Sundance Movie – Bugmaster

One of the few Sundance movies my husband was able to get tickets to was Katsuhiro Otomo’s Mushishi or Bugmaster. First of all, I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to appreciate the movie, because I was tired and watching it late at night. The circular and meandering plot centers around Ginko, a bugmaster who travels around helping people who are afflicted by mushi/bugs – not normal ants or roaches but mystical creatures who sometimes prey on humans when the natural order of things is disturbed.
Visually, the movie is quite striking. The scenery is lovely, and the animated special effects used for the mushi makes them look otherworldly and a little spooky. Ginko travels from village to village, but he gradually heads towards a confrontation with the forces that shaped him as a young child. The movie felt a little long to me. Although the slow pacing allows you to appreciate the setting of the movie, I was really looking forward to some sort of story resolution at the end. I think the movie has made me more interested in checking out the manga when it is released, just to see how the source material differs from the adaptation.