Posted by psgels on 6 June 2006 with categories: Mushishi



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.

2 Responses

  1. thursday says:

    The compact seed wasn’t the mushi but just a mineral that Ginko gave them to try and console them. The main roots were killed and Ginko captured the children in the bottle.

  2. kokutou says:

    Thursday’s right (or at least according to the subbers). The ending was hilarious.
    Root: Ginko you’re weird
    Ginko: Looks who’s talking
    AMAZING

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:03 AM)
    @Aidan: meh … I think Madoka could’ve also been better if it used a more rigid style. I heard a lot that the moe made it more shocking for some people, I guess I can see that even if I don’t personally feel that away at all. I think Madoka was a good series that brought a wider shonen type of audience to more adult themes, but some of the fan-praise to me is a little halfbaked and unfounded.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I’m fairly fond of the artstyle sunrise used back in the 90s also.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:46 AM)
    Actually with old artstyles in mind, I watched an old ova called california crisis recently, the character design stood out for me, the ova itself is fairly trashy however, more of a guilty pleasure.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:31 AM)
    I still don’t like the art in madoka regardless though.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:29 AM)
    “Even if a series which has detailed backgrounds and a sharp dark tone features moe characters the show would be considered lighthearted and Moe, and any violence will come off as forced or even comical.”
    Madoka says otherwise.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:24 AM)
    But still even in terms of cutesy looking female characters, I’m still going to pick the old art over the new usually.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:23 AM)
    In general I would prefer character designs fit in with their genre usually. I do however believe that moe, fanservice and those oldskool designs have their place and where they are or aren’t appropriate.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:11 AM)
    @Emma: the old Madhouse style was also my favorite. Even tho they were cartoony it was still a much more realistic approach. I think we talked in length about how moe just took over the industry, to the point of making anime synonymous with that specific style.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:00 AM)
    Shiki was another example where I could forgive the terrible character designs because I was invested in the plot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 03:55 AM)
    But where older art styles are concerned, its the character designs found in the likes of ninja scroll, ghost in the shell and wicked city that catch my interest most.

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