Trees factor into religious iconography a lot, don't they? Yggdrasil’s been in the public conscious this year because of THOR obviously, and that's only the most recent example. Raise your cup of green tea to the most fascinating Mushi-fueled phenomenon this show’s dealt out yet. If the One-Night Bridge was somewhat akin to the Flying Dutchman, then this bamboo forest reminds me somewhat of a castle from folklore that’ll always remain on the horizon regardless of how long you walk toward it. I forget the name, but the subtle space-warping principle is more-or-less the same.
It’s a really ingenious notion to have the tree’s children and their familiars bound to its circumference as if they were tied up by invisible roots. For a show that takes such a leisurely approach to exploring ideas, MUSHI-SHI has certainly been giving me some rich concepts to wrap my head around lately. My concerns about the formula of the show getting tiresome have been largely assuaged, as it’s actually been picking up lately between this and “The One-Night Bridge.”
Perhaps the pick-up coincides with the seemingly-darker turn the shows has taken, as well. I compared earlier episodes to THE TWILIGHT ZONE, but all the scary business with the bamboo babies kicked this closer into the territory of THE OUTER LIMITS. That show had more of science fiction bent than a fantasy one, sure, but it also had a far more menacing undercurrent to all its short postulations about man’s interaction with the fantastic.
I suppose the message of this is that the guy should’ve been content to his outsider’s position since it meant he could live with his family. Even if we do get some hint of a rebirth, it still seems like more of an intellectual recompense for the horrible suffering he suffered once his girls’ water ran out.
Watch this episode “Inside the Cage" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.