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Mushi-shi: The Complete Series

63 customer reviews

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(Dec 16, 2008)
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(Jul 06, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Cure Lies in the Curse.

Between this world and the next, there is a point where it becomes impossible to distinguish between plant and animal, between life and death. It is a place man was never meant to tread...This is where you will find the mushi. Neither good nor evil, they are life in its purest form. An unseen river reshaping the path of man, through their very presence we are changed. Vulgar and strange, they have inspired fear in humans since the dawn of time and have, over the ages, come to be known as "mushi".

DVD Extras:
  • Interview with the Director
  • Production Studio Tour
  • Mushi-Shi Manga Pages (presented by Del Rey Manga)
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Original TV Spots

The strikingly original series Mushi-shi (2005) features lyrically rendered backgrounds, unusual stories, understated vocal performances, measured pacing, and an eclectic score. Mushi many guises and represent "life in its purest form," according to Ginko, the Mushi-Shi or Mushi Master. Mushi bring the drawings of the boy-artist Shinra to life, and save a woman who was thrown into a raging river as a sacrifice to the water-gods. One type appears as a flowing stream of prismatic color whose beauty haunts a man to his dying day; another forms a mist over the sea that lures mariners to their doom. Soft spoken, chain-smoking, Ginko wanders through Japan, studying the problems produced by encounters between humans and Mushi and trying to alleviate them. Sometimes he succeeds; sometimes he fails. The many types of Mushi offer the filmmakers opportunities to create striking effects. In "Pretense of Spring," composer Toshio Masuda blends exotic percussion, guitar, and traditional Japanese instruments to heighten the viewer's sense of the winter cold in a remote mountain village. In the snowy landscape, certain Mushi take the form of spring flowers, luring animals and people with a false promise of spring, then feeding on their life-energy. In "A Sea of Writing," Ginko visits an archive that contains the writings of previous masters. But Mushi hidden in the precious scrolls cause the writing to flow out of them like spilled water. Only the archivist can control the writhing sentences: she delicately catches them with chopsticks and returns them to the pages where they belong. The filmmakers effectively blend hand-drawn and computer animation to suggest the differing realities of the humans and the living words. Mushi-shi is adult in the best sense of the term: intelligent, subtle, and thought-provoking. Given the popularity of Yuki Urushibara's award-winning manga in Japan, fans can hope for a second season or a sequel: Twenty-six episodes don't begin to encompass Ginko's travels--or the diversity of the Mushi. (Rated TV 14: grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

(1. The Green Gathering, 2. The Light of the Eyelid, 3. The Tender Horn, 4. The Pillow Pathway, 5. The Traveling Swamp, 6. Those Who Inhale the Dew, 7. Raindrops and Rainbows, 8. Where Sea Meets Man, 9. The Heavy Seed, 10. The White which Lives Within the Inkstone, 11. The Sleeping Mountain, 12. One-Eye Fish, 13. One-Night Bridge, 14. Inside the Cage, 15. Pretense of Spring, 16. Sunrise Serpent, 17. Pickers of Empty Cocoons, 18. Clothes that Embrace the Mountains, 19. String from the Sky, 20. A Sea of Writing, 21. Cotton Changeling, 22. Shrine in the Sea, 23. The Sound of Rust, 24. The Journey to the Field of Fire, 25. Eye of Fortune. Eye of Misfortune, 26. The Sound of Footsteps on the Grass)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 654 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GT9DRK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,263 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mushi-shi: The Complete Series" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By flaviolius on December 22, 2008
Format: DVD
I was a latecomer to Mushi-shi, mostly because I'm very picky when it comes to watching anime. I became intrigued by the series' description, and a short clip sealed the deal. After the first episode, I was completely captivated. Mushi-shi has not only become my favorite anime series, it's one of the best visual works I've ever seen.

The show revolves around Ginko, who spends his days travelling rural Japan in search of "mushi" - beings somewhere between animal and plant, neither good nor evil. In each standalone episode, a mushi has affected a person in a different way, and Ginko must decipher the reasons and concoct a cure.

While the premise may sound tedious, it's anything but. Ginko is a fascinating character: likable yet mysterious; a wanderer with a purpose that unfolds without hurry. The people Ginko meets have their own tale to tell, whether it be a man obsessed with rainbows, a boy who's gained a new sense of hearing, or a girl thought to be a living god. Each episode is memorable due to the characters who compose it, and the series ends up being endlessly interesting due to the inventiveness and versatility of the cast involved. While the people are left behind at the close of each episode, there are new ones to meet.

