Urushibara, Yuki. Mushishi. Vol. 1. Trans. William Flanagan. New York: Del Rey, 2007. Summary
: Ginko is a mushishi, an expert on primordial forms of life known as mushi. This volume's five stories tell variously about a woman who became a mushi for the sake of her grandchild, a boy who has grown horns so the mushi in his ear can feed of silence, a man whose dreams come true, a girl whose eyes have been infected by mushi, and a young woman who almost accompanies a liquid mushi to its death at sea. Comments
: Urushibara is a brilliant storyteller and a gifted artist, her work steeped in tradition and understated sentiment. Her world-building (the Japanese adjective "fushigi," which means both mysterious and wondrous, comes to mind) is idiosyncratic yet entirely coherent and easily-comprehensible, effectively embroidering pre-existing Japanese superstition and myth. Yet, oddly, she was not especially popular in her previous incarnations as a girls' comic artist. Thank goodness Kodansha's Afternoon
finally saw fit to publish her work; if she hadn't won the contest that got Mushishi
into the magazine as a new serial, she would surely have given up manga creation entirely! I'm so glad that her career, cemented by receipt of a Kodansha Manga Award, is now assured--Urushibara has a gift to give to the world, and now she has the opportunity to utilize her talents to their fullest extent. Notes
: paperback, 1st American edition, 2nd printing; first published in Japan by Kodansha in 2000 Rating
- One of those rare manga series that resonates with all of the affective spirituality and mystery of the Japanese fairytale.