31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!
DAY FIFTEEN: CENTIMOUTH
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SEASON 02.5, EPISODE 04: rumors spread around at the kids' school that Gae-un (the goth girl, with the Beelzebub'd family) and Kang-lim (the sword boy) are secretly dating, just because Kang-lim helps Gae-un down the stairs when she's hurt. It seems like a minor mistake, but Gae-un is already rumored to have an entirely different boyfriend (he's a vampire by the way) and is now accused of having several, which evolves into petty gossip and mockery until she's afraid to even leave her home.
The boy who started the whole thing certainly didn't think it would get so bad, but soon he's haunted by moving shapes in the dark and a curious babbling sound through his phone, while a strange and vengeful force seems to possess Gae-un herself.
The entity responsible is known as simply "biter" in the original Korean, but her official English name is Centimouth. She manifests as a seemingly limitless number of fang-lined mouths in amorphous, black flesh, and can collect herself into a disturbingly veiny, egg-shaped glob with jaw-tipped tentacles and a pair of huge, tripartate mouths for legs! She constantly rants about her hatred for liars, and ss you saw if you were able to watch the clip, she can also fuse people's mouths shut as punishment.
She can also flare her entire mass open into one single giant mouth that kind of evokes a venus fly trap, but anatomically resembles a rib cage bursting open! Nice! It's a lot like how horror fans imagine "shoggoths" and other Mythos whosits, but this strange thing is in fact another human ghost!
Centimouth was originally a young noblewoman, Yeon-ji, who lived during the Joseon Dynasty several hundred years in the past. One day she nearly tripped over a stone, but a nobleman grabbed her hand, and the two immediately fell in love. This was not a socially appropriate romance, but they would leave notes for one another in secret, unaware that another jealous woman had already been spying on them, and relished the opportunity to stain Yeon-ji's reputation.
The scandal humiliated her family, and she was subsequently disowned. Thinking she could surely turn to the man that supposedly loved her, he only dismissed her and shut her out, valuing his social status more than anything else. Rejected by everyone in her life and ridiculed by the public, she fled in tears to the edge of a cliff.
The scene is animated to look as though she slips and falls by pure accident, but we know why a cliff was the first place she went. Insatiable for vengeance, her soul has presumably stalked, tormented and devoured gossipers for centuries until she no longer resembled anything that had ever been a human being.
But, there's still a trace of that hurt young woman beneath the spirit's warped exterior, and Gae-un comforts the soul as a fellow victim of the same mistreatment. It's what she needed all along, and it seems like the true source of her anger wasn't even the rumors themselves: it was simply the fact that no one cared.
Our last couple of monsters didn't have that "ghost ball" moment because they simply weren't ghosts, but the Ghost Ball is right back in action for this one. Centimouth is a seldom used but reasonably powerful summon, mostly on sheer physical strength, though I'm sure you could get some use out of that mouth-sealing trick if you ever needed to.
Centimouth has a somewhat typical, but still solidly sympathetic backstory by the standards of this series, and it's the first time we've looked at a ghost that died centuries in the past. Like bloody eyes, its design consists of only one facial feature repeated on a dark, shape-changing mass, but while Bloody Eyes only solidifies into a humanoid, Centimouth's two-legged blob mode is a really unique look! The worm-like or plant-like "petaled" mouths, used as both its hands and feet, are a creative and memorable enough feature even before we see the entire monster open up like a horrifying, alien bear trap!
Centimouth even gets a more stylish and interesting "chibi" mode than usual; a green egg with red lips and an additional mouth on each of its stumpy legs. This particular chibi appears to be fairly popular, featuring in a lot of stickers, coloring books and toys that I've spotted in researching this franchise.