Mushishi – 23 – The Sound of Rust

In a village where humans are literally rusting away and being physically covered in (ever worsening) scabby brown marks, only this one girl (Shigure) appears to be immune from the disease. The bitter villagers blame Shigure for their ill-health, curse her existence and treat her as an outcast, and for her part, racked with the guilt of causing such misery, Shigure stopped speaking (to anyone) years ago. As ever, it’s down to Ginko to get the bottom of the mystery of the “Sound of Rust”.

Despite being a relatively straight forward episode by Mushishi’s standards, I still enjoyed the Sound of Rust for its typically emotive human drama. I liked how despite living years of her life in the shadows, ridiculed and insulted, Shigure wants for nothing but to attone for her vindictive neighbours suffering, granting them happiness and peace. It’s often the people who are constantly savaged by such strong hatred that turn out to be the thoroughly good hearted ones. I suppose when you have nothing left to lose, you have nothing left to cry about either.

Sound (as the title of this episode suggests) plays a big part here and Shigure’s voice; or more specifically- her multilayered scream, is suitably creepy and disquieting. Given this spooky sensation, the ending is almost too happy to believe; everything turns out okay (even the villagers are cured) and frankly I’m shocked by just how positively down-the-middle Ginko fixes it all. A refreshing change to get a traditional Hollywood ending for once! Unpredictable as ever, Mushishi.

Author: bateszi

A huge bloody nerd. I apologise in advance. I live in Cambridge, England. That's not an excuse, by the way.

3 thoughts on “Mushishi – 23 – The Sound of Rust”

  1. This ep is as close to being formulaic as Mushishi ever gets really, with the familiar setup of one individual suffering from the compounded effects of mushi and human ignorance. That said it was another compelling and moving episode and the ending was delightfully surprising.

    This series is still head and shoulders above pretty much everything else on air at the moment – fingers crossed for a US/UK licence and DVD release!

  2. Yep – although it’s redundant saying this about almost every episode, Mushishi clearly is the most beautiful, magical anime airing at the moment. I’m hesistant to say it’s the best (it might well be) because there still is some good anime airing at the moment- Honey & Clover II and NHK! are both personal favourites already, and I’m still yet to see the last trio of Black Lagoon episodes. Still Mushishi is a rare example where outstanding, fantastical art is combined with mature, sophisticated and emotive story telling. Like MONSTER, it’s a series that will be revisited by future generations of anime fans; a landmark production.

    With regards to this episode, indeed it was slightly too formulaic. It very much conformed to the formula of:
    Problem -> Ginko investigates / Human drama -> Problem solved

  3. The deep admiration that ginko had in the smoky room about the girl’s voice found me unprepared. I’ve read some Kafka ,Deidra and a bit of Froid but this was different… this was Mushishi…

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