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1[[quoteright:225:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/13207.jpg]]께->''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"''.''께''Mushishi'' is a {{manga}} that ran for nine years, ending in 2008 in ''Monthly Afternoon''. It was adapted into an {{anime}} that ran for 26 episodes, ending in mid-2006. The spring 2014 anime season saw a sequel series, ''Mushishi Zoku-shou'', running for an additional 20 episodes. Three [=OVAs=] were also made: two in 2014 and one in 2015[[note]]The final one, "Suzu no Shizuku", is technically classified as a movie as it had a theatrical run, however it looks no different than any other episode[[/note]]. Most episodes are stand-alone stories, though a few interconnect with other episodes in an oblique manner.께Ginko 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 [[WalkingTheEarth 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. However, because of their mystical properties, they tend to cause a variety of troubles when they interact with humans.께The series' [[{{iyashikei}} general tone is extremely mellow]] and in some ways seemed toned after a Creator/{{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.께A LiveActionAdaptation [[TheMovie Movie]] was made by Creator/KatsuhiroOtomo (''Manga/{{Akira}}''), which won many independent film awards.께The series is now available on [[http://www.hulu.com/mushi-shi Hulu]].께----!!This series provides examples of:께* AbusiveParents: ** Akoya's father in "Those Who Inhale the Dew" has no problem reducing her to an EmptyShell who dies and is reborn each day for his own benefit.** Shino from "Lightning's End" feels no affection for her son and has neglected him since birth. He got infected by a ''mushi'' because she left him tied up to a tree when he was five-years-old (going inside and covering her ears so she couldn't hear him scream), and the tree was then struck by lightning.* AccidentalMurder: [[spoiler: In "Mud Grass", Shigeru's daughter Yuri was killed when his brother, Shinobu, accidentally ran her over with his cart.]]* AdultFear: Someone close to you (and it's often a child) becomes ill with a strange affliction, and you're helpless to do anything about it because you've never heard of the cause or any kind of cure.* AlwaysNight: Izumi, from "Sea Of Otherworldly Stars" lives alone in a world where there is no daylight, because of a ''mushi'' she came into contact with after falling down a well.* AmnesiaDanger: Sayo, the forgetful mother from "Sunrise Serpent", [[spoiler:has fallen victim to a ''mushi'' that slowly eats away all of her memories -- including her ability to recognize basic bodily functions. It is a permanent and irreversible process reminiscent of both the rarely explored anterograde amnesia ''and'' retrograde amnesia; should the memories run out, the host will probably be killed. Sayo manages her condition by taking up a job at a tea house where she can converse daily with travelers and hear stories of their travels, creating a constant supply of new memories.]]* AnachronicOrder: You can watch the episodes completely out of order and still not miss anything important to the overall story, especially since the series jumps around in terms of which story from which manga volume it adapts. That said, some stories connect in ways that make it recommendable to watch them specifically before another (like "The Light of the Eyelid" and "One-Eyed Fish"), but this is hardly a necessity.* AnachronismStew:** WordOfGod states that the series takes place in a fictional period between the Edo and Meiji eras, in which outside technology has arrived, but Japan remains a closed country. Therefore some anachronisms exist, such as Ginko wearing very Western-style clothing and using scientific equipment far in advance of what was generally available at the time (like a wooden microscope).** In the very last episode of the first anime series, one boy tells another boy a garbled story he heard about a young Ginko, mentioning his strange eye and hair color. The other boy speculates as to whether Ginko is a foreigner, in a way that makes it seem like people are aware of foreigners but they are extremely uncommon.* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: ** Ginko is nowhere to be seen in "One-Eyed Fish". Instead we are introduced to a timid boy named Yoki who can see ''mushi'', and learn how he ends up under the care of a ''mushi'' master named Nui after becoming injured in the landslide that killed his mother. [[spoiler:Subverted - Yoki is who Ginko used to be.]]** Ginko also makes little more than a token appearance in "The Sound of Footsteps on the Grass," which instead focuses on a young man whose family has assumed the responsibility of caring for a mountain through which a Light Vein flows, and his encounters with the wandering Watari people who frequently pass through the area.* AngstySurvivingTwin: "Pickers of Empty Cocoons" deals with a girl whose twin sister was kidnapped five years earlier by a ''mushi'', and her attempts to contact her despite everyone telling her that it's a lost cause.