I had no idea what to expect from this series until my friend Vaughn told be a little bit about it. He said that it was full of action and that Dung would like it. Dung is a friend of mine that loves stuff like Gundam 00 and Ruroini Kenshin. Not bad series, but he would never watch anything like Clannad. Well, what I saw was something that I would definitely recommend to Dung. We have a young samurai that is traveling to Edo in order to respond to a summons that was meant for his father. Although his father is the greatest samurai in the area, a failure on a job lead to the man losing his leg as a symbol of repentance. All of that seems kind of standard in a story about samurai. The thing that isn’t so standard is the fact that Edo has kind of a pest problem. By pests I mean gigantic bug monsters that have been killing people for generations. The first scene in this episode shows a gigantic spider and I thought to myself that Bryan cannot watch this series. Insects and arachnids don’t really bother me, but we better not see any giant snails attacking villagers. I will scream in ways that a man should never scream. Back onto the standard stuff. Jinbei meets an attractive young woman that helps him find his way around town. Oharu lost her parents to the monsters and that basically writes itself. Wouldn’t you know it, on his way to meet with the Insect Magistrate, Jinbei not only loses in a scuffle with a giant spider, but said spider also takes off with Oharu. Although Jinbei comes to save the day, the arrival of the Mushibugyou sparks the extermination of what turns out to be quite the number of spiders. Jinbei is weak, but he shows off some skills that catch the eye of the head of the Mushibugyou. Not only that, but Jinbei also receives thanks from the beautiful Oharu. Like I said, it pretty much writes itself. Aside from the use of bugs, it is your normal samurai story. There is nothing wrong with that of course. I am liking this anime more than Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman already.
Although we didn’t spend a lot of time with most of our characters, we did get to meet quite a few of them. Jinbei Tsukishima is a young samurai who was trained my his father. Jinbei’s dad was the greatest swordsman in the area and this has given Jinbei an ideal to strive for. Although he seems to have lackluster skills when fighting, Jinbei has that classic main character ability to call upon great power when the people he cares about are in danger. The guy really shows off his youth when he is talking to people. As an enthusiastic samurai, Jinbei bows to everyone and speaks to them very formally. Oharu is the young woman that helps Jinbei when he is lost in Edo. Oharu has that classic samurai anime love interest thing going on. She lost her parents, is extremely kind-hearted, and is quickly saved by the main character. She works at a tea shop with her grandfather and I assume that she will be the main love interest for Jinbei moving forward. Even though it shouldn’t be important, Jinbei cannot take his eyes off of Oharu’s ample bosom. Shinjiku Koikawa is a former murderer that is now a member of the Mushibugyou. I guess the insect problem has become so crazy that they even enlist criminals if they are skilled enough to take on the monsters. Although Jinbei uses a katana because he is a samurai, Shinjiku is a simple killer and he uses two overused blades when fighting. Hibachi is the only female member of the Mushibugyou thus far. She is the descendant of a ninja clan and an explosives expert. Although we don’t know much about the characters outside of Jinbei and Oharu, you can tell that Hibachi will not be Jinbei’s biggest fan. Tenma Ichinotani is a young noble that uses familiars to battle the insects. Tenma shows his youth by not seeming very strong-willed. Kotori Matsunohara is the head of the Mushibugyou and the only person that is more mysterious than him based on the first episode is Mugai. Mugai uses a giant staff with a blade at the end and is obviously the most skilled member of the Mushibugyou by a lot. Thus far, we have only met characters that seem to be good guys, but I assume that there will be someone working with the monsters.
Current Opinion of the Show:
I am really excited about Mushibugyou. I have been waiting on a good samurai story for quite some time now. Do I think that this will be the next Rurouni Kenshin? No. That is like asking if someone is going to be the next Michael Jordan. Basically we are talking blasphemy here. However, this series looks really promising. I am not sure how I feel about seeing yet another weak protagonist with bursts of greatness trying to learn how to handle fights, but proper execution can help any cliché premise. I just hope that we get to see the other characters shine as well because they seem pretty strong themselves. I am guessing that Jinbei, Oharu, and Hibachi will get most of the plot focus, but that is just me. I wouldn’t expect something that is completely serious, but I do think that this series is worth watching. Mushibugyou will probably end up being that casual action series that I watch when I don’t need to focus extremely hard on a plot and I want to see some hack and slash stuff. If I am wrong and the plot gets really good, then I will still be happy. Possibly more happy because that makes for a great anime. I am also guessing that we will be seeing a lot of death in this series. Two guys die before we even met half of the characters. Also, am I crazy or does watching a ton of people die in the series take away the impact of death in the story? I feel like this could be a series where, outside of the death of a main character, the fights will seem successful if they stop most of the death. That aside, I do have one issue with this series. All of the monster are treated as insects even though we have seen things like arachnids running around. The inaccuracy makes me worried that we could see giant snails in the future. Oh well, I am looking forward to getting to know the other members of the Mushibugyou.