Mushishi Zhoku Shou Episode 3 & 4

Beneath the Snow

The Hand that Caresses the Night

The mysteries deepen…

Not only are the characters and scenarios growing more complex, but so are the mysteries. Sometimes, we know the problem head on, and Ginko knows the cure. However, the previous two episodes took a refreshing departure from that.

In “Beneath the Snow,” Ginko meets a boy who gets snowed on constantly wherever he goes. He also feels numb to emotions and cold temperatures and can’t tolerate the warmth of other human bodies. Although he feels nothing, his health is still at risk like any other human. This time, the cure isn’t so straightforward, like drink this and you’ll feel all better. The cure happens more accidentally, as the boy just needed to touch another human for a certain period of time. He does this when he is forced to save the life of his friend. It was a pretty interesting watch because I had no idea how the boy was going to get better, if at all.

The episode “The Hand that Caresses the Night” is my favorite one in this season so far. In fact, my favorite kind of episodes are always the ones where humans are directly inflicted and can use mushi as a power. It begins with Ginko traveling in a dark forest and encountering a man that has the ability to freeze his body on the spot. Who is this guy and how did he get that ability? Other interesting questions pop up later, such as how his father who had the same ability “died.” What also makes this scenario interesting is how this particular mushi affects the man physically and psychologically. Having that supernatural-like ability made him feel like the “king” of the forest, the ultimate hunter. Before he knew it, he depended on this ability to survive and feel secure, even after knowing the negative effects. According to his little brother, his personality had changed drastically as well. If he doesn’t take up on Ginko’s cure, then one day, he’ll cross over into the mushi world and wander around lost forever. The episode had a bit more suspense than usual, as he didn’t want to listen to Ginko and became accidental prey to other human hunters. I didn’t know how it was going to end, exactly. I just love episodes like this that hook me on the problem and mystery right away.

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