Mokke – 07
The weather is getting chilly, which makes Mizuki wish she had brought along a scarf to wear. Her friend, Isako, happens to be wearing a scarf but this particular scarf is missing the next day she sees Mizuki.
Although she is clearly bothered by something, Isako claims to be fine. Mizuki also notices this, but she stops walking for a moment – she just saw a spirit of a dog. Mizuki ditches her friends and walk to school in a different direction as a result, as she wanted to avoid looking at its corpse (which she presumed was why she was able to see its spirit). This alternative route doesn’t turn out to be any better, however, as Mizuki senses something wrapping around her neck.
Life goes on, and Mizuki takes part in a dodgeball match between different homeroom classes. Her teammates are quickly annihilated thanks to a particularly athletic boy, Enomoto. He throws the ball to Mizuki, who manages to catch it, and throws it right back at him. (note: apparently the kids are playing a version of dodgeball where catching a live ball won’t result in a player getting eliminated…)
Mizuki and her friends decide to do homework over at Isako’s house. With the power of teamwork (copying?) they quickly finish their assignments and move on to playing, er, the original Playstation. Isako leaves Mizuki to playing videogames while she leaves her room temporarily to see Enomoto who is at the door. She returns teary-eyed, while Mizuki feels another tug around her neck and tells Isako that she’ll be leaving.
Bruises have begun to form around Mizuki, and she goes to Shizuru for advice. It doesn’t look particularly serious – Mizuki isn’t in actual pain – but Shizuru can make out a blurry scarflike form around Mizuki’s neck. The word “scarf” lights up a bulb inside Mizuki’s head and she talks to Enomoto the next day. Isako’s recent despair is because she has lost the scarf (which Enomoto gave to Isako on her birthday two years ago, no less).
Isako continues to be sullen, so Mizuki tries to comfort her by offering to look for the lost scarf. This act of kindness backfires, as Isako tells Mizuki to back off and runs away from her. Kids these days…
The bruises on her neck are not getting better, so Mizuki tries to have Shizuru help her; her older sister is in the library doing homework, however. Having no other choice, she brings Enomoto along to look for the scarf. Mizuki brings him to a side street lined with bamboo – the place where she first felt the tug of the phantom scarf around her neck – and they enter. Cautious and positive that the something that is the cause of the bruises is some manifestation of Isako’s negative emotions, Mizuki suddenly feels being pulled in.
She finds herself being twisted and constricted by a giant white snake. Mizuki is too scared to move at first, but she musters up all the courage she has to force herself free and run headfirst into the creature. The snake vanishes, and Mizuki finds her way into a neighborhood lot. Enomoto catches up, and together they find Isako’s scarf. They save the scarf from being incinerated, and bring it back to Isako who starts crying out of gratitude.
With things settled nicely, Mizuki returns home. Her bruises are gone, although Mizuki is perturbed that the scarf and the snake she encountered were the results of both Isako’s jealousy and Mizuki’s eagerness to help her. Shizuru uses this opportunity to talk about the legend of ジャタイ (jatai) – kids in a village have killed a snake, and pierced it with several skewers. The head of the village, terrified to see this, reprimanded the abusive children. In the end, fascinatingly, it was the head of the village, not the children, that was cursed. In some respects the head was maybe too concerned with the state of the snake that it caught the attention of its spirit. Mizuki acknowledges her sister’s story, although she admits that she just can’t bring herself to ignore her ability and the world of youkai and spirits.
This ep was satisfying, instead of the many Mokke episodes which are not bad but seemed to lack an important element. Whatever this element may be, it was a good change to see something threatening that is not a youkai, but rather a representation of someone’s emotions – in this case Isako’s jealousy. This malevolent manifestation of envy was also not lethal, but more of a hindrance – a nice touch, since it is coming out of a young girl instead of a psychotic murderer. Of course, Mizuki would probably have been in more danger if the scarf was completely left behind and did end up being incinerated.
Next Time: School trip! We are treated to a bath scene (shudder), pillow fights, and one eerie hag. Somewhere in the anime world, Shizuru is starting to lose her cool as she finds out that this will be the third episode in a row where the center of attention is Mizuki. You can almost hear her demanding, “When am I getting featured again?”