Mokke – 06
An elderly man visits the Hibara household. He introduces himself as Sawada, and begins to talk to grandpa. He opens a white box, as Mizuki and Shiruzu enter – not without Mizuki dropping the bowl of senbei and making a mess however. She regains composure to look inside the white box the old man brought with him – it appears to be a white fluffy furball. Their grandfather explains that it is a kesaran-pasaran (ケサランパサラン), which is believed to bring good luck when taken care of. The old man explains that it is a mysterious creature-like entity, and multiplies when given proper attention. He entrusts this valuable commodity with the Hibaras, citing that there is no one around him who understands the value of the kesaran-pasaran.
Ever the curious one, Mizuki takes a peek at the white fluff; her grandfather decides to place it under her care. Mizuki’s grandmother also helps with taking care of the delicate creature – she instructs Mizuki that it should be fed white powder (those that are pure and do not have color or perfume added to it). It does indeed “eat” the powder, although Mizuki still has her doubts to its ability as a good luck charm.
Mizuki’s good luck piles up very quickly after acquiring the kesaran-pasaran. Chitose, the sisters’ mother, announces to come to the countryside for the weekend. In school, Mizuki successfully evades being tardy, and wins a game of rock-paper-scissors against eight other classmates to receive an extra serving of pudding. Although she isn’t allowed to reveal her ownership of the kesaran-pasaran (doing so leaks its good fortune to other people), Mizuki talks about it anyway – she promises her two friends that she will give them one as soon as hers multiplies. Good luck still continues to flow, and the girls receive a bushel of ripe chestnuts from their neighbor, Keiko.
The weekend arrives, and the parents of the girls make their first appearance. Chitose, their mother, hands them a comb for a present, and proceeds to make steamed chestnut rice. The three-generation family has an enjoyable dinner, until Mizuki mentions kesaran-pasaran. An awkward silence follows, and we learn here that the girls’ mother is a no-nonsense person who has little tolerance for fantasy and spirits (their father doesn’t seem to mind).
Mizuki and Shizuru have a small chat about their mother’s unwillingness to understand about youkai and proceed to sleep. Mizuki has a long dream upstairs, while their grandfather tries to bring some understanding to Chitose. He brings out a different blob of fur (this one was named tensara-basara) and talks about its previous owners – a mother who fed it during war and was rewarded with luck and survival. A heated conversation between Chitose and her father takes place, and it takes some time before she finally calms down.
By the time Mizuki wakes up the next day, their parents have already left. Still feeling guilty about her slip of the tongue which resulted in the argument between grandpa and her mother, Mizuki asks if she can return the kesaran-pasaran. Grandfather thinks there is a better idea, and brings her to the top of a hill in the countryside – here, she releases the kesaran-pasaran from its box as it drifts into the sky. When Mizuki returns home, Shizuru tells Mizuki that their mother can return for the weekend again, hopefully for a better experience this time around.
That was a pleasing, pleasant episode. Chitose, Shizuru and Mizuki’s mother, seemed almost paranoid about things concerned with the supernatural – it really isn’t surprising then that she places her daughters under the care of their grandparents. Apart from that, the entire concept of the kesaran-pasaran was refreshing and even informative, since it does exist (though obviously not living) and frequently mentioned in Japanese folklore. Mokke can be a warm, welcoming series to watch if you resist the urge to compare it to series with a similar atmosphere; once that takes place, it does become enjoyable (at least in my opinion).
Next time: Mizuki continues to catch the staff’s attention over her older sister. This time, she lures a transparent spirit that seems to enjoy wrapping itself around her, which can be potentially dangerous.