Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mushishi Episode 10: Taking Responsibility

     I'm rewatching Mushishi on DVD and blogging it. Previous post here. First post here. You can watch this episode and the rest of the series legally (and free) on Youtube. For those looking for a brief refresher, there's a list of brief episode descriptions here.

     While some episodes of Mushishi are mysteries in and of themselves that require extensive unraveling (like episode 3), others are more straightforward stories simply enjoyable for what they are at face value. Episode 10 was one of these. The technical competence of the episode was as enthralling to behold as ever, with gorgeous visual and sound design. The story, at its heart one of a former inkstone artisan returning to her craft, requires little more than the viewer's attention to make sense.

     I'm okay with that. One of the things that has always made Mushishi a special piece of media is its blase attitude towards itself. Sometimes it has incredibly nuanced, uplifting, or grim ideas and themes it wants to explore, and just as often it simply wants to tell an unusual tale and leave it at that. It's a series that walks its own path, at its own pace, and welcomes you to travel with it, skip ahead, stay behind, or ignore it entirely. It's just. . .there, and that's fantastic.

     That being said, it isn't hard to excavate ideas from stories that don't necessarily revolve around them. Episode 10, The White Within the Inkstone, isn't a story about responsibility, per se, but as a motif it rears its head on more than one occasion.

A visual representation of owning up to a mistake.