08 May 2008
For those who enjoyed the first couple of volumes, Mushishi volumes 3 and 4 will be a welcome addition to their collection.
Once again, the discs present a series of folk-tales surrounding the mysterious Mushi Master Ginko and his ability to see the otherworldly Mushi.
Those that like character progression and depth to their anime will be a little torn - with each episode self contained, the lack of an arc may leave some bemoaning the lack of overall progression. On the flipside, the writing is so skilful that each bite-size tale is tremendously rewarding, so it all comes down to personal preference. Then again, Mushishi never claimed to be an "epic", and as a series of fables it really is very hard to beat.
The animation remains simple but beautifully realised, with the characters wandering around some fantastic landscapes, surrounded by the transluscent Mushi.
The standout stories include the tale of a painter whose fortunes are tied to his jacket and the tale of woman whose memories are eaten by Mushi. Though all the tales are lovingly crafted, these two in particular were the most moving.
With a flood of hi-octane titles hitting the shelves, Mushishi is a welcome change of pace. Though its sedate nature won't appeal to everyone, for those who like to take it easy, this is hard to beat.