Mushishi Zoku Shou – 03 Review
Episode 03 – Beneath The Snow
I couldn’t resist watching the latest episode of Mushishi (because its great to watch something soothing when you don’t feel great) and that’s how this review came about. 🙂
The episode reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite poems that I had studied some time back in school:
“The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake…”
As the title suggests, the story in this episode takes place during a cold winter. The key character of the episode, Toki, has been possessed by one of the rarest snow Mushis around – the Tokoyukimushi. One of the symptoms of the Tokoyumushi is that snow follows the person whilst he slowly loses his body warmth, the upside is that the mushi will depart when spring comes around.
Ever since the death of Toki’s sister, Sachi, at the start of winter, he has been in a state of depressession. The episode unfolds telling us the story of how Toki had lost his sister to the icy lake which had inevitably led to him being possessed by the mushi. His neighbour and good friend Tae notices Ginko’s sketchings of the Mushi and requested that Ginko took a look at Toki for her.
As you can probably guess, being in a depressed state and blaming himself for his sister’s death, Toki wasn’t open to any form of treatment.
The episode then continues on with Toki as he ignores Tae’s pleas and ends up in a state near death from an incident.
But even then, Toki is still left depressed and possessed by the Mushi, which leads us to the climax of the episode – his friend Tae being in trouble. This snaps Toki back to reality and the episode concludes with a happy ending.
Out of the 3 episodes this season, this was my favourite one so far.
Whilst we were introduced to yet another new mushi, the focus of the episode laid little with the mushi and more on the characters and their heartwarming story.
In this instance, Ginko’s expertise played second fiddle to the issue of Toki’s conundrum – should he allow himself to live when he had failed to save his sister.
It is in his good friend Tae that he finds salvation when he saves her from the same situation which he had failed to save his sister from. (Now going into fangirl mode, I have a hunch that those two will end up married and live happily ever after 😉 )
One of the most charming aspects of the series is the show’s ability to utilise the mushi as a platform to deliver a warm and touching story whilst retaining that almost but not quite ethereal atmosphere that leaves it’s audience feeling happy and content by the episode’s tale.
The mushi’s themselves rarely come across as being evil or bad, but more of a spiritual element that’s usually visually appealing and a great way to deliver a story.
What I loved most about this episode was the way the snow would follow Toki wherever he went – like a ball and chain that he couldn’t break from. And the scene where Toki describes the snow mushi as being a blanket that could have perhaps protected him whilst he had laid under the water (perhaps similar to how it was protecting him from the reality of his sister’s death in a sense).
It always feels good to watch a show that leaves you wanting more, and I can’t wait to see the next episode.
“And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
Episode Rating: 8.5/10