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nightmaregenie



Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 155
Location: Palmy, NZ - student central

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:28 am Reply with quote
ManOfRust wrote:
I think the bottom line is that you are going to have to crank up your willing suspension of disbelief a bit higher for this series or you may simply end up not enjoying it. As Tony said in his opening post, this series isn't going to be for everyone and no matter how enthusiastic some of us are in our praise, not everybody is looking for something of this nature. You may still find things to enjoy about it, though, and it will certainly be interesting to hear your take on things if you decide to continue with it. Very Happy

Oh rest assured I AM enjoying the series. It's just one of my habits to ask a whole lot of questions - for better or worse - about things I like (I did the same thing with Evangelion, imagine that!)

Personally, I find watching Mushishi a very soothing experience. I like it how although it's more slowly paced and tend to focus your attention on the more mundane things in life it still manages to retain a mysterious and hypnotising quality. I don't know how to say this but it's like you're seeing the world through a child's eyes where the simplest things can be fascinating.

Can you believe that episode three actually made me cover my own ears just to listen for that whispery sound? I'd actually forgotten you can do that ever since I'd stopped being a kid.
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ElementSun



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:59 am Reply with quote
Alestal wrote:
the artwork looks pretty, but in the whole it doesn't seem to have much appeal to me... can someone give me some information on what makes the main character so interesting? it may have been hidden somewhere in the first post somewhere, but it was just too long for me to read all of it, so can i please just have a nice short condenced answer?

The main character is quite interesting. He is an expert on the supernatural occurances known as the Mushi, and has a genuine desire to help those who are troubled by their existence. He's very kind, generous, and understanding, bringing enlightenment to those that have been affected by Mushi.

For example in episode 2, spoiler[A little girl who has a mushi in her eyes was forced to live in the shed away from the home, because they feared that her eye-disease was contagious.] It's really heartbreaking seeing something like that, and Ginko comes and purges her of the mushi, with a lot of philosophical discussion in between.

However, after only watching a few episodes, you find Ginko as a very mysterious person. I guess the more I watch, the more I will discover his true nature.

Each episode itself is very profound. There are no cliff hangers at the end of each episode. Instead, watching the ending of each episode is like watching the finale of a really good anime series. That's the only way I can describe it, each episode itself is stand-alone and still a masterpiece. However, all the stories do connect to each other as they are chronicles of Ginko's adventures.
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Alestal



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:43 pm Reply with quote
thanks. its starting to appeal to me more now.
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:19 am Reply with quote
This is going to be a long post, but there’s a lot to comment on and all the Mushishi goodness has been building up in me and needs to get out! (The thread title does say very in-depth.) Anime hyper

It seems like the wait for this series to come out on DVD has been forever, but it’s finally here and I’m happy I broke with my usual cheapskate ways and decided to collect it as it’s being released. I’ll just give some general impressions and then comment on the first two episodes.

I watched all 5 episodes in Japanese, then watched all the extras. Then I went back and watched the first two episodes in English to hear the dub. As Tony posts each new episode summary I think I’ll use that as an excuse to go back and re-watch that episode in English.

Packaging
I simply love the artbox for this series. It has a very classy looking and understated design. I don’t think a big, bright box with lots of pictures from the show would have been appropriate for this series, so I love the dark background color of the slipcover with just the title on the sides in a graphic that looks like it’s printed on an old bit of parchment and just a hint of texture behind it that is suggestive of mushi. I like the almost watercolor like picture on the short sides of the slipcover too, with the title on parchment logo repeated. Tony posted some great pictures of the box so I won’t keep describing it, but another great thing is the quality of the paper they used to make it. It doesn’t have the shiny, glossy finish of a lot of artboxes and when you pick it up you can even feel the texture of the paper. Funi really got this one right. The whole package exudes quality as befits the contents.

I also very much like the postcard and booklet contained in the DVD case. I’m looking forward to the other 7 postcards. The first one is a really nice picture of Ginko. The booklet has a fair amount of interesting information. My only complaint would be that they used such tiny print.

Oh, and I’m going to use that very nice spacer box as storage for some other odds and ends that have come in other boxsets I have purchased.

