January 24, 2011

Manga Mondays: Mushishi

Mushishi Vol. 1
Yuki Urushibara


Publisher: Del Rey
Pub. Date: January 30, 2007
Pages: 240


Some live in the deep darkness behind your eyelids. Some eat silence. Some thoughtlessly kill. Some simply drive men mad. Shortly after life emerged from the primordial ooze, these deadly creatures, mushi, came into terrifying being. And they still exist and wreak havoc in the world today. Ginko, a young man with a sardonic smile, has the knowledge and skill to save those plagued by mushi . . . perhaps.

I loved this manga. I haven't read a whole lot of manga and most of what I have read has been shojo, so this was very refreshing. The plot about mushi that live in human hosts affecting them in different, many times horrifying, ways is very unique. Even though this isn't going to be as action packed as other manga, the tension builds in a way that keeps our interest peeked. The horrors of the mushi are enhanced by the artwork, I don't know if words would have the same effect in describing the ways that the mushi take control of their hosts. Each encounter with a mushi is different and not all have happy endings. Some mushi are thought of as a blessing while others destroy their human hosts.

If these terrifying creatures aren't enough to pique your interest then maybe the character Ginko will. Ginko is one of the only remaining mushishi, people who know the techniques and tricks to assisting with mushi. He travels around helping people and learning more stories about the mushi. He is pretty quiet, but is very compassionate with the people he helps. It is interesting to see his interactions with the mushi because he seems to respect and possibly admire the creatures. Ginko comes up with some interesting techniques to helping people with their mushi problems.

I really like how the mushi are such mythical beings. All the myths and fables behind them made the world that Yuki Urushibara created feel real. Even though "Mushishi" is overall a very serious manga, it still had heartwarming and hilarious moments. The complexity that the mushi and Ginko bring to the book combined with the haunting artwork creates a wonderful graphic novel. I will definitely be reading more in the series. Both males and females will be able to enjoy "Mushishi".

I first saw Manga Mondays on Alison's blog Alison Can Read. Alison Can Read

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