Some time between the Meiji and Taisho period… A mother and son walk through heavy rain. The son, YOKI, sees strange, iridescent creatures float from the mountainside and then disappear. He does not yet know such creatures are called “Mushi” and can not be seen by ordinary men. Suddenly, there is a landslide and Yoki’s mother is swallowed by the flood. A Mushishi woman named NUI finds the child, who miraculously survived, and takes him home with her…
Some years later, we meet Yoki again as an adult. Having lost his memory in an incident he can not recall, he is now called “GINKO.” He is a “Mushishi,” one who studies the Mushi he could see as a child and protects ordinary men from the illnesses that they inflict. He travels alone through the thick mountain snow, looking for a night’s lodging. We see that his hair is white like the snow and one of his eyes is now missing.
Words From Me:
The movie depicts a time were demons and humans co-exist and only the selected few humans can detect the demons which normal people perceive as ordinary bugs. That’s where Ginko (Joe Odagiri) comes in. The story was excerpted from a manga, so for those who are familiar with the manga version they might be slightly disappointed since it was compressed into a 160+ minutes of live action movie. I only have a vague introduction of the manga, so the film-manga comparison didn’t bother me much. Story wise, some would think that the pacing was a bit slow but for my two cents, I felt there was something more to those scenes than just the dialogue or the characters. Another plus factor is the visual effects. The colors were all in different hues, not much bright colors but in pastels and it was really beautiful to look at.
What made me watch it in the first place was Joe Odagiri as Ginko and Yu Aoi as Tanyu. Both actors are big names in the Japan entertainment industries and their acting was not subpar at all. They played their roles amazingly.
Music was in sync with the scenes but it was not that special. Although I would have to take note of the background music during a scene with Tanyu and her magical skills using long metal chopsticks. That scene was really brought out by the music, I think without the sound track that specific scene wouldn’t have been as powerful as it seemed.
I re-watched segments of the film just for the sake of ogling on Joe Odagiri and his white hair. Not sure if you’re interested in that, but if you are, then share the boat with me.