In Feudal Japan, the people of Edo are under siege by giant insects that ravage the land. The people desperately beg the government to do something about it. Thus the Insect Magistrate Office is established, gathering strong warriors to defend against the onset of pests.
Mushibugyou follows Jinbee Tsukishima, a young man striving to be a master swordsman like his father. To atone for a horrific incident that occurred at his fault, Jinbee seeks to take his father's place as a member of the Insect Magistrate Office. On his journey there, he meets the lovely Haru, a young woman who helps manage her family’s tea house, and is forced to put his sword to good use in saving her from a grisly fate. This act of bravery that earns him a spot in the Insect Magistrate. Will this rookie exterminator be able to rid the land of the horde of insects swarming in?
So what do you do when insects come knock at your door? Well, normally you'd call the pest control. But here's the problem. These are not your ordinary insects. In fact, these are the type that will tear you apart and eat you alive. It takes more much than the pest control. Luckily, you can call upon a more reliant force known as the City Patrol, an elite unit of insect exterminators who are specialists in dealing with those pesky creatures.
As one of the lesser known series from the 2013 Spring lineup, Mushibugyou might of slipped under some people's radar. In fact, I wasn't aware of this show until a friend told me about it. No, it's not because I hate bugs. I mean, I'm sure a lot of people hates them in real life as well but this series fits within more of the 'underrated category. Anyways, it is adapted based off the manga known as Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou. (take note that it is adapted from the alternate version of the Mushibugyou manga). Otherwise, the series stars Jinbei Tsukishima, a young man who becomes a new recruit of the City Patrol. The boy is inexperienced but joins the unit to honor his family and protect the people.
The series takes place in an alternate Feudal Era Japan setting. Thus, expect some of the architectures' designs to look like some of the more traditional style of Japanese culture. The country in which the series takes place at is simple though with no complex technology. Rather, there is a system where people tries to follow to maintain order. But then of course, that order is disturbed thanks to these monsters known as the Mushi, the giant insects as well as the antagonists of the series. They disturb peace and causes destruction. Now, who you gotta call? The Ghostbust- I mean, City Patrol.
I'm not a big fan of historical theme series but there's something about Mushibugyou that seems to have more interest than meets the eye. The first few episodes aren't very impressive though so patience is required in order to progress through the series. In fact, we meet the members of the Mushi Magistrate City Patrol. Its members are specialists and quite diverse in terms of their appearances, abilities, and personalities. Jinebi is the most cheerful of the group with his personality. Despite being the weakest member of the team, he makes it up with his heroic efforts to protect the people as well as determination. On a complete different scale, there's Mugai, a mysterious individual whose skill is almost unrivaled in the team. In terms of skills, they are worlds apart and it's fun to see how they balance out during battles.
The other members of the City Patrol consists of the tough guy (Shungiku Koikawa), action girl (Hibachi), and and shy boy (Tenma Ichinotani). All of their skills complicates the team's efforts in some way or form despite their conflicting philosophies. These often result in hilarious belittling of each other to a point of almost absurdity. Speaking of that, there's some absurdity in this show besides the repetitive arguments. I'm talking about the insects involved as they seem to attack humans out of nowhere for little to no reason. Then, there are some of the character designs like Mugai's hair style. Some other forms of absurdity involves the deus ex machina scenarios involving our hero Jinebi when he pulls out a victory from nowhere.
As for the show itself goes, it balances between seriousness and comedy. The seriousness part comes from the Mushi as they truly are bloodthirsty for destruction. In fact, there is actual deaths involved in this show and some moments are even graphic with no censorship. The fact that the Mushi wants humans as food (or more like for dead) is a reality in this series. Make no mistake as the bodies do pile up especially in later episodes when some of the stronger Mushi are introduced. Jinebi also takes his work seriously as he trains hard to honor his family. His determination is unrivaled in his team and often strives to protect those who cares around him. There's also some back-stories involving the supporting characters that shows why they are members of the City Patrol that are spawned from tragic stories. For comedy, there's the frequent actions from Jinebi that usually results in some sort of undesired result at first. This typically starts in the beginning in the show due to his lack of experience as well as some of his lack in common sense. Then, there's the fan service. There's fan service more than just the blood and gore. Thanks to a particular fan service girl (Haru), there's skin showing and cameras fixed on angles that are lascivious. In fact, Haru seems to be the kind of girl in this show that serves little to no purpose beyond the fan service as she has no skill to fight against the Mushi or brains to formulate plans for attack. Instead, she has to rely on her knight in shining armor (Jinbei) to save the day. But of course, Jinbei always gets some sort of reward from her in the form of a 'thanks' or sometimes more...
