Mushishi has always been strong with its pacing and this episode was no different! THIS IS HOW to tell a story that switches time periods! Starting off with a temperamental young boy Gen beating up kids bigger than him to a baby being nurtured by his ill mother, Yui and later on raised by his father. The creators took this opportunity to adapt this chapter by Urushibara and escalate it. Gen’s behavior depicts so much without outright saying it: he has some deep-ridden issues about his mother by not being allowed to see her. As most of what he’s held onto turns out be some well-placed discoveries in the end. One part of this towards the beginning is where his father’s worries touches on a a pretty big idea here: keeping secrets in order to protect both Gen and Yui from getting worse.
Punching the blanket and knocking things over on top of him discovers the curiosity that he has somewhat lost as a child and it’s the mushi’s influence during this first segment that develops a certain kind of mystery within Gen: as he says he shouldn’t be allowed to see it and touch it. Great follow up to circle the story by using Ginko’s introduction into this episode remembering how he gave aid to Gen when he was just a baby. Ginko already knows that Gen has a strong affinity to the mushi and this ended up being a nice transition into the mother making the robe of a golden string a mushi string that is.
Very subdue story we had here and I really like what the development how the mother, Yui turns out in this. She’s just as curious about the string as Gen was about the robe he found in the beginning: her spinning the thread and the other villager being unable to see it really put this into perspective. Her eyes glowing a tint of yellow illustrates this as well– beautiful animation! Yes! Another episode where a mushi affects the personal relationships a family has with each other– Yui being unable to tend to her baby’s health because she is ill sets into motion the feeling of regret she carries on through the present time.
The removal of the thread as Ginko describes as ether just as the previous episode had used Sumi, Yura and the stream to tie in visually a strong bond. Good connection between these two episodes. This thread results in what happens to Gen as he get’s older which we get a really good view at the beginning: beating another kid up. This emotional momentum that is pent up inside Gen finally breaks free when he hears the conversation between Ginko and his father discussing Yui’s situation. Exposing the bigger picture that’s gradually unfolding within the family.
The spirit that is shown flying around in the sky above Gen happens to be Yui and by the end here provides one of the happiest outcomes of the second half of Zoku Shou. Yui held regrets and her illness getting worse, whereas Gen throughout this episode felt his mom hated him when in actuality its the opposite. Bringing a mother and son together allows so much to happen in the final minutes of this episode. Gen saves Yui’s life with the ether and dissolves the mushi from further becoming a part of Yui while she frees him from the loneliness he had been subjected to all this time. The lashing out throughout this story emphasizes this point incredibly well, and I love that scene at the end where he’s seen running and laughing with the other kids. Fantastic resolution for this mushishi episode!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10