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Mushishi  
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Description
They exist in the most unexpected places -- be it within your eyes and ears, under the floor and roof of your house, or the trees and flowers in your garden. They are everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time. Are they alive or not? Perhaps it is more apt to say they are beings who transcend the concept of life and death itself...

They are mushi.

Some wreak havoc in the lives of humans; while others bring them deliverance from suffering. Mushi are neither good, nor evil; for just like any other creature, they are merely striving to survive in this harsh, competitive world.

Ginko - a lone wanderer with a reclusive personality, offers help and guidance to those plagued by mushi. This is the tale of his travels and exploits in a wondrous world populated by these mysterious entities.

Won the 2006 Kodansha Manga Award in the category "Best General Manga".

Type
Manga

Related Series

Associated Names
蟲師
กีฏจารย์กับอาถรรพ์แมลงพิสดาร
충사
Bug Master
Mushi-shi

Groups Scanlating
Bakalicious
Darkreaper70
Hanami
J.A.C. Group
More...

Latest Release(s)
c.35 by J.A.C. Group (1809d ago)
c.34 by J.A.C. Group (1860d ago)
c.33 by J.A.C. Group (1947d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
10 Volumes (Tankobon - Complete)
10 Volumes (Aizoban - Complete)

Completely Scanlated?
Yes

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 6, Chap 1

User Reviews
N/A

Forum
5 topics, 14 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (656 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.89 / 10.0
10
 53% (345 votes)
9+
 21% (140 votes)
8+
 13% (84 votes)
7+
 7% (44 votes)
6+
 2% (14 votes)
5+
 2% (10 votes)
4+
 1% (7 votes)
3+
 0% (3 votes)
2+
 0% (1 votes)
1+
 1% (8 votes)

Last Updated
July 22nd 2014, 12:06pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1999

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Afternoon (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Del Rey (7 Volumes + 1 Omnibus - Complete)
Kodansha USA

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #681 increased(+92)
Monthly Pos #1013 decreased(-102)
3 Month Pos #945 increased(+40)
6 Month Pos #962 decreased(-84)

List Stats
On 1158 reading lists
On 1416 wish lists
On 782 completed lists
On 69 unfinished lists
On 404 custom lists

Sponsored Links
Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

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Forum Posts
Whoever came up with the "Bug Master" title translation needs to be smacked upside the head 131 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes ago
Mushishi Anime Gets 2nd Season in April 328 days, 7 hours, 53 minutes ago
anime or manga? 619 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes ago
Ending Discussion.... 1056 days, 0 hours, 7 minutes ago
Manga to Anime Rundown 2991 days, 5 hours, 10 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Boring you say ?   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by residentgrigo
November 16th, 2014, 8:51am
I find Mushishi NOT to be boring but i view it as the MOST boring anime(but not sure if manga) ever. The sheer commitment to no service of any kind to the reader/viewer has to be admired ! There is only deep storytelling and the beauty of nature nothing more. The mangaka had a vision to tell and did´t care about the reader one bit. Ether you get on the slowest train if all or you go home. A friend of mine i now forced to watch the series described it as gently walking through a forest. I couldn´t describe it better. 10/10 and the best Mono no aware of all.
The new Mushishi volume is identical to the two sisters episode 11 and 12(or special if you like) from season 2 by the way.

