Posted 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.

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.

Posted on with categories: Mushishi

A guy from an relatively rich family falls in love with the nanny of his little brother (at least, I assume it’s his little brother. It’s at least a baby-member of the rich family). This nanny gets to play the victim this time. She’s a person who can see certain types of mushi, she sees a mushi in the form of a thread hanging from the sky, grabs it and flies off into the air. Then she falls down to earth again, trees break her fall, but she becomes a pseudo-mushi. Eventually, she’s partially saved by Ginko who runs into her. In order to totally save her, the guy needs to make her give the will to remain human. Well, let’s just say he fails. After a little rant from Ginko’s side, we get to see a very enjoyable ending.

Even though this was an enjoyable Mushishi episode, it just remained enjoyable. Nothing more nothing less. It wasn’t anything special like the previous episodes. I did like the ending, however. It seems like Mushishi has the handicap of always delivering a great (or even better) ending for each episode.

Posted on 19 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi

These last two episode had a different way of opening the story than most Mushishi episodes do. Mostly, it Ginko meets up with person, person explains case, Ginko tries to solve. Or something in that direction. Last episode, however, Ginko was already aquainted with the main character, giving a nice twist. This episode, the creators carry this even further, by not letting Ginko and the main character meet until thee quarters of the episode have already been passed.

The first half of the episode tells the story of a man who moves from the countryside to the city in order to become a famous painter. He succeeds, but he becomes so engulfed in his work, that he starts to forget his old family, and finally ends up in stress. As ten years pass since he left his village, he becomes more and more nostalgic, however, wanting to meet his father and sister again. Finally, a combination of stress, doctors and homesickness manage to convince him to go back. The sighting of him returning, and seeing what happened to the place he grew up in, was just too sad to see, I loved it. And this was just the first half of the episode.

The second half features that man staying in the village. He’s lost all of his inspiration, as if all the life has been sucked out of him. When he gets to take care of his niece, he brightens up a bit. But still, he’s got no trace of liveliness inside of him. Then he has a rather “peculiar” meeting with Ginko and with the help of some mushi, he gets his energy back. It was very entertaining to see that this time, the mushi weren’t causing any problems, but were rather helpful to the cast. The effect of this is wonderful. I also loved Ginko in this episode, especially when he shows his “merchant”-side and his strange meeting with the mushi. That shows that even Mushishi work themselves into a lot of trouble.

I also love the way some of the episodes feature some variation of an epilogue. Like they show what happens after a few years passed. This way, the impact on what happened before becomes huge, with magnificent results. When normal anime does this, the main focus lies on the present, while a couple of flashbacks show what happens in the past. This is cute and nice and all, but it doesn’t really capture the impact created by these moments. When these anime do try to show aftermaths, they almost always show the direct aftermaths, in the range from a couple of hours to a couple of days at maximum. It really doesn’t give the characters the true opportunity to recover from it.

Posted on 18 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi

Another brilliant story. This time it focused even mre about the delicate relationship between humans and Mushi. In most episodes, the Mushi-incidents are just coincidental meetings between humans and mushi, which sortof go wrong. This time, however, we have an accident happening between people who knew very well what they were getting themselves into, and they were aware of the huge risks.

Two girls, who can see mushi, move in with an old man, to help him maintain an ingenious mail-system which makes use of certain mushi. This one lives in a silk-cocoon made by two caterpillars, instead of one. That means that these cocoons are made out of two wires, intead of one. The mushi living inside these cocoons can teleport itself from one location through another. In this case, these locations are marked with the two wires. So, that means, if you seal them, put them in nice packages and make a small opening for the messages to go in and out, you have an alternative to e-mail.

Of course, a lot can go wrong, and if you’re not careful, even humans can get teleported. At least, they they vanish and get stuck in the “timespace” between the two locations the mushi is traveling. That’s what happens in this episode. I like the way she vanished. In normal anime, there would be some kind of slow-motion scene, with lots of action, close-ups, yelling and heavy music. Mushishi, however, brings it far more naturally than I could’ve imagined.

Anyway, that person’s twin-sister carried over the old man’s business when he died, hoping to find her sister one day. Five years pass, and during that time she meets Ginko (we don’t get to see that moment, by the way). After those five years, she still hasn’t been able to forget, and she’s still hoping for a safe return. Ginko tries to talk her out of it and to give up. At this point, I thought that the “just give up”-bit might’ve been used a bit too much in Mushishi. The ending totally changed my mind.

The ending of this episode was, like almost every other Mushishi episode, brilliant. Probably even one of the best. It was so extremely adorable, accompanied by some very fitting background music. Not to mention the fact that the ending was open, though everything felt resolved.

Posted on 7 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi

I am a total sucker with stories featuring people forgetting precious memories with a reason. Needless to say that I absolutely LOVED this episode of Mushishi.

The episode already starts out awesome when we get told about a potential Mushi-victim, who we later learn, just appears to be an ordinary loud-snoring and clumsy woman. Then, the real main character of this story introduces himself and the real goodness begins. At the first half, there were numerous of times when I found myself pleasantly enjoyed by all of the trivial subtle things that the lady seemed to forget, and the boy’s reactions to this.

I also loved the way that there was no real way to cure this, except for living your life to the fullest and making lots of memories. The reaction the woman had after this kinda reminded me of Ueki. Anyway, then we skip one year, and we learn what happened Ginko’s visit. It was just too sad, but it couldn’t have been a better ending for this episode.

There’s also a thing that I’m wondering about, concerning the OP. It describes a man, travelling and searching for his loved one. Would it possibly have something to do with the anime? Okay, it’s clear that Ginko’s not searching at the time of the anime, but what about his past? Did he ever love someone? (If that were true, that would make for an awesome episode, by the way).

Posted on 4 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi

And the awesomeness continues. This time we have a little bloy doing something with some mushi out of his own free will, making his big sister extremely worried. This was also probably the fist time in which the main charater took a nap such a time, only to wake up as if nothing happened. That’s another awesome thing about Mushishi: every single story is unique, and some of the most subtle subjects that hardly gets talked about in anime get featured in almost every episode.

Posted on with categories: Mushishi

The more I watch this, the more I begin to love Ginko’s subtle, but cynical side. It fits perfectly in a peaceful show like this. Anyway, this time we have another beauty of an episode. We see another half-woman-half-mushi, and her behavior towards other people, including another moral dilemma which Mushishi delivers as good as usual. I just love the way Mushishi encourages you to think about an episode, instead of just to enjoy it.

I’ve noticed this for a few episodes now, but Mushishi is virtually the only anime in which the transition from show to ED goes perfectly smooth. Other series cue the music just a couple of seconds before the ED starts, in order to try and create this effect. Other just don’t bother at all and see the show and the ED as two different entities. So far, Mushishi is the only anime I’ve seen that manages to combine these two as one, with the result of giving you the feeling that you’re still enjoying the episodes when the credit list rolls.

Posted on 2 March 2006 with categories: Mushishi

Another beauty of a story. This will probably entertain a huge load of romance-fans. We have this guy. The girl he loved died about three years ago, but because of some mushi, she remained in a pseudo-living state. But the guy just couldn’t convince himself that she was dead.

Again, the story is told as calmly as ever, but the atmosphere was so amazing. This really was another outstanding Mushishi episode. I also loved Ginko’s cynical side.

Posted on 10 February 2006 with categories: Mushishi

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When I saw a pre-OP-intro, and noticed a shortened OP, I immediately knew this was going to be a special episode. And HOW I was right, but I don’t think I can explain this without using some spoilers. I’ll be continuing in the comments, just in case someone sees something he probably didn’t want to see.

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