Mushi-shi is a 10 volume manga series, released between 1999 and 2008. In 2005 the series was turned into a 26 episode anime series and a 20 episode second season was released in 2014, there are also two OVAs, a live action film (Joe Odigiri is awesome 😀 ), and an anime film. In a world of fast paced action shounen series and overly fluffy shoujo romances, the episodic occult detective series, Mushi-shi, is an oddity.
I love Mushi-shi, in fact it is one of my favorite series, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-watched the series over the years…it’s just so calming. From the open chords of the OP to the ethereal instrumentals of the ending themes, Mushi-shi definitely puts you in the mood for something mystical.
The story takes place in an imaginary period between the Edo and Meiji periods of Japan and follows Ginko a Mushi-shi (Mushi master) as he travels Japan solving problems caused by Mushi. It’s kind of hard to explain what mushi are, but for the most part mushi are primitive creatures more akin to fungi and bacteria. Usually, they co-exist with plants, animals, and human, without much problem, in fact they are imperceptible to humans, save for a few exceptions. Mushi are an integral part of nature, and rarely interact with humans, but when they do people tend to get the short end of the stick. The stories all range from bittersweet to downright Disney, but please rest assured that every person that comes into contact with mushi are changed in some way…usually for the better.
The only constants of the series are mushi and Ginko, yet very little is known about either. With his white hair, green eyes, and western styled clothing Ginko sticks out like a
sexy sore thumb. He has a rare condition that attracts a large amount of mushi to him. So in order to protect others he wanders from place to place never staying in any given town for more than a few days. He’s usually pretty easygoing, but becomes serious when people abuse either mushi or nature. Angry Ginko is also very sexy! He almost always stands on the side of mushi, and does his best to solve problems without harming them.
The slow pace can be off-putting to some viewers, but for me the relaxing moral driven episodes are perfect. I find myself getting caught up in the different stories and the unique nature of mushi…and did I mention that Ginko is hot!? The art is beautiful and the voice acting is perfect, both the dub and the original Japanese are amazing. I high recommend this series, go watch it now…like right now!