Episode 3 Impressions: Mushishi Zoku Shou

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In a small lakeside valley covered in snow, Ginko seeks to study some truly interesting mushi.  As he does so, he comes across a highly rare mushi that inflicts a local boy.  Not only stealing his life away but it may also bring him closer to death in response to his tragic past.

e3mushishi1Synopsis
Upon reaching the small village, Ginko seeks out shelter after skipping a snow-covered residence.  It doesn’t take him long after settling in before he begins examining mushi that take the form of snow flakes.  A resident of the home named Tae takes great interest in Ginko’s studies and inquires on many different types of mushi that he has drawn.

The Yukinarashi (Snow Smoother) which lives in the tracks of animals and people.  As they gather, they cause tracks to disappear quickly with their mass.  Making it difficult for hunters or for people to find the lost.

The Yukidangomushi (Snow Roly-poly) a mushi that rolls down hills and increases its mass.  Normally it finds trees to slam into in order to decrease its burden, however if it lacks trees it may chase humans.  They also cause avalanches when they strike trees.

Then there’s the Tokyukimushi (Neverending Snow Mushi) which travel in packs and surround specific animals.  They sting and steal the warmth from their host and any animal that are possessed look as if they are always being snowed upon.

e3mushishi5This last mushi, the Tokyukimushi, catches Tae’s attention as she mentions to Ginko of her friend who has recently changed following the death of his little sister.  With that, Tae takes Ginko to the snow-covered residence that he passed by before.  There he meets Toki who has a great fear of heat and finds himself a burden upon his parents for their having to freeze in their home with him.

Toki finds any source of heat to burn his flesh and takes confort in the cold instead.  Ginko quickly notes the symptoms and claims that the feelings Toki has are merely the mushi messing with his senses.  He recommends that he seeks warmth soon as his body is being damaged by the lack of warmth.

Dismissing Ginko’s claims, Toki leaves to fish on his boat out in the frozen lake, much to Tae’s displeasure.  Out in the lake however, Toki finds himself falling in and sinking to the bottom.  A huge search party is dispatched but unfortunately he remains at the bottom of the deepest part, signified by the falling Tokyukimushi that doesn’t melt, but rather appears as if falling snow that drifts deep into the lake.

After all hope is given up for Toki to be alive, he arrives at his home late at night.  When his parents attempt to warm his body, he once again flees for the lake.  After Tae is informed of his appearance, she seeks him out at the lake to find him where his sister Sachi had died.  He claims the Tokyukimushi had covered him at the bottom of the lake and kept him alive.  That he was sleeping and he thinks Sachi is still sleeping deep under water.

e3mushishi6Sadly, Tae informs him that he recovered her from the lake after she fell in.  That she died and has since been buried.  While Toki refuses to accept this fact, Tae attempts to approach him but the frozen lake below her feet gives way.  Toki pulls her from the water and rushes her towards the village but the entire time her body temperature burns his body.  After some time however, he begins to get cold and then freezing as it seems his infliction is driven away by Tae’s warmth.

After Tae is taken to safety, they are both treated for frostbite.  While Tae recovers with no major injuries, Toki loses several toes and fingers due to his prolonged exposure.  Luckily however, he’s no longer surrounded by the Tokyukimushi and seems to finally come to grips with the loss of his sister.

Thoughts
I feel like a broken record when I say this show is fantastic.  Yet another fantastic story of writing and execution.  It’s funny how even the segments where Ginko talks about different mushi just captures my imagination.  They seem like real creatures with interesting elements about them.

I really enjoyed Toki’s story and was really interested to see how he would have survived his ordeal.  Though I’m still uncertain how he breathed down there, I’ll just assume the mushi brought him air.  I was even more happy to see Tae live.  I thought it was going to be another tragedy upon Toki to wake him up, but to see them pull through brought a smile to my face.

Episode 3: Beneath The Snow

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Fantastic!

Goods:

  • Interesting mushi design
  • Great concept
  • Great writing

Fears:

  • None

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.