Ginko, on the Mushi “Weeaboo”

With the licensing of Mushishi manga and anime, a slightly successful trend of animation in the west continues. Invariably when introducing people to Mushishi, comparisons are to be made with Kino’s Journey and other, episodic exhibits of theme and aloof travelers. The limited success of these shows here and there bodes well for this sub-genre’s vitality. Certainly if others to follow are of the caliber of Mushishi, I think we all are going to welcome them in open arms.

The magic of the show is subtle. But somewhere, somehow Mushishi accomplishes for me in what others have failed: that kept me entertained from start to finish.

It’s a bug. Sure, the anime doesn’t really explain how Ginko’s western wear play magic to the new viewer in setting their expectation of a fusion of settings. This is just another part of the whole experience of seeing the worldview-shattering introduction that later plays on the subtle heart strings in exploration of Ginko’s own story.

But unlike Kino (and like others like it), Mushishi has a more sustained theme going on. The traditional Japanese setting, the elegant yet thankfully fleeting reliance on character archetypes to get the story across drives the tone of each Mushi-struck heartstring from one episode to the next. It’s like playing Okami. Well, okay, maybe not, but the appeal may be the same.

And thus, the Weeaboo takes root in the space between the two halves of the brain, summoning from the twisting nether strange sensations that elate its host yet slowly reducing its host into a gaggling fanboy/fangirl. Sadly, such is not my condition after finishing watching all of it just yesterday; perhaps it’s just latent?

Post-script: sometimes the Weeaboo takes shape of a pair of thigh-highs. Prescription: finishing watching Kanon 2006, and Mushishi. I guess that means I won’t be cured for another 2 months?!

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