Tag Archives: Spring 2014

Mushishi Zoku Shou Episode 10

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I really need to catch up on this series as Mushishi is an anime that doesn’t disappoint one bit.  This episode ended up being very different than what we are normally used to–  not a single human aside from Ginko showed up in this at all!  Ginko either helps or teaches others about the livelihood of Mushi but here is where he is trapped inside a mountain under the influence of a confused mountain lord and Oroshibue, the mushi that is featured in this episode.

After I watched this I immediately read the manga chapter and noticed how well Nagahama was able to transition Urushibara’s story so effectively here.  Even Mushishi as a whole in manga form is perfect for an anime adaptation, we saw that with the first season and now with Zoku Shou.

I especially loved when Ginko had back-tracked by accident and didn’t realize what was going on until he came across the turtle-like mountain lord.  A series that excels at build-up by slowly adding layers of creative ideas and themes within its characters–  the kouki being the object of the mountain lord’s desires and the Oroshibue migrating to another place depicts a fantastic contrast to what we are used to with the human connection themes seen in previous episodes.

In other words, this episode was an honest and discreet representation of mushi trying to live among humans and various creatures, the relationships that are gradually emerging between them all in order to do just one thing: survive.

The impact here?  Well, the mountain lord threw Ginko into the pond which allowed for him to better understand the situation that this mountain he was swallowed up in was in a dying state.  The fact that the lord kept the animals hibernating in the pond and the Oroshibue stealing Ginko’s Kouki out of his container illustrates the level of curiosity this series has for its various mushi.

Another aspect I noticed out of this was how little music was used throughout–  this played off quite effectively to Ginko’s monologue in order to ascertain his predicament of being lured in by the lord to steal his kouki.  This remains a first in the series that focuses itself solely on the attention of Ginko’s knowledge of mushi and one that provided a very beautiful view of the naturalistic side of things.

Next up is the popular 2-part special The Thicket Path, can’t wait to see what Artland is able to create with this!


Mushishi Zoku Shou Episode 9

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I know I bet a few readers on my blog here are wondering where these reviews on Mushishi have been–  it’s always tough to balance real life activities with so many anime series to watch let alone separating those shows from ones that are worth blogging.  I actually had some time today to kick back and watch an episode of this and it was relaxing from all the intense series we’ve had for this Fall season.  I will say this that I have not forgotten this show at all, but that we’ve had a ridiculously strong summer season and a fairly decent start to the Fall 2014 lineup.  Hopefully I can catch back up with this as its one of my favorite shows that I have seen so far all year alongside Space DandyZankyou no Terror and Ping Pong The Animation.

Sure has been a long time since I have talked about this show–  how long has it been?  I think it has been about 3 months since I have even seen an episode of Zoku Shou.  I have neglected this series for far too long, and now with the second half of Zoku Shou airing is as good a time as any to catch up on Mushishi and the slow-paced tales surround Ginko’s travels.

Mushishi returned from what had been years since season 1 even began and in January we were treated with a 1-hour special, a fantastic story about a young girl that is affected by the sun and all the weight the sisterly relationship carries on her family and the rest of the village.  Earlier this year in April we were given another season of Mushishi entitled Zoku Shou as the English translates to Sequel Chapter–  since the previous episode 8 that I had last seen, we’ve had quite the diverse anthology of stories that depict Mushi affecting the livelihood of humans with Ginko as a kind of revolving intermediary between the two species.

People losing senses, a family over generations chopping of heads and swapping them to procure the mysterious beauty of a young woman, an overzealous seafarer that can control the wind to what we had in this episode.  All these stories have been entirely unique in their plot and how they move forward–  here we had this man Houichi working day and night but never gets exhausted.  I must say his performance by Akira Matsushita was exhilarating–  only worrying about the village while maintaining its peaceful days of longevity for the sake of its inhabitants including his family was very realistic.

Typically with a Mushishi episode, we are shown and even told the background of its minor cast members: as that is what this anime carries in strength so well–  returning after all these months this episode did NOT disappoint one bit for me.

For Houichi’s father to dispel any sort of malarkey that Ginko was explaining to him about Houichi’s symptoms to the belief of a mushi’s involvement pointed out that the family shared a secret.  Setting aside the actual heart of this episode–  was this the third series to have an episode that contained this centralizing theme of family mysteries?  First was Shingeki no Bahamut, then Garo, and now this?  Strange to see a few similarities with these two shows of this season and with this episode of Mushishi–  a primary focus on children being hidden from the honest truth either by themselves or their parental figures. Just though I would point this out, as its an interesting trend I’ve seen as of late.

With some of the past episodes we’ve had some quite disturbing ones, but here it was solely on the focus of Chiyo’s death and her undying wish to never have the truth revealed to her son, Houichi.  This was powerful, because we saw a young Houichi in the past segments be swayed in by her mother’s unnatural nurturing abilities–  in other words he was being taken since he was a child by the mushi Chishio a milk tide.

Ginko did not do much of anything here as for all the episodes that he’s portrayed in this manner it works out very well in developing the true nature of its individual side-cast of characters.  He acted as an intermediary as he did in the previous episode about doing the right thing in order to improve the afflicted person’s behavior or even way of living.

With Houichi here, his father played a pivotal role in posing a question to his son carrying the Mushi milk–  to hold onto a power that nourishes the village and its people, or to absolve himself of the very mushi that killed his mother?  I love the transition from the abundant farming culture that the Chishio improved with its host to the harsh winters the villagers experienced.  Perhaps this was to illustrate that Chiyo was able to be at peace knowing that her son has accepted the truth.  Watching over him as he’s gradually liberating his adversity of the past caused by her.

Such an amazing episode to bring myself back into the compelling lore of mushi and the authentic perspective of human connections.