Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: Mushishi, Volume 3

Mushishi, Volume 3
Yuki Urushibara
Del Rey (2008), Paperback, 256 pages

The Cry of Rust or The Sound of Rust
Ginko has to find out why a strange rust afflicts people and houses in a village. The village’s people think a girl is the cause of the rust.
The girl, Shige: ‘Whenever my voice was heard, the people around me would get patches of rust.’ (p. 17) But ‘This isn’t rust. It’s a Mushi called Yasabi.’ (p. 20)
‘Shige ... acted like a normal kid ... But her voice ... had a quality that attracted the things (Mushi) that caused the illness (the rust).’ (p. 34)
Ginko: ‘I wanted your voice to echo in the mountains surrounding the town. The Yasabi that gathered in the town wiil be dispersed into the mountains.’ (p. 45)
A voice could be heard in the village and the sea across a pass in the mountains.
‘But even now, they say ... that the people of the town ... can still hear a broken, husky voice with an odd beauty to it ... echoing softly through the mountains.’ (p. 48)

From the Ocean Edge or Where Sea Meets Man
Ginko is traveling along a beach where he meets a man looking for his wife (Michichi).
‘You’ve heard the term Umi-sen, Yama-sen, haven’t you? It refers to the belief that if a serpent lives for a thousand years in the sea and another thousand years in the mountains, it becomes a dragon.’ (p. 73) Mushi ‘there seems to be no difference between them and snakes. (p. 73) Mushi are linked to ancient beliefs (dragons).
Ginko decides to take a boat and with the boatman they go on the sea looking for Michichi, eventually they find her, but suddenly Michichi disappears.
When people are far from the shore, snakes (Mushi) and mist don’t allow them to return to the land, they cannot see the shore. Inside mist time is different from real time, when you look at what you wanted to see it disappears. Being (Sein) is linked with Time (Zeit): Michichi can live only living in the same time of her husband
One of the best episodes!

The Heavy Seed
In a village there are unusual harvests. Before harvests strange events happen: a natural disaster and the death of one of the village’s people.
‘The field of this village ... have always had a big harvest during natural disaster.’
‘On that year somebody always ... grow an extra tooth that autumn. When autumn comes to an end, the tooth falls out. And that person ... dies ...’ (p. 97)
‘Mushi are creatures so weak they can be carried by light.’ (p. 105) ‘They are closed to Koki, the liquid origin of Mushi. The light flow is the vein in which the Koki flows. You could call it - life - itself.’ (p. 106)
Mushi, light, Koki, life, and the heavy seed: manipulating Koki and seed ‘there are even ways to achieve immortality or resurrection.’ (p. 106)

White Living in the Inkstone or The White which Lives within the Ink Stone
Adashino is a collector of Mushi-related items. Some kids get themselves in trouble when they take one of Adashino’s Mushi.
‘So when ink was rubbed on it (inkstone), the Mushi came back to life ...’
‘It entered their bodies ... and is chilling them from the inside.’ (p. 148)
‘What is inside the inkstone ... is a Mushi called Kumohami (cloud eaters).’ and ‘... like clouds, they eat the water or ice, and give off snow or hail.’ (p. 165)

The Fish Gaze or One-Eyed Fish
This episode reveals Ginko’s origin: he is an orphan adopted by Nui.
Mushi ‘exist differently, but ... they aren’t completely estranged from us.’ (p. 193)
‘There are two types of darkness. One type is when you close your eyes, ... the other is ... endless darkness.’ (p. 196) ‘The ones (Mushi) that take the shape of darkness are called Tokoyami (eternal darkness). (p.; 198)
‘But if you ... can’t remember your name or your past ... that means that Tokoyami is near you. They say that if you remember, you can get away from it. And if it turns out that you can’t remember? Then find a name for yourself. It doesn’t matter what.’ (p. 202)
Darkness is where you don’t exist, ‘Fright ... and rage ... are things that blind one’s eyes.’ ‘Everything ... simply ... lives as it lives, that’s all.’ (p.230)
Ginko has to become a Mushishi and has to know darkness, so he must lose one eye.

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