... Last updated on November 16th, 2014, 8:56am
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Another manga done correctly   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by zimzimbadabim
August 3rd, 2012, 11:56am
It gives me a good feeling when I see mangas like these. It's the reason I have completed over 100 mangas and am currently reading over 200 other mangas: for the chance that I might find a gem such as this one. In all my experience I've only read about 15 other mangas of this quality.
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Beautiful   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by doushimomo
July 14th, 2012, 5:34pm
The world feels so completely realized, so utterly rich, that I find myself reading this over and over again. Something about Mushishi is so wonderful and calming, it's just a joy to read. The artwork is beautiful, and I also enjoy reading the mangaka's notes about where she's traveled, and how she gets her ideas.
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What makes a legend   
Rating: N/A
by Ibleda
February 2nd, 2012, 9:52pm
Amazing manga. However... unexpected for it to end. I thought of it as a manga with potential to go on just about forever, as they were short stories instead of a single plotline. Honestly... the ending was not satisfying at all. There were no storyline that points to end of series at all, it just went *boom* and over.
However, that does not change that Mushishi is an absolutely awesome manga. Although the ending was not satisfying, it was not unacceptable either. Quality over quantity, nothing better can be said. The last thing wanted would be for a quality drop if the manga was dragged on, though if a sequel is ever released, I would definitely look forward to reading it.
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Greatly satisfying.   
Rating: N/A
by SomePerson
September 28th, 2011, 4:42pm
Don't look for huge story arcs or a single connected plotline. This manga is a collection of short (but very good) stories. Ginko is a great character, and the world that Urushibara has made is wonderful. This manga isn't just about him, but rather the world around him (in a sense, how we flow with nature). I enjoyed the stories about him very much, but there are just so many others that are just as good.

One of the few episodic manga that I really enjoyed. Definitely recommend it for a read...
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Amazing work.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by LUEser
May 27th, 2011, 2:34pm
First of all, I want to point out that I love the artwork. The people, in general, is not over-dramatically drawn; they're everyday people with everyday lives. The mushi are very unique and what is even more amazing is their ability to cause different effects on people, mentally and physically. It is an absolute joy to read this series.
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Sad to see the end   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by naomi
August 27th, 2010, 9:52am
I've thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this series, rereading each of the volumes too many times to count. The way each (or majority of) chapter holds a different story, the episodic nature has become a real highlight for me. It almost feels like how an adult would tell a fairy tale to a child. Don't quite know how to explain it, but just being able to pick up a random volume and read any chapter when you have some free time is very enjoyable.

Storywise, I won't go into details, I think it's obvious how good they are. They have varied endings, mostly happy, some very bittersweet. My favourite has to be the one where the man has deja vu (somewhere in v8-10), realising his life is going around a loop. The ending just made me go oh no. Bittersweet indeed. I've read a few complaints about the ending to the whole series, how there's no dramatic story or a real closure, but I think the ending suits the episodic nature told. Sort of like you can still see Ginko wandering around in his world helping others. The art you can see grows over the volumes. Suits it very well like others have said.

Ginko's character really tops the chart. Somehow he exudes this composed, knowledgable, reliable persona I have yet to find anywhere else to match. It's also interesting to note that though Ginko appears in every chapter, in a majority of them he's depicted in a way that makes him a side character. Chapters focusing on Ginko when he was younger are few, but very interesting to read. I really do wish there was more, but the amount Urushibara has given is just enough to satisfy but still keep some mystery around him. The one thing that will always make me grin is how Ginko basically only wears two outfits. His black turtleneck and white shirt haha!

Del Rey has done a good job, a little on the expensive side though. They've kept the original sfx instead of editing them out, but noted the translated next to it, which is smart. They've also gone for the phonetic sfx approach, for example, instead of "rustle" it would probably be "ksh" or something along the lines... which is unique, much like how the jp sfx are. My earlier volumes from a few years ago aren't so great (fading ink, smudges where the ink hasn't properly dried and printed to the opposite page) but they really upped their game later. Volume 7 has really nice thick paper, so nice that even a page which is pure black won't show through the other side. The downside of this is it makes it a little hard to read (if you're protective of creasing the spine). And the ink, honestly, is lovely block black, no fading to be seen anywhere, double thumbs up for that. I'm a little unhappy they decided to make the last three volumes into an omnibus edition (v8,9,10). It just looks odd on the shelf, and the fact the spine is white instead of the off white/yellow colour they used for the other 7 vols... but that's me being picky. Paper is thinner, so you can read unhindered, but it means you can see through the otherside. They used vol10's cover but I was disappointed they hadn't included v8 and 9's somewhere inside. It should be noted that it literally is 3 books slammed together, contents and tl notes inbetween, not all at the end. I heard Mushishi wasn't doing well in sales, which is a shame to hear, so an omnibus beats no omnibus any day.

