English cover of Mushishi vol. 1 featuring the main character, Ginko
|Genre||Supernatural, Occult detective|
|Written by||Yuki Urushibara|
|Original run||1999 – 2008|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Nagahama|
|Network||Fuji TV, BS Fuji, Animax|
|Original run||October 22, 2005 – June 18, 2006|
|Directed by||Katsuhiro Otomo|
|Produced by||Sunmin Park|
|Written by||Sadayuki Murai|
|Music by||Kuniaki Haishima|
|Released||March 24, 2007|
The manga was adapted into an anime television series in 2005. The Artland production was directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. A live-action feature film adaptation, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, premiered on March 24, 2007.
The story features ubiquitous creatures called Mushi that often display supernatural powers. Mushi are described as beings in touch with the essence of life, far more basic and pure than normal living things. Due to their ethereal nature most humans are incapable of perceiving Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi.
One such person is Ginko (ギンコ), the main character of the series. He employs himself as a Mushi master (蟲師 mushi-shi ), traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them. The series is an episodic anthology in which the only common elements among episodes are Ginko and the various types of Mushi. There is no overarching plotline.
Due to the episodic nature of the series, there are very few recurring characters, and the list of voice actors is fairly lengthy. The most frequently seen character is an otherworldy-looking man named Ginko who is voiced by Yuto Nakano (and Travis Willingham in the English dub). Ginko's unusual white hair and green eye color is the result of an incident that occurred when he was a child. However, additional insights concerning Ginko's personal history are deliberately vague. A majority of the stories do not focus on Ginko, but rely on him as a catalyst to move the story forward by diagnosing or curing mushi-related illnesses and phenomena.
Urushibara stated that Mushishi is set in an imaginary time between the Edo and Meiji periods, with technology of the 19th century but with Japan as still a country closed to foreign exchange. Ginko is a rare person who attracts mushi. This inspires his peripatetic lifestyle. Staying in one place too long will gather a potentially dangerous amount of mushi. He also smokes constantly in order to keep mushi away. In terms of personality, Ginko is rather laid back. However, he can be very serious when it comes to protecting people from mushi. He also often stresses that the mushi are not evil, but merely trying to survive like everyone else.
The only two other characters who have repeat appearances are a collector named Adashino, who appears in episodes 5, 10, and briefly in 18, and Nui, a Mushi Master who appears only in episode 12, but whose voice can be heard narrating some of the opening and closing lines characteristic of each episode. Veteran voice actors Yūji Ueda and Mika Doi voice those characters, respectively.
TV series 
The anime series, animated by Artland and directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, spanned a total of 26 episodes. The first 20 episodes of the series first aired between October 2005 and March 2006 on Fuji TV and its affiliated broadcast networks, including Kansai TV, Tōkai TV, Hokkaidō Bunka Hoso, TV Shinhiroshima, TV Nishinippon. Episodes 21 through 26 aired on BS Fuji every Sunday from May 14, 2006 to June 18 of the same year.
The television series covered every chapter from the first five volumes of the manga and the first story from volume six, but did not adhere to the original order.
At the 5th Tokyo Anime Award competition held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, held on March 25, 2006, the anime series won grand prizes in the categories of television series and best art direction (for Takashi Waki).
The series has later been aired by the Japanese anime television network, Animax, who have also aired the series later across its respective networks worldwide, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Latin America. It has also been licensed for distribution across numerous other regions, including North America by Funimation Entertainment.
