Aired from Oct 23, 2005 to Jun 19, 2006
Mushi-shi is one of my favorite anime of all time. This beautiful gem helped me when I felt terrible during my life and gave me a peace of mind. Peaceful, yet creepy, Mushi-Shi is an excellent episodic anime. I haven’t seen any other anime quite like it. Each episode seems to include a nugget of wisdom within it. Some are obvious, while others are a little more tricky to spot. During each episode, the tone was so calming and soothing, it felt like a form of meditation. If you don’t have enough patience to sit through the first episode of Mushi-Shi, this show probably isn’t for you. I’ll admit, this anime isn’t for everybody; with slow pacing and a lack of action or overarching storyline, somebody without enough patience could get bored. Also, being episodic it is best enjoyed in small chunks, unless you’re really in the mood to want it. I love how the anime is mature about all the situations that arise. It’s simply amazing how this show gets nearly everything right. Simply amazing.
Story of Mushi-shi
Each episode score varies from 9 – 10
Since Mushi-Shi is episodic, it wouldn’t be really fair to judge the overarching storyline, since it simply doesn’t have one. The basic idea of this anime is there are creatures called Mushi, which are the most basic from of life; neither good nor bad. Throughout the show, Ginko, the main character and a Mushi-Shi, stresses that they are simply there to exist and should be treated that way. Mushi can cause a variety of problems for the people who are trying to live their lives in peace. The word Mushi actually means pest or bug in Japanese, so I can see where they got their name from. Still, it’s good to keep in mind they are simply entities that are just there.
Now, there are also Mushi-Shi in the story. These are people who can see Mushi and try to study them; to make some sort of sense of these mysterious creatures. Also, Mushi-Shi will help people that are having problems with Mushi. Ginko is a Mushi-Shi, and most of the episodes are about him studying and trying to help people that are affected by Mushi.
You would think that the anime would get repetitive after a few episodes of that, but all the different kinds of Mushi and themes always made things enjoyable to watch, while keeping things fresh. Every episode was always pleasing to watch after a long day.
Now, I think that each episode always had a nice story. Some were better than others, while some I can say without doubt, were masterpieces. The tranquility of each episode always helped me relax whenever I felt anxious. What’s also nice about this anime, you can simply play a random episode and just watch that episode without seeing any of the other episodes. Really excellent if you just want to unwind one day with an episode of Mushi-Shi. I think there might be one or two episodes that are about the back story of Ginko, but otherwise feel free to pick one at random and enjoy.
Let me discuss a couple of the themes of Mushi-Shi. One thing Ginko wants to do in the anime is to discover what Mushi are truly and maybe along the way discover the meaning of life itself. If he really did fine the meaning is for the viewer to decide, but for today, I’ll just take about a couple of the episodes. One of my favorite episodes is the man who is searching for a special rainbow. I like to think of the rainbow as a metaphor for happiness and love. Both of this things can be elusive, special, and hard to find at times, just like the rainbow he was searching for. In an another episode, there are these boys trying to open their “second eyelid.” I think that represents how the truth might very well be right in front of our eyes, but sometimes it’s for the best if we don’t see it. Quite interesting to think about these things. There are many other themes and symbols in Mushi-Shi. If I started to talk about them all, I would be writing an essay. Just try to look for things like that when you’re watching an episode. If you do, It’ll only add to your enjoyment.
The last episode was a little disappointing compared to the whole series. It simply seemed like any other episode of Mushi-Shi. I wish it had a better conclusion than it did. I admit, it was a great episode nonetheless, but I wanted more. Well, I’m just glad that there is a season two that I still need to watch.
In conclusion, Mushi-Shi had great story lines every episode, which all related to Mushi in some way. You don’t need a massive plot to make an epic series. The episodes might seem a little slow to the impatient, but if you are patient, I’m sure you’ll like it at least some what. There were sincere messages sprinkled throughout, along with a peaceful, yet occasionally creepy vibe. Truly beautiful.
Characters of Mushi-shi
Again, like the story, it’s hard to judge the characters of this anime. Ginko is the only character that occurs over and over again. Other characters are only there for an epsiode and are never seen again. Which, in some cases is really too bad, as I would’ve watched an entire series about them. Every episode, the characters always seemed to be unique from each other, although a few character designs did repeat. For the most part, the anime creators did a good job of keeping the characters interesting, even though a few of them looked similar. Ginko was a great main character for the series; a little humorous at times, along with being serious and solemn, but most of all very peaceful and kind. The perfect main character for this series. Along the way, you got to see many different personalities from a variety of characters, but I’ll focus on Ginko since he’s main character of Mushi-Shi.
