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Annotated Anime: Mushishi S2 episode 2

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Aw, look at the cute birds THAT ARE HARBINGERS OF DOOM.

It's so nice to be back in the Mushishi saddle. It's like a warm, cozy blanket that wraps around and comforts you with soothing music and beautiful art. We had a strong opening episode but I've got to say: episode 2 was even better. Yup, you heard me. Let's jump right in to my impressions.

Let me sit you folks down and tell you one thing: most anime struggle to create relatable and compelling characters in 12 or 24 episodes. Mushishi does it every week in one goddamn episode... and it does it with grace. That's skill and craftsmanship right there. Ok, now that I got that out of the way, let's dive in.

What a gorgeous episode! The tale centers around two father/daughter pairs: one that lives higher up in the village and another that live below near the ocean. The fishing village has been struggling, mainly because of poor results in their fishing trips, but also because a tragedy from 10 years ago still hangs over the townspeople. Ginko, passing by, happens to notice adorable bird-like mushi hiding inside the seashells on the beach, a sign of an oncoming threat, like a storm or tidal wave.

Warning the village, he finds that one of the daughters lost her speech due to the mushi's song. Thankfully, it's an easy fix, but it does throws a wrench into the relationship between her and her father. Ginko never judges the father's poor parenting, though, and instead aims to solve the community's problem and prepare them for whatever danger that's coming. The father learns his lesson as the story progresses.

I really love the mirrored tales here, between the two fathers and their daughters. The whole "children becomes friends, forcing their respective parents to learn something about life" is nothing new, but it's done well here. The mushi add a nice twist to the story, throwing in that element of an oncoming storm, a greater danger threatening the village. I also loved the vibe the seaside village gave off -- Artland did a solid job with the colors.

Plus, those bird-like mushi looked cute too.


(Webm by temp1923)

The red tide does hurt the village, but the pearl helps them through the toughest times, and in the end the two fathers finally reconcile. The poetry of the whole affair isn't super clever (obviously the two father/daughter pairs are going to work out their differences), but it is done well and elegantly. They both just want to protect what they love. It put a smile on my face by the end, and we got a fantastic scene featuring all the mushi flying into the blue sky. Perhaps I sound too positive, perhaps I'm not critical enough, but man, I just loved this episode from top to bottom. If you're not watching Mushishi...


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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


 



Also on Japanator: Mushi-shi   (4)   From our database:

  • Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 4 - Ben Huber
  • Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 3 - Ben Huber
  • Annotated Anime: Mushishi S2 episode 2 - Ben Huber
  • First Impressions: Mushi-shi S2 - Ben Huber
  • 2nd Mushi-shi anime to start in April - Ben Huber
  • Mushi-shi is back for a 1-hour special in January - Ben Huber
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