mushishi*

5

(Day 24) Mushishi is a simple manga. It’s got a light and airy style to it. The beautiful water colors and the gentle and precise hatching of lovely untouched landscapes really not only tell a story but immerse you in a world that is odd but not so different than our own.

The world is very simple, set in rustic pre-Meiji era Japan, where farmers are just trying to scratch out a living in what is still a very wild and untamed country. There are things that live out in these wild places. Things that defy explanation. These misshapen things that make fantastic and sometimes very terrifying things happen just by being near them, just my interacting with them. Accidentally or otherwise. They are natural parts of the cycle that in born in all things, but because of their power and mystery it is not smooth integration with a changing country. Humanity clashes with these simple beings in that they seek to control and understand their environment. Due to the exposure of these old and deep beings things happen that need to be dealt with by a mediator between the two opposing forces. Ginko is that mediator. He is a human that is beloved by these mushi (swarming things) and this helps him as what he wants to do most is study them. But because he is loved he also attracts things that cannot abide interaction with other humans, and so Ginko must keep moving, never staying in one place for very long. He is a doctor, an ecologist, a mediator, and a friend to anyone (or anything for that matter) that needs him, and this manga catalogs some of the stories of people he meets along the way that are so afflicted by errant mushi. For good or for ill. What he seeks most is to not eradicate the mushi because they are doing something that may be wrong in our eyes but is just a natural part of what they’ve always did.  He wants most to maintain symbiosis between humanity and mushi, as this is the way that is the most viable for both parties. 

This manga has no real beginning and no real end. You travel with Ginko for a time and then part ways, and it is truly beautiful