Mushishi Zoku Shou S2 – 05

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“*sniff* Got a tissue, mister?”

It feels good to be back! I had a week-long vacation that was timed perfectly for me to blog Mushishi and Psycho-Pass at my regular time. It just happened to be like that, too. Now, if only I wasn’t so slow in waiting for the “right mood” to write about Mushishi…

It’s easy to forget just how long Ginko has been at this whole mushishi business for. He’s done this for so long that he’s starting to see his clients grow up! It’s a small thing, but I find it sweet that he goes to check up on previous clients to see if they’re doing okay. He’s not doing this just to make more money since he probably resolved most mushi-related cases the first time. Ginko does this because he genuinely cares about the people he’s helping. These are also some of the few lasting bonds he’s formed with people. After traveling to unfamiliar places all the time, it must be nice to see someone familiar for once. With his uncanny white hair and green eye, even a one-time client is likely to remember him at first glance.

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However, as per usual, this story is not about Ginko forming healthy relationships with his clients. This is about a family who undergo some mushi troubles. This time, the hole family is involved in this incident in some form or another. Gen is overflowing with so much ether that he can’t control his emotions, Yui is struck by the ability to pull ether threads out of living things, and the father is stuck in the middle of this mess without understanding anything. The father actually outright denies the existence of mushi. This is understandable given how he can’t see them and likely wasn’t told anything about them growing up. It’s only natural to think the weird man putting an “invisible” robe on your child is insane instead of believing that supernatural, fluorescent squiggles are floating all around you.

Oddly enough, I can’t help but focus on the father. He’s completely lost through this entire ordeal. While his wife and child can see mushi, he is unable to. As such, he is unable to understand his own wife and son. He doesn’t understand that Yui isn’t a crazy mom who hurt her own son or that Gen can really see mushi. From his point of view, his entire family is nuts and he has to somehow pull it all together. It’s interesting to watch him because he’s doing what any sensible person would when faced with unknown, invisible “powers”…but he’s still entirely wrong.

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“Look Daddy, I see mommy in the sky!” “Oh man, I do not remember this happening to me during puberty”

What’s important is that he learns to believe in his son and his wife. Maybe he doesn’t believe in mushi so much, but he does have enough faith to realize his wife would never hurt Gen. It’s that slight change from Ginko’s pep talk that makes him open to letting Gen and Yui meet again. It makes you wonder what would be more difficult: being the only one to see mushi or the only one to not see them. Usually it’s the former, but this was a rare opportunity for one family member to be the odd one out because they couldn’t see mushi.

In the end, Yui returns to “normal”, but Gen continues to see mushi. However, without the burden of never knowing when his sick mother would come visit again, Gen is able to control his emotions. I really liked this ending because Ginko didn’t fix him using some sort of medical concoction. The cure was simply for his mother to return and for their family to be happy again. It shows that there’s always multiple aspects to emotions. Gen’s anger wasn’t just because the ether was lowering his inhibitions. It’s that plus his dad’s strictness, plus seeing weird things he didn’t have an explanation for, plus his mom being sick, plus being teased. That’s a lot of pluses. By alleviating as many bad things in the environment as possible, that can sometimes be enough to really make an impact on one’s situation.

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The emperor’s new clothes

While I really enjoyed the ending, I don’t know if the story as a whole was one of my favourites for Mushishi. The jumping around from place to place was a little disjointed, making me wish they had focused on just the mother or just Gen instead. I know it was supposed to be a family episode instead of an individual, but 20 or so minutes isn’t enough to develop that sort of connection with new characters. It was especially jarring to see Yui go from being in a coma to waking up through the magic of a timeskip. I almost feel like it’s illegal to say bad things about Mushishi, but this was a pretty forgettable episode when all is said and done. Although this is ranked on the Mushishi scale, so an “eh” Mushishi episode is like the mind-blowing finale of an average show.


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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3 Responses to “Mushishi Zoku Shou S2 – 05”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    It feels good to be back! I had a week-long vacation that was timed perfectly for me to blog Mushishi and Psycho-Pass at my regular time.

    Welcome back! Good for you, OC. In turn, it’s got me commenting again. Hopefully by the next Psycho-Pass post, my comment count will have reached an unthinkable level, if you catch my drift. 😉 You made a contract and created a monster in the process.

    The time skips show Ginko has quite the career as a Mushishi if he’s been at it for so long. The fact he revisits familiar places means he has concern for those he encounters while expecting nothing in return but a temporary place to spend the night or a couple of days. What he may say regarding mushi encounters might be harsh but most will know it’s for their own good.

    I can’t imagine how unnerving it must have been for Gen growing up not knowing what he had. Something like possessing abnormal strength… That kind of alienation could be another factor in why he lashes out at others. Also because he’s alone and emotionally unstable, there wouldn’t be anyone to relate to him.

    Oddly enough, I can’t help but focus on the father. He’s completely lost through this entire ordeal.

    I can see why. He’s the odd man out in the entire situation. It was probably frustrating throughout because he had to listen to people saying they see things that he can’t.

    If the robe is made ether threads that symbolizes vitality, you’ve got to wonder how much was drained away in order to make it.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks! Your comment levels continue to impress =w= I don’t think anyone else comments on Mushishi posts either so that’s nice.

      I never knew he revisited families until now. I kind of thought he was a total drifter, but I guess even drifters have to touch base with people every now and then. It’s nice he has a balance of leaving so he doesn’t attract disaster but always returning to those he cares about.

      I wouldn’t know what to do if I just couldn’t control my anger (and was super strong too). He must have been the real wild child of the village…

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Agreed on the disjointed parts. Still, it did well enough to flesh out one of Mushishi’s many interesting stories. To get a better sense on the mother’s side, it would’ve been a good idea to use two episodes for this arc like what was done with episodes 11 and 12.

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