On disc extras
I thought the disc had a decent set of extras. I enjoy interviews with the creative team behind shows because it’s interesting to hear what they were thinking while making the show. I’m always surprised to find that the things that were important to the creators of a show are often completely different than what I thought was important. This case was no exception. The director stressed that one of the things most important to him on this project was to stay faithful to the manga. I would have thought conveying the spirit of the stories, or making a successful transition from printed to animated work or something like that would have been paramount so I thought his response was interesting.

In relation to the manga
I won’t say too much about the manga because this thread is about the anime, but this is the first time I have seen an anime where I had read the manga first. The director makes quite a point in the extras section about how he wanted to stay faithful to the manga and it certainly shows. Other than some minor differences (some of which are discussed in the booklet that comes with the DVD) and the fact that the order of the stories was changed for the anime the two are incredibly alike. After watching through the disc, I pulled out my copy of the manga and some of the manga frames almost look like they could have been used as storyboards for the anime. Some scenes have been directly translated into the animated form, right down to the angle of perspective and much of the background image. It may be my manga nOObness that is causing my surprise at how close the two works are, but I guess I expected the anime to be a bit more different.

I do wonder if knowing how all the stories turn out ahead of time has dampened my enjoyment of the anime a bit. I don’t think so although I suppose I do lose the sense of excitement that comes along with discovering where a story is going for the first time. If the series continues to follow the manga this closely, I’m really looking forward to disc number 2 since I thought the second volume of the manga was better than the first.

In relation to Kino’s Journey
One of the things that originally got me excited about Mushishi was reading all the comparisons to Kino’s Journey, which is one of my favorite anime.
varmintx wrote:
I was a little disappointed to learn that the similarities are mostly in form rather than content.

I had a little bit of the same reaction at first when I read the manga. I loved the strong social commentary in most of the episodes of Kino’s Journey and guess the constant comparisons between the two series had given me certain expectations about Mushishi. But beyond just the similarities in form (episodic shows that follow a traveler) I think there are more meaningful similarities as well. Both shows have a laid back manner of storytelling that involves the viewer in the proceedings but manages to avoid telling you what you are supposed to think or what you should be taking away from it. I feel like both series are more mature in their approach to storytelling in that they respect that you are going to be intelligent enough to draw whatever conclusions make sense to you and that whatever it is that you finally take away from your viewing, the job of the show itself was to bring you along on the journey and not so much to get you to any specific destination. I’m having a hard time expressing what I mean well, but I hope my comments kind of make sense.

Music
In almost any other setting I would not much care for the opening song. If it came on the radio it would have me reaching to change the station. But it works here. I won’t say I like it, but I don’t dislike it. The rest of the music is simply fantastic both in terms of being great by itself and also with how well it fits the stories and animation. Music is such an important part of anime and can significantly help to carry the whole mood of a scene. The wonderful instrumental score fits so well with the sedate pacing and gorgeous animation and is a great asset to the show. I like that the ending music changes with each episode. They also use an effect that I don’t think is inherently a good or bad thing but that I personally like, which is that the ending theme usually starts to play as background music for the final scene and then when the story ends the music just carries you into the credits. This is a soundtrack I will certainly be hunting down at some point.

Animation
Like most everyone has said, the animation is very pretty. I am especially taken with the backgrounds which almost seem like watercolor paintings at times. I think the style of animation definitely helps to convey the fairy tale nature of the stories and it would be hard to imagine this animated in a more typical anime style and still working.

Dub
I have some very minor quibbles with the dub, but it’s a winner overall as far as I am concerned. I think Travis Willingham does a great job as Ginko and the other characters are for the most part spot on, though I will address some things I didn’t like in my individual episode comments.

Episode 1: Green Seat
I thought this episode did a great job introducing us to the mushi and to Ginko. After the swamp episode (#5) it’s probably my favorite on this first disc. I just have some random observations and responses to some of the comments made here.

This episode is where I had my first issue with the dub. I felt like Shinra’s English voice was too much the typical girl doing a kid’s voice type of voice, and as a result he sounded really young. Now, I know he is young but it seemed to me that in the Japanese track he had an older sounding voice. I liked that he sounded a little older. I had a sense that because of his being touched by his strange power and his being forced to live alone in the forest for so long he gained some kind of special wisdom beyond his years. He is a kid, but doesn’t really act like one. He even makes his own wine so he can sit and drink it and contemplate whatever it is he contemplates. The young sounding English voice didn’t work so well for me.

