Episode 5 Impressions: Mushishi Zoku Shou

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Sometimes when we are at our worst, the only thing to pull us out of our sorrow is to realize that we are far better off than other people or even things. While a Ginko soon finds himself dealing with a mushi with a deep wanting, he must also deal with the problems of the inflicted in order to set things right.

e5mushishi8Synopsis
While traveling, Ginko spots a girl named Masumi being pursued by a watery figure. When he meets with the family of the girl, he explains the workings of a mushi called Mizukagami (Water Mirror). They live in still ponds and desire the minerals within them. When they find it lacking, they wait for a host to peer into its pond before following them.

Over time the Mizukagami will grow strong and more concrete in form, mimicking its host. This is done by it drawing energy from the host and making them weaker. Eventually the host will take the physical appearance of the host and in turn replace it entirely. Upon doing so, it will seek out a new pond that is rich in minerals.

While this news shocks the family, Ginko’s knowledge of the Mizukagami isn’t without a remedy. He informs them that the simplest way to get rid of the Mizukagami is to reveal its form by using a mirror while it follows Masumi. When asked, Masumi does in fact carry a mirror, however it’s quite cloudy and needs polishing. When the father attempts to polish it for her, she rejects his offer and keeps it to herself.

It seems Masumi has a man that she loves who is skilled in polishing goods. Some time before, she used to take her mirror to him regularly to get it polished but one day he told her that he was moving on to another town due to lack of business. She confessed her love to him and desired to go with him, however he rejected her because he thought she was too “tomboyish.”

e5mushishi6After getting an earful of her affliction by the Mizukagami, Masumi wanders the hillside filled with grief over her lost love. When the Mizukagami draws near her, she seems to openly accept her fate. Questioning why the mushi would even want her life. Seeing this, Ginko confronts Masumi about her desire to be taken. He explains to her that no matter what grief she faces, it’s no comparison to being thrown into the mushi realm. A realm filled with darkness and mushi desiring to exist.

Following this revelation, Masumi polishes her mirror but only before falling to her extremely weakened state. The following day Ginko visits her to note that the Mizukagami will soon come. After telling her this, Masumi notices a flash of light near where she always met up with her love. She rushes off into the mountain to the location only to find an object in a nest causing the flash of light. Afterwards she falls to the ground overcome by fatigue.

Before long the Mizukagami comes for her. Realizing its presence, she tries desperately to get to her mirror but she’s unable to move. As the Mizukagami draws close, she turns to it and tells it to stop trying to mimic her. Suddenly the Mizukagami retreats in a stream of water.

Back at home, and recovering her strength, Ginko ponders why the Mizukagami would retreat without the mirror. Looking into Masumi’s eyes, he realizes that the reflection in her eyes would have sufficed. Following this revelation, Masumi becomes struck by love for Ginko. She begins overwhelm him with questions about his marital status and hair. Taken by the oddness of the situation, Ginko takes his leave.

e5mushishi1Later at a nearby pond, Ginko finally finds the Mizukagami. He offers to take the mushi to a pond with better minerals, but notes that he wont be giving up his body. As he walks off into the distance, the Mizukagami trails behind him.

Thoughts
At first, this episode was rather slow and a bit drawn out. Which is saying a lot for a show that is meant to be slow and atmospheric. I just felt that it drew out at a few points. Aside from that the episode ended on a great note. Some good tension towards the end and I really enjoyed the conclusion. I got a good chuckle out of the girl falling for Ginko. Especially since he doesn’t really seem to get much in the way of romance.

I’m a bit concerned for the show after this last two episodes.  While I still enjoy the feel and atmosphere, the tales are getting a bit too similar.  Keeping rather restraint in their depth.  Having a person with an affliction and Ginko fixing it is all fine and well.  However the surrounding stories aren’t as rich and engaging as the first few episodes.  I hope they can manage to pick it up a bit.

Oh yeah. Polish boy is a jerk.

Episode 5: Mirror Lake

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IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good

Goods:

  • Good tension
  • Funny conclusion

Fears:

  • Bit slow at times
  • Not very deep of a tale

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.