Mushishi – 26 – And so ends a landmark anime production

As if to confirm its audacious brilliance, central character Ginko hardly even appears in this final episode and it was still one of the highlights of the Mushishi TV series.
Again bursting with its trademark melancholic tone, this was yet another natural blend of touching storytelling that mixes a retrospective and sad human drama with symbolic and vibrant art. An episode that is not so much about achieving an end, but rather growing to accept our roles in life, learning to move on and trust in our friends – an ultimately a positive and beautiful way to send off this most outstanding of series.
I would dearly love to see Mushishi remembered as a landmark anime production, a series that fans of all generations will come to cherish. Minute by minute, episode by episode, it rarely lost my attention. The art, and particularly the beautiful country-side landscapes, were a joy to behold; the lush details and attractive seasonal shades of spring, summer, autumn and winter were all illustrated to great atmospheric effect, allowing the characters and ghosts of Mushishi to grace a stage fit for a dream.
Mushishi is much like watching a dream really, a plain of human imagination where everything has meaning and symbolism, but often sparkles with an odd flourish of unbelievable supernatural vision. The mushi look like faded ghosts, mysterious apparitions wandering, shuddering, gliding through the world bent on purposes we never truly understand. Ginko is by default the “main” character of this series, but like the mushi he hunts, he often wanders through these episodes as a neutral bystander, interfering with characters and using just enough wit to force them into making life changing decisions. Sometimes it ends well, other times it’s quite nasty, but then so is life. If I had one regret about Mushishi, it would be that we still know little to nothing about Ginko. I crave more information about him, how he feels and if he is happy.
We all have our favourites, our guilty pleasures, but this isn’t like that. Mushishi had no faults, it’s not about being a fanboy or obsessing over certain characters, you don’t need to be an anime fan to enjoy Mushishi, it was just a brilliant and magical TV series. A pleasure to watch.

5 replies on “Mushishi – 26 – And so ends a landmark anime production”

Agreed. Mushishi is truly one of the greatest anime of all time, and more than that, is one of the greatest TV series of all time. Much like its varied "antagonists," there’s something primeval about the storytelling in Mushishi that brings back the childlike sense of wonder I felt when first introduced to Grimm’s fairy tales, and other long-lived tales. It makes me think of sitting around the tribal bonfire, with the ancient storyteller rattling on in some near-forgotten tongue, her audience every bit as transfixed as it was when she first heard those tales as a child.
No car chases, no frivolous love affairs, no political intrigue, no plucky teens battling to save the world (well, except for the one), just man, nature, and the unknown. Storytelling at its most basic and at its best, like it was before all the stuff we came up with to make it "better" that usually just mucks it all up.
That’s not to say I don’t like modern storytelling. FMA is still my favorite anime of all time, with Bebop and Haruhi right up there as well, and all three are steeped in the more modern storytelling techniques. But I hold no illusions that in many ways Mushishi surpasses them all. Don’t fear for Mushishi’s place in history. Nothing this bright can stay hidden long.

It truly was a fitting and enjoyable end to the series. The way things made something of a full circle to emphasise the point was especially appropriate – everything from the art to the story met even the show’s own high standards, ensuring that my final memories of watching this show were bittersweet and beautiful. Series like Mushishi are rare but it’s a joy when we find them!
The closing line neatly summed up the show for me: "the world is filled with life unknown to man." So very true, and proved twenty-six times in this timeless classic of a series.

so funny thing, i have really, really, really tried to get into mushishi and GITS, but because i have heard that they dont have overarching stories, and this in turn means that there is less room for catharsis and character development, i have not had motivation to watch it. tho it has been on my hdd for a loooooong while now.

The thing with Mushishi though is that every episode is all about human drama and catharsis. It’s a beautiful and magical series; in other words, a masterpiece. It’s not really something that you can watch one episode after the other, much one episode a night and you’ll find yourself utterly convinced of it’s quality.

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