Tony K. wrote:
In addition, when her trance was broken, Renzu's cup had also snapped in half. For me, the cup had symbolized as a sort of gateway to the mushi world, since she had to drink from it obviously. I'm not sure if the breaking of it was caused by the ruined trance or if she was just careless, but because she only drank about half of it anyway, then this explains why she was half-mushi.

Not only did the cup break, but Renzu herself was broken in two. I think the cup breaking is symbolic of her being torn to live half in the mushi world and half in the human world, just as the rejoining of the cup occurs at the same time Renzu is able to fully enter the mushi world.

Nekochi wrote:
I actually have a theory about this. The Kouki which Shinra drank is the same sake that turned Renzu herself into a mushi. Why wouldn't it do the same to Shinra?

This is an interesting theory, and I admit it never even crossed my mind, but it just doesn’t work for me. I think the purpose of having Shinra drink the Kouki was solely for him to be able to experience his grandmother’s memories and fully understand what it is she went through and why. As to why the rumors about him stopped after Ginko left, I think it was that when Renzu was finally able to attain the power the mushi had originally tried to give her she was able (through whatever mysterious method) to watch over him as they had originally charged her to do and people started to forget about him.

All in all, I thought this was a pretty good start to the series. It most certainly makes you want to dive straight into the next episode.

Episode 2: Eyelids' Light
To me, this episode was more reminiscent of a traditional story straight out of Western mythology than any of the others, but my interpretation may be kind of weird.

I again had minor problems with the dub for the very same reasons Tony mentioned in his post. Why they decided to change Sui’s name to Sei is a mystery to me. It’s not that big of a deal, but I guess I would prefer that if they are going to mess with stuff that there at least be some kind of fairly obvious reason for doing so. I also thought some of the dialogue in English was too quiet, but I may be hyper-sensitive to such things. I suffer from tinnitus and have a constant low level ringing in my ears. It’s not usually a problem, but if the dialogue is very quiet I can kind of lose it in the background noise. I had to go back and crank up the volume for some parts of this episode to hear what they were saying.

The animation is again top notch, with one scene being particularly amazing to me, having read the booklet that comes with the DVD:
Tony K. wrote:
Essentially the same effort as the first episode, but we get a dose of their CG capabilities during the scene of Ginko capturing the mushi in Sui's eyes.

According to page 10 of the booklet, that scene is not CG, but rather is all drawn. I was very surprised to read that little tidbit, and can only imagine what meticulous work that must have been.

We got a brief glimpse of the river of life in the first episode, but it plays a bigger role here. When Sui closes her inner eyelid she can see the river, but Ginko is often there warning her not to go into it. Later we find that she has ignored Ginko’s admonishment at the cost of her eyes.

Tony K. wrote:
But by the time he reaches her, her eyes had already been devoured by a combination of the "darkness mushi" in her eyes and the bright, mystical light of the river.

I’m going to make a possibly nit-picky observation, but I think it’s relevant. Ginko warns her to not get too close to the river, not to not look at it. I think in the despair of learning Biki has contracted her disease, she decides to ignore this warning and finally do what she has been longing to do and actually touch the river of life. But she pays the price. Just as Icarus, in his desire to fly higher and higher, flew too close to the sun in Greek mythology Sui gets too close to the river of life. It represents a primordial force, something that while it is the source of life is also a most powerful and mystical entity. Think back to Ginko explaining the relationship of humans to mushi in episode one where we were the tip of his middle finger and the mushi were way down by our heart. Humans have evolved too far away from their raw source, they have become too different. To come into contact with the purest form of raw life is too alien to endure without some serious damage, but such glorious power is too enticing to resist. Ginko himself seems to have learned this lesson the hard way as well.

Usually, when I make an absurdly long post I close with some kind of apology for being so long winded, but this time I had a lot of fun writing all this. I hope someone actually has the patience to read it. Mushishi is shaping up to be a great series and I think this is going to be a fun thread to follow if the content up until now is any indication of how things are going to go.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:38 pm Reply with quote
I feel a little intimidated commenting in this thread, but I wanted to chime in and credit you guys (especially Tony) for convincing me to pick up the first volume + box yesterday. I'm going to watch it tonight and hopefully I'll have some impressions worth adding to this extremely detailed analysis. ^^;
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ultrapostman



