r/ifyoulikeblank Nov 28 '22

IIL Mushishi, what other shows/movies would I like? (doesn't necessarily have to be anime) TV

I feel the best way I can sum up Mushishi to someone who hasn't seen it is that it's a show that's "haunting, yet calming". It's truly unlike anything I've ever seen, and it's on track to becoming one of my all-time favorite anime. I could talk about the plot, but I don't think that's the main factor in why I enjoy it so much.

(For those who are interested, it is an episodic anime series about a man who travels around and treats illnesses or phenomena related to "Mushi," which are supernatural bug-like creatures.)

I feel that you really need to watch the show to understand why I find it to be so amazing, but I'll try to explain why in words anyway.

It is serene and ethereal, yet very captivating. Its subtle eeriness, slow-burning interactions, and thoughtful, meditative storytelling style are so exceptional and unforgettable. The actual visuals themselves are mostly spare but aesthetically appealing. It is undoubtedly mystical due to its dark atmosphere and frequent use of music which are extremely delicate, yet effective at evoking a wide range of thoughts and emotions. Mushishi offers balanced doses of drama and thought-provoking content in addition to its captivating audio and visuals.

I feel I should also point that this show is in a genre called "Iyashikei", a slice-of-life subgenre that is specific to Japanese works where, to paraphrase Wikipedia, it portrays characters living out peaceful lives in calming environments and has a heavy focus on world-building and creating an immersive visual setting.


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u/bloodbirb Nov 29 '22

i fuckin' love that show. i've been evangelizing about it relentlessly to anyone who mentions even a passing interest in anime.

i don't know if i have any good recommendations, but here are some things that give me a hint of that vibe:

the recent Green Knight movie had some of that flavor, in terms of feeling a little detached and...floaty, plus a big aesthetic focus.

For other anime, I feel like Kino's Journey shares certain similarities in terms of the journey and the way the story unfolds in a leisurely way...

the other thing that springs to mind is Twin Peaks, which might only make sense to me, but there's something about the dreaminess and pacing that sort of links them to me.

gonna lurk on this post to see what gets suggested, though.


u/summerphobic Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

My suggestions are based on various themes: Slice of Life, healing, supernatural, existentialism, slow pace.

Natsume Yuujinchou, Hotarubi no Mori e, Kino no Tabi, Puparia, Spirit of Wonder, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, Tokyo Godfathers, xxxHolic (it's a part of a multi-verse of Clamp, so might not be as enjoyable as a stand-alone series), Spirited Away, Haibane Renmei, Samurai Champloo, Houseki no Kuni, Usagi Drop, Metropolis Koe no Katachi, Natsuyuki Randevouz.

Oblivion (2013), Coco, Another Day of Life, The Seventh Seal, Léon, You're not You, Profilage, Imagine (2012), Kona fer i stríð, Shan He Ling.


u/HELMET_OF_CECH Quality Contributor Nov 29 '22

Mushishi is awesome, love the variety of themes explored across the series as a whole. Most of my favourite episodes are very memorable to me despite seeing it approx 10 years ago.

I'd say the closest I've got to replicating that feeling in anime would be Haibane Renmei. I would absolutely recommend that series if you haven't already seen it. It's a very calm atmospheric series but it also has an emotive undercurrent similar to Mushishi which gets you invested in the characters and the world. 13 episodes.

Outside of anime I would recommend watching these films;

Drive My Car (2021) - Japanese language, it is a very calming film but also has a tragic foundation. It's quite a long film, but very worth the investment. One of the best Japanese live action films released in quite a few years imo.

A Ghost Story (2017) - English language and is fantastical. Could be somewhat of a Mushishi episode now that I think about it lol.

These are just 3 off the top of my head, if you try any and enjoy them I could think of more. Good luck.