I think I’ll be enjoying this series…
Mushi-shi Season 2 Episode 1 Recap – “Banquet at the Forest’s Edge”
I’ve only ever seen and episode and a half of the original Mushi-shi series so I wasn’t sure I would be covering this season as well. However, it’s a series that operates mostly on standalone episodes, and it explains enough at the start for those who are uninitiated.
The opening theme song “Shiver” by Lucy Rose is beautiful and will probably end up being in my iTunes. After that we open on a man stumbling through a forest, with a flask of something he calls “golden sake.” He remembers when he delivered his father’s sake as a kid, and the Mushi would try to cling to him and trip him, as well as sneaking bits of sake when he wasn’t looking.
As a result the brew master would chastize him, but his own father did not, since he knew of the Mushi’s existence. His father once stumbled upon a mushi-shi meeting where they were trading in golden sake, and ever since he has wanted to recreate the wonderful Kouki (sake of light). Now that his son has successfully done so, he starts out to deliver it to his father to taste.
On the way he finds the same gathering that his father did so many years ago, where he meets Ginko, the protagonist of the series. He uses his Kouki as a bartering tool, but the man his gives some of it to doesn’t drink it. Ginko then goes to check on a group that is meeting separately from the group and they warn him about a dwindling Light Vein source. It turns out the sake is being used in a ritual, where it is placed in a dish, that is transferred back into the flasks of the mushi-shi. When the son’s recreated sake is used it doesn’t work, and the mushi-shi gathered angrily declare him a fake.
Hiding in the forest, he is found again by Ginko. He tells him that his father is ill, and he wants him to drink the sake to see if it matches the one he tasted in the past. After the brewer tells Ginko how he made the sake, Ginko figures out that both a Shoujounohige (Shoujou’s Beard) and a Suimitsutou (Nectar Sucker) affected the creation of the sake. However, this would cause hallucinations for anyone who drank it, so he convinces the brewer to keep the Sake to himself. Ginko also arranges it so that the other mushi-shi can visit the brewery and buy the kouki.
The episode closes with the young brewer using the golden sake to see the many mushi of the world, as he sits and watches on the rooftop.
I really enjoyed the relaxed pace and good characterization in the episode. Some viewers will be put off by how slow the show is, but I can definitely see why the show gets as much praise as it does. I’ll be watching this one definitely.
Interest Level: High