* ArtEvolution: And how. In the first volume you get pages like [[http://www.mangareader.net/904-37391-13/mushishi/chapter-1.html this]], and it gradually transformed into the style that fans of the anime are familiar with.* ArtInitiatesLife: Shinra, the boy from "The Green Seat", has this power, but only when using his left hand. * AsleepForDays: ** In "Pretense of Spring," a boy named Miharu falls asleep for months every winter after visiting a place that is miraculously full of life due to a ''mushi''[='s=] influence. Then, something goes wrong and he is asleep for over a year. Ginko investigates the false spring and they both end up in a coma. Thankfully, they wake up the following spring.** Ginko sleeps for days several more times in the manga, including "Depths of Winter" during which he is put into a long hibernation by the local mountain god.** In "Sunrise Serpent," Sayo's condition leaves her restless and unable to sleep for more than a few seconds at a time, but after [[spoiler:she learns [[SecretOtherFamily what was really keeping her missing husband away from home,]]]] the shock is so much that she runs until she collapses from exhaustion, sleeping for several days.* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: {{Inverted|Trope}}, as Ginko wears modern clothes in a feudal setting. In the manga, this is inverted with Biki (the cousin of the blind girl locked in a storehouse) as well.* BadassBookworm: Ginko. While he may not be brawny or get in many fights, he is definitely the one you want to be standing there unflappably to tell you what to do when some immense Thing you can't even see is slithering overhead.* BeautyMark: Amane, the wandering lute player from "Eye of Fortune, Eye of Misfortune", has a tiny mole near the corner of her left eye.* BerserkButton: Ginko doesn't really do "berserk" exactly, but seeing anyone give in to despair or attempt suicide ''really'' upsets him. He flips out in "[[spoiler:The Sleeping Mountain]]" due to this. People losing their humanity or becoming ''mushi'' seem to unnerve him as well, probably because that subject is a bit CloseToHome. * BigScrewedUpFamily: "Lost in the Flowers," adapted as the episode "Floral Delusion" in ''Zoku-shou'': [[spoiler:Generations of a family keep a strange yet beautiful woman, found as a baby in an ancient cherry tree, alive and healthy for over three hundred years by "grafting" her head onto different bodies.]] The Minai clan, as detailed in "Path of Thorns," can also count as this, [[spoiler:considering they replace the souls of their Mushishi with an artificial ''mushi'' made from Kouki, as seen with the current head of the family, Kumado.]]* {{Bittersweet Ending}}s: All over the place.* BizarreAlienBiology: See above about being very similar to a documentary: the ''mushi'' and their strange powers and ecology are sort of the point of the show.* BlessedWithSuck[=/=]CursedWithAwesome: ** Many ''mushi''-infected people are granted powers that prove useful--until the ''mushi'' grows in power and gets beyond the infected person's control. Ginko tries to give advice that allows these people to live with their condition, with varying degrees of success.** There is a man whose dreams appear to be prophetic. Instead his dreams are infested with ''mushi'' that [[RealityWarper make his dreams]] [[PowerIncontinence into reality]]. ** Teru the rainmaker. She makes the best of her condition by traveling to places stricken by drought and relieving them, but before she realized her condition the endless rain caused rot and sickness wherever she lived.** Ginko himself is a walking example. He can see in the dark and watch TheLifestream, but on the other hand he's minus an eye, is potentially a danger to everyone around him, and [[spoiler:will probably eventually be consumed by the Tokoyami]].* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The cleverer ''mushi'' tend to possess this. Few are actively malicious, but they mostly seem oblivious to the harm they can do humanity.* BodyHorror: Many of the ''mushi'' cause trouble by entering people's bodies and taking over one small part of it, although some of the less fortunate people have been transformed into ''mushi'' completely.* BoozeBasedBuff: In the story "Banquet at the Forest's Edge", a ''sake'' brewer creates an artificial version of the river of life (his dad got to taste the real thing and has been trying to recreate it for years). The other ''mushi''-masters are amazed, but warn him not to sell the stuff to the public as it grants the ability to see ''mushi'' to people who normally can't, which would cause panic. Instead, on Ginko's advice he reserves it to sell to ''mushi''-masters for use in their work.* TheBusCameBack: For Ginko's friend Tanyuu (the scribe with a ''mushi'' sealed in her body). She is a minor character in the "Shadow that Devours the Sun" OVA and the "Path of Thorns" episode.* CheerfulChild: There are a few - Jin's young daughter Mayu from "The Pillow Pathway" and Isana from "Shrine In The Sea" in particular.* CityOfCanals: Ginko visits a village like this in "Hidden Cove".