Ginko is an interesting main character. He has many different sides to him, which are shown throughout the series. For the most part, he is fairly stoic, but kind. Ginko doesn’t like to reveal too much about what he’s thinking. He also doesn’t seem to mind what other people think of him. When working with Mushi, he always tries to solve the problem, but not with violence and force. Only if absolutely necessary. In this series, he desperately wants peace for all. I think peace and trying to not be full of hatred is of the major themes of Mushi-Shi. That’s what Ginko tries to convey throughout the series. I greatly enjoyed the little jokes he made in a couple of episodes and the way he acted in general. He never seemed bland at all throughout the series. There was a tiny bit of character development; seeing his history and the way he deals with the everyday problems/crisis of human life. I wish at times he would show some more emotion when dealing with people who are in despair. I’m glad the main character of Mushi-Shi was an interesting one.
Sound of Mushi-shi
The sounds of Mushi-Shi really did an exceptional job of putting you into the environment of the anime. The background sounds were very pleasing and set the ambiance well. There wasn’t a scene where you felt like you were messing out on sounds that would be going on in real life. The sounds of Mushi-Shi surrounded you in nature just from watching an episode. I love the detail that was put into the background noise.
Now, the background music was also brilliant. A few tracks were used a lot, but they were beautiful nonetheless. A great thing about each episode was that you were introduced to a new song at the ending of each episode. The song always felt like a little special treat and ended off the episodes nicely; not abrubt at all, like most anime seem. The opening song is one of the few English openings in anime. Throughout the series, it never changed, which I was glad for. The song helped set the tone for each episode of the anime, which is always a positive note. I enjoy listening to some of Mushi-Shi’s songs whenever I want to fall asleep or daydream peacefully.
The voice actors did a good job, especially the one for Ginko. I have heard in the English dub that they repeat voice actors, but I’m pretty sure that problem doesn’t occur with the Japanese dub. Besides, I watched one episode in the English dub and compared it to the Japanese one, and let me tell you, the Japaneses voice are way better than the English one. For the love of god, please watch this anime subbed. It’s so much better. I might be a sub elistist, but it really does sound a ton better.
Animation of Mushi-shi
I love the artwork and style of Mushi-Shi. It has some of the most beautiful scenes in anime. The art looks natural and really gives you a serene vibe. Mushi-Shi’s art doesn’t really focus that much on people, but instead focuses on the beauty and elegance of nature. I think we all need to take a moment once in a while, and simply enjoy the beauty of nature around us. It’s sad that most people take it for granted and hardly care. Anyhow, the animation is flawless. The only real flaw is how the character designs got repeated a couple times. I think the beauty of the backgrounds more than makes up for it.
I also loved the animation because of the soft and amity vibe it gave off. The shading made everything look sort of spiritual. Also, the animation seemed to flow pretty well. I loved the art a great deal.
Enjoyment of Mushi-shi
I enjoyed this anime a whole lot more than I was expecting to. From the synopsis, I thought it was a quirky sort of story and I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed everything about this show, really. It was that awesome. Great main character, unique and gorgeous story. Full of symbols, metaphors, and a peaceful tone to go along with it. Some of the episodes can be creepy or sad, but somehow, it still managed to have a peaceful feeling underneath it all. This anime also really helped when I felt really anxious or upset. It always seemed to calm me down at the end of the day. Mushi-Shi is unique in that way.
I enjoyed each epsiode, but only wished the ending was a bit more fulfilling. Otherwise, I had a great time watching this show. Even slow, it still managed to grab my attention and keep me enveloped in the show.
Final Notes and Overall Rating on Mushi-shi
I conclude, from all of this, that Mushi-Shi is one of those few special gems. Sure, it has a few very, very, minor flaws, but it still well deserves a ten out of ten. Everything in this show fit together perfectly to make this show so enjoyable. This show had realistic characters, an amazing plot, and each episode was unique. To top all that off, the animation and music was also well done. What more could you want from a show? Again, I just haven’t seen an anime quite like this one.
If you, my reader, is planning on watching this show, please don’t marathon it. Marathoning an episodic anime really takes the magic away from it. Believe me, I know from previous experience when I marathoned other episodic anime. It takes away from the enjoyment, as it’s not supposed to be rushed. Instead, just watch an episode every night before falling asleep or some other time in the evening. That’s a nice and calming way to do it. I found that you will get your best experience from doing that.
I don’t give away tens that often, but I think Mushi-Shi definitely deserves it. An anime that the creators have poured their soul into while making it. A mature anime that is a nice refresher from all the high school shows. Everything about the show seems well done. A full recommendation from me. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.