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 164
Location: New Jersey. Don't you just love traffic circles?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:24 pm Reply with quote
It's not that I can't appreciate an episodic series, but I'd really like to know if there is any sort of overall plot or recurring characters in Mushi-shi. I'm currently on the fence whether I should get it or not, because I'm generally a fan of complicated plots. Everything I've heard about Mushi-shi is positive, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that it'll be my cup of tea. Is there any sort of ongoing plot at all, or is it just so good that it doesn't need it?
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ElementSun



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:59 pm Reply with quote
ultrapostman wrote:
It's not that I can't appreciate an episodic series, but I'd really like to know if there is any sort of overall plot or recurring characters in Mushi-shi. I'm currently on the fence whether I should get it or not, because I'm generally a fan of complicated plots. Everything I've heard about Mushi-shi is positive, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that it'll be my cup of tea. Is there any sort of ongoing plot at all, or is it just so good that it doesn't need it?

It would probably be the latter choice. There might be an overall plot at around the end of the series, but I haven't gotten that far yet. However, i personally think its best to watch this anime with periods of time in between. Each episode is a new story, with new characters and a new setting, but Ginko will always remain there Smile
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Tony K.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:45 pm Reply with quote
ManOfRust wrote:
According to page 10 of the booklet, that scene is not CG, but rather is all drawn. I was very surprised to read that little tidbit, and can only imagine what meticulous work that must have been.

Er.. right. I guess as such a big advocate of the series, I should've actually read that booklet myself by now Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop. I'll try to do that later tonight or some time tomorrow. I finally got around to ordering the rest of Death Note and have been meaning to finish reading it and then watching the rest of the anime. But thanks for pointing it out.

Cloe wrote:
I feel a little intimidated commenting in this thread, but I wanted to chime in and credit you guys (especially Tony) for convincing me to pick up the first volume + box yesterday. I'm going to watch it tonight and hopefully I'll have some impressions worth adding to this extremely detailed analysis. ^^;

Glad to hear that Very Happy. I know you're quite the expert on animation since it's your profession now, and I'd be happy to hear some of your views on how this series, in particular, handled it. Artland is a company I haven't really heard of, but seeing as how this series has so many artistic merits, I thought I'd try to point it out to as many as people as possible, yourself included since I know you're real big on art and animation Wink.

ultrapostman wrote:
It's not that I can't appreciate an episodic series, but I'd really like to know if there is any sort of overall plot or recurring characters in Mushi-shi. I'm currently on the fence whether I should get it or not, because I'm generally a fan of complicated plots. Everything I've heard about Mushi-shi is positive, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that it'll be my cup of tea. Is there any sort of ongoing plot at all, or is it just so good that it doesn't need it?

Well, I can tell you and everyone else right now that there is no central plot throughout the overall presentation of the series. I tried my best to explain the mystique and my own reasons for liking the series in the opening post. So if you don't mind a little extensive reading, at least read it down to about the middle, and that might help explain things a little better.
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ras curses



Joined: 04 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:26 pm Reply with quote
Mushi-shi is about the best ''semi'' dark fantasy i have seen in a long while. To tell you the truth, I was most impressed by the poetry and the emotional/psychological issues touched by this show that was reminiscent (in my opinion) of Fullmetal Alchemist or even more. By gods i have not been so impressed by a show! Beware though, this show is episodic with barely recurrent characters save perhaps some few familiars of the protagonist. Each episode is independently fresh and would often live one shattered of very much over joyed. Smile
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:50 pm Reply with quote
Tony K. wrote:
ManOfRust wrote:
According to page 10 of the booklet, that scene is not CG, but rather is all drawn. I was very surprised to read that little tidbit, and can only imagine what meticulous work that must have been.

Er.. right. I guess as such a big advocate of the series, I should've actually read that booklet myself by now Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop.

lol. It's not your fault I'm a packaging geek. I read everything that gets packed in with my DVDs or CDs. I even read the little "Anime Source" booklet they put in the first disc even though it's just ads for their other series. I'm the guy that actually reads the manual cover to cover before I start playing a video game. Anime catgrin + sweatdrop To be honest if I had not read about it, it never even would have occurred to me that scene was not CG.

