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Mushishi (蟲師?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara, published in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine from 1999 to August 2008.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series in 2005. The Artland production was directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. A live-action feature film adaptation, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, premiered on March 24, 2007.

The Mushishi manga won an Excellence Prize at the 2003 Japan Media Arts Festival and the 2006 Kodansha Manga Award.


The story features ubiquitous creatures called Mushi that often display supernatural powers. Mushi are described as beings in touch with the essence of life, far more basic and pure than normal living things. Due to their ephemeral nature most humans are incapable of perceiving Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi.

One such person is Ginko (ギンコ?), the main character of the series. He employs himself as a Mushi master (蟲師 mushi-shi?), traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them. The series is an episodic anthology in which the only common elements among episodes are Ginko and the various types of Mushi. There is no over-arching plotline.



Ginko, as portrayed in the anime series

Due to the episodic nature of the series, there are very few recurring characters, and the list of voice actors is fairly lengthy. Ginko is voiced by Yuto Nakano and Travis Willingham in the English dub.

Ginko's unusual white hair and green eye color is the result of an incident that occurred when he was a child. No explanation is provided within the context of the story as to why his rather modern clothes do not seem to match the time period reflected by all other characters, although the author has explained it is a character design artifact from the originally planned setting in modern times. Ginko is a rare person who attracts mushi. This inspires his peripatetic lifestyle. Staying in one place too long will gather a potentially dangerous amount of mushi. He also smokes constantly in order to keep mushi away. In terms of personality, Ginko is rather laid back. However, he can be very serious when it comes to protecting people from mushi. He also often stresses that the mushi are not evil, but merely trying to survive like everyone else.

The only two other characters who have repeat appearances are Adashino, who appears in episodes 5, 10, and briefly in 18, and Nui, who appears only in episode 12, but whose voice can be heard narrating some of the opening and closing lines characteristic of each episode. Veteran seiyū Yūji Ueda and Mika Doi voice those characters, respectively.


TV series

The anime series, animated by Artland and directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, spanned a total of 26 episodes. The first 20 episodes of the series first aired between October 2005 and March 2006 on Fuji TV and its affiliated broadcast networks, including Kansai TV, Tōkai TV, Hokkaidō Bunka Hoso, TV Shinhiroshima, TV Nishinippon. Episodes 21 through 26 aired on BS Fuji every Sunday from May 14, 2006 to June 18 of the same year.

The television series covered every chapter from the first five volumes of the manga and the first story from volume six, but did not adhere to the original order.

At the 5th Tokyo Anime Award competition held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, held on March 25, 2006, the anime series won grand prizes in the categories of television series and best art direction (for Takashi Waki).[1]

The series has later been aired by the Japanese anime television network, Animax, who have also aired the series later across its respective networks worldwide, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Latin America. It has also been licensed for distribution across numerous other regions, including North America by Funimation.

The First two English dubbed episodes were viewable by members on Gaiaonline Cinemas page, this included the first few episodes of other select Funimation titles as well.[2][3] As of September 27, 2008 English dubbed episodes are available to watch on the streaming video site Hulu for free.[4]


  • Planning: Yoshirō Kataoka, Yoshiaki Matsumoto, Yoshito Takaya
  • Executive Producers: Haruki Nakayama, Kenji Shimizu, Atsushi Suzuki
  • Director and Series Composition: Hiroshi Nagahama
  • Screenplay: Aki Itami, Kiniko Kuwabata, Yuka Yamada
  • Character Design and Chief Animation Director: Yasuhiko Umakoshi
  • Art Director: Takeshi Waki
  • Director of Photography: Yuki Hama
  • Music: Toshio Masuda
  • Music Producer: Yukifumi Makino
  • Sound Director: Kazuya Tanaka
  • Sound Production: Delphi Sound
  • OP and ED Director: Ichigō Sugawara
  • Production Manager: Noboru Ishiguro (Artland)
  • Executive Producer: Hidenobu Watanabe
  • Production Cooperation: ADK
  • Producers: Yoshiaki Tamura, Hiroyuki Ōizumi, Shin Hieda
  • Animation Production: Art Land
  • Production: Mushishi Production Committee (Marvelous Entertainment, Avex Entertainment, SKY Perfect Wellthink)

Main cast

Guest cast

  • Episode 3
    • Mahō: Yūtarō Honjō (Japanese), Alison Viktorin (English)
    • Shirasawa: Junko Midori (Japanese), Linda Young (English)
  • Episode 4
    • Jin: Tsuyoshi Koyama (Japanese), Kent Williams (English)
    • Kinu: Mari Adachi (Japanese), Stephanie Young (English)
    • Mayu: Yume Miyamoto (Japanese), Reilly Harrison (English)
  • Episode 9
  • Episode 10
    • Tagane: Narumi Hidaka (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
    • Tagane's Father: Rokuro Abe (Japanese), Kenny Green (English)
    • Tagane's Fiancee: Shigeru Sugimoto (Japanese), Phil Parsons (English)
  • Episode 18
    • Kai: Shinji Kawada (Japanese), Kevin M. Connolly (English)
    • Kai's sister: Atsuko Bungo (Japanese), Amber Cotton (English)
    • Toyo: Ririka Maki (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
    • Owner of antique shop: Yoshihiro Nozoe (Japanese), J. Paul Slavens (English)


  • "The Sore Feet Song" by Ally Kerr
Ending themes

All tracks were composed by Toshio Masuda.