- Planning: Yoshirō Kataoka, Yoshiaki Matsumoto, Yoshito Takaya
- Executive Producers: Haruki Nakayama, Kenji Shimizu, Atsushi Suzuki
- Director and Series Composition: Hiroshi Nagahama
- Screenplay: Aki Itami, Kiniko Kuwabata, Yuka Yamada
- Character Design and Chief Animation Director: Yasuhiko Umakoshi
- Art Director: Takeshi Waki
- Director of Photography: Yuki Hama
- Music: Toshio Masuda
- Music Producer: Yukifumi Makino
- Sound Director: Kazuya Tanaka
- Sound Production: Delphi Sound
- OP and ED Director: Ichigō Sugawara
- Production Manager: Noboru Ishiguro (Artland)
- Executive Producer: Hidenobu Watanabe
- Production Cooperation: ADK
- Producers: Yoshiaki Tamura, Hiroyuki Ōizumi, Shin Hieda
- Animation Production: Art Land
- Production: Mushishi Production Committee (Marvelous Entertainment, Avex Entertainment, SKY Perfect Wellthink)
Main cast 
- Ginko: Voiced by: Yūto Nakano (Japanese), Travis Willingham (English)
- Adashino: Voiced by: Yūji Ueda (Japanese), Chuck Huber (English)
- Nui: Voiced by: Mika Doi (Japanese), Jennifer Seman (English)
Guest cast 
- "The Sore Feet Song" by Ally Kerr
- Ending themes
All tracks were composed by Toshio Masuda.
|1||Midori no Za (On Air Ver.)||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||24|
|2||Mabuta no Hikari||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||6|
|3||Yawarakai Tsuno||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||3|
|4||Makura Kouji||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||4|
|5||Tabi o Suru Numa||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||10|
|6||Tsuyu o Suu Mure||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||12|
|7||Ame ga Kuru Niji ga Tatsu||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||9|
|8||Unasaka Yori||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||7|
|9||Omoi Mi||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||14|
|10||Suzuri ni Sumu Shiro||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||16|
|11||Yama Nemuru||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||18|
|12||Sugame no Sakana (On Air Ver.)||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||23|
|13||Hito Yo Bashi||Mushishi Soundtrack 1||13|
|14||Kago no Naka||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||12|
|15||Haru to Usobuku||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||7|
|16||Akatsuki no Hebi||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||4|
|17||Uro Mayu Tori||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||8|
|18||Yama Daku Koromo||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||13|
|19||Teppen no Ito||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||2|
|20||Fude no Umi||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||3|
|21||Wata Houshi||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||18|
|22||Oki tsu Miya||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||6|
|23||Sabi no Naku Koe||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||14|
|24||Kagari no Kou||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||20|
|25||Ganpuku Ganka||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||17|
|26||Kusa o Fumu Oto||Mushishi Soundtrack 2||21|
Feature film 
A live-action Mushishi feature film, released in 2006, was directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The world premiere was held at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and it opened as a roadshow theatrical release in Japanese theatres on 24 March 2007.
Video game 
The series has won numerous awards; in 2003, the manga was awarded an Excellence Prize for manga at the 7th Japan Media Arts Festival, while in 2006, the series won the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga. At the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival, both the anime and manga series were placed among the top 10 in their respective categories for best manga and anime. The anime series won grand prizes in the categories of television series and best art direction (for Takashi Waki) at the 5th Tokyo Anime Award competition held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2006. In Jason Thompson's online appendix to Manga: The Complete Guide, he describes the series as "atmospheric, original and fascinating".
See also 
- "東京国際アニメフェア2006" (in Japanese). http://www.taf.metro.tokyo.jp. Retrieved 2006-07-30.
- "Mushishi". Anime News Network. 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2006-07-30.
- Gpara staff (November 20, 2007). "「蟲師」の深く静かな世界を体験！DS『蟲師 ～天降る里～』" (in Japanese). Gpara. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- "2003 [7th] Japan Media Arts Festival". Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-05-03. Text " Excellence Prize MUSHISHI" ignored (help)
- "過去の受賞者一覧 : 講談社漫画賞 : 講談社「おもしろくて、ためになる」出版を" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- (Japanese) "文化庁メディア芸術祭10周年企画アンケート日本のメディア芸術100選 結果発表". Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- Thompson, Jason (2009-09-29). "365 Days of Manga, Day 14: Mushishi - Suvudu - Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, and Games". Suvudu. Retrieved 2010-02-05.