@Cloe: I'm really interested to hear your impressions as well. My in depth analysis of the animation can go about as far as "gee I think it's real pretty", but I'm guessing you might have some slightly more insightful comments. Smile
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:27 am Reply with quote
OK, time to add my two cents to this love-fest, even though it's almost 3 in the morning and I have to work tomorrow. I have to get this all out now before I forget. Wink

First of all, I have to say I'm very impressed with the over-all quality of both the production and the story of Mushi-Shi. I'm very, very stingy with my "Masterpiece" ratings (16 in almost 400 seen-all), but I could see Mushi-Shi easily joining the ranks of Arjuna and Mind Game by the time I'm done watching if it retains this level of quality. It's extremely well-executed in all aspects. For now, though, I want to give my thoughts strictly on the animation, since I suspect that's what you guys want to hear most from me.

These comments are for Episode One (I'm too tired to go any further than that tonight).

The animation quality this episode is superb. A bit of frame-by-frame on the remote control revealed that almost all of the character animation in Mushi-Shi is animated on twos, as opposed to the standard threes for most TV anime (for those unfamiliar with animation production, this means that at a rate of 24 fps, Mushi-Shi uses 12 drawings per second as opposed to 8, which results in a slightly fuller, more fluid look to the animation). The mushi themselves are animated on ones, the full 24 fps. This in itself gives the series a cinematic feel rather than a television feel, since you rarely see these types of frame rates outside the theater.

While I'm unfamiliar with the production studio Artland, they've made the wise decision of gathering a pool of very talented and notable freelance animators. The animation director (and a key animator as well) for this episode is an extremely respected and well-known sakuga animator named Yoshihiko Umakoshi, whose specialty is full body motions. His animation in this episode is much more subtle and low-key than you normally see from him (check out this sweet reel--a feast for the eyes--for mere a taste of what Umakoshi has animated), but his careful attention to the nuance of movement is still very apparent. He obviously excelled at keeping the drawings on model as well (the primary job of an AD). There's really no better choice for AD in animation like this, which relies primarily on character acting to carry its heart and emotion.

There's a very nice throwaway shot near the beginning, for instance, at about 3:25 or so, of Shinra clamoring to his feet and chasing after the flyaway mushi (I suspect this was keyed by Umakoshi himself but I'll need to do a bit of research first before I'm certain). Just the way the body moves and the cloth of the yukata falls in response to Shinra's movements is mind-blowingly accurate to life (but there's enough of the "animator's touch" there to tell it's not rotoscoped). It's little nuances like these, barely noticeable to the untrained eye, that raise the bar of production quality. Looking at the list of keyframe animators in the encyclopedia, it's a smorgasbord of talent. I can't wait to see what these talented people create in future episodes.

Animation quality: A well-deserved A
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Tony K.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:15 am Reply with quote
Oh~ thanks for the info there, Cloe. So is a majority of animation quality judged by the amount of frames per second? That would explain why it took so long for me to get through some of parts I slow-moed when trying to acquire screencaps Razz. I appreciate your in-depth feedback.

Uh.. guess I'll try to up a summary for Episode 3 this week as well, seeing as how Vol.2 will be out in about two more weeks now and I'm only this far in the discussion Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop (sorry, I've been trying to catch up on the Death Note manga, anime, and movies).

I also have a lot of hours at work this week. I'm closing the next 3 nights in a row with 6 and a half on Monday, school and 8 hours on Tuesday, then another 8 hours on Wednesday, then working till 6 hours on Thursday, then I'll be at AnimeFest from Friday to Sunday, so that might be all I can scrounge up, if anything at all.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Tony K. wrote:
Oh~ thanks for the info there, Cloe. So is a majority of animation quality judged by the amount of frames per second?

Well, frame count isn't everything, but often acts as a good indicator of how much time and care was put into the animation. The key frames and timing itself is much more important, but the odds are if additional effort has gone into making the animation smoother for no reason other than aesthetics, the production team is more than competent and cares about what they're doing.

For more about animation quality, you can refer to this older post I made a while back.
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Tony K.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:55 am Reply with quote
Episode 03: Tender Horns (clicking this will take you back to the Index)

Whew, finally after an almost two month hiatus, I've made the effort to do Episode 3. My deepest and most sincere apologies for such a long wait. I was sidetracked by so many other anime and manga titles, not to mention completely overwhelmed with just the idea of making such mega posts for just the one episode.

It may not seem like much from the reader's side, but it takes me a good 2+ hours just to make one of these. I have to watch the episode, take a boatload of screencaps, pick thirty of the best, convert them into .jpeg format, upload them, type out a summary, make links that coincide with plot events, proofread the whole thing, then give my own thoughts which can (but usually are) pretty lengthy in themselves. Then, I have to proofread that.

