Neither good nor evil, they are life in its purest form. Vulgar and strange, they have inspired fear in humans since the dawn of time and have, over the ages, come to be known as "mushi".Ginko is a mushishi — a person who can see the small pseudo-nature-spirit entities known as mushi, which both mystify and plague mankind. With little more than his wits and experience to guide him, Ginko walks the earth (or more specifically Japan) helping humans who have become unpleasantly entangled with the mushi. The mushi themselves are rarely sentient and occupy a nebulous zone between things that can be identified as life forms and things that cannot, such as a swamp that travels from location to location, or tiny heat-absorbing microbes. Usually the motivation for the mushi is as simple as survival or reproduction, such as a sound-eating mushi infecting a human, causing deafness; but because of their mystical properties, they tend to cause a variety of troubles when they interact with humans.The manga ran for nine years, ending in 2008. It was adapted into an anime that ran for 26 episodes, ending in mid-2006. Most of the episodes were stand-alone stories, though a few interconnected with other episodes in an oblique manner.The series' general tone is extremely mellow and in some ways seemed toned after a PBS docudrama. Though many civilians take offense at whatever mushi-related troubles they have, Ginko sees problems to be solved by understanding rather than pests to be exterminated (even if he does often wind up killing the mushi from necessity). Personal tragedy and triumph tends to blossom for many of the individuals Ginko encounters, yet the overall theme seems to be a reverence for the mundane as well as the fantastic; people learn to appreciate such simple joys as the sound of their own heartbeat, for example.Also, a Live-Action Adaptation Movie was made by Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA), which won many independent film awards.The series is now available on Netflix, Hulu and Youtube.
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