Monday, June 16, 2008

Mushishi (蟲師-2007)

AKA: Bugmaster
Joe Odagiri ... Ginko
Nao Omori ... Nijirou
Yu Aoi ... Tanyu
Makiko Esumi ... Nui
Hideyuki Inada ... Yoki
Makiko Kuno ... Maho's mother
Reia Moriyama ... Maho
Reisen Ri ... Tanyu's nanny
Riri ... Inn owner

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...

Ginko makes his way to a house where a young woman named TANYU has fallen ill. Born to a family with a strong connection to Mushi, Tanyu records the ancient stories of the Mushi onto scrolls. She fell ill after she heard a tale from a blind Mushishi woman. The woman told her about how she had fought off a powerful Mushi called “Tokoyami,” which lived at the bottom of a pond, and about an eyeless fish which lived at the bottom of the Tokoyami called “Ginko.” Her extended exposure to the pond turned her hair white and took her eyes…

In the basement library of Tanyu’s house, Ginko reads the scroll containing the tale of the blind Mushishi woman. It sounds strangely familiar to him, as if he has heard the story before… the story of a boy named “Yoki,” the sole survivor of a landslide…

Wow! This movie isn't for everyone. To some this might be too boring. On the other hand, if you have read the manga or have seen the anime, you will come to realize how well done this movie was.

Using Joe Odagiri to play the part of Ginko, the bugmaster, was brilliant. You can never go wrong with Joe. He is such an awesome actor! He plays his parts so well that he is just too cool. He is your go-to-guy if you really need an actor. I really think it's time for him to head to Hollywood. He's beyond Japan's scope of vision.

Mushishi, to me, is really about a doctor of sorts. I'm not sure if many have heard the term, if they have ever had the flu or some virus/bacteria infection, "getting the bug". This was always used if I or my siblings had gotten sick...especially a stomach virus. Well, this movie kind of reminded me of that phrase.

The village people would encompass some kind of "mushi" that made them ill some way or the other (deaf, body change, paralysis, etc.). Ginko, the Mushishi (bugmaster), would lend his services and help these people rid their bodies of the "mushi" in the same way a doctor would.

This was a beautiful story with an engaging cinemagraphic background. And, well, Joe Odagiri was in it.....there was enough salivating to last me a lifetime. He's some hot eye-candy that is for sure!!!

Odagiri Joe
Odagiri Joe 2odagiri joe!Joe OdagiriJo HeadJoe Odagiri
Life just sucks then you die! Eeergh! I just read that he got married! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Say it isn't so Joe, say it isn't so! How am I to go on living?
*cries buckets, heaves, sobs, sighs*

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