So yeah, sorry for being too hardcore, but that's what I feel this series honestly deserves. Hell, I'd even upload pieces of the soundtrack if the rules allowed me to. But hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, and I have plenty of those Wink. Anyway:
----------------------------------

Summary

In this episode, we have Ginko visiting a snowy village. Within this village came a request to help investigate a possible mushi problem involving peoples' ears. After examining one man's ear, he comes to the conclusion that the mushi currently living there are the Un; a kind of mushi that feeds on sound, thus causing its host to hear nothing but silence much of the time.

The reference made here is that Un look similar to snails in shape and that there is an organ within human ears that resemble that of a shell. Sensing this, the Un like to take shelter within peoples' ears especially during the winter when the snow is absorbing most of the sounds of nature and so on. To counter their habitation, Ginko uses a simple remedy of salt and warm water that (much like a snail) dissolves the mushi.

Upon successfully curing the man, Ginko then receives a request from the village elder to examine a rather peculiar case unbeknownst to everyone else. As he crosses the snow-cover village to a small hut, we see a boy surrounded and completely immersed in the sounds of mushi. More interesting is the fact that the boy, Maho, has a set of horns on his forehead.

When arriving, Ginko learns that Maho's case is actually a mix of not only Un, but Ah as well; a mushi that feeds on silence. Not knowing of any successful dealings with the Ah, he recalls only one story where a woman of the same circumstances was unable to find a cure, who then ultimately died of depression. But with that in mind, he still decides to give it a try. As a temporary solution, he lights some mushi incense, thus creating a sort of "stronghold" to ward of all the mushi that had gathered in the room, causing Maho a great deal of discomfort.

With a little more peace and quiet, Ginko exchanges some general knowledge of the mushi, when he and Maho make mention of Maho's mother, who was also plagued of the same predicament.

The next day, while Ginko is sitting about the snowy rooftop of the house, we see Maho coming outside claiming that he needs to get out, otherwise he'd go crazy. But when night falls, he has still yet to return home. As Ginko begins to search, he then stumbles upon a cave where he finds Maho all bundled up. Just as he tries to speak to the boy, though, he notices a drop in sound, only to find the cave is infested with Un. However, noticing this, he also senses the presence of an Ah as well. So he devises a plan to intentionally let them enter his ears.

After allowing them passage, Ginko informs Maho of a plan and that he wants the boy to put his hands over the Mushi-Shi's ears. Much to the boy's surprise, the mushi within those ears have dissolved. Yes, after simply covering Ginko's ears his hands have solved the problem just like that.

The explanation is that one had to realize that to counter the Ah, you would need a sound that could not at the same time be devoured by the Un. In her dying moments, Maho's mother recollects a visit she once made to a volcano, claiming that "the sound" of the lava beneath the earth was one of the most fulfilling sensations one could hear, when in actuality this was also a reference to "the flow" of the human body. And in learning this, Maho proceeds to finally rid himself of the Un and Ah that were living in his ears as well as the horns on his forehead. When the mystery is solved, Ginko decides to take a parting gift as well. Then in his usual manner, he packs up and proceeds on his endless journey into the distance.
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Art & Animation: We get a great scenic view of a winter environment in this episode. We start off in a nighttime introduction, though much of the snow still stands out, regardless. My favorite part iss the daytime scene when Ginko is sitting on the rooftop and you get a great view of the surrounding area. The animation stays very consistent, and it's hard to really tell what's CG and what's not (like the eye mushi in Episode 2, they really had me fooled, there Anime dazed). The snowing effects were especially commendable in this one. If that wasn't CG, then wow. Body and mushi movements are as great as usual, though.

Music: Gah! It's so difficult to pinpoint exactly when a particular piece sticks out to me. Not to mention the score itself has so much ambiance, that it's even harder to decipher track names and their individual characteristics. Nonetheless, I really like how the overall music blends so well with the winter theme. Personally, I see winter or cold weather as a time to bundle up, get cozy, and just relax, which is what this series does for me, only like, on a 24/7 basis Anime catgrin.

And I finally made a startling discovery, today. All this time I've been calling him Masuda Toshiou (what the Encyclopedia says), though everywhere else (this DVD's credits included) says Toshirou. I don't know Hiragana or Kanji, but looking at the -shirou (郎) in Hitsugaya Toushirou, it's the same character/symbol, so it must be Masuda Toshirou after all. I'm certainly no expert at reading that, but just a simple comparison between other names is now making me think otherwise.