* ClosedCircle: ** Kisuke in "Inside the Cage" is unable to leave the bamboo forest near his home village due to the influence of a ''mushi''. No matter which direction he goes, he and anyone with him end up unconsciously circling back to the same area. ** In "Depths of Winter," Ginko finds himself trapped alone on a mountain where winter mysteriously refuses to end even as neighboring mountains are visibly thawing. Even though he can see he's climbing down, he keeps going in circles because the mountain lord has sealed the area.* ColdFlames: One variety of ''mushi'' featured, called the "kagebi," feeds off human body heat by appearing to its victims as an open flame. If a person huddles close to it for warmth, it slowly saps their heat from them until they freeze to death. Bizarrely enough, the flame of a kagebi can be used to cook food or boil water... which, when ingested, freezes the body from the inside, giving the unlucky victim a case of internal frostbite.* CollectorOfTheStrange: Dr. Adashino, Ginko's be-monocled pal, is an avid collector of ''mushi''-related odds and ends--the stranger the better. It comes back to bite him in "The White Which Lives Within the Inkstone" when [[spoiler:some {{Snooping Little Kid}}s go through his collection and end up afflicted with a ''mushi'' that slowly freezes their bodies from the inside out]]. Things work out all right thanks to Ginko's efforts, but judging by Adashino's behavior in later episodes, the lesson doesn't quite stick--in ''Zoku-shou'' he goes so far as to try rummaging through Ginko's travel case while Ginko is sleeping.* ColourCodedEyes: Ginko has lovely, vivid blue-green eyes, as did Nui. [[spoiler:This, as well as their silvery heads of hair, are a result of being exposed to a ''mushi'' named Tokoyami.]]* ContinuityNod: ** In the OVA, as the eclipse reaches its climax, we are treated to a montage of each of the people Ginko met in his travels during the first season, watching it happen.** In the ''Zoku-shou'' episode "Wind Raiser," the inkstone from "The White Which Dwells Within the Inkstone" and the [[spoiler:fake]] painted coat from "Clothes that Embrace the Mountain" can be seen among the objects in Dr. Adashino's house.* CoversAlwaysLie: The blurb on the back cover of one manga volume describes ''mushi'' specifically as parasitic, malevolent entities. Talk about missing the point.* CreditsJukebox: Every episode gets its own ending tune.* CreepyChild:** The Hitotake, although [[spoiler:they're not so much children as they are a viral parasitic HiveMind...]]** Sui from "The Light Of The Eyelid" dips into this territory as a result of the ''mushi'' she's afflicted with, as well as spending most of her time in isolation and darkness.* CruelToBeKind: Ginko takes Aya into a part of the ''uro-''passageways used by mushishi so she can see how hopeless a labyrinth it would be to someone taken into a random section without guidance. Aya is forced to accept that her sister, sucked into them five years ago, is unlikely ever to find her way out, nor would she find the letters Aya continually sends through deteriorating cocoons. [[spoiler:However, the epilogue reveals that Ito ''does'' emerge from a silk weaver's tub of cocoons some years later with one of Aya's letters tucked into her clothing.]]* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Aside from the myriad horrible uses a ''mushishi'' could put his knowledge to should he be inspired, there are the techniques that manipulate the Light Vein itself. Anyone who can do so has the power to become immortal, or create a seed that will ensure a truly bountiful harvest...at the low, low cost of someone's life. Doing so risks disrupting the balance of nature, and "The Heavy Seed" revolves around Ginko dealing with the legacy of such an abuse.* DejaVu: One chapter involves Ginko meeting a man who is lured by a mushi, that causes him go through a GroundhogDayLoop over and over. The result being the man is constantly having a lingering feeling of deja vu, but since the loop begins at his childhood he doesn't remember what is causing it.* CuteClumsyGirl: Sayo, as her son claims.* DownerEnding: Many of the stories throughout the series have a sad (or at least not pleasant for all involved) ending.* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Ginko in the first few chapters hardly looks like he normally does. He resembles a much more anime styled, lanky teenage version of himself, and he even has some stubble in ''The Light Of The Eyelid''. Additionally, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, there are instances of characters having contemporary styles of clothes in an early chapter.* {{Elopement}}: Attempted in "One-Night Bridge" by a pair of young lovers named Hana and Zen, in order to escape from [[ParentalMarriageVeto her disapproving mother]] and the threat of an ArrangedMarriage. Sadly, Hana hesitates while trying to cross the eponymous bridge, causing her to lose her footing and fall. And that's just the start of the story.* EmptyPilesOfClothing: More than once, this is all that's left after a person's body turns to ''mushi'' completely.