Mushi Uta – Miyazaki breeds with Takahata and intertwines with a little bit of Lain

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My friend Mike thought “She the Ultimate Weapon” was too melodramatic. I usually don’t think anything about that. But when I was watching the first 5 minutes of this show, that’s what popped into my mind.

Here, we have a little girl meets a little boy, and there was a promise made between them – the little girl says, “take my dream.”After that, the little boy, who has a gun pointing at the little girl’s head (with a bug attached to the gun), pulls the trigger. They also said about having a place to live and reside peacefully before that.

Then the screen shows “4 years later”. How like a dating sim-turned-anime this is.

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Looking at the first 15 or so minutes of this show, I thought about Lain a little bit. But the characters are nothing like the characters in Lain, and the setting isn’t anything remotely close to Lain. The story is simple enough – in the near future, Mushis (why don’t they just get the Mushishi to come and get rid of them in the first place), come and infect people. We have an organization – Tokkan, or the Special Environment Preservation Agency – that send people to either take an infected person to somewhere else, or just kill the mushi (bug) that infects him or her, and the person will look like he or she is completely stoned and strung out.

We have another group – the Mushibane – that tries to give these infected an sanctuary, while Tokkan (the group that hunts) sends men that look like Terminators to go after the infected. The mushibane sends people that wear funny masks with horns to find and take the infected to a place where they can’t be found.

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I really don’t think the story is that intriguing. Instead of cyber punk, we get “mushi (bug)” punk (snicker). I mean, just look at these “exterminators” from the (presumably) government organization – the wear cyber punk goggles and an armored suit (which reminded of the standard armors that the AD Police wear in Bubblegum Crisis). I almost expected a cyber backpack or something like that.

But all the pickiness aside (didn’t I say that I ‘m a picky bastard in one of my previous posts?) The background of the small city is amazing. Almost Miyazaki-like amazing. The emotions expressed by the important characters are similar like “I can hear the sea” style (Takahata style), where a young man falls in love with a young woman. There’s a coyness (Takahata style) to it at the end of the eps, where I assume the girl, Anmoto Shiika, who seems to have gotten shot by Kusuriya Daisuke 4 years ago (he was the little boy at the beginning), came to find him. Daisuke is part Of the Tokkan, and he’s more capable than the older guy they sent to capture the first mushitsuki (someone infected by a bug) that we see about 7 minutes into the show. Currently, Daisuke is undercover as a high school student (didn’t we see something like that in Full Metal Panic?).

For a more detailed introduction about the two opposing organizations and character names, see this page from AnimeNfo.com – http://www.animenfo.com/animetitle,4005,ylbkfm,mushi_uta.html .

I know this is only the first eps and things are still yet to be unfolded. So I’m not going to be too harsh on it (yeah right.) The background of the city where Daisuke is transferred to is beautifully drawn. The details of a small Japanese town without much going on, under the greater (difficult) environmental condition, is depicted perfectly. Other than that, I loved the OP and the ED – both attracts the emotional shonen-self in me. The ED song makes me want to do something special, or rather, be in the world that this anime depicts, and do something more fun than the boring-ass daily life I now have. Maybe that’s the subconscious intent of songs like these.

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Anyone who lived or has been living in Japan for a really long time knows that the average Japanese’s life in a small town/city is really boring. But that can be true for any country, where small towns and cities are boring as hell most of the time. Anime and manga, after all, are devices for escaping the real life. But I’m going off in a tangent. Back to the review

The animation is good, not awesome, save the background of the small town – the details struck me as great. The music is OK, save the OP and ED (if I missed something let me know). The characters don’t really stand out right now but this is only eps 1 (and I know I’m harsh). I wish I had more to say, but I don’t want to drag it out much longer, so

75% recommended for your daily anime diet. The extra 5% comes from the excellent background details when Daisuke is transferred to a small town. Would’ve been 80% if the show isn’t so teenage-like (my prejudice – I’m 30, which means I’m too old to watch a real teenage show).

P.S. there are some EVA influences, too. Look for it.

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