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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Mushishi




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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:36 am Reply with quote
Mushi-shi is great, but this is one of the few series where I think the anime outshines it, the color, sound, and pacing just add so much to it for me. That said, I still bought volumes 6-10 of the manga since they weren't animated, I do wish that they were!
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ss-hikaru



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:48 am Reply with quote
Oh how I love this series Anime smile For various reasons though, I keep putting off buying the 8-9-10 omnibus.

What I really love about this series is how it strikes a nice balance between stories with happy endings and stories with tragic endings. Also, in all of the stories there is that 'and life goes on' feeling which is good because otherwise it'll make the mushi seem evil, when they are basically just a part of nature that the characters have to live with.

Quote:
In "The Chirping Shell" we meet the mushi that causes seashells to make the sound of the sea when you hold them up to your ear.


This sounded strange to me when first I read it because don't seashells normally make the sound of the sea (I've never tried it...)? Plus the title is "The Chirping Shell". So I went and checked my volume, and yeah, the seashells have the sound of birds in them, hence the title Anime smile

That picture of the man with the leaves growing off him isn't familiar to me so it must be in the last omnibus volume. I wanna read it! *goes to finally order the last volume*
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Elves



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:26 am Reply with quote
Thanks for featuring Mushi-shi, Jason! It so deserves some hype. I hope more people discover this wonderful series. I've seen the anime, but I think I'll start in on the manga now; it sounds like there's lots more to the story after the anime leaves off.
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albanian



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:16 am Reply with quote
Visually and imaginatively glorious in all of its manifestations - manga, anime and film, I certainly found the inherent charm of Mushi-shi to be quite irresistable across the board. Even the live-action film, while the least successsful of the three formats, had a captivating atmosphere which raised it well above the average. The only problem, it seems to me, is that the concept is far too intelligent and thought-provoking to ever be really popular.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:16 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Mushi-shi is great, but this is one of the few series where I think the anime outshines it, the color, sound, and pacing just add so much to it for m


I strongly agree. The anime version is so striking that it always takes me a bit of time to settle into the manga. That said, I have all of the manga volumes, so obviously I like the manga series too. I'm really grateful to Del Rey for completing the series' print.
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pachy_boy



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:37 am Reply with quote
I was content with the gorgeous anime, since it's all episodic with no overarching story. The Anime featured a couple of my favorite stories, namely one where Ginko seems to have a potential love interest in Tanyu, and another where dying people can be reborn thanks to a sea creature, and a woman comes to terms with raising her mother as her daughter, which sounds twisted but is actually a sweet story. But it sounds like the manga has a few more interesting stories, and Jason Thompson said the manga had a 'climax.' Does that mean that the manga felt like it has its own ending, rather than just stops like I assumed it did?

Rather than being episodic, Mushishi had all the elements and themes that would've made a great, long-running overarching story if the manga-ka had thought about doing it. Just take Ginko's origins, his purpose as a traveler and mushi master, his philosophies of the mushi, and incorporate elements like the 'light flow' or even characters from some stories, like Tanyu, and one could be good to go. Of course, Otomo attempted that with the movie, and while it really wasn't bad, I didn't like spoiler[ the contrived storyline in how Ginko's mentor, Nue, was just made to suffer in this version].

I remember reading somewhere that Urushibara never thought of Ginko as the protagonist so much as just an observer, even though he's the one character that connected all the stories. I don't know how I can agree, since Ginko is clearly more than an observer since he consistently interacts with and influences people and events, having an effect that never would've happened if he wasn't there.
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Generic #757858



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:07 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
But it sounds like the manga has a few more interesting stories, and Jason Thompson said the manga had a 'climax.' Does that mean that the manga felt like it has its own ending, rather than just stops like I assumed it did?


Well, not really. The final story does feature some callbacks to Ginko's origin and there's a scene that spoiler[seems to imply that he was finally consumed by the mushi living in his left eye, but later he's shown to be just fine and traveling around as usual.] All in all, I still thought it was as good a place to end the series as any, since it was starting to get little too repetetive (not helped by the fact that nearly all of Urushibara's human character look exactly the same). An overarching plot might've kept things interesting and there were some hints about such with the evil dark mushi, but I guess that just wasn't what Urushibara was going for. Ah well, it's still a great series and well worth reading.

And yeah, I too agree that the anime was superior, despite being a very straightforward adaption. Topnotch sound, music, color and animation really brought the series to life. Too bad that they never made the second season.
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rabrek



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:17 am Reply with quote
Ah, Mushi-Shi. I re-read the series recently to lead in to the release of the omnibus final volume (thank yooooooooou, Del Rey!), and now that I have only the last three chapters to go... I'm dragging my feet. Because once I've read them, there's no new Mushi-Shi to look forward to.

I came to the manga via the anime (which caught my eye in an ANN ad, not long after I started lurking here - the first of ANN's many delightful assaults on my wallet). I like the anime very much, in no small part for the way I'm able to relax into its pacing. However, the manga remains my preferred medium. It's a pleasure to pull out a volume and read a chapter. Put it down. Come back in an hour or a day and read another chapter. Put it down. Mushi-Shi is a series that benefits from a little space between stories, especially for those who are accustomed to a forward-moving story structure. Reading a volume of Mushi-Shi non-stop is a profoundly different experience from powering through the latest FMA or One Piece. Not better, not worse, but very different.

