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Mushi-Shi Volume 3 [DVD]
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This Volume contains episodes 11 - 14 (four episodes).

Instead of 5 episodes there are 4 on this volume, the first story didn't quite grab me which is a shame as the last volume contained what was probably the best of the episodes so far. The first episode is far from being bad - it just feels a little average and lacks the intenisty of some of the others. The wishy-washy initial story of episode 11 is soon forgotten though and episode 12 gives us some backstory for Ginko who has been largely elusive so far.

We learn more about Ginko, he isn't a wanderer just by choice who manages to stumble on Mushi (every episode!), he attracts mushi and staying in one place would lead to Mushi infestation there. Episode 12 gives us a glimpse into his past, actually, more than just a glimpse - we understand how an experience with a Mushi Master when he was a boy has impacted on his life, and why his hair always covers one eye. The last two episodes on this volume are the strongest. The first of these two is a solid story driven by desperation and love, the second is just as emotionally driven and concerns a family with a secret which has led to them being banished and lost in a forest (and reminded me of the brilliantly obscure film Little Otik!). Both of these stories demonstrate the power the Mushi has and how they can influence individuals to their own advantage

Artwork continues to impress, there are some astounding autumnal forest scenes - lush with reds and golds as sun bursts through gaps in the canopy. There's a lot of forest in these episodes and it's amazing how different it looks depending on the time of day and the type of forest, all-too-often we get resused footage and it can be very obvious, here though everything things specially crafted for the scene.

In a nutshell: If all epsiodes on this disk were on a par with episode 11, then this would be getting three stars. But the volume impresses by giving us a solid backstory and follows it up with two great stories which sometimes tug at the heartstrings. Also here we are reminded that we're not not always guranteed a happy ending and that means you can't rely on the assumption that everything will turn out alright, it's something which heightens the drama.
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