After the disappointment of episode 19, episode 20 totally makes up for it. The theme is kindof heavy this time. Normally, mushi aren’t really evil. This episode deals with a mushi who is. Ages ago, it had been sealed, after attempting to kill all humans and animals. However, the sealing just set the mushi to sleep, it didn’t kill it. There’s also the fact that the mushi was sealed in a human body. When that body dies, the descendants of that body will carry this seal over. In contrast with Naruto, the bearer of the seal doesn’t gain any superpowers, but a part of their body turns pure black and unmovable, making them unable to use it. In this case, the black part was just the right leg. But the first bearer had it all over her body.
Anyway, in order to kill the mushi, the bearer has to write down stories of mushi dying. That’s the weak point of this mushi. It just takes one heck of an amount of stories in order to do this. Even three generations haven’t been able to. The girl in this case will most likely also have a nice way to spend her time for the rest of her life. The introduction of this episode was just so sad. After all, living up, firstly not being able to play with other children because of a certain black leg, and secondly having to hear all kinds of stories about death. I’m not sure, but that doesn’t seem the best way to grow up. But then again, if she doesn’t do it, the mushi will consume her. In other words, she’ll die herself.
We also get to know that there are also Mushishi who don’t value the life of the mushi. Ginko’s stories about mushi not dying during his adventures were a first case for this girl. I didn’t expect a thing like this. From all the Mushishi I’ve seen in this series, they all seem like a bunch of pacifists, who value the life of every creature.
It was also very nice that we got to see an image of Ginko that we’ve never seen before. After seeing the two of them talking at the end of the episode, they seemed like a nice couple. Speaking of that, we had a rather unique ending this time. While it was just as great as the other Mushishi-endings, it lacked a climax. The fact that the girl has been doing this for probably more than thirteen years shows how she came to accept her tasks, and how she learend to live with it. Because of this, and ending like that is possible.