Mushishi – episode 13

March 6, 2006 on 10:36 pm | In Mushishi | 1 Comment

“The One Night Bridge”

The music is used to excellent effect in this, one of several episodes of Mushishi in which no one wins. Not depressing, but certainly unhappy.

The episode begins with the lovers Zen and Hana running away from their village. Hana has second thoughts and the bridge collapses beneath her. Three years later, Ginko arrives in town to respond to the request of Hana’s mother; after she fell from the bridge she became a “Valley Returner”, one possessed by mushi who says nothing and will die at the coming of the “one night bridge”.
Hana’s mother wants her daughter exorcised so that she may be married off, but Ginko sees that the situation is more complicated than that.

Another episode buried in guilt: in this instance, Zen is tormented by the idea that he was the one who caused Hana to fall into the valley, his one comfort being that the mushi inside her makes her seem alive. His character his sympathetic but hermetic by necessity, and his one happiness in life is decidedly a false source of security.

The mushi, nisekazura, are opportunists. They will take whatever they can get to achieve their goals, and Hana was an unfortunate by-product of their survival instinct. Again, they are not at fault, but their one night bridge provides one of the best analogous situations that Mushishi has ever seen. As Zen and Hana were cursed by circumstance, so too were the nisekazura; the remote valley town was an excellent setting for such a story.

Ginko’s own pragmatic attitude again comes to the fore, particularly in light of the events of episode twelve; in matters relating to mushi one must be determined or abandon all hope. Ginko has no time for sorrow, and it is proven here that regret is the ultimate downfall of man. The effortless strength of Ginko is a pleasure to observe.

“The One Night Bridge” is a beautiful episode of Mushishi and, while one of the sadder stories, is definitely essential.

1 Comment

  1. This is my favorite story in the series. I’m not sure what it is about it, there’s just something poignant about the whole thing and I really like the concept of the nisekazura and the one-night bridge.

    Comment by Chris — May 11, 2006 #

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