Mushi are not animals, and they are not plants. Mushi are closer to life than anything else on the earth. And those who gathers lore about the mushi and knows how to treat them are the mushishi.
I actually got the feeling of watching a horror movie when i saw this, the only thing was that there was no horror. Still, the mood was there, but in a kind and gentle way.
The series follows a mushishi named Ginko and his travels and missions in the land. Human emotion is put aside as a theme, and love is more a fact than something that involves you in the story. I don't know if this is something coming from the authors own view of life, but it makes room for a feature where nature is the emotional basis, and it stands strong on the feelings that you get from marvels that lie within the silent whisper of the wind among trees.
You encounter characters that all are affected by these mushi. The first one is a boy who can draw anything with his right hand and it springs to life, another one is a man chasing after a rainbow and even a human that is born from a seed. Many of the stories are built on things we notice in nature around us but find it hard to explain, like shooting stars, the end of the rainbow and the fact that a third of your soul remains within your pillow when you leave bed as it is where all your dreams live.
The series moves in a slow gentle pace, where the music never gets too eager and nothing ever gets too exciting in manners of rush or panic. It might somehow even be sleep inducing, but in a good way, like the swaying of the trees or a cold snowy night where everything is silent but the sparkling fireplace.
Of course, it's up to anyone to have their own thoughts about it, but I think that the series wants to tell us that there is more to life than just being human. If you look around you, and look where there are no cars and high buildings, you'll notice lots of life that fills you up and effects you in ways you never think of. There is beauty in more than just you and me.
I was expecting to find some sort of greater story that would unfold towards the end of the series, but that never came. May happen the stories got more dramatic towards the end, but they never stopped being told in the same way as always. There was never any certain resolution to the series, only the soft mushishi music with its' hypnotical drums, and when you had watched the last episode you knew that everything in the world of the mushi would keep on going as it had ever done before. I never got the feeling of saying goodbye to characters i'd miss, but was happy to have been able to come along on the journeys in this world so full of life and wonders.