Kirsten's Reviews > Mushishi, Volume 1

Mushishi, Volume 1 by Yuki Urushibara
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Apr 07, 08

bookshelves: own, graphic-novels, manga, fiction
Read in April, 2008

I really enjoyed this manga, which was a belated Christmas gift from my younger brother. The basic idea is that there are creatures called Mushi, which are a bit like fairies, a bit like ghosts, and a bit like microscopic organisms. They are unspeakably ancient, and when they come into contact with humans, the results are often tragic. A young man named Ginko is a Mushishi, someone who studies and attempts to assist those who are afflicted by Mushi, and this episodic manga follows several of his "cases."

I liked that the Mushi are essentially fairly amoral, rather than particularly evil; in many cases, they are as conscious of the effect they have on their human hosts as we might be of the effect we have on a river we live near or a tree whose fruit we harvest carelessly. They can be malignant, but are only rarely malevolent -- they are simply alien. My favorite story in the collection was about a Mushi who was essentially the ancient spirit of a swamp. It was lovely and actually quite moving. I'm looking forward to reading more from this series.
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