in entertainment as times change.

    • Avatar bob mcmanus says:

      Yeah.

      Certainly there is the return of the yokai and mononoke to the degree it ever left…Natsume, Gingitsune.

      But that isn’t quite what Mushishi is doing here. Mushi are kinda like yokai, a liminal interface, but without kami or a spiritual background. Mushi are extremely gratuitous.

      Anime and Its Roots in Early Japanese Monster is mostly about yokai representations in the work of Kitaro, but the introduction is good on concepts

      Marilyn Ivy “Discourses of the Vanishing” is a classic about how nostalgia in Japan goes weird.

  7. Avatar Firechick says:

    I just found out the second season of Mushishi is only ten episodes long. Jeez! Ten episode anime have been popping up a lot lately! Remember when 26 episode anime were the norm?

  8. Avatar ajin says:

    damn, nearly two months and no more posts…

  9. Avatar fluca says:

    Psgels, come back man! Snap out of it! :(

  10. Avatar Bless says:

    @psgels :/ <3

  11. Avatar bolink says:

    Psgels, come out, come out wherever you are! Please, SAY SOMETHING!! :/

  12. Avatar Yue says:

    You okay there dude? Please post just so we know that you’re alive! Even an empty post is okay…

  13. Avatar fraggleroc says:

    What happened to psgels?

    • Avatar meow says:

      Still on holiday in the US. I hope. There have been several plane incidents recently. I sure hope he wasn’t caught up in any of them but they’re kind of in the wrong direction for where he was planning to go.

      • Avatar fluca says:

        Holy cow, don’t even mention it! He is just a bit burned out but, with any luck, this new season will bring him back into action and to us fans of his blog :)

        • Avatar meow says:

          I kinda guessed as much. I’m thinking he still does enjoy watching some anime but hasn’t had the time to come up with stuff to write about it on top of his day job.

          • Avatar meow says:

            So, anybody know when was the last time psgels posted here or was active in the shoutbox? Anybody in contact with him irl? Just making sure he’s okay. Reading a lot of sad stuff about MH 17. Sure hope he wasn’t on that plane. He’s Dutch, isn’t he?

    • Avatar someten says:

      I heard he marathoned all existing anime beach episodes and died from anime cliches overdose.

      • Avatar meow says:

        Hm. If that’s the case, you sure the cause of death wasn’t his fanservice allergy? Well, I suppose it could have been a double whammy. Maybe the next season of Mushishi might resurrect him. Or at least reanimate him into zombie form? Will we see a Psgels cameo in the next Resident Evil/Walking Dead release? Or maybe the upcoming Heaven’s Feel Movie? Berserker Alter featuring Psgels? XD

  14. Avatar Debuhime says:

    Is psgels in a relationship?

  15. Avatar gdgd says:

    Reading aroduc’s blog isn’t nearly as funny without psgels around…
    I was so funny how they both have opposite opinions of the same series.

  16. Avatar meow says:

    Think of them as a vast group of living organisms, still part of nature, that most humans can’t see. They still have an effect on the surroundings and people sometimes get caught up in them. The very few that can see them have studied them and help others affected by them understand what’s happening and come up with ways to cope. That’s why they’re called Mushishi or Mushi Scholars?

  17. Avatar jrpgLove says:

    Thanks for the review!

  18. Avatar meow says:

    Interesting new episode. New recurring characters and a possible overriding plotline?

  19. Avatar Narutoon says:

    Has psgels become one with the Mushi?

  20. Avatar ヽ( °◇°)ノ says:

    I agree with what you’ve said about this series, the fluid animation reminds me of the old ghibli, though not at THAT level of course. I also like how in each episode Ginko is usually the supporting character on the side, somehow this fleshes out the individual stories very well.

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