Finally, Mushishi returns after a two-month absence, and it’s just as I hoped: they saved the best for last. This episode just turned me utterly speechless. It’s just so brilliant, so awesome, and such a beautiful tale. During its full 20 minutes of time, this episode had me entirely captured, without showing any sign of weaknesses AT ALL. It really reminded me again of why Mushishi is so incredibly awesome.
The case this time: a pregnant woman has been the victim of another mushi. This one settles inside the yet-to-be-born baby, and takes control of it once it’s born. It then flees into a dark place – mostly under a house or in an attic – and remains there for a year. From that point, it releases a baby every half a year. Though this child mostly is the mushi, wearing the child’s body and using it in order to spread its seeds.
But still, what do you do when such a thing happens to you? After all, it still remains your child. It can think. It lives just as a normal human being, only it just grows a lot faster than normal children do. The woman in this case indeed chooses to raise the child, and all of its following successors. Then, however, after a couple of years, the child gets sick, and reaches the point at which it’ll die and at the same time release a huge amount of seeds. It was just too sad to see the parents see and accept the truth.
To make things only better, in the beginning, the first child to die may look like a ten-year old boy, but he still behaves like a little kid. Not being able to talk at all. When the second child is about to die, however, the mushi had gained the ability to speak, so this child got this ability as well. This means that killing off your child already was terrible. But what if you’re about to kill another one of your children, and it really BEGS you not to kill it? It really made for an awesome moment and I totally loved it!
It’s also very interesting to see the difference in reaction when you look at the mother and the father. The father is scared by the truth, but after he thinks about it for a long while, he realizes that there’s no other way, and that he’ll take the responsibility of killing off the rest of the children when they get sick, even though it pains his heart. The mother, however, gets mentally broken when she hears that her children, whom they both raised for three whole years, are about to be killed. She indeed loves her offspring so much, that she decides to not let them be killed, and even goes as far as stabbing Ginko with a large kitchen knife (I loved Ginko’s sarcastical reaction to this, by the way). The father understands the mother’s feelings very well. Even more if you consider her history, and he tries indeed to easen her sadness.
The ending. The ending just totally blew me away. A sad ending is just awesome enough, but the way this ended is just incredible. The mushi gained the ability to think, and also the ability to realize that Ginko’s coming to kill it off. In order to protect its seeds, it kills off the children, turns them into liquid, and burns the house, along with its root. The root turns into a very compact, large round seed. Ginko gives this to the mother, telling her that one day, it’ll awaken again. Though they may not live to experience it. He also, however, collects the liquid that once were the children into a glass bottle, and hides this from the two parents! He takes it along with him, and tells the liquid (it can talk!) that he’ll keep it alive. Still, he must’ve had a very good reason in order to hide a thing like this from the father and mother. Okay, I think Ginko’s merchant-side has something to do with it, but still.
Overall, this was just Mushishi at it’s best. Pure brilliance turned into a story. Mushishi easily makes for one of the best series ever.