Every year, for Day 8 of my 12 Days of Anime, I recall an experience where I gave an anime a chance. So far, my list has included:
- Giving a Bad Anime a Chance (Softenni, 2011)
- Giving a Forgotten Anime a Chance (Yuru Yuri, 2012)
- Giving a Disappointing Anime a Second Chance (Tamayura ~more aggressive~, 2013)
For every rendition of this tradition, I have attempted to cover a distinctive and different focus with each post. The first year was on an anime that I originally deemed bad, but stuck with it to see if I could salvage some entertainment from it. The second year reflected an anime I never gave a chance to, not even an episode when it first came out. The third year was on a sequel to an anime that I was frustrated and dissatisfied with and was originally planning on skipping. Here, for my 2014 version about giving an anime a chance, I look back at a greatly admired, highly acclaimed, and universally respected anime that I never made an effort to watch in my many years of watching anime. For Day 8, I will reflect upon watching Mushishi, and how that watching this renowned anime was one of the highlights of my year.
Mushishi was always near the top of my ‘To Watch’ list due to how I perceived I would enjoy the anime as well as the widespread appreciate and approval for the series. However, like most of the anime in my ‘To Watch’ list, I am never able to find the time to watch shows considering how dense my schedule is every season. I suppose I could always drop a handful of the lesser shows each season and work on my backlog, but it’s not like these lesser anime have no value to me, especially considering the social context with many other people watching the same shows as me and thus having a platform to discuss it. Still, the time was right to watch Mushishi with the sequel, Mushishi Zoku Shou, starting up in the Spring of 2014, so I blocked off some time and made watching Mushishi a priority.
Even though I fell in love with the anime midway through the first episode (I just knew that I would love Mushishi), the journey through Mushishi’s 26 episodes and the special OVA made me realize (again) just how important my backlog is. Of course, not every anime will be as captivating or appealing as Mushishi is, but the anime skyrocketed up my list of favorite anime of all-time, and laid the foundation for Mushishi Zoku Shou to be among the very best anime of 2014. Mushishi is a reminder of all the potentially great anime that I have yet to watch, that were recommended to me by friends or that somehow found their way to me through my adventures through the internet.
I suppose the lesson here is to put more emphasis on working through my backlog and find a means to balance those anime with the currently airing shows. However, the question is always what is optimal within the context of everything else occurring in life. If only it were as simple as picking an anime and watching it, budgeting and scheduling time for anime is often an intricate process that changes week-to-week. Additionally, with the time it takes to blog, it means I have less time available to go back and watch some of these backlog anime or other anime that are airing this season. In fact, one of the core themes among these 12 Days of Anime posts for me will be able budgeting my time and trying to find the best means of watching anime. And one of the success stories of this year was making room for Mushishi which is easily one of the best anime that I watched in all of 2014. Yes, finally giving Mushishi a chance after all these years is easily one of my favorite moments of 2014 and it earns a spot among my list of Day 8 anime. Now we’ll just see how well I manage my backlog through 2015…
#1 by miharusshi on December 18, 2014 - 10:03 PM
Congratulations on finally getting to watch Mushishi!
To be honest, when I first watched it a few years ago I didn’t love it as much as I do today. After watching the sequels this year, I realized just how amazing the prequel really was, and that I even had several favorite episodes (of course, every episode is special in its own way). For me, Mushishi is an anime you will love more as you watch it again and again. I’m going to rewatch the whole series so that I can properly savor the anime this time!
#2 by avvesione on December 19, 2014 - 9:22 AM
That’s quite impressive to go back and rewatch the original series along with the sequel all in the same year. I’m glad to hear that your appreciation for Mushishi has developed over the years, and that you continue to enjoy it after all this time. I hope I feel the same way years from now, but considering how it fits my style, I don’t think I’ll need to worry about it all that much.
#3 by miharusshi on December 19, 2014 - 9:26 AM
That’s great, then! At least, you won’t have to feel the need to rewatch it, considering that it’s one of your favorites now. :)
#4 by draggle on December 18, 2014 - 11:08 PM
I gave Mushishi three chances, but it let me down every time
#5 by avvesione on December 19, 2014 - 9:29 AM
You bastard. I can’t really blame you considering that Mushishi has a distinct feel to it that really isn’t for everyone. Considering how diverse the anime industry is and how diverse the fandom is, not to mention what the fandom is looking for with each anime, there’s bound to be mismatches for every show and every fan. I am a bit disappointed that Mushishi failed to impress you with three different episodes, since it sounds like you put in an effort to watch it. But still, you have a much, much better taste in anime than the median fan, so you still have that going for you!
#6 by Detetiv on December 22, 2014 - 2:46 PM
I’m guessing that includes the live action?
#7 by avvesione on December 24, 2014 - 4:27 AM
Uh, no, I haven’t tired the live-action Mushishi yet. I should try it one of these days, but I’ve never been able to sit through a live-action version of an anime before. I just can’t take them seriously, even if they have the same story and characters that I enjoy. But, since you mentioned it, maybe I’ll give it a try sometime.
#8 by Detetiv on December 25, 2014 - 3:36 AM
Most of it is the same if memory serves but they expanded on the last 2 episodes in the anime at the end. What did you think of the human mushi ep? I hated it personally as a ending chapter to close the manga.
#9 by avvesione on December 28, 2014 - 6:37 PM
I’d like that if it has new material that isn’t available in the anime.
The human mushi ep? I don’t recall hating any episodes of Mushishi, but I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that one? Which episode number was it?
#10 by Detetiv on December 29, 2014 - 7:33 AM
Huh? Oh I guess they didn’t make that into the new season. Better ending then the recarnaion/de ja vu ep. It’s a 2 parter chapter at the end of volume 10 the final of the series. Recommended you read the last 2. Maybe in another ova?
#11 by avvesione on December 30, 2014 - 11:19 PM
I’ll wait to see what the Mushishi movie covers when it is released in Summer 2015. Until then, I’ll refrain from reading the manga to avoid spoiling the movie for me. If you think there’s something that I should read thereafter, please let me know.