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Mushishi: Facsimile Sketches

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Based on a manga by Yuki Urushibara, this highly acclaimed anime series was broadcast in 26 episodes in 2005-06. Initially, only episodes 1-21 were slated to be aired, with episodes 22-26 to be released only on a DVD titled「蟲の宴」or "The Mushi Banquet." However, such was the interest in the conclusion of the series, that during July and August 2006 there was a series of sneak previews for these episodes at theatres in Tokyo, Osaka, and four other cities. According to the dealer's description, this is one of three limited edition sets of facsimile sketches that were sold in theatres to celebrate these previews.

While I don't normally collect copies, original production art from this series sells for prohibitively high prices. Also, the sketches that do come up for auction usually consist of primitive, early-stage layouts rather than the more polished roughs or gengas, which apparently were not released by Artland, the series producer. Hence this set of facsimiles was attractive as it gives us a peek at the more finished stages of Mushishi art. The dealer called these "layout corrections" or roughs, but a few of them appear to be gengas or shuuseis.

The reproduction quality is outstanding, and I could see why one dealer, offering a set for sale, honestly said, "they are copies . . . I think." I could easily see them being sold unscrupulously as originals, even if they lack the creases and coffee stains (not to mention registration holes) of actual studio artifacts. In any case, they let us see the meticulous attention to design that earned the series an award for outstanding artistic supervision at the 2006 Tokyo International Animation Fair.

 Mushishi 1: Kisuke and his daughter

 Mushishi 2: Yoki refuses to leave Nui

 Mushishi 3: Aya and Ito Holding an Empty Cocoon

 Mushishi 4: Fuki hears Seijiro's Proposal

 Mushishi 5: Shige talking to Ginko

 Mushishi 6: Adeshino-sensei speaks to Io

 Mushishi 7: Tanyo, Recorder of Narratives

 Mushishi 8: Sui with her restored left eye

 Mushishi 9: Io mourns the swamp mushi's death

 Mushishi 10: Michihi in her kimono

 Mushishi 11: Tagane the ink-stone maker

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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