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Mononoke Episode 1 — Zashiki-warashi 1

Published December 27, 2013
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While spending the night in a traditional inn, the Medicine Seller stumbles upon a strange phenomenon. A pregnant woman named Shine who is desperately seeking shelter at the inn is led to the last room. The room, though, is haunted by a group of Zashiki Warashi. When the Zashiki Warashi kill an assassin aiming for Shino's life, protecting Shino and her unborn child, the Medicine Seller inquires into the origin of the Mononoke. The innkeeper reveals that the inn used to be a brothel, which she owned and ran. The innkeeper forced her prostitutes to abort their children so that they could continue to working; eventually, she reserved Shino's room as an offering to the unborn children. The Medicine Seller realizes that the mononoke are attracted to Shino because of their strong desire to be born. The Zashiki Warashi want Shino to give birth to them, and she agrees, much to the Medicine Seller's dismay. She pulls the talisman warding off the mononoke off her stomach. However, the Zashiki Warashi, seeing the love that Shino has for her child, accept that Shino is physically able to only give birth to her own child, and vanish. At the end of the episode, the Medicine Seller seems to have saved both Shino and her child since she is seen with a big belly, knocked out on the floor. However, some speculate that the final scene after the ending credits implies that the child she is about to give birth to is in fact the Mononoke, having taken the place of her own miscarried child.