The plot originally follows more of a the 'monster of the week' format but later transits into a more complex story. In the center of that story is Jinebi and another mysterious girl known as Kuroageha, the Insect Magistrate. She represents a more mysterious side to the overall series with her gifted powers behind that noticeable white silky hair. There's also dangerous foes later on (including an organization) that really takes the action and plot to the cake. If you survived the slow pace of the first few episodes, then this show might not be disappointing for you at all.
As for the Mushi, their designs gives off a dangerous vibe along with their behavior. Most of them are modified after real life insects such as mantis, stag beetles, dragonfly, etc with abilities that matches their rights. Some of them do looks more silly than they should be though with their enormous heads and some of their humanoid/hybrid designs. There's also plenty of action of course! It generally involves the struggling conflict between the Mushi and the City Patrol. There's bloody spilled and heads falling off here and there. The movements and fights are generally fast paced with quick successions. Among other factors, Mushibugyou also has some potential romance development later on. The problem here is that Jinbei is way too dense to notice it. In terms of the romance, the show only gives signs and teases. Thus, don't expect some form of love story as this would be the wrong show to watch.
Overall designs for the characters are fine that shows why they are part of the City Patrol. The Edo like feeling is obviously there with the architectures and village like settings. Then, there are the dangerous insects that shows why they are enemies of humanity. The fan service might be more than meets the eye but even ignoring that aspect doesn't make this series' artwork outstanding.
The soundtrack of the show is noticeable but nothing earth shattering. There's the action scenarios, the comedy tones, and then some more of the emotional parts accompanied by soft paced music. Most of the VA plays their roles well. In particular, Jinbei's VA (KEEN) has that tone of determination coming from his voice whenever he wants to protect someone. There are two different OP and ED songs and both of them fits within the theme of the show with the Edo-like atmosphere.
All in all, Mushibugyou is a show that is underrated but can be worth a watch if you have some patience. What I mean by that is getting through some of the introductory episodes and then later on to the main plot. I mean, the show is dominated by man eating insects as the enemies. I'm sure most of us hates insects in some way or form. There's also fan service so be prepared for some gratuitous camera angles and bloody gore. The show is more intimating than meets the eye though so once it gets to the main dish, it can be a somewhat enjoyable ride. Just don't forget to fasten the seat-belt unless you want to become insect food.read more
Mushibugyou is your typical shounen really, but It has a few stylish and interesting choices for subject matter, that being insects. At first it's treated quite like a monster of the week affair. Similar to the very beginning of bleach. However as things go on stuff gets more interesting. Characters develop, romance develops, and Arcs unfold. I'm gonna be honest there isn't much original here, however there isn't much original about most shounen. It's all about how well it's executed when it comes to shounen's story. In this regard I believe Mushibugyou was executed well, but not as good as others like Hunter x Hunter or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. So, is the story good? Yes. Is it a legendary tale passed down from the shounen gods? Nope. 7.5/10 for the story.
The characters overall aren't really all that special. That is at first, everything becomes alot better as time goes on characters included. Character development is actually rather robust for mainstream shounen. When I first thought about it the characters weren't all that original at all until later on. Most mainstream shounen (Bleach, One Piece, Naruto) nowadays have very little romance or none at all. I don't view that as a bad thing. Everything has its time and place including love stories. Although, It is nice that Mushibugyou took it back to the days of old when shounens had a nice bit of love and romance. Every character progresses in their own way and it has some love on the side which gets it an extra nod from me. Overall, 7/10 for the characters.
The art and sound really are just as good as anything else that's come out recently. Nothing really to say, It meets the industry standard of good looking and good sounding anime. It is of note that both of its openings were quite enjoyable artistically and musically. 7/10 for both art and sound. Would have probably been a 6 for sound, but those openings really saved it's soundtrack.
