Mushibugyou: A Quick Take

How does she end up with her kimono open like that?
Conveniently, these giant spiders have an erotic sensibility

A boy from the provinces journeys to Edo to fulfill his father’s duty in the first episode of Mushibugyou. Jinbee travels to Edo to join the Mushibugyou, a group of skilled fighters who fight against the giant insects that plague the capital. He meets a girl named Oharu who explains why the Mushibugyou exist before one of the insects shows up, kills a man and takes Oharu away. Jinbee then runs off to rescue Oharu only to be seen as outclassed by the members of the organization. He defeats one of the spiders and shows great potential in the process, but ultimately he has to be saved by the strongest member, Mugai.

This is one of those shows where there will be little, if any, surprises in the story as the series progresses. Jinbee will slowly earn the respect of the rest of the Mushibugyou as he alternates between showing flashes of potential and lots of training montages. As he works his way up to Mugai’s level, the reason for the insects existence will be revealed as well as the identity of who or what is behind all of it.

With that said, there was one quite obvious problem I had with this story. The role of Oharu was very troubling. If I were to simplify her down to the most basic level, she is just a bunch of naive hopes and dreams hidden behind a pair of gigantic breasts. So for all of her dreams being fulfilled by having the Mushibugyou protect the city, there’s twice as much effort put into showing them bounce and almost come out of whatever she happens to be wearing. That’s a real shame.

As for the rest of the characters, with the exception of Kotori, the leader of the group, the rest of the Mushibugyou seemed like arrogant asshole characters. Even the kid who messed around with paper dolls gave off that kind of vibe. I suppose they get the job done, but the heroes of Tiger & Bunny they are not. Also, the reason why Jinbee is involved and not his father is utterly laughable. A feudal lord’s son wets himself in fright and he has to pay for it by cutting up his own leg. That’s supposed to be one of those “that’s just how it was back then” sort of deals, but really?

Production quality on this episode was pretty low when it came to matters that didn’t involve Oharu’s chest. Cheap CG buildings, characters that didn’t move realistically, Mugai’s entrance into the battle being over-the-top camp. Also, the decision to have these insects roar is up there as one of the worst ideas for animal related effects since Jaws: The Revenge.

Reasons to Continue Watching: A story of a boy overcoming the odds and the period setting
Reasons to Drop: Not visually coherent and terrible use of Oharu as a character

My Verdict: It’s not interesting enough for me to continue watching, not even ironically.