6/19/2009

Mushi-Shi

The cure lies in the curse.

If you like shows like Kino's Journey, Haibane Renmei or
Natsume Yuujin-Chou, then you'll probably enjoy Mushi-Shi (also spelled Mushishi interchangeably, so I'm not sure which is exactly accurate). Much like Kino's Journey, Mushi-Shi follows a lone traveller from place to place as he interacts with various people of different beliefs and backgrounds. It's a very slow paced (in a good way), gently woven, mysterious and supernatural tale of a Mushi Master (a Mushi-Shi) named Ginko who travels the land studying mushi and helping humans deal with mushi problems. Mushi in this series are supernatural creatures connected with the essence of life. So, they're not exactly ghosts, but they behave like spirits and come in many different forms. Most people cannot see Mushi, but Ginko is even rarer in that he actually attracts them. Because of this he has become a traveling Mushi Master, unable to stay in one place for too long. Most mushi are harmless, but even harmless mushi don't always live in harmony with humans, and some others cause great trouble (and even death). So many people will call upon Ginko to aid them with their mushi troubles, which range from mushi that live in a person's eye, causing them to become extremely sensitive to light; to a fungus that uses a human woman's womb to birth its spores.

Most of the episodes are unrelated to each other, episodic, without an underlying connecting story line (much like Kino's Journey, again). However there are a couple of episodes which explore Ginko's past, explaining his odd white hair, his green eyes (and why he is missing one of them), and how he became a Mushi Master. Occasionally a character will reappear, notably another Mushi Master named Adashino and Nui (who physically only appears in one episode, but narrates many of the others), but other than Ginko, there's typically an entirely new cast of characters in each episode.

Ginko is a rather calm, laid back character. He has a clear passion for learning about mushi, and is one of the rare Mushi Masters who prefers to work with the mushi rather than destroy them. He is constantly seen smoking a special type of cigarette (really I think it's only out of his mouth when he's sleeping) which gives off a special smoke that keeps mushi at bay and helps him control them to an extent. He firmly believes that mushi are not evil, and does his best to help humans live in peace with them. Unfortunately, not everyone always agrees with his methods, and sometimes not even Ginko knows the answers to a problem. Often he is forced to search for an unknown cure through the mushi's curse itself.

The 26-episode series is based on the manga series by Yuki Urushibara, which has been published by Del Rey in America. The anime covers about half of the stories in the manga (up to volume 5 or 6). FUNimation produced the English dubbing of the show, and it's excellent. The lovely Travis Willingham (Roy Mustang, Takashi Morinozuka) voices Ginko, and Jennifer Seman is the voice of Nui and the narrator. The animation for the show is really lovely and sets a great tone for the series (though unfortunately the character designs for all but the "main" cast are rather generic). As does the opening theme (though there isn't much to the animation there) "The Sore Feet Song" sung by Ally Kerr. The endings are different instrumental pieces for each episode.

13 comments:

aprilius20 said...

Yet another show that I want to watch but haven't had the time to look for yet. By the way, I was wondering, do you write reviews immediately after finishing a series? If so, it seems like you've been watching quite a bit recently:)

p.s. lol at the 'interchangeable name'. Reminds me of the never-ending conflict over the anglicization of Inuyasha^^;

Kris said...

No.... I actually finished watching Mushi-Shi a month or two ago. Sometimes I write them up right away (the Monte Cristo review was written about a week after I finished the show). Sometimes it's weeks (or occasionally, though rare, because at this point I usually go "forget it" and do something else) months later.

At one point I was watching 1-2 shows on FUNimation's channel, Bleach on Adult Swim, 1 show through Netflix, and 1-3 shows on my computer. Which was WAY TOO MUCH. I've cut back, lol. I don't watch the FUNi channel anymore. I watch 1 Netflix, and 1 on my computer. I'm really slow about watching shows with my computer though.

But basically, I have a back log of reviews, and I draw from that when I don't have something new.

aprilius20 said...

Nice system- I used to do it too, until one day I got too lazy, or I just had too little time to type out posts. These days I just sit down and mash out something, haha.

Kris said...

Hm, I'm not sure how long they take me. Though the further back I saw it, the longer it tends to take. Because I'll have forgotten some things that I'll have to take the time to look up.
Well, I have to look stuff up for every review I do. Creator names, character spellings, and I often need a refresher on the plot points because of the manner in which I watch the shows. Often by the time I've gotten to the end, a week or more after I started the show, I've forgotten how it began. I prefer to marathon shows when possible, but obviously I can't do that with Netflix.

Typically when I sit down to write, it flows out pretty easily once I get it going, and I'm done before I know it.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Yup, like I told A20-man regarding "Nabari", here's another one worth adding to my "infinite list". Especially when u mentioned "Kino" and "Habane". Feels like a bit of "Ghost Hound" too. Unfortunately, my list has a pretty long wait, lol. I think "infinite" might have something to do with it...

Kris said...

Oh, you know.... I think I forgot to mention that there's a live action film for this too!
I haven't seen it yet, but I would like to. I'm going to have to track it down, because I don't think that it has an American release.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Really? That might actually move it *up* the list... Any familiar actors I may recognize from the live-action "Gokusen", "You're Under Arrest", "Shinobi", "Battle Royale", "Death Note", "Crows Zero" or "Nodame"? LOL.

Kris said...

Joe Odagiri is Ginko. He was in Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, as Gennosuke (the lead male).

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Hahaha, I just knew a Japanese actor had to be recycled~ oops, I mean, reappearing in these live-action J-films!... Hmm, would Steve Blum be doing Odagiri-san's dub too? LOL.

aprilius20 said...

There's a L-A for Nabari too? Never heard of it, but it sounds like it might be fun. Now I wonder if Moyashimon has one too... *runs off to check*

Kris said...

@Jay:
What does Steve Blum have to do with it? I don't get the connection....

@aprilius:
No no! A Mushi-Shi live action. As far as I know there is NO Nabari LA.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: LOL, no connection at all. Just wondering how you'd react to the combination!

Kris said...

Oh! No, I'd way rather they get Travis Willingham so the voice matches the anime. Although, as I've previously stated, I wouldn't watch a live action movie dubbed over.