Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mushishi

Mushishi started as a manga by Yuki Urushibara and later became a 26 episoded anime (currently there are two volumes of the manga and anime available here in the U.S.). Mushi are spirit type entities that can inhabit any living creature, including people, as well as the earth itself. Ginko is the central character and a Mushishi, a "master of the Mushi", which means he understands how they operate and can often exorcise them. Ginko is the only re-occuring character, as he is a traveler, going from village to village and various regions to help those that are having problems with Mushishi. Mushishi isn't a good versus evil story though and Ginko is not an all powerful magician, he's just out to help where he can.

Each volume of Mushishi contains five short stories that each work as really good self-contained short stories. This structure provides the reader of Mushishi with many different story-telling experiences. The anime is almost an exact frame for frame version of the manga, and while some may think this is redundant, I think this shows that the director has a deep appreciation for the manga and wants to be faithful to the source work. The english dub voices are great, as is the music, and watching the anime is a great way to revisit the manga (or the other way around if you've watched the anime first) with the added benefit of lush colors (I like black and white comics, but I think in the case of Mushishi that the only thing that would have made it better as a manga is if it were in color because color seems to be such a strong part of the story). Watching Mushishi brought to mind another great anime series, Kino's Journey, that also features a lone central character traveling, as well as featuring self-contained short episodes (but Kino's Journey has a more Outer Limits feel to it).

2 comments:

littlebird said...

i am SO glad that you posted this. mushishi is my favorite. MY FAVORITE. it is the best. there is nothing like it out there, dattebayo! watch the show, read the books, don't miss out.

littlebird said...

ps. thien commented on its resemblance to outer limits as well.

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