Mushi-Shi is an anime first aired in Japan on October 22, 2005 with the standard anime Season of 26 episodes. It's final episode was released June 18, 2006. It was originally a manga series written by Yuki Urushibara and published in Afternoon Magazine from 1999 till 2008 with a total of 10 volumes.
I really can't think of a way of summarizing the show itself as it is a strange creature. It's a detective show, with the main character, Ginko, trying to solve problems caused by creatures known as Mushi. These can range from someone having trouble hearing to the death of an entire village. It's not a show for those who want action though, it's a show that moves very slowly, sometimes almost painfully so. There is almost no action what-so-ever. No giant mechs, no ridiculous screams of rage, nothing. So if you want action then run as fast as you can away from this one people.
This section should be renamed "Character" since the only real returning character is Ginko himself. There's only one other character that makes a return appearance but that only happens twice, with a quick cameo at the end of a third episode. As for Ginko, he's what I refer to as "a walking Deus Ex Machina." That isn't to say that he as a character is bad, it's just that he's always there at the right time and right place by complete accident. It's not really a problem, but the sooner you realize this, the more easy it will be to take in the show.
Ginko's machine god characteristics aside, he is a good character. He does honestly seem to care for the Mushi as well as the people around him, which leads to a wonderful back and forth in his character. You never really know what he's going to do, which really helps the suspense in the show.
The background work is just astounding.
The studio behind Mushi-Shi is ArtLand Inc. They aren't really known for anything that famous aside from this show which is sad because this is really a very gorgeous show. The design for the Mushi themselves are wonderful, sometimes very beautiful but other times very eerie. The backgrounds are nice and the designs for the characters is very good as well. The only issue I have is that some of the characters towards the end of the series begin to look strikingly similar. Aside from that this is a very gorgeous show to watch.
The music score was composed by Toshio Masuda, who did the composing for the original Naruto anime series. It is just down right enchanting. I just wish there was more of it, as most of the music is only there for a few brief moments at a time. I'll post a link of some of the songs down below, I highly recommend you check it out.
Unfortunately, where the music in the actual show succeeds, the opening fails. I would only suggest that you watch the opening once, just to see it, but most of the time you will probably be skipping it.
SUB VS. DUB
Dub. Already I have probably killed off about half of the people who might have been interested in reading this blog but hear me out. The dub in this is not perfect. You will get through most of the series and then realize that the character from way back in episode 1 is back voicing another character. I personally don't mind that but I can see why that would rub people the wrong way. However the sub is, unfortunately, worse. They don't emote in the sub. It's all just one tone throughout the entire thing, it's just so tiring. I would suggest the sub only because they explain one of the rules of the world early on in the show, while the dub doesn't get to it until about half way.
Also the dub has Travis Willingham playing Ginko. That's a win right there.
Get used to this guy. He's pretty much all you've got.
This show is not for everyone. Actually, I would suggest that no one should watch this show unless they are with someone. The whole point of Mushi-Shi is to ask a question in it's episode. Why do people continually despise what they don't know? What's more important, survival or protecting what you worked hard for? At what point should we let go of people when they are dead? All these questions are asked but only a few of them get answered by the show. Most of the time at the end of the episode your left thinking about the question and trying to figure out the answer yourself.
So go, get some people you know and watch this show. It's something not everyone will be a fan of but it's something I suggest to those who think it sounds interesting.
However I must warn, some of the situations, questions, or even answers may or may not creep out or scare the viewer.
At this time you can find Mushi-Shi on Netflix, dub only. Youtube also has the Sub versions if you want to watch that instead. Several different box sets of the series are available on Amazon.
Other shows or movies you might enjoy if you like Mushi-Shi: The Twilight Zone
They Might be Giants (the movie, not the band)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
NEXT WEEK'S REVIEW!
Baccano! (seriously, that exclamation point is in the title)