* EyeScream: ** "The Light of the Eyelid" has a little girl afflicted by a ''mushi'' that made her eyes so sensitive to light that she was eventually locked away in a shed to live out her days in darkness. Unfortunately, this particular ''mushi'' thrived in darkness, [[spoiler:and slowly ate away at her eyeballs until they were completely gone]]. The part where [[spoiler:Ginko takes out his fake eye to replace one of hers]] also has this effect on another character. ** It gets worse in "Eye of Fortune, Eye of Misfortune". [[spoiler:A woman's ''mushi''-infected eyes jump out of their sockets and wriggle away!]] The author finds eye damage especially squicky.* TheFairFolk[=/=]FantasticFlora: ''Mushi'' are pretty much the JustForFun/XMeetsY of these two tropes. Sometimes with FesteringFungus thrown in. * FlyingDutchman: Due to Ginko's power to attract ''mushi'', he can never have a permanent home.* FriendToAllChildren: ** Ginko is a pretty nice guy, but not very emotive. He smiles considerably more when children are around and they seem to like him as well. Isana, the girl from "Shrine in the Sea", seems especially attached.** Adashino is this to the children of his village, too; there's usually a gang of them following him around when he's not seeing patients or hanging out with Ginko.* ForebodingFleeingFlock: In "The Warbling Sea Shell," a large number of normally-seagoing birdlike ''mushi'' take shelter in the shells that have washed up on the beach, prompting Ginko to warn the nearby fishing village that some kind of disaster will occur at sea. * ForeignLanguageTheme: The opening themes of both seasons, "The Sore Feet Song" and "Shiver", are both in English.* GeniusLoci: Some ''mushi'' take the form of (very large) natural phenomena. One of the most prominent is the Traveling Swamp, which is generally harmless unless someone drinks of its waters for too long (causing them to eventually dissolve into water themselves). It saved the life of a young woman who would have been drowned (by being thrown in a river as a sacrifice).* GenkiGirl: Sayo, the forgetful, restless, ''mushi''-infected mother in "Sunrise Serpent".* GenreBusting: It's quite hard to pigeonhole the series precisely. It's kind of slice-of-life, kind of fantastic MysteryOfTheWeek and kind of documentary with an overall peaceful and bittersweet tone.* GreenAesop: A lot of the stories tell about living in harmony with the environment, as pollution can cause all ''mushi'' to leave, with possibly worse effects on the people than when the ''mushi'' were present.* GreyAndGreyMorality: Often built around this. It's irrational to blame an animal for doing what nature made it to do, even if 'what it does' is [[BodyHorror eating eyes, parasitically living in people's ears or devouring fetuses and taking their place]]. The ''mushi'' are bizarre and sometimes frightful, but mindlessly innocent, and the ''mushishi'' who handle them can come off as KnightTemplar or {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s for exterminating them.* GroundhogDayLoop: In the story "Fragrant Darkness", a guy has been living in a "long, happy nightmare" since his encounter with a time-warping ''mushi''. Ginko warns him not to go through it again but then [[spoiler:his wife is mortally wounded and they can't get back to their village in time. He goes through with her and now she's the one experiencing deja-vu..]].* GuiltFreeExterminationWar: Some ''mushishi'' less enlightened than Ginko have this view about all ''mushi'', seeing them as pests or threats to be exterminated. Tanyuu in "A Sea of Writings," who scribes and archives ''mushi'' lore as a means of binding the dangerous ''mushi'' trapped inside her, grows more and more frustrated with the prevalence of this attitude, and bonds with Ginko because he's one of the few who shares stories of harmless and/or beneficial ''mushi''. * HalfHumanHybrid: Oniko, children between a ''mushi'' and a human, which are very rare and inherit traits from both parents. In "Inside The Cage" Ginko meets a woman and her daughter who are descended from Magaridake, ''mushi'' that look like white bamboo. Though they look completely normal, both were born inside bamboo shoots and need water from said ''mushi'' to survive.* HereWeGoAgain: The stories [[spoiler:"One-Night Bridge" and "Fragrant Darkness"]] both end with someone else being afflicted with the same ''mushi'' as their loved ones before them.* HeroicSacrifice: Narrowly averted, though only through another character's not-quite-so-heroic sacrifice. In the final story, Ginko [[spoiler: risks his life to save a teenage girl who was chosen as a mountain-master but was rejected when she returned to her family and began to miss them even after returning to her mountain. He's about to be disintegrated into the Light Vein (which he's fine with since his days were numbered anyway) when the girl takes his place because she couldn't stand being away from the mountain -- because she ''was'' the mountain.]]* HumanSacrifice: Io in "The Traveling Swamp" was sacrificed by her village, in the hopes of ending an onslaught of massive floods by [[MarriageToAGod appeasing the river god with a bride]].* IdenticalGrandson: Played with in "Shrine in the Sea." A particular island has a ''mushi'' called Ryuuguu no Nushi that can seemingly reincarnate a person into a child form so they can be reborn to someone else, such as their daughter; people who go through this are dubbed 'Uminaoshi.' [[spoiler:Turns out that the Uminaoshi actually ''are'' that person, at least physically; the ''mushi'' reduces someone to an embryonic state and allows them to be reborn if the egg is ingested. But since they have no memories of their 'past' lives, are they ''really'' the same people? There's no way to prove the reborn even have the same soul.]]