Posted on 20 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi



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.

4 Responses

  1. marconius says:

    I call this episode “Ginko In Love”…I think she was perfect for him. :D

  2. KaminaLives says:

    I have to agree. We don’t get to see very much into Ginko’s personal background and emotions regarding his life as a Mushishi; normally he just does his job and goes on his way, fearing to stay at any place for too long.

    Episode 12 was an exception (loved that one and this ep too) as we got to see his origins, and in this one we get to see Ginko forming a deeper connection and emotional attachment to another character (something that’s only hinted at with other characters, such as Aya in the teleporting cocoon epo and the collector guy with the monocle, and there was that girl from ep 15 who seemed a bit clingy toward Ginko but he didn’t seem to return her affection and only wanted to help her brother and move on again).

    Tanuya seems like the perfect complement for Ginko; despite her tragic destiny of having to be burdened with the sealed mushi and subsequent handicap, she’s accepted the hand that fate has dealt her much like Ginko has (with his missing eye).

    They mirror one another too very well; where Ginko is forced to be a transient, moving from one place to another lest he attract too many mushi toward him, Tanuya is forced to be sedentary and bound to her library due to both her responsibility and handicap. I also like how Ginko favors his crinkly ol’ grifter cigarettes while Tanuya has her very elegant smoke pipe. Subtle touches like this add very much to their characters.

    Plus Tanuya’s abilities regarding the power of the written word is very powerful emotionally and neat to see visually (it reminded me of the word-based spells used in Le Chevalier D’eon). Grabbing inked words in which an evil spirit is trapped using glue and chopsticks; brilliant!

    I’m about to marathon the last few eps of Mushishi after writing this. I really do hope Ginko and Tanuya end up together somehow despite the tragic destinies thrust upon them.

  3. kokutou says:

    Amazing…

  4. kero says:

    marathoning mushishi at the moment.. agree with above comment

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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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