Mushishi – episode 12

February 12, 2006 on 2:27 pm | In Mushishi | 1 Comment

“The One Eyed Fish”

I really don’t know how to introduce an episode of Mushishi without sounding clichéd. It never fails to impress.

Vague spoilers

A young boy named Yoki travels the country with his mother. Yoki’s mother dies in a landslide, but Yoki himself is rescued by a mushishi named Nui. Nui tells Yoki that he must get better as soon as possible and leave because she does not want to expose him to the tokoyami, mushi of darkness that take the eyes of their victims.

Nui is the first female mushishi to feature in this series, and she is clearly a prototype for a certain later mushishi. Her tragedy is something that she had no hand in at all; the mushishi are another form of life, and one that cannot be blamed for their actions, but they can bring a lot of pain.
Seeing that Nui had grown so attached to Yoki but had to push him away was sad in itself, but that he didn’t follow her orders doubled the pain that she felt.

A mushi that can erase your memories does the least damage to a child or the most, depending on their environment: Yoki had very little that he would care to remember, and he managed to fashion a new identity for himself. It could have gone terribly wrong, but I would like to think that the resonance of Nui’s lessons assisted Yoki in his new life; we never forget things, we just can’t remember them.

The episode was mostly colourless, in a most suitable fashion. More notable than that was the static nature, with very little other than the mushi themselves animated with anything approaching energy. This was an effective way of telling the story, as it was set far in the past; further than the modern Ginko stories. Nui’s stories of searching had more impact when told in halting images, emphasising the hopeless and stoic nature of her activities.

On a final note, Nui is the narrator I have always thought was out of place. As Ginko learned a lot from her (although he can probably not remember it), all of the instances that her voice has been heard in the past suddenly make sense.

A sad episode about the fate of some mushishi. For those who take the job as one of necessity, it truly is a great cause of pain. Ginko was a fresh slate, but he never managed to understand “normalcy”. In a society where guardian spirits and mushi actually exist and he can see them, I suppose that’s never going to happen.

1 Comment

  1. Mushishi never failed to catch my interest. It’s addicting. I love it.

    Comment by niquely — October 18, 2007 #

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