Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 3


Let it snow!

Snow. I'm sick of of it. I'm sure most of you guys are, too, given that we on the east coast have had quite the winter. But it looks like there's plenty of snow wherever Ginko is travelling. And it sounds like the mushi he's encountering would be the worst mushi ever -- at least for me. Let's take a look at this week's episode.

Ginko is doing his usual thing, travelling across the land looking for interesting (or perhaps, sad) things that are happening. He comes across a village while looking for an inn, and finds a house covered in snow. Hmm, I wonder what could be the cause of such an oddity!

(I'll give you a hint: it's probably mushi.)

They did a great job of conveying the snowy atmosphere, from the art to the muted sounds. It definitely made me feel colder! The isolated feelings were amplified by the cool blues and whites in the color scheme, and I liked that the snow mushi were portrayed as blue snowflakes. The animation was consistent and worked well with the story being told.

As usual with Mushishi, the entire encounter with the mushi is a metaphor. Here, the mushi aren't really the "cause" of the problem, rather, they're the result. When Toki's little sister dies in the lake, he's immediately onset by the snow mushi, making him cold all the time and bringing a constant snow around him. It represents his depression that he's fallen into, and it won't go away until he conquers it. Maybe Ginko needs to give him a push?

Actually, Ginko doesn't need to do anything, really. The true catalyst is Toki's friend Tae, who falls into the icy waters just like his sister did. He pushes himself to the limit to save her, though, and as he carriers her to safety he realizes that the warmth of her body that initially hurts has pushed away the mushi. He can feel the cold again! It's a simple but well-done unification of the mushi and plot to tell a deeper story.

One again, it's another fantastic installment of Mushishi. In 22 minutes it establishes, breaks down, and builds back up characters with skill, all under the guise of a melancholy supernatural story. I think we're in for another full season of great content from Artland and Hiroshi Nagahama. I do wonder if we'll get a little more story around Ginko eventually, but for now he's doing fine as the unifying link between each tale. I can't wait for the next!

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Ben Huber
Ben HuberContributor   gamer profile

I'm the managing editor of Japanator by day, and a roving freelance graphic designer by night! /  more + disclosures



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