When I started watching anime again in 2014 after a long hiatus I saw fans of a series called Mushishi praising how it was beautiful and a masterpiece. In these same discussion threads there were also critics arguing that Mushishi was actually pretentious and boring. Seeing such strong and opposing opinions I opted to see for myself how goodor badMushishi truly was. https://i.ur.com/g5y2bxf.png About a quarter way through the first episode I was already siding with the critics. The central character Ginko who appeared to be a kind of paranormal investigator is seen traveling deep into an unusually vibrant forest. Hes headed to the home of a child living there to investigate a strange ability that hes said to have. When they meet perplexing conversations ensue which at the time I found difficult to follow and not particularly interesting. The second episode frustrated me even more. For most of the first half I grudgingly stared at these two kids sitting in a dark room discussing something pertaining to eyelids keeping my own eyelids open was a struggle. Before I could get to the second half I stopped the episode and concluded that this series just wasnt for me. As I befriended more people in the anime community I noticed that many of those who shared my interests also thought highly of Mushishi. I wondered Why do these people with such excellent taste lol love such a dull series? Maybe I missed something? So I attempted to give the second episode another try this time approaching it as I would a meditationor a tedious assignment. I turned down the lights cleared my mind relaxed my face and shoulders took a deep breath and gave it my undivided attention. In such a relaxed state I usually feel a peaceful indifference. Watching the second episode again I wasnt as impatient during the first half but I wasnt quite enjoying it either. However I was more receptive. I initially took notice of how ubiquitous the environment was. A scene would often open with or cut to an intricately detailedand admittedly beautifulslice of nature. It was around this time that it dawned on menature itself is actually a character in this story. Theres Ginko the various people he meets and nature. Nature is sometimes the protagonist other times its the antagonist but its not an entity that acts with bias. Nature and the Mushi which are a supranormal extension of nature just are. In this context everything started to make more sense. https://i.ur.com/x18f4RZ.png When I finally saw the unexpectedly creepy second half of the second episode my attention was firmly hooked. As I progressed to the next episodes another thing that became apparent was how the problems and concerns of the characters mirrored our own providing an opening for the audience to relate and emotionally connect. Each story guides us through the mental physical or sometimes moral process of trying to solve a particular issue. But peoples plights arent sensationalized. Mushishi doesnt seek to make you feel angry or depressed. While there are moments that could make you feel that way it doesnt indulge in negativity or drama. https://i.ur.com/RclSwSD.png I was later impressed by how much ground Mushishi could cover in just 23minute episodic intervals. The directors under Hiroshi Nagahamas supervision did well in balancing the elements of Yuki Urushibaras awardwinning manga. The studio Artland didnt cut corners on the production either. The art and animation quality exceeded that of a typical television series sometimes reaching the levels youd expect from a feature film. These visuals were underpinned by a traditional and occasionally haunting soundtrack. Mushishi is infused with subtle and easily overlooked commentary on the ways in which were connected with each other and the world around us. Thinking back its amazing the difference eased expectations and a little patience can make. With that said such an approach cant guarantee that youll be able to like anything. Sometimes youre just not compatible with something and thats perfectly fine too. In my personal case I was more compatible with Mushishi than Id thought as it has since become my favorite anime. https://i.ur.com/NAmewhn.png
100 /100
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