Mushi-shi Season 2 Episode 6 Recap – “Floral Delusion”
It’s a damn shame a show like this doesn’t have enough interest to generate a blu-ray release. You can only get a S.A.V.E. DVD version for the first series here in North America, which is just silly. Too often good anime series are left behind in favour of really lackluster or downright aggravatingly stupid shows. Anyways, another amazing episode for the sequel series of Mushi-shi.
In this one, Ginko pays a visit to a famous cherry tree. Not my favorite type of tree, as I live on a street full of them. Let me tell you, they are SO annoying to get out of your car. (Anyways!) Ginko meets a fellow traveller who is in search of a famous doctor who lives next door to the cherry tree. Her mother is ill at the moment. But when the two reach the tree it isn’t in bloom at all, and in fact, looks quite dead.
Hopeful, the female traveler agrees to stay overnight with the doctor as he prepares the medicine. At this point, I already could feel that something just wasn’t right here. Ginko examines the cherry tree and deduces that it is around 600 years old. Has is withered from old age, and consequently can no longer produce blossoms? Inside one of the knots of the tree there’s a strange purple foam that Ginko can’t quite place. Startled, he notices a woman in a purple kimono sitting at the foot of the tree. Her beauty both enchants and chills him, but there is something off about her.
This is Saho, a relative of the doctor. She has lost almost all of her sight and hearing. Ginko warns the doctor that the cause is the purple foam, which she has ingested. The foam is a mushi named Kodama (Tree Spirit), which helps trees live long and bloom well. When a person or animal ingests it they lose one of their five senses, and experiences deadening in all of their senses over time. Ginko advises him that she should not ingest any more.
The man admits that he is not actually a doctor, but a gardener, in the tradition of the last few generations of his family. These cherry trees have a strain that is useful for fighting diseases, and travellers come to get the “medicine” created from that strain. When asked if he uses the Kodama tree for medicine, he lies and boasts that his family would never do that.
Ginko catches him trying to get more foam that night, and again tries to persuade him not to collect anymore. The man tells him that some people will take the “medicine” anyways just to get rid of the pain, even at the cost of their senses. He begins to tell a story from 80 years ago, when Saho was first found inside the tree…
Needless to say, the connection between Saho, the cherry tree and the Kodama is a very interesting one. A very chilling, disturbing and horrifying one that shows the dark side of humanity and misplaced love. Another hearty recommendation from me. I hope more interest is generated in this series and the original 2007 run because it is definitely worth it.
Next week is a special episode, which could mean a 40 minute plus long episode! I am definitely excited in advance!