Mushishi Vol. #06 (Mania.com)

By:Greg Hackmann
Review Date: Friday, February 27, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mushishi still manages to impress and entertain with six volumes under its belt.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yuki Urushibara
Translation: William Flanagan
Adaptation: William Flanagan

What They Say
A father disappears and his son, a hunter, inherits his father's power to lure animals to their deaths, quietly and entranced. But this ability poisons the mind and the body. Can mushi master Ginko cure the son before he shares his father's fate, or will the young man turn his deadly powers on his would-be savior?

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The Review!
Good news for Mushishi readers who have already made their way through its anime adaptation -- a full four out of the five chapters in Volume 6 are unique to the manga source material.  One theme that dominates this volume is people living at the fringes of society: "Heaven's Thread" follows a woman made into a pariah after being spirited away by a dangling mushi thread; "The Chirping Shell" deals in part with a family living in exile in the aftermath of a boating accident that claims the mother's life; and "The Hands That Pets the Night" introduces Ginko to a family curse that has apparently driven two brothers to live by themselves in a forest.  Another interesting twist to this volume is that Ginko plays a relatively passive role in most of the stories.  Where in previous volumes he was quick to jump in with treatments for people's problems, a lot of the time here his involvement is limited to just diagnosing the mushi involved; it's then the townspeople who ultimately use this information to solve their own problems.

Like many of Mushishi's previous volumes, the closing story deals more with Ginko's life story and the mushishi trade than with the mushi proper.  It unfortunately also shares one of the complaints I've had about these other expository chapters, which is that it takes a little too long to get to where it's going.  (Or maybe it's just that Ginko is such a strong central character that I only notice long setups when he's demoted to a side character.)  Either way, this shouldn't stop anyone who's been enjoying the series so far from picking up its latest volume: the storytelling quality in Volume 6 is just a solid as in previous installments, and it has the bonus of bringing substantial "new" material to viewers of the TV adaptation.



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 and Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0345501660
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Mushishi