My overall enjoyment of this anime is really the saving grace to it all. There is something fun about seeing how all the bug slaying will turn out. How the Insect Magistrate's Office will handle giant bugs or a new arc of differing enemies. It seems to also stay fresh with a revolving door of characters working with Jinbei. Everything moves fast and stays fresh with it never seeming like time was wasted unnecessarily. I think its quick development at first can also be attributed to the way it works in a monster of the week fashion. I always feel like I'm having fun when watching Mushibugyou, in a way similar to the same type of feeling I get when I watch Starship Troopers or Godzilla movies. 8/10 for enjoyment. It simply put is pure hearted fun for me.
In conclusion I give this anime a 7.75/10 with the score being rounded to 8 due to lack of decimals in MyAnimeList's rating system. If you are looking for fun watch this anime. I hope my anime review helped anyone who read it.read more
This anime's strength is in it's simplicity, not in it's complexity.
So for everyone who is looking for a mind-boggling sophisticated psychological thriller, this anime is not for you. The anime this is for is just for children, for one, due to it's oversimplified nature, and secondly it is for those who are willing to watch the non-mainstream anime. But arguably due to all the gorey bits, it's probably suited towards the mature audiences. But nevertheless it's very simple even a child could understand.
If the first episode doesn't deter you from watching the anime, then that's basically what you get. The first episode clearly sets the scene for the anime, and how it's probably going to go.
Sounds, Art, Story, Character is probably all below 5 in all honesty.
For one the story seems to advance too quickly for the supposedly 26 episode anime, and the first arc of the series seemed to be the final arc of the series. In bleach terms (I know I'm using these a bit), it'll be the soulbringer arc.
Art, the art is different, it seems more crude and relies heavily on thick brushes rather than fine lines that are often depicted other shounen.
The only thing this anime has going for it is the action. Action is one of the central themes of the anime as the MC, though weak in comparison to his comrades, struggles anyway to protect them with all his might. However, the anime takes a strange twist on in the later episodes, where the plot development becomes unrealistic to the previous episodes. Such a development could be described as ichigo becoming a soul reaper and then 3 episodes later, learns banaki. It's quite unrealistic. But this isn't to the anime's disadvantage. It's quite entertaining to watch even with such a strange turn of events. They probably didn't want the main character to stay weak forever.
But in all honesty, I really enjoyed the anime, even though it wasn't the best anime possible, out of all the other animes, it seemed nostalgic in ways that all the current animes do not have. This is probably due to the fact that the main themes of the anime is protecting others with all your heart, regardless of your situation. So thus for enjoyment I give it 10/10.
And after careful consideration, and (not) taking the average. I found the anime to be a good 7/10.
If you've read this far, as always, thank you for reading!read more
I first saw Mushibugyou as a manga, and since i love martial arts shonen mangas, i gave it shot. I dropped it after a few chapters because the main idea was just too boring. When i saw it became an anime i decided to try it again, because i thougth the animation could draw out whatever potential it had. Yet again i was wrong.
The show is basicaly all the shonen cliches brougth together. The main character who wants to protect his friends, the strong guy with the dark past,the big brest stupid girl whose only role is to get in danger so the cast can save her. Seen it before and it's simply not worth it.
The story is unexisted. An organisation who figths off giant insects.It could not get any duller than this.I know, it is hard to imagine and write an original idea, but please mangaka, if you do not have anyhing interesting, don't bother to write about the first thing that popped in your head, it is like an insult to the manga/anime community.Again, the cliches is here, the dark organisation who figths the good one, the lame backround for the characters, the bonding between them and etc
The most annoying thing are the characters. They have no personality, no originality and no interest. After 5 chapters of the manga and 8 episodes, i barely remember one, Jimbey, and that is only because that is a name we know and love FROM ONE PIECE.
The only decent thing about it is the animation,but that is impossibe for me to enjoy because everything else simply annoy me too much. Nice lines(way better than in manga)and generaly a good work, that is wasted on this "plot" and "characters"
Seriously, i could watch only the first 2 minutes of every episode and i would stil be able to predict accurately everything.Long story short,why bother with this anime?I do not know,way too much free time?But then again, you could watch shingeki no kyojin on rerun. read more