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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mushi-Shi vol. 1 Impression

Earlier this year I took in some relaxation at a local Health Spa. As I sat in the waiting lounge, awaiting my herbal bath treatment I was treated to a very relaxing experience sitting there in my white robe and matching slippers. The smell of herbal tea and massage lotions and tonics filled the air was the light from outside slid through gently swaying blinds, drawn to create a just before dawn atmosphere. As the warm tea slipped past my lips and warmed not only my body but my soul I found myself completely relaxed, free from the worries of the world, ready for my treatment. Everything was serene and relaxed, the world was good.
As I sat and watch volume 1 of Mushi-Shi from FUNimation and observed the packaging it was this Spa visit which came to mind. From the opening theme, The Sore Feet Song, Mushi-Shi is an anime experience unlike any other I’ve experienced. Follow Mushi Master Ginko as he travels the land curing ailments caused by mushi. Mushi, neither good nor evil, plant or animal, they just are. Life in its purest form, always there on the edge of your vision, and visible to men like Ginko, who actually attract the various types of mushi to himself. Think of Ginko as a doctor, traveling around, curing mushi ailments and studying mushi. He collects (and trades/sales) items obtained from his experiences. Besides his unique white hair, green eyes and coat, Ginko will always be seen smoking (some drives away mushi attracted to him) and carrying a wooden box on his back, full of medicine, documents and the souvenirs. If there’s an issue with mushi Ginko will be there to solve it.

If you’re looking for an action packed, edge of your seat, good vs. bad anime, Mushi-Shi is not for you. Mushi-Shi is an experience for the senses, an anime you can think about, relax with and absorb. The travels of Ginko are very enjoyable, and stand alone very well. There is a history to be explored, and action is not completely lacking, it’s just of the man vs. mushi type … you’ll see. I do find myself wondering just where the story will go, is there going to be a ‘bad guy’ or event that drives the story, bur for now I’m just enjoying the ride. The animation does not but reinforce my relaxation analogy as thecharacters look good, but are not over drawn or super anime-ized with big eyes and bigger assets. These are some good looking characters, plain an simple, utilizing great color schemes that blend well with the settings and mood of the story. The music is there, if you take notice, which is great because no anime wants it’s music to overpower the viewer. Nothing about Mushi-Shi is overpowering, just very enthralling.

Like an Enya CD, a glass of wine and a hot bath you will feel relaxed watching Mushi-Shi, but remember, underneath this relaxation is one very good anime that only stands to get better with each new volume.

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