If been re-watching some Gintama episodes and noticed the parasitic mushrooms in some episode. Which started to grow on their head and slowly take them over.

I also came across the pokemon Paras to which something pretty similar happens:

While Paras' symbiotic relationship with the mushrooms on its back isn't exactly normal, it is beneficial for both; Paras feeds the mushrooms with its body, and the fungus provides additional means of defense. Exactly how much control the mushrooms can exert over the Pokemon isn't clear, but odd goes to disturbing when Paras evolves into Parasect.

It's hard to say exactly what change takes place at Level 24, but for some reason, the mushrooms take their chance and merge into a single organism, taking over the Paras in the process. With heightened aggression and a pair of zombified milky eyes, anything cute or endearing about Paras is replaced by a demonic drone known as Parasect.

So now my question: where does the parasitic mushroom come from? Is this made up in anime, or like allot of other anime components based on some kind of folk lore?

  • 2
    Related? anime.stackexchange.com/questions/7530/…
    – Memor-X
    Apr 16, 2014 at 1:45
  • @Memor-X Don't think so, but wont know unless somebody answers ;P
    – Dimitri mx
    Apr 16, 2014 at 1:53
  • 1
    if your question is about parasitic fungus then this might be of help just from reading about Parasect, particular how Cordyceps is used in The Last of Us, i haven't seen Gintama so i can't tell if the mushroom thing is a gag or not
    – Memor-X
    Apr 16, 2014 at 2:05
  • It is also in Fairy Tail i dont have anything left to say!
    – Anonymous
    Mar 4, 2017 at 0:18

2 Answers 2


I don't think that Gintama, Pokemon and trope head mushrooms are related.

The reasons for each seem to be entirely different. Parasitic mushrooms exist in real world and that's where most of Pokemon character design inspiration comes from. Gintama is an adventure where a "parasite infection" would be a nice plot point for a story to evolve around, and the "sad mushroom" trope doesn't seem to be involved in either.


The parasitic mushroom comes from real life. Cordyceps

From http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/5/3/1336047375506/Zombie-ant-infected-with--001.jpg

This fungus infects insect and uses them to breed. This is where Game Freak got its inspiration for Parasect.

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