Inspired by recent viewing of Mushishi and Onmyouji, both of which I very highly recommend, in totally different ways.

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rachelmanija: (Autumn: small leaves)
( Feb. 25th, 2007 12:36 pm)
Like the manga, whose first volume is now available in English from Del Rey, the anime is incredibly beautiful, magical and mysterious and strange. I very highly recommend both incarnations, even if you don't usually like manga and anime. (I have only read the first volume and watched four episodes, so no spoilers, please.)

Ginko is a young man with a very green eye peering out from under a mop of white hair, and he is a mushishi: an expert in mushi, which he explains as follows, holding out his hand: "Imagine that humans are the beings at the tip of my index finger. Other animals are the other fingers, and insects and reptiles, more distantly related, are at the palm. Microbes and fungi are the veins along the wrists. Mushi, the primal beings, not quite animal, not quite plant, not quite spirit, are at the heart."

Ginko wanders through a gorgeous, timeless Japanese landscape, helping people affected by mushi through a combination of medicine, logic, and magic; he finds a boy whose left hand draws creatures that leap off the page and fly away, a girl who has merged with a living, travelling swamp, and a village high in the mountains, where the falling snow softens all sounds until the mushi who feed on sound move into people's ears to survive.

This is not like anything I've ever seen before, much more lovely than horrific though it can be creepy; it makes me think of moss and forests and falling leaves, and every time I've ever been alone in a beautiful wilderness humming with life.


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