Happy and sad to see this end, but a definite recommended read.

... Last updated on December 11th, 2010, 6:33pm
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I have never seen a manga which could be described as a work of art...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by calstine
July 15th, 2009, 6:54am
...except Mushishi, of course.

I'll start my comment with this simple truth -- Mushishi is unquestionably one of the best manga ever written. I've never seen a style of story-telling like Urushibara Yuki's; it is her unique skill and cannot be duplicated.

This manga is suitable for any and every age group. I'm serious. Anyone, from a two-year-old to a centenarian, can read this with no fear of coming across even the slightest hint of age-inappropriate content. However, it takes a certain type of intellectual, irrespective of age, to be able to enjoy the true beauty of this tranquil piece of poetry.

The realism of the characters, their behaviour and their lifestyles; the depiction of nature and the sense of 'personality' given to each and every mushi is simply stunning. It's difficult, if not impossible, to find a manga that's quite so breathtakingly brilliant in its simplicity and matter-of-factness.

The protagonist, Ginko, is the most realistic and engaging persona I've had the pleasure of coming across in any work of fiction so far. He has a calm, decisive, clearly defined personality which makes it simply impossible to dislike him under any circumstance.
But of course, it's not just Ginko -- every single person we meet as we follow him on his journey is an interesting and believable individual in his or her own right; and it's quite easy to feel for, and sympathize with, their plights.

The supernatural premise of the tale, while allowing for the author to be quite creative and original in her approach, also does a most fantastic job of helping the reader feel closer to nature, and aiding him to understand the subtle message behind each stand-alone story.

Many people complain about the art being too 'vague' and 'unattractive'. It is a matter of taste -- but in my opinion, the simple but appropriately detailed illustrations only serve to enhance the gentle, poetic quality of the story. Its mystic allure will undoubtedly charm those with the ability to appreciate true artistic skill when they see it.

The conclusion carries no dramatic or thrilling climax, but is still perfect in every way. Unlike most mangaka, who fail to recognize where their talents lie and attempt to convert a perfectly well-written episodic story into a cheap soap opera with a 'shocking, unexpected ending', Urushibara Yuki has the presence of mind to be content with her tale and manages to execute a finale that fits seamlessly with the rest of the series in terms of mood, quality and effectiveness, while still providing a sense of closure to this fantastical tale of one very special man and his very unique adventures.

Everyone - child, teenager, or adult - should read Mushishi at least once. If you pass up on it, you're really missing out on a most wonderful experience.

... Last updated on May 30th, 2012, 6:57am
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Subtly Appealing   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by OppKnox
June 1st, 2009, 4:40pm
Once I was lulled into Mushishi’s dreamlike pacing, I realized the series does have a vague, lingering allure. The title may suggest otherwise, but the true protagonist is nature, or rather everything that comprises Ginko’s world, particularly mushi. The manga’s artistry lies in its lush, ethereal landscapes, while the people tend to look alike, as if the universal human condition is the one constant amidst the unpredictable flow of life. Mushishi is a bit like music without a melody or that favorite album you disliked at first. It grows on you.

Edit: I just realized my comment reiterated what the previous reviewer said. Sorry, though I suppose a little consensus doesn't hurt.

... Last updated on June 1st, 2009, 4:52pm
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Eerie and beautiful   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by serobins
April 28th, 2009, 11:10pm
Take your time reading Mushishi. The manga moves at a slow pace, but it made me shiver more than once. I've never read any stories like these. They were strange, eerie, and haunting. The art is amazing. Human figures blend into the surrounding landscape, as though they are only one more part of nature and not separate from it at all. In fact, in many ways, the landscape and the seasons are the focus of the stories and the art. This won't be for everyone, but I've rarely read anything that sparked my imagination more. It even gave me a few weird dreams.
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