Mushi-shi, DVD 2

This series follows the travels of Ginko, who is a Mushi-shi (Mushi master). Mushi are some sort of primal being, neither plant nor animal, neither alive nor dead; they can inhabit people or objects, and can occasionally appear human. Ginko wanders, and is generally either following rumors or has been summoned to investigate a problem that might involve mushi. This is an episodic series; there is a collector that has appeared in a couple of episodes, and items (relics of the mushi) have appeared in more than one episode, but so far, there is no sign of any sort of overall plot. The episodes themselves are of all sorts of types: happy endings, tragedies, bittersweet, life goes on, etc. I found the first volume of this to be a bit boring; I liked these episodes better, but still don’t understand the hype. The art is gorgeous, the dub is decent, but the plots are somewhat predictable and the music is bland. I need either interesting characters or involving plot to truly like a series; this has neither. I am indifferent to Ginko, and there are no other recurring characters or overall plot. I do like some of the individual stories, and will continue renting this, though.

—The Episodes—

  1. Those Who Inhale the Dew
    Ginko investigates a “living god” on a mostly-inaccessible island at the behest of a friend of the girl who was turned into the “living god”. The ending of this was exactly what I expected it to be, though there were a few unexpected events along the way.
  2. Raindrops and Rainbows
    While sheltering from the rain, Ginko meets a guy who left home to search for the rainbow that bewitched his father, recognizes the mushi involved, and travels with him in search of it. This episode was not very memorable; I don’t remember the resolution.
  3. Where Sea Meets Man
    Ginko wanders into a village where there is a man whose wife went missing in a fog on the sea a few years before. Every few years that fog appears, and people are lost; their boats and luggage eventually wash up on the shore. He is hoping for his wife, but just wants some sort of resolution. Ginko leaves and returns later at the time of the reappearance of the fog; they set out to investigate and see if they can find out what happened to his wife. I liked this one, it was bittersweet but hopeful. I don’t think this one and the one before should have been aired together; Ginko gives the exact same advice to the men in both.
  4. The Heavy Seed
    Ginko visits a village that has good harvests in the years when the surrounding villages have bad ones; with each of those harvests, someone in the village grows an extra tooth, loses it, and dies. I didn’t like the eventual resolution of this one; I didn’t think one of the characters deserved the ending he received.
  5. The White Which Lives Within The Ink Stone
    I think this has the collector from one of the earlier episodes; some kids get into his collection and try out an ink stone. They all fall sick soon after and are extremely cold. Ginko tracks down the maker of the ink stone; there have been other deaths associated with it, and she has not made any more since then. Ginko identifies the mushi involved and finds a cure.

official English site at Funimation
listing at ANN

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