31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!
MOTHMAN RLIM SHAIKORTH??
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SEASON 01, EPISODE 22: with the town cloaked in a dense fog, strange beings begin to crawl the streets at night. A swarm of massive, multi-eyed, caterpillar-like monsters are lead by a winged, red-eyed figure that appears to target human children, wrapping them slimy cocoons in which they enter some sort of statis.
This entity looks precisely like the famous cryptid, Mothman, but in the continuity of Shinbi's Apartment, it turns out Mothman is actually the entity Rlim Shaikorth.
The original Rlim Shaikorth, the "White Worm," is an invention of Clark Ashton Smith as part of the expanded Cthulhu Mythos, and we've seen an interpretation of it once before when I reviewed the mobile game Elder Sign. The original however is also literally a giant, white worm, which also oozes a blood-like red material from its eye sockets.
For whatever reason, Shinbi's Apartment has dictated that Rlim Shaikorth is a giant moth, known as the "White-Winged Wraith," with not only Mothman's glowing red eyes but red eyespots on its wings, possibly to reference the White Worm's bleeding eyes. This is where any similarities end. The White Worm was an entity known for its freezing breath, which inhabited a roaming iceberg. The White-Winged Wraith is an insectoid demon that transforms human children into its giant larvae.
SEASON ONE SPOILER:
So I said we wouldn't get too into this storyline, but, the very presence of Shaikorth is revealed to be sort of a fakeout by the end of its episode. The demon-hunting boy, Kang-Lim, had already sealed the spirit away some time before the events of this series, and deliberately unleashed it in an effort to capture the last spirit he needed: Shinbi!
All this is actually part of the boy's effort to complete an ancient ritual he hopes will seal away a much greater threat, a being this series has named "UNDERGROUND NATION," which is awesome as a name by the way, but is actually literally just the devil. For real, this guy is just the first angel to rebel against God and fall to hell. The ghoulish heads that surround his own hilariously small anime villain head are the demons originally assigned to keep him imprisoned until he broke free and absorbed them.
But, we're not here to review Satan. Satan's been done! Even with a wacky design and kickass new name, there's nothing that new we can say about Lucifer. Today is Mothman's day! I mean, Rlim Shaikorth's day! The White Wormed Wing Wraith Worm deserved more than to just be a pawn in this unrelated crusade, and it's too bad that after this plotline wraps up, I don't think the kid ever uses Rlim for anything else, or even usually summons his captured spirits at all.
Mothman is typically considered either a cryptozoological or "alien" phenomenon, so tying it into a Mythos horror is an interesting way to include it among spirits, demons and ghosts. It's also not completely unreasonable to connect a "moth" creature with a "worm" creature, obviously. With its wormlike larvae, red eyes, red eyespots, white wings and white fog, you could almost believe that this creature inspired erroneous human legends of a bloody-eyed white worm! It's no more of a stretch than the fact that Mothman itself was almost definitely just a barn owl.
It's not an exceptionally scary monster for this series and it doesn't get a complex backstory, but that's also probably because it takes an immediate backseat to Underground Nation. You still can't go wrong with any kind of Mothman!