Besides its unusual structure, Mushi-shi is simply beautiful to experience. The dub is one of the best I've heard; Travis Willingham is perfect as Ginko. The music is minimal and subtle, but evokes emotion in a delicate manner. While there isn't much action in the series, the animation is superb, featuring a delicate and muted palette that's instantly captivating. Much of the series is like watching a moving painting.

The greatest thing about Mushi-shi, however, is its theme: connection between living beings.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By RavenRing on September 16, 2010
Format: DVD
Ginko is a Mushishi - an expert on Mushi, odd spirit-like creatures not everyone can see and that occasionally cause harm to unwary humans. Ginko travels Japan studying Mushi and helping solve problems related to them, such as a village paralyzed by rust mushi, or a bamboo mushi that traps travelers in its forest. Each episode stands on its own, telling of a different place with different mushi, with Ginko observing and assisting when needed.

This is a very languid, beautiful series. Ginko does have a backstory that is eventually revealed, but the series focus is individual episodes. The scenery and mushi combine to create a delightful viewing experience, and the stories are engaging, quickly drawing you in to the world they create. Watching this show made me feel relaxed and I came away from each episode with a contented, peaceful feeling. Not that the stories are boring - since Ginko is a healer like character, most of the stories involve people who are suffering from their contact with the mushi. But the resolutions are normally uplifting and satisfying.

If you are looking for an action show, this is not it. If you are looking for a show that has an continues storyline, this is also not it. But if you want a show that you can just watch and enjoy on an episodic basis, that has emotional stories and beautiful scenery, please give this show a try. So far everyone I've showed this series to has enjoyed it, and I hope you will too!

Random Trivia: "Mushi" is the Japanese word for "bug", which is what the mushi of this show often resemble.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Patrick S on December 15, 2008
Format: DVD
Mushi-Shi is a gorgeous anime that is made up of 26 self-contained episodes that don't have anything to do with another, but introduce you to the new types of Mushi that the main character discovers, documents and solves the mystery behind.

It's not "slow-paced," but it definitely has the pacing of a mystery/suspense show like Law & Order or The X-Files, not a shonen-type fighting show. This is a more mature, adult show with nearly perfect animation, wonderful voice acting and music (at least on the Japanese side) and definitely worth a watch. Since each episode is self-contained, you don't have to worry about taking breaks between watching--you won't forget anything you needed to remember. :)

It's also worth noting that the episodes are "out of order" compared to the original manga, but as they're self-contained, it doesn't really matter. The manga also continues after where Mushi-Shi the anime ends, and I'm hoping they make a second season.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Travis Johnson on October 21, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As an avid Anime viewer, I watch a lot of Anime of varying genres. Mushi-shi is the story of nature, from a fantasy-entrenched perspective. In a different existence, there are life forms called Mushi, which are essentially the purest life forms, that live among people. Usually, they go undetected and do not disturb human beings. Occasionally, however, they sometimes can have negative effects, depending on what they require to survive. Some feed off light, while others feed off the gods themselves. Mushi-shi takes place in a much older period in Japan. Ginko, the main character, is a Mushi master, who travels around helping people with Mushi-related problems. Each episode tells the story of a different issue created by Mushi and how Ginko solves the issue. Unlike other Mushi masters, Ginko doesn't simply resort to killing the Mushi, and instead finds ways for people to live with them.

Mushi-shi is not a series that employs action, suspense, character development, or a connected plot. Instead, it uses beautiful artwork, interesting twists, and philosophical messages to remain an impressively unique series. 26 episodes long, this series is long enough to have an incredible diversity in stories told, and plenty of non-recurring characters. It also stays short enough to not overstay its welcome. Any longer, and the series would likely have lost it's value as a series with vague and transparent continual plot.

What Mushi-shi truly has going for it is it's environmental beauty. Everything is serene and peaceful, and the series has a definite air of mysticism to rival any Anime ever made. The Viridian Collection version has Both Japanese and English voice work (with English subtitles) and the special features are numerous and interesting. Mushi-shi is by far my favorite Anime ever made. Watch it if you desire a slower paced series focused more on philosophical virtues and less on action.
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