Posted by psgels on 3 August 2006 with categories: Mushishi



Mushishi returns with the same outstanding quality of its stories once more. This time has yet another happy ending. I really loved it. The case is like this: we have this village which has its own Mushishi. On one day, they run into a yet to be identified Mushi. It came from a vulcanic rock, and has taken the form of a plant, which can rapidly increase in number. These plants also release a poisonous gas, which appears to kill off the trees.

The Mushishi has tried all sorts of things, but nothing works. Eventually, her last resolve was to burn the entire forest, along with the Mushi. After all, if the plants were to reach the crops of the village, they’d have a very hard time surviving the winter. Ginko’s against this, as not only it burns a lot of innocent trees, but the fact also remains that the Mushi came from a volcanic rock. It would be wrong to give it fire.

In the end, the Mushi appeared to be the premature form of a bunch of Kagebi. It takes refuge in cold places, and survive by sucking the heat out of people who are lured by their warmth. The Mushishi then tells everyone to be extra careful with fire, though you know how humans tend to behave. Most villagers do not immediately see the danger of the Kagebi, and they don’t pay attention to their actions. Only when seven people die and even more suffer from frostbites due to eating food, cooked under Kagebi, the message begins to sink in, and they start to be extra careful.

The Mushishi, however, has another problem. She swallowed one of the Kagebi, and now it’s grown inside of her. Very slowly, it’s sucking away her heat, and makes her cough up leaves, as a means for the Kagebi to reproduce itself. She has already given up hope when Ginko helps her. He lets her drink food, cooked by another Kagebi. This food then causes a frostbite in her stomach, where the Kagebi resides. This makes it unable to suck up heat, so it dies off. At least, that’s what I think that happens.

The way the episode ended was great. We turn to the beginning of the spring, we see a lone Kagebi heading out of the village. I’s looking for colder places, in which to spend the summer. I just loved the symbolism of this scene.

You can wonder, was it right to burn the trees? The fact remains that the plants were the dangerous ones, not the Kagebi. While the Kagebi just took seven lives, just imagine how many people would have died if the plants managed to reach the crops of the village. But still, a lot of animals, plants and trees were killed off during the burning. However, at the end of the episode, you can see the first traces of life appearing again. It’s also part of the symbolism used at the end of the episode. Life goes on. No matter what.

Memorable Moment: The ending.

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