Mushishi – episode 24

August 9, 2006 on 11:23 pm | In Mushishi | 3 Comments

“Bound for Bonfire Field”

What I love about Mushishi is that almost every episode is the “best episode yet”. This episode was positively cinematic in its execution and proves once and for all that fire is bad.

Ginko comes across a town that is covered in weeds that are actually a mushi. Against his warnings to the town’s mushishi, Yahagi, the townspeople burn the fields. This gives rise to the dangerous kagebi that houses the mushi hidane.

The hidane is one of the more sinister mushi in that it has to get all of its sustenance from humans and it tricks them into their graves. A fisherman cold by the banks of a river is going to notice a fire behind him and think “I’ll take advantage of that left over fire”, with coldness overriding common sense in the human mind.
Like many of these things, the hidane is given rise by the foolhardiness of humans who think that fire is the solution to all of their problems in the first place.
I don’t think that the actions of humanity are quite hubristic enough to warrant mushi borne death, but that’s my mistake: I forget that the mushi are just doing what it takes to live because, with the exception of several of the more cunning or bastardy ones, they are creatures of instinct. They have adapted to a situation where they can take advantage of humans. Humans are food, just like, you know, humans eat other things just trying to get by in this world.

In summary we should stop eating everything. What I mean to say is that a woman who is intent on discovering something can sometimes be wrong and lock away a man who will try to set her right. As long as she can repent from this mistake, then everything will be all right. The Mushishi episodes are taking a turn towards triumph over adversity, which is something that I always appreciate.*

*Please note that gender is immaterial to this equation.


  1. I haven’t really compared it to other episodes but this one striked immediately as “high quality”. I believe the backgrounds were even more detailed and beautiful than in other episodes before. What’s also interesting is that Mushishi never feels repetitive even though in certain ways it really is. It’s always about mushi and the characters look pretty much the same each episode. Nonetheless I always find the characters very beautiful and sympathic. Also Mushishi manages that I feel for characters within the same episode. Sometimes I wonder whether some of the mushi are supposed to be scary because to they never are but that could be a cultural thing. I had never heard about mushi before this series. Even if the stories are often cruel – especially those with a twist at the end – I always consider them as wonderful whether you take them as they are or think about them as analogies.

    By the way, the subbers called those black things leaves but to me they looked more like feathers.

    Comment by Chris — August 13, 2006 #

  2. I would say they are leaves due to the plant/weed like nature of the first incarnation of the mushi in this episode.

    Comment by Alex — August 15, 2006 #

  3. Very nicely said.
    The little note at the bottom of this summary made me smile like a goof.

    I need to read more of your articles if they’re all like this. You have a nice light-humorous way of writing. It’s a fun read.

    Comment by Angela — November 25, 2007 #

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