There is a break in the story of both the manga and the anime that fans will be familiar with: chapter 15 ("The Fish Gaze") in the manga and episode 12 ("One eyed fish") in the anime. In it, the "youth" of Ginko is shown, and the origin of his missing eye and white hair is explained.

One thing which has bugged me a bit is the ominous prophecy attached to it. Nui, Ginko's de facto mentor/rescuer tells him that the fish in a local pond (and she herself) only have one eye since they got exposed too much to the silver light created by a very powerful mushi, which she calls Ginko (a huge, silver fish). Nui notes that those who lose both eyes to it get turned into a mushi themselves, called Tokoyami. Nui also mentions that she performed experiments on fish that had already lost an eye, which showed that once they had lost an eye, they would invariably lose the other and turn into Tokoyami, even if they were never exposed to the silver light again.

Later in the story, Ginko (the main character, not the Mushi) loses an eye as well. Does this mean that Ginko's death is certain and unavoidable?

  • This outcome would be very much along the lines of the story. Life cycle and such. But as there is no concrete evidence to that, we can only guess while waiting for the release of continuation.
    – Hakase
    Apr 23, 2014 at 20:24
  • Youre probably right.. but I think Ginko would be wise enough to avoid it. Maybe in the future he may die due to uncertain causes, and then later on his body will become the mushi.
    – user43371
    Nov 11, 2018 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


Given the variety of events that happened in first season, it is safer to conclude that a Great Mushi-Master can live as long as he want. Though I agree with your view that as per Nui, anyone who lost one of its eyes to Tokoyami is bound to become Tokoyami sooner or later.

As far as I understand from the death of Nui in episode 12, Tokoyami is more like a mushi that colonizes the host from inside, seeing as it came out from Nui's second eye to devour her from outside, and the same happened to the one-eyed fish which Yoki saw in the pond during daybreak.

However, there are cases where people were able to avoid death.

In episode 20, Ginko went to meet Tanyuu Karibusa, who happened to have a Mushi inside her, but she was able to slowly "get rid of it" by writing the stories of Mushi's being killed. The ink used was the caged Mushi, which thereby got sealed into the writings.

In episode 9, Ginko met a head priest of a village who happened to use a seed having Kouki (the life pulse of all the Mushis) inside of it. The head priest was dead by the end, but Ginko revived him by injecting the same seed into priest's mouth, and then, he became immortal. Though such is a forbidden practice, it is always possible.

Based on these three episodes, I'm completely certain that he can live as long as he want. He is no ordinary man who can be engulfed by Tokoyami easily. I'm certain that Ginko, being a Mushi-Master, can find a way to cure himself.

  • 3
    Thanks for your answer. The second season, the special OVA (eclipse), and the manga gave further hints. Ginko himself is rather clearly shown not to know how he became as he is, and also not to know fully what the Tokoyami is. In the last episode in the Manga he almost sacrifices himself because he figures he doesn't have long anyway, and there are continuous references throughout the series. An example: Ginko tells Tanyuu that he isn't sure he can keep his promise, since he "might be eaten by a Mushi tomorrow". Mar 9, 2015 at 19:48

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