Blog Post #12: Mushi-Shi
An anime series adapted from an original manga series, Mushi-Shi, takes you into a world where ghost-like organisms called “Mushi” exists and actively affect the lives of human beings. The series follows the main character Ginko through different villages, where he solves (and doesn’t solve) different problems that originate from Mushi. As he travels from village to village and solving different problems, his past is revealed on piece at a time and we’re slowly made aware of how he ended up losing one of his eyes, and why he moves from village to village and can’t stay in one place for too long.
The magic of this anime comes not just from the different types of Mushi that are encountered, but how they interact and affect the lives and morality of humans. While most of them affect humans without their knowledge, some are actually used by humans for their benefit. In one particular episode, a head of a village has a seed that guarantees a bountiful harvest year round no matter what the conditions are, but comes at a terrible price. By the end of the harvest, one random person in the village grows a seed on their tongue, and dies several days after. Once they die, the seed falls off their tongue and can be used again for another years harvest. While it’s obvious that no one wants anyone in the village to suffer this, when famine rolls around their desperation brings them to use the seed every once a while.
The plot of this episode just sums up what makes this anime so special. The fact that these tiny, invisible beings can not only affect humans physically, but can even distort what right and wrong is. While most people wouldn’t kill one of their own neighbhors/friends for food, even if it was for the greater good of the group, if they were presented with that choice in reality facing death in the face they’d probably take it. They’d even do it multiple times if they had to.
Overall this anime was a quality series from beginning to end. Each episode was different, and each had an equal chance of either ending with joy, or despair. The most prevalent underlying theme that I felt from the series was “the world is a very cruel place”. Even though there was a good equal amount of sad episodes and happy ones, the one’s that ended in tragedy left more of a mark then the one’s that ended on a happy note.