Quote:
To her credit, though, Urushibara doesn't write many clichéd cautionary tales about humans destroying the environment.

For me, the single most unexpected twist on this comes in the omnibus, in "The Eternal Tree". I can't think of a way to express it without the risk of diminishing the experience for a new reader, so I'll leave it at that.

Three chapters left. *sigh*
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Generic #757858 wrote:
pachy_boy wrote:
But it sounds like the manga has a few more interesting stories, and Jason Thompson said the manga had a 'climax.' Does that mean that the manga felt like it has its own ending, rather than just stops like I assumed it did?


Well, not really.


Yeah, I don't mean to get your hopes up too much with the 'climax' thing. The final storyline is a two-parter, and it's got some interesting twists involving Ginko, but it's basically just a good story. It doesn't just "stop," but it doesn't end with anything too earth-shatteringly different from what has gone before.

I haven't seen much of the anime, but I agree, this is one of those manga where sound and color -- especially color -- makes a big difference. All those nice landscapes...
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Chrno2



Joined: 28 May 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Mushishi is one of those titles that some may overlook. It's a really great piece of work. I've read every vol. and enjoyed every story.
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vashthekaizoku



Joined: 30 May 2009
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Location: The House of Rat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:05 pm Reply with quote
I picked up this series at my local library and really enjoyed it! I feared that the series had been dropped until the omnibus finale was announced. I recently watched the anime and loved Travis Willingham's work as Ginko. It's very different from his Colonel Mustang. I also like that the boy in the first episode was the child homunculus Wrath in the original FMA and Adashino, who has a much larger part in the anime, was also a familiar voice, the excellent Chuck Huber. It was one that, if Funimation puts out a SAVE edition, will likely make it into my collection!

I also agree with the comparison to the Uzumaki manga. I thought the same thing when I read it. ^__^
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Keichitsu0305



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:09 pm Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
I was content with the gorgeous anime, since it's all episodic with no overarching story. The Anime featured a couple of my favorite stories, namely one where Ginko seems to have a potential love interest in Tanyu, and another where dying people can be reborn thanks to a sea creature, and a woman comes to terms with raising her mother as her daughter, which sounds twisted but is actually a sweet story.


I remember those episodes Very Happy!! A few of my favorites from Mushi-shi was the one about the man who was 'chasing rainbows' that were really mushi and the story about the boy who's drawings came to life & that his grandmother was stuck between the "mushi world" and ours.

vashthekaizoku wrote:

I recently watched the anime and loved Travis Willingham's work as Ginko. It's very different from his Colonel Mustang.


That's the first reason why I watched the Dubbed version. ;D

The art is beyond gorgeous, Ginko is possibly the most unique protagonist I ever read about, and, because of the non-linear storyline, Mushi-shi can be read almost at any occasion without worrying about feeling like you missed something important. It makes the story feel more relaxing in a way.

Plus, any story that involve the supernatural while having a 'human element' always keep me intrigued. Thank you, Mr. Thompson for reading this wonderful manga!!
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psa



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:55 am Reply with quote
rabrek wrote:
now that I have only the last three chapters to go... I'm dragging my feet. Because once I've read them, there's no new Mushi-Shi to look forward to.


I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one. I was so impressed by the anime that I went and picked up the manga. My omnibus was preordered and I've had it a long time, but I can't bring myself to finish it because I like knowing there's still more to read, more to discover.

I enjoyed all three mediums, though the anime did seem the most effective. This series is just a real delight.
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jennye



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:58 am Reply with quote
I, too, love Mushi-shi!

I came across the animé on Netflix (probably after reading about in on ANN--thank you!!) and then had to own it. (Just looking at the box on my shelf lowers my blood pressure.) Then I checked out the books from my local library (and am eagerly waiting for my hold on the omnibus volume to be filled) and plan on buying them all, as well, so I can get my Zen on without having to turn on my computer or the DVD player.

Yes, a lot of the side characters (and they really are all side characters apart from Ginko) look alike, regardless of gender, but somehow that just seems to further the idea of the universality of the stories and the encounters and makes the uniqueness and intricate variety of the mushi all the more pronounced.

Mushi-shi leaves you with the impression that if you just slow down, quiet yourself, and really open your senses to the world, that you'll discover whole other layers to it, echoes and underpinnings and elemental pulses. There's no real sense of good or evil here (though there is that one mushi that seems to harbor some malice), just the natural rhythms of the world, and sometimes things work out one way, sometimes another, and you just do your best and deal with what is true. Everything, and everyone, is part of the fabric of this life.

This series actually made me close my eyes and put my hands over my ears to listen to the sound of the blood rushing through my veins (as Ginko instructs a character to do to help him focus and find himself after being drowned out by the clamouring mushi). It's that good.
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doc-watson42
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 10 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Jason Thompson wrote:
(Urushibara even uses one of the same images as Uzumaki, in a story when we meet the "Un," snail-shaped mushi who feed on sounds and dwell in the spiral of the human ear.)

I've seen the anime episode based on that manga story, and "un" is apparently a term from Buddhism. See:

"Buddhist temple guardian statues?" (Mania.com/Anime on DVD thread)

Nio (linked from the above)

Nio Protectors of Japan

Samurai Spirits and Buddhist Terms
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