Plot/Characters: Here, we have yet another drama-filled story of a young child facing the difficulties of having mushi interfere with his life. Much like Shinra in Episode 1 and Sui in Episode 2, it's yet another life-affecting/afflicting circumstance of a mushi's presence.

A little off-topic, there was a very interesting discussion we had in my Literary Criticism class about how the general public creates this line of acceptance and praise between "Literary" and "Genre," with Literary being the non-linear, sometimes obscure kinds of symbolism one would have to really dig into, while Genre represents the straight-line, easy to follow kinds of storytelling that just about anyone can understand.

With the nature of this series being the way it is, I can't really say which one it fits. Each episode is pretty easy to understand from a plot standpoint (since they're all individual stories). Although, I can't help but wonder what exactly went through the mind of Urushibara Yuuki when she made the manga. Is it a message to communicate spiritual or environmental beliefs? Or maybe it's just a really great fantasy story?

Who knows. Interpretations and value have always been in the eye of the beholder. But man, there's so much enjoyment that I, personally, get from seeing this series and just listening to the soundtrack. Perhaps as the thread moves on and the rest of you participate, we can figure something out.

Voice Acting: Another excellent English adaptation of the script and cast. I normally don't like the way most dubs treat children's voices, but Alison Viktorin does a great job as Maho. The dialogue in particular, though, is always the strong part of the drama. While the dub script isn't word-for-word perfect, the writers still dovery well in changing up some of the sentence structure and placement to fit with the mouthflaps, while also maintaining the mystical and beautiful aura of the series. Aside from your own personal preference in voice tone and pitch, it feels pretty much flawless and is a good listen in either language.
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Overall, yet another fabulous episode with especially great artistry in the snowy setting and a much more satisfying resolution as opposed to the last episode (sure, Sui was able to see again, but it's still a bit sad that she lost her eyes to begin with). The next episode is a bit more on the trippy side, but trippy never really hurt anyone (at least in anime). Well, unless it's a Kon Satoshi movie not named Millennium Actress Razz.

It's getting late now and I'm sleepy, sorry for any typos.


Last edited by Tony K. on Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Clodus



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 467
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Tony K. your devotion is incomparable *bows* I haven't actually sat down to read all of it but have browsed through. Ill finish up when the mood strikes but excellent so far

i did some research and compiled it up for those interested.
first thing is the chronological order of the anime series as compared with the manga. goes as follow, Here Not that it matters what order you watch it in since its episodic but for those who want to anyways.

ok heres my theory for when its possible for another manga to anime adaption of mushishi. read bold for conclusion

There are 5 chapters per volume, so each chapter is also an episode. They used all of Volumes 1-5 and the first chapter in Volume 6 to make the 26 anime episodes. Manga Volumes are released at approximately 1 year apart. Wiki says there are currently 8 volumes out but i couldnt find the release date of the 8th but following the pattern would be close to February of 07.
so whats left is how many total chapters (episodes there are unanimated) 4(V6)+5(V7)+5(V8)= 14 episodes so technically theres already enough material to cover a 14 episode series.

V1 released 11/22/00 is 457 days (65 weeks 2 days) from V2 2/22/02
V2 released 2/22/02 is 301 days (43 weeks 0 days) from V3 12/20/02
V3 released 12/20/02 is 307 days (43 weeks 6 days) from V4 10/23/03
V4 released 10/23/03 is 365 days (52 weeks 1 days) from V5 10/22/04
V5 released 10/22/04 is 244 days (34 weeks 6 days) from V6 6/23/05
V6 released 6/23/05 is 245 days (35 weeks) from V7 2/23/06
V1 released 11/22/00 is 1919 days (274 weeks 1 days) from V7 2/23/06

unfortunately i got excited and decided to do the math before counting the episodes already left so that leaves my first theory done. my second theory is for a season 2 of mushishi composing of 24 episodes in. following the pattern V9 would be released January 2008 and V10 in December 2008. 4(V6)+5(V7)+5(V8)+5(V9)+5(V10)=24
Thus 24 chapters are left as to be animated into episodes in Late of 2008 or Early 2009.
this is all speculative and please correct me if i did anything wrong.
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