Episode Title Album Track Number
1 Midori no Za (On Air Ver.) Mushishi Soundtrack 2 24
2 Mabuta no Hikari Mushishi Soundtrack 1 6
3 Yawarakai Tsuno Mushishi Soundtrack 1 3
4 Makura Kouji Mushishi Soundtrack 1 4
5 Tabi o Suru Numa Mushishi Soundtrack 1 10
6 Tsuyu o Suu Mure Mushishi Soundtrack 1 12
7 Ame ga Kuru Niji ga Tatsu Mushishi Soundtrack 1 9
8 Unasaka Yori Mushishi Soundtrack 1 7
9 Omoi Mi Mushishi Soundtrack 1 14
10 Suzuri ni Sumu Shiro Mushishi Soundtrack 1 16
11 Yama Nemuru Mushishi Soundtrack 1 18
12 Sugame no Sakana (On Air Ver.) Mushishi Soundtrack 2 23
13 Hito Yo Bashi Mushishi Soundtrack 1 13
14 Kago no Naka Mushishi Soundtrack 2 12
15 Haru to Usobuku Mushishi Soundtrack 2 7
16 Akatsuki no Hebi Mushishi Soundtrack 2 4
17 Uro Mayu Tori Mushishi Soundtrack 2 8
18 Yama Daku Koromo Mushishi Soundtrack 2 13
19 Teppen no Ito Mushishi Soundtrack 2 2
20 Fude no Umi Mushishi Soundtrack 2 3
21 Wata Houshi Mushishi Soundtrack 2 18
22 Oki tsu Miya Mushishi Soundtrack 2 6
23 Sabi no Naku Koe Mushishi Soundtrack 2 14
24 Kagari no Kou Mushishi Soundtrack 2 20
25 Ganpuku Ganka Mushishi Soundtrack 2 17
26 Kusa o Fumu Oto Mushishi Soundtrack 2 21

Feature film


Ginko as portrayed by Joe Odagiri in the movie

A live-action Mushishi feature film, released in 2006, was directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The world premiere was held at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and it opened as a roadshow theatrical release in Japanese theatres on 24 March 2007.[5]

The plot of the film corresponds to chapters 2, 7, 9, and 15 of the manga. The cast includes Joe Odagiri as Ginko, Makiko Esumi as Nui and Yū Aoi as Tanyū.

Video game

A video game adaptation of the series was released on January 31, 2008 for the Nintendo DS in Japan.


The series has won numerous awards; in 2003, the manga was awarded an Excellence Prize for manga at the 7th Japan Media Arts Festival,[6] while in 2006, the series won the Kodansha Manga Award for general manga.[7] At the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival, both the anime and manga series were placed among the top 10 in their respective categories for best manga and anime.[8] The anime series won grand prizes in the categories of television series and best art direction (for Takashi Waki) at the 5th Tokyo Anime Award competition held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2006.[1] In Jason Thompson's online appendix to Manga: The Complete Guide, he describes the series as "atmospheric, original and fascinating".[9]

Influences in Pop Culture

Volume 6 of Gin Tama has a pun alluding to Mushishi; a character who specializes in fighting certain types of forest monsters is referred to as "fungus master".


  1. 1.0 1.1 "東京国際アニメフェア2006" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2006-07-30.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. "Gaia Cinemas: Watch movies in Gaia's new movie theaters! Gaia Announcement Announcement". Retrieved 2009-01-18.  Text " Gaiaonline " ignored (help)
  3. "Mushi-Shi Episode 1 Profile Mushi-Shi Profile". Retrieved 2009-01-18.  Text " Gaiaonline " ignored (help)
  4. "Hulu Mushi-Shi Channel". Retrieved 2008-09-25.  Text " Hulu Mushi-Shi Channel " ignored (help)
  5. "Mushishi". Anime News Network. 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  6. "2003 [7th] Japan Media Arts Festival". Retrieved 2007-05-03.  Text " Excellence Prize MUSHISHI" ignored (help)
  7. "過去の受賞者一覧 : 講談社漫画賞 : 講談社「おもしろくて、ためになる」出版を" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  8. (Japanese) "文化庁メディア芸術祭10周年企画アンケート日本のメディア芸術100選 結果発表". Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  9. Thompson, Jason (2009-09-29). "365 Days of Manga, Day 14: Mushishi - Suvudu - Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, and Games". Suvudu. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 

External links

ko:충사 it:Mushishi nl:Mushishi pl:Mushishi pt:Mushishi ru:Mushishi zh:蟲師