Lobster Quadrille Anime Review: Mushi-shi

Mushi-shi

Genre: Paranormal

Creator/Studio: Yuki Urushibara

No of eps: 26

Summary: Ginko is a “mushi-master”, meaning that he can interact with nature spirits called “mushi”.  He uses this gift to help others who have come in contact with these spirits.

Review: If I could describe this anime in one word, it would be: gorgeous.  The backdrops are splendidly drawn and vibrant.  I really felt as though I was in another world.  This is almost as good as anything Studio Ghibli tends to produce.

Ginko is an interesting character because even though he is human, he seems very alien due to his gifts. He is slightly unpredictable, but he has the best intentions of his clients at heart.  As the series continues, you want to know more about him and the people he encounters.

What truly makes this show unique is that it’s actually episodic.  Each story is complete in itself and is not connected to an arc like most anime.  In fact, it should be noted that the stories are actually out of order.  Despite this, the stories are not confusing because there is no evidence of the depiction of time and the separation between stories makes them feel independent.  There are no other recurring characters besides Ginko, so it’s more like an anthology.

Sub/Dub: I’d say the dub is really good here.  Travis Willingham is excellent as Ginko and this is one of his best performances.

Music/Score: The music gives the show a very spooky feel.  At times, there is actually very little music at all.  The opening song is sung in English and very relaxing.

Violence: (3/10) For the most part, there is very little violence, despite the show’s spooky feel. In one episode, however, there is a mushi who burns down a house in order to save itself from Ginko.

Language: (2/10) A few curse words, but nothing dramatic.

Nudity: (0/10)

Sexuality: (0/10)

Religion:  (7/10) As I stated, this series focuses chiefly on nature spirits. It’s indicated that Ginko had to sacrifice his eye to the spirits to gain his knowledge, similar to Odin in Norse mythology.

Drugs/Tobacco: (1/10) Ginko is never seen without a cigarette in his mouth.

Related Media: There is a manga and the stories in the anime are from this version.  They are actually in a different order from the manga. Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame directed an award-winning live-action adaptation as well.

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  1. #1 by EVA on October 2, 2011 - 3:31 pm

    I am actually on episode 5 and the thing that I like most, beside the scenery, is that I get to take a peek at Japan’s country side, some of it’s people and customs. It stands out to me that Mushi-shi is the only one with western like clothing. Really pleasant anime, despite the spooky feeling it has, but not scary. Thanks for the review rocklobster!

  2. #2 by Jennifer Bishop on October 3, 2011 - 1:20 am

    I agree with you 100%. Mushishi is WONDERFUL! It has solidified me as a Travis Willingham fan.

  3. #3 by The Cajun Samurai on October 22, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    Mushi-shi is one of the highlights of my anime collection. I enjoyed the nice, peaceful atmosphere, the vibrant yet not too overtaking animation style, and of course, the great vocal talents of Travis Willingham as Ginko. Also, “The Sore Feet Song” really sets a kind of tone for the entire series. I get a more calming aura from it though than a scary one, though. It should be noted that the “cigars” Ginko smokes is actually a Mushi repellent that was used by his “teacher” Yui in the flashback episode “One Eyed Fish”. This is also the episode when we find out exactly how he lost that eye. One of oy personal favorite episode is “Shrine in the Sea”,

    This was a very interesting review! Originally I was going to review Mushi-shi next, but I went with your suggestion and decided to review “Ghost Stories”, pushing Mushi-shi back to next week.

    • #4 by rocklobsterjwt on October 23, 2011 - 12:06 pm

      I’m really considering buying this one of these days.

      • #5 by The Cajun Samurai on October 26, 2011 - 3:34 pm

        I would recommend it highly. Even though they take up a bit of space, I like the original single-volume DVD’s because they have an earthy look and feel.

  4. #6 by aghammer99 on March 29, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    I really enjoyed this quiet anime… very thoughful and interesting. Highly recommended… in fact I would place Mushi Shi on my list of “most sees” for anime fans.

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