Anime/Manga, Book, Reviews

Mushishi Manga by Yuki Urushibara. Review of a Fictional World Unlike Any Other.

Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara is set in the fictional world somewhere between  Edo and Meiji Period in Japan. Mushi stands for the creatures who are living among humans but invisible to human eyes due to their ethereal nature.

Mushishi By Yuki Urushibara
Chapter – ‘Eye’s Fortune, Eye’s Misfortune’

Mushishi Manga ranks 8.8/10 on MyAnimeList and 4.3/5 on Goodreads.

Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
Cute, isn’t she?

            Yuki Urushibara

Let’s get to know the author first. Yuki Urushibara is a Japanese manga artist born in 23, January 1974 in the Namaguchi prefecture of Japan.  She also goes by pen name Soyogo Shima. ‘Mushishi’ is her most critically as well as publicly acclaimed work till date. This manga is used as the base of an anime series and live action movie of the same name. She has won several awards for her manga, ‘Mushishi’ probably because of its unique storytelling style.

Mushishi By Yuki Urushibara Manga Review

Ginko` is the main protagonist of Mushishi manga, his is the work of a catalyst for the story to move forward. He is a mushi master so comes the name of manga, ‘Mushi-shi’. Call it unfortunate events or fateful coincidence which makes Ginko a mushi master.

The story revolves around omnipresent mushi and Ginko`. As explained at the start Mushi is ethereal creatures invisible to the human eyes often causing a phenomenon that seems supernatural. In addition to this, the mushi are considered primitive beings originating as a larval form in the ‘Kouki’ which is considered ‘The Light Vein’ or ‘The river of light’. Because it is treated as a source of life itself, it is sacred to the Mushishi. The same reason makes it vulnerable as one who knows how to use Kouki can have immortal life.

Humans are oblivious to their existence but some can see the mushi with naked eyes. Ginko`can see the mushi because he has been touched by a mushi himself as a child. He doesn’t despise or hate mushi, he cares about them as he cares for a human life. To him, mushi are creatures trying to live just like us all.

Our mushi master Ginko` smokes a special brand of mushi-repellent mix. Laid back, focused, self-employed mushishi Ginko` travels from places to places. Relieving humans of any kind of mushi ailment and earning in the process. However, this isn’t Ginko’s story, he is just an interesting catalyst to keep the story moving. Along the way we meet many interesting characters, new mushi as well as other mushi-masters and a probable love interest for Ginko`.

The story is fresh, portrayed with artistic background images and lifestyle in the villages of the Edo-Meiji Periods. During Edo – Meiji period Japan was still not as open to the influence of outside world like it is today. The goofy facial expressions when a character says something out of the blue will never fail to make you smile.

It’s an all-time favorite of mine.  It is a soothing, calming world rather than action packed stories.

Here are few pictures from my owned manga of ‘Mushishi’.

Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
Chapter ‘Snake of Down’.
Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
One of my personal favorite, ‘Kagebi (Hidane) Mushi’ from ‘Flames of the Fields’.
Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara
Kagebi is rather similar in appears with a tiny flame. Furthermore, they live in the fields or open spaces where working people and playing children fall prey to it. Once the host engulfs them the ‘hidane’ mushi live inside the host’s body consequently eating the host’s warmth till it’s death. Dramatic as it is, the cure is in the disease.

Well,  this is it. I hope you will give ‘Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara’ a read. It is freely available online or you can buy it from Amazon.

Like it happens every Christmas, if someone wants to be a secret Santa for me this Christmas please buy me this book, Mushishi.

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