Mushishi – episode 19

March 27, 2006 on 2:24 pm | In Mushishi | Comments Off on Mushishi – episode 19

“String from the Heavens”

Another superlative episode of Mushishi, this time about faith, scepticism and the invisible. 

Seijirou is the son of a rich man; Fuki is the nursemaid of his younger sister. On the day that Seijirou intends to confess his feelings to Fuki, she grasps at a string that dangles from the sky and disappears. Ginko finds her in the mountains, where she has lost her memory and her visibility to the naked eye.
Though she returns to the village, the villagers still think she’s too strange to be one of them …

This is a first for Mushishi: a village so unsuperstitious that they scarcely believe the mushi exist. As someone who can see mushi, Fuki is alienated because she talks about them incessantly and is seen as not quite right in the head. Almost every other village that Ginko has visited has accepted the existence of the mushi even if they could not see them.

This brings the story to the case of visibility. Mushi can not be seen by “normal” people, and therefore they do not want to accept them. A refusal to accept mushi bleeds into a refusal to accept those who see them and so, in this way, the mushi seers become invisible themselves.

Again Mushishi has presented real life situations and then run them through the allegorical mushi machine. Tradition is for people to ignore that which they don’t understand, and such is the case here. The surprising aspect of the case is the way in which Seijirou reacts to it; he is the major obstacle, with prejudices that he cannot and will not admit to himself.

“String from the Heavens” is about overcoming the barriers within oneself to discover a proper happiness, and not just the idea thereof. Ginko acts as a gruff mediator, bordering on rude at times (I suppose that this would be his natural reaction to any village that does not believe his services are needed at all ever), but his heart is in the right place.

The river of life is brought to the surface again: “if you look at that light too long, you will no longer be able to see sunlight”. Ginko understands mushi and his major goal is to instill the knowledge of safety in others. If one spends too much time concentrating on a fantasy, no matter how real it seems, they will invariably lose sight of reality.
“They seem as mirrors, but only one of them is real. Remember that.”

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