Like wow.. I can’t even remember how old was I when I first watched this series. Anyways, Mushi-uta’s story takes place in the near future. Ten years before the story’s opening, strange insect-like creatures known as “Mushi” began appearing. The Mushi are able to consume peoples’ dreams and thoughts in return for supernatural powers. At the end of episode one, protagonist Daisuke “Kakkou” Kusuriya encounters a young girl named Shiika Anmoto. The two, in time, become quite close. However, unbeknownst to Kakkou, Shiika is an escapee from a secret prison known as GARDEN where those possessed by the Mushi, known as the Mushitsuki are held. GARDEN’s military force, the Special Environmental Conservation Executive Office, dispatches its finest killer to track down Shiika. However, they are faced with resistance from the Mushibane resistance organisation, led by the secretive “Ladybird.”
Before I start naming the ‘buts’, let me tell you what really intrigued me with Mushi Uta; the things that really had this series going for me. (Because this series is pretty~ old ) For one, the animation. It’s a 12 episodes long show, which is really short considering the amount of storytelling needing to be done. However, unlike many 12 episodes anime’s, the animation quality wasn’t bad and in fact one of this anime’s strong points. Action scenes were worked out nicely, coloring was nice and fitting, the animation was smooth and the backgrounds and effects looked particularly interesting enough. Besides animation, the sounds are well done (though not exceptional) and the whole concept lurking behind this anime is extremely good. To be honest, without knowing anything about this anime I had a peek into the first episode. I ended up finishing it and a curious mini me inside me was triggered into watching more and more. The idea itself was great, the characters seemed perfect and the concept seemed worth it. Worth time that is.
More about the characters before I start ranting on and on about the concept. The visuals (designs) are, just like the animation, pretty good. It’s not exceptional or really interesting; but it fits in with the story that’s being told and therefore is pretty likable. Especially likable is the main character who seems like the perfect ‘badass’. He wears goggles, is an assassin and besides that, is the strongest guy around! I mean, no more wimps as lead characters, finally a strong guy! At least, so I thought. However, let me get back to the concepts. The concept was great, the characters had potential. Then where did it go wrong? Wrong you say? Yes, because somewhere in time Mushi Uta lost my interest -and besides that- wrongfully used the potential I saw in it . Let me clarify. For starters, the ‘badass’ main character was put into ‘development’, a forced development by that. The creators figured it was his time to develop; thus they made him develop. It was so wrong! All of a sudden Mr. Perfect Assassin turned into a wimp! It’s cool and all if he starts getting emotions, but why did he turn weak again? Why did he get ill? And I’m not trying to spoil things here, but he really did turn weaker towards the middle/end. Which is a shame.
Also, we see that the two know each other, yet, when Kakkou and Shiika meet later in episode one or two, they somehow have no idea who the other person is. What? How does that make sense? We know that Kakkou remembers the girl from the opening, who looks EXACTLY the same as Shiika, yet, he has no clue the two are one and the same? Yes, Kakkou suffers from what I like to refer to as “Sailor Moon Syndrome.” Oh, no! She’s wearing a different outfit! I can’t tell who this strange person I’ve surely never met before is! Even though she’s the only person in the whole anime and probably all of Japan who has that hair color and style! At least Shiika has an excuse as she suffers largely from amnesia… Which is something we aren’t told until practically the end of the series. Would have been nice to have know that sooner. Also, her amnesia seems to be highly selective as she can still remember her family and goes home in an attempt to find them. Sadly, they are gone. Where? No one knows and the subject is never revisited. Maybe they all moved to Tahiti. щ(ಠ益ಠщ)
The story is incredibly confusing and convoluted. There are so many plot holes in it and unanswered questions that it’s like falling down a trapdoor, hitting twenty some odd tree branches, and then proceeding into a large, black abyss of death and despair… Okay, so that might be a bit of an overreaction, but seriously, the story almost seems more like an afterthought than the purpose. It had the makings of an action-packed drama; unfortunately, it was presented quite poorly. Most of the time, the anime was focused on a love triangle that was only borderline interesting (I actually like the way it goes with the romance until they fucking made it into a love triangle…-in my honest opinion- isn’t adding anything to the story. It’s like making a mixture of coke light and coke. I mean, what’s the point really? ) One of the characters that had the most screen time was also the least interesting character in the whole show. The love TRIANGLE story didn’t fit well with the action scenes.
Things seemed rushed towards the middle/end. And more than once have I been tempted to just ‘STOP’ the player and start doing something that I do like. To be fair, the series starts off with interesting story elements, like the Mushi, but its lack of proper explanation overshadows any enjoyment to be had from them. I personally wanted to know more about Keji’s past and situation, as its briefly touched upon (oddly inappropriately as he just starts blathering on about his past to Kakkou at one point for no apparent reason), but that is never fully explored either. If only they had explained the general basis for mushi in a more straightforward manner it would’ve been more enjoyable.