Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mushishi (a.k.a the easy pick for Anime of the Year so far)

Had you know me well enough or generally talks to me for the past month or so, you'll see this coming from miles away. I was so excited for Mushishi Zoku Shou (a.k.a the 2nd season) since January and just can't seem to able to shut up about it. And given my current state of apathetic towards all anime in general lately this is a heaven sent gift to fuel back the anime watching in me.

And sure it's just Spring season, and there's more anime to come and be excited for, but I doubt anything will come and beat the general feels and downright screaming I did for Mushishi, hands down. Yes, even Book of Circus on the last 'K' letter post and 2nd season of Durarara!! falls short to this amazing piece of work.

The one that might be able to contend will be if they announce the production of Natsume Yuujinchou Go, but even then I doubt it will win; for Mushishi Zoku Shou is, if anything, nothing short of a miracle.

It started on January when out of nowhere, an OVA was released for the series, and needless to say, everyone was generally excited for it, -more Mushishi is better than none- but when the end credits reveal the new season slotted on Spring, the whole fandom explodes (the re-emergence of it at Tumblr is nothing short of amazing, and all the beautiful art that comes with it are surreal; seriously, the whole time I was like 'how do people art?!'). It's not the sort of anime that totally cashing-in commercial-wise, and the award-winning manga had long finished its serial, that nobody saw the sequel coming after 9 freaking years.

Mushishi is, after all, a rare beast when it first aired way back on 2005, and even more peculiar among all the airing ones today.

To be frank, talking about Mushishi is hard as there's no specific plot, (here's where you start berating me for watching something with no plot when I often stress the importance of it in anime) but I digress, for this series is an episodic anthology and it thrives on the atmosphere of the world the series sets in, the situations a Mushishi by the name of Ginko -who is also the main titular character- finds himself in as he deals with Mushi; beings with an essence of life (think ayakashi but with no personality and just pure beings assimilate with nature) and the people that crosses his path.

This is a show you need to experience by yourself to really capture the brilliance of it, for none of my words can give it justice. And what an experience it is; the subdued style of animation paints the world vividly, the characters are humbly human (no tropes going around) and the soundtrack of the 1st season remains one of the best pieces in anime history for me.

Hell, 2 episodes in and I can confidently declare Mushishi Zoku Shou as the Anime of the Year. The brilliance of the 1st season translates smoothly here, as if there's no time gap between the two, and really, in the end of the day, nothing beats an episode of Mushishi to reflect the quiet beauty of nature no other anime can give, and that, people, is what going through the weekly wait worth everything and more.

If you don't watch the series yet, drop everything you're doing now and do yourself a favor by picking this up. If you're too lazy to go over the 26 episode anime just jump straight to Zoku Shou, as there's no need for prior knowledge to indulge in the world of Mushishi (really, there's no overarching plot going on here). If you feel like just giving it a try, check out Mushishi Tokubetsu-hen - Hihamukage (the OVA).

I cannot stress enough how this series is a wonderful show, and I may fumbled with my words in more ways than one writing this post, as it's one of the very few anime I'll give a perfect 10/10 in a heartbeat. There's nothing like Mushishi before and after it and the closest to comparison one can get is Natsume Yuujinchou, or in someways, perhaps Kino no Tabi in atmosphere, but even then it didn't work quite right.

For Mushishi is, to me, a standalone piece of art, and as grandiose as this may sound; a true masterpiece.


Till then,


~the still-intensely-fangirling Heiji

Music of the Day: Lucy Rose - Shiver

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