* IdenticalTwinIDTag: The twins Aya and Ito from "Pickers of Empty Cocoons" can be told apart by their hair - Aya has sideswept bangs while Ito's bangs are straight.* IJustWantToBeNormal: ** Ginko, although he accepts the necessity of his wandering lifestyle, occasionally gets wistful for the idea of settling down and having a normal existence. He felt this more strongly when he was a boy and continually attracted disaster because of the ''mushi'' that hang around him.** Teru, the girl who attracts rainstorms because of a mushi that's clinging to her, begs Ginko for a solution because she's sick of having to move all the time.** Ginko's friend Tanyuu had this mindset as a child, before she fully understood her family's legacy and the strange black birthmark that left her leg paralyzed.* IllGirl: In "Hidden Cove" a girl named Yura has had heart trouble since she was very young. She's also developed a kind of {{telepathy}}, thanks to the influence of that episode's ''mushi'', and uses this power to connect with her former caretaker, Sumi, the only person she trusts to help her through her pain.* InterruptedSuicide: In "The Pillow Pathway", [[RealityWarper Jin the swordsmith]] overdoses on the medicine Ginko gave him after his ''mushi'' powers overwhelm him, but Ginko intervenes in time to save him. [[spoiler:The epilogue reveals that Jin ultimately [[DrivenToSuicide stabbed himself with his own sword]], after slipping further and further from sanity.]]* KillAndReplace: This is the modus operandi of the Watahaki ''mushi''--entering the womb of a pregnant woman and destroying her fetus in order to take its place. The Kuchinawa takes this several steps further by eating and replacing mountain masters.* KillItWithFire: ** In "Cotton Changeling", [[spoiler:the Watahaki parasite attempts this on ''itself'' in order to force itself into hibernation rather than be killed by Ginko. It doesn't die, but its power is diminished enough for Ginko to carry it off in a bottle.]]** In "Journey to the Field of Fire", Yahagi thinks doing this to the ''mushi'' will solve the problem. [[spoiler:It only happens to escalate into a bigger problem that kills several villagers and threatens her own life.]]* LaserGuidedAmnesia: [[spoiler:Ginko]] has the retrograde variant. It plays an important role in his backstory, and is irreversible.* TheLifestream: Many references are made to a river of light, called the Light Vein, that only Ginko and certain other special people can sense. This river is the primal life force that the ''mushi'' come from, and strengthens and bolsters nature when it is near the surface of the earth: normally it's deep underground...* LockedIntoStrangeness: One of the possible effects of ''mushi''. See Io, the girl in "The Traveling Swamp," with green hair [[spoiler:that turns black again after the swamp dies]], and [[spoiler:Ginko and Nui]], as well as Hiyori in the ''Hihamukage'' special, with white hair.* MagicalUnderpinningsOfReality: A lot of strange everyday happenings are actually caused by ''mushi''.* MagneticMedium: Ginko's reason for being on the move all the time. This seems to be a trait of some, but not all people who can see ''mushi''--the first mushi-shi he met as a child also attracted them, as does another man who attracted them in his youth.* MamaBear: The VictimOfTheWeek in "Cotton Changeling" is full prepared to stab Ginko to protect her children. Too bad [[spoiler:she was protecting a parasitic ''mushi'' who was responsible for the death of her actual child...]]* MarriageToAGod: In episode 5, the girl thrown into the swamp as a sacrifice considers herself the bride in the spirit of this trope.* MayflyDecemberRomance: It does not appear to be a MayflyDecemberRomance at first, however [[spoiler:Ginko quickly deduces that Saho in "Floral Delusion" has lived for hundreds of years thanks in part to the family of gardeners who love her]].* TheMentor: Suguro, a mushishi who finds the young Ginko after he was abandoned by another mushishi who used him to drum up business. Suguro deplores such methods, explains some of Ginko's questions and begins teaching him how to become a good mushishi himself (including how to make the special cigarettes to repel ''mushi''). And although he sends Ginko away after a terrible mistake, he does tell the boy that there must be a place for him in the world and not to give up hope of finding it.* MindScrew: Not a very severe case, but there is some -- as to be expected of a series that blends psychological, fantasy and slice-of-life themes together.* MonsterProtectionRacket: [[spoiler:It turns out that Ginko was dragged into a couple of these as a child -- some ''mushishi'' would take him in (knowing that ''mushi'' tend to gather around him and cause trouble) so they could increase their business.]]* MundaneUtility: ** Sui in "The Light of the Eyelid" uses the light of the Light Vein to see within the dark storage shed she's confined in.** "Pickers of Empty Cocoons" shows a ''mushi'' that inhabits enclosed spaces in areas close to the Light Vein, mostly silkworm cocoons, linking them together through a [[TeleportersAndTransporters labyrinthine network of extra dimensional silk tunnels]]. Anything that's enclosed with them gets carried along through the tunnels, a characteristic which the ''mushishi'' take advantage of by sealing the ''mushi'' into a specialized pair of cocoons which can then be used as a sort of pre-modern email. * MysteryOfTheWeek: Whatever mystery crops up in invariably caused by a ''mushi''.* MysticalWhiteHair: Quite a few people.** There's Ginko, of course. [[spoiler:It's because he came into contact with a certain kind of ''mushi'' as a child.]] His mentor, Nui, also had white hair, [[spoiler:because of the same ''mushi'']].** One of the girls from "Shadow that Devours the Sun" appears to be albino due to her ''mushi'' affliction. * NiceJobBreakingItHero[=/=]IDidWhatIHadToDo: It's up to the viewer to decide which of these applies to Yahagi in "Journey to the Field of Fire." Ginko is 100% correct that [[spoiler:burning the mountainside wouldn't get rid of the ''mushi'']], but there is nothing but his own confidence to suggest that he could have come up with the correct solution in time to avoid all of the vegetation in the area being poisoned (including the rice fields, which would have caused a localized famine). Worse, instead of thinking clearly, he's so upset that he berates the villagers in an insulting way, which predictably does not make them want to listen to him.\콿n the other hand, Yahagi should have been able to recognize, as Ginko does, that [[spoiler:burning a ''mushi'' which emerged from a volcanic rock]] would probably at best be unhelpful and at worst could be catastrophic. Whether burning the mountain was the best option or not, it is colossally stupid of her not to admit right away that [[spoiler:she'd swallowed one of the ''mushi'' that resulted from the fires, and her overconfidence in her ability to deal with the ''kagebi'' despite their unusually large numbers results in several villagers dying from exposure to them]]. If she'd swallowed her pride and asked for Ginko's help, they probably would have worked out that [[spoiler:the larval "weed" form could be killed by the false ''hidane'' fire sooner]].\쾄till, she wasn't wrong to point out to Ginko that [[spoiler:the ''hidane'' were more manageable than the previously unknown larval stage that they'd burned]], and if the villagers had been more diligent about listening to her warnings, no one [[spoiler:but herself]] would have been harmed.* OddlyNamedSequel: The second season of the anime is called "Mushishi: Zoku Shou," or "Mushishi: Next Passage."* OhCrap: A dramatic example in "Pickers Of Empty Cocoons", when Ito wakes up to see that the ''mushi'' capable of making people disappear is right in front of her.* OneMythToExplainThemAll: Ginko says that most supernatural phenomena, like ghosts, are actually ''mushi.''* OnlySixFaces: Despite Ginko's unique appearance, the series (especially the manga) suffers heavily from this. It's even more apparent with the darker-skinned characters, who will always have one person, male or female, with the same facial features and short haircut.* OriginsEpisode: [[spoiler:"One-Eyed Fish", for Ginko.]]* OurSoulsAreDifferent: ** A boy from a ''mushishi'' family couldn't see ''mushi'' and underwent a process that replaced his soul with one, making him [[SealedGoodInACan "the can"]] in order to help the girl who's SealedEvilInACan. As an adult he's usually TheStoic, but occasionally the ''mushi''-soul leaves and he becomes TheSpock.** A woman who can pull the life-force from living things eventually becomes overwhelmed by it and her soul essentially separates from her body, becoming an angel-like being only her son can see.* OurZombiesAreDifferent: They're harmless, used as a way for a physically weak species of ''mushi'' to migrate, and mostly sit in the sun all day photosynthesizing.* ParentalAbandonment: In "The Hand That Caresses the Night," it's mentioned in flashback that Tatsu and Usuke's mother abandoned their family because of the effect their father's mushi affliction was having on his personality. * PeekABangs: ** Ginko's haircut covers one eye. [[spoiler:Or rather, the empty socket.]]** After [[spoiler:Ginko gives up his glass eye to her]], Sui in "The Light Of The Eyelid" sports this hairstyle as well.* PoorCommunicationKills: Most of the events of "Wind Raiser" might have been avoided if Ginko had explained to the young sailor ''why'' he shouldn't whistle at night, instead of just telling him that "something bad will probably happen." Because of the vague warning, when Ibuki slips up and absent-mindedly lets out a whistle after dark, he assumes that nothing's happened and goes right on whistling... leading to a chain of events that isn't resolved until after a good bit of damage has already been done.* PromotionToParent: Suzu from "Pretense of Spring" and Tatsu from "The Hand That Caresses the Night" are both in charge of their younger brothers, with no parents in sight. * QuicksandSucks: Ginko's troubles in "Depths of Winter" reach a nadir when he finds the mountain lord and it summons a bunch of wind ''mushi'' to knock him into a swamp that rapidly pulls him down. Once at the bottom he realizes he can still breathe. [[spoiler:All of the animals of the mountain are hibernating in there too; the mountain lord is keeping them safe until it has enough kouki to recover--once it spits him out, Ginko realizes it basically mugged him for his own supply.]]* RealityWarper: Certain ''mushi'' can make people's dreams come true, making them Reality Warpers with power incontinence. Medication can usually let the person live a normal life just thinking they have prophetic dreams. In a bad case, though, a man blaming himself for not foreseeing his daughter's death goes off his meds and accidentally wipes out his entire village by imagining a plague that turns them to dust.* SceneryPorn: OnlySixFaces notwithstanding, the backgrounds are ''breathtakingly'' beautiful.* SealedEvilInACan: Tanyuu, Ginko's friend who is introduced in "A Sea of Writings" has an especially dangerous ''mushi'' sealed in her body; it makes her leg black and prevents her from walking on it. [[spoiler:The sealed ''mushi'' has been passed from it shows up every few generations, each host gradually wearing it down by siphoning it a little at a time into scrolls. Previous hosts were all but completely paralyzed.]]* SecretOtherFamily: [[spoiler:In "Sunrise Serpent", Kaji and his mother Sayo discover that his missing father had settled down to raise a new family in the city. This devastates Sayo so much that her condition worsens to the point where she remembers nothing except her son, their home, and a few personal effects.]]* ShootTheDog: Ginko does this a few times.* ShownTheirWork: Many aspects and objects of rural Japanese life are depicted accurately, and there are a lot of references to traditional folktales as well. It's also obvious to anyone who's ever been to Shirakawa-go that the author has been there too and took careful note of the architecture of the communal farmhouses there. For mycophiles, there's even an accurate representation of a ''Russula'' mushroom in "One-Eyed Fish", complete with what happens when you chew on the cap. * SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: Women seem attracted to Ginko for his reliability and helpful, caring nature. In particular Suzu in "Pretense of Spring" likes him because he's good with her little brother Miharu, who also reckons she got lonely without a man around the house. Masumi from "Mirror Lake" out and out flirts with him after her issue with the Mizukagami ''mushi'' is resolved.* SmokingIsCool: Subverted. Though the smoke from Ginko's cigarettes has the effect of warding off the ''mushi'' that are attracted to him, it does not contain normal tobacco (or any type of narcotic, for that matter); and he couldn't stop even if he wanted to, lest he be swallowed up by a swarm of ''mushi''.* StarfishAliens: This is what pretty much all of the ''mushi'' are.* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic: The study of ''mushi'' is more or less treated as a science...that just happens to analyze things that can live in your dreams or eat silence.* SupernaturalProofFather: Izumi's father from "Sea Of Otherworldly Stars" may count. He insists that his daughter didn't fall down a well and disappear, but rather that she was kidnapped.* SupernaturallyDeliciousAndNutritious: Ginko to the ''mushi''.* TakenForGranite: Or wood, anyway: A carpenter eats a ''mushi'' that lived in an ancient tree, giving him access to the tree's long memory. When he finds the tree again he narrowly escapes being assimilated back into the wood, but it's implied he will eventually become a statue.* TearsOfBlood:** Young Ginko bleeds from his ''mushi-''occupied eye socket when he tries to cross the light river.** A variant occurs in "Valley of the Welling Tide," in which a woman cries tears of ''milk'' just before her ''mushi''-induced death.* TimeDissonance: Anyone who takes on the time-POV of a ''mushi'' (see "Those who Inhale the Dew" and "Sea Meets Man").* TheVirus: One of the ''mushi'' Ginko encounters has the ability to [[spoiler:enter soon-to-be-pregnant women and replace their unborn fetus with a copy of itself, which spawns clones that the fetus' unwitting parents raise to maturity]].* ThisIsUnforgivable: Suguro, the benevolent mushishi who takes in young Ginko for a brief time, calmly tells him to leave because [[spoiler:he can't forgive Ginko for accidentally breaking the egg of the new mountain lord]].* TotalEclipseOfThePlot: In "The Shadow That Devours the Sun", a particularly powerful ''mushi'' strikes during a solar eclipse, drawing other smaller ''mushi'' to it and blocking out the sun for far longer than the eclipse should have lasted.* UnfamiliarCeiling: This has happened to Ginko a few times. The story "Valley of the Welling Tide" begins with a man finding him unconscious on a snowy mountain and bringing him back to his home.* TheUnfavorite: ** Reki, the boy in "Lightning's End", whose mother once ''tied him to a tree during a thunderstorm,'' and refuses to love (or acknowledge) him even after [[spoiler:he repeatedly allows himself to get struck by lightning so their house won't get burned down]]. In this case there is no favorite; his mother is simply incapable of loving him, and believes that she's just not emotionally equipped to be a mother. ** The stepmother of the ferryman who can summon bird/wind ''mushi'' in "Wind Raiser" is more concerned that he can't make money than the fact that he could have died when the ship he worked on sank.* UnnamedParent: Very few parents in this series are named, usually being credited as '(character)'s mother/father.' [[spoiler:Among them, notably, is Yoki's, or rather, Ginko's mother.]]* UnusuallyUninterestingSight:** Ginko has stark white hair, green eyes, pale skin (at least more so than any of the other men in the show) and wears Western clothes. Very few people ever question this. ** Biki in "Light of the Eyelid" had Western clothes in the manga (he even had a toy airplane), but he got Japanese clothes in the anime after the artist {{retcon}}ned the setting away from modern times as it was in the original one shot chapter.* VertigoEffect: Used in the episode "The Sleeping Mountain" when Ginko wakes up feeling that something is wrong.* VictimOfTheWeek[=/=]WoobieOfTheWeek: Almost every episode has one or two in the form of Ginko's 'client(s)'.* WalkingTheEarth: ** Ginko is forced to do this due to the amount of ''mushi'' he attracts. There are other ''mushishi'' who do the same, though not all of them have to.** The Watari, a wandering tribe who study ''mushi'' and aid the ''mushishi'', are also eternal wanderers. Ginko tagged along with them for a while when he was younger, and still meets up with them briefly from time to time.** Teru, the woman followed by rain in "Cloudless Rain." If she stays in one place it'll cause floods, sickness, and famine. [[spoiler:Fortunately it's starting to weaken]].* WeAreAsMayflies: There are several stories that reinforce this belief. However, in general the message seems to be that a life well spent is good no matter how short. * WeirdnessMagnet: It's not too uncommon for people, such as Ginko and Nui, to be born with the tendency to attract ''mushi'', which naturally brings a lot of oddity to their lives, if not outright danger. The best way to keep it under control is to [[FlyingDutchman keep moving]] and smoke a lot of ''mushi''-tobacco.* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Apart from Ginko, most other ''mushishi'' are shown to prefer killing ''mushi''. Even Ginko will kill a ''mushi'' if it is endangering someone's life, but he prefers not to.* WhatTheHellHero: On two separate occasions Ginko tells a village ''mushishi'' that they should evacuate their people as a way of dealing with a crisis. Both times the ''mushishi'' in question rightly point out that the village will starve if they abandon their crops. Beyond this practical consideration, Ginko fails to understand the emotional attachment the villagers have to their land, which while an understandable kind of dissonance between a perpetual wanderer and settled agriculturalists, doesn't win him any points. Especially after he insults the villagers from "Journey to the Field of Fire".* WhoWantsToLiveForever: [[spoiler:The head priest in "The Heavy Seed" is turned immortal thanks to Ginko feeding his recently-deceased body the Narazu seed- though the head priest agreed to consume the seed, in order to watch over his village.]]* YearOutsideHourInside: ** The ''mushi'' in "Where Sea Meets Man" has this effect. A woman lost within it for three years thinks only three days have passed, and when Ginko and the woman's husband spend an hour or two under the ''mushi'''s influence, they're missing from the real world for a month.** Played with in "Pickers of Empty Cocoons". [[spoiler:Ito has been gone for about five years, but when she returns, she hasn't aged at all. However, since she came back incapable of speech, it's not known how long she perceived her time in the ''mushi'' passageway to be.]]** Similarly, victims of the shadow-''mushi'' shown in "Lingering Crimson" can trade places if they're touched by another person's shadow. [[spoiler:No one knows how long Mikage was trapped, and Akane returned unaged after many decades.]]* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: ** It's possible for something or someone to become a [[NatureSpirit mountain master]] by killing one and eating its flesh. [[spoiler:After hearing that this is the only way that Mujika can get rid of his FlyingDutchman status and stay with his lover, Saku, she goes out to kill the resident mountain master to do just that, and dies in the process.]]** Ginko ''almost'' did this as a kid when [[spoiler:he found an egg which was the new mountain master. He briefly considered taking that power for himself, then accidentally dropped it. Fortunately the ''mushi'' took it back and found a new master. Unfortunately for Ginko, the man he was staying with wasn't pleased with what had almost transpired and told him to leave.]]* YourDaysAreNumbered: Nui, who was exposed to Tokoyami and would eventually be consumed by it. [[spoiler:It's also very likely that Ginko doesn't have much longer before he suffers the same.]]께----

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