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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Mushishi Vol. 2 by Urushibara Yuki 
3rd-Jan-2008 11:59 pm
Urushibara, Yuki. Mushishi. Vol. 2. Trans. William Flanagan. New York: Del Rey, 2007.
          Summary: In the second volume's five stories, Ginko encounters a mountain master who wishes to return his powers to the mushi, a young woman who can only dispel her curse by recording the tales of mushishi, a parasite mushi who shares its intense life experience with its human hosts, a bridge architect in pursuit of a rainbow-like mushi, and a fungal mushi that distributes its spores by budding off appendages that look like children.
          Comments: I might point out, with no little self-satisfaction, that Mushishi is another one of those manga series that I was praising to the skies during my college days (back when I read a heck of a lot more manga than I do now). Yet, as late as October 2006, my extra copies of the first three volumes of the Japanese edition went ignored and unwanted by everyone except a professional translator. Ah, and they were such beautiful books, those Japanese editions. High quality paper stock, full color pages, navy blue endpapers. The Del Rey editions, despite being over twice the price (and two dollars more than their baseline manga list price), look like poor cousins by comparison. But at least the translation's good--the textual quality of the original book, particularly enriched in this volume by a touch of romance, a touch of horror, has not been compromised...even though, alas, the paratextual quality most certainly has.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Kodansha in 2002
          Rating: 9/10 - Urushibara extends the range of her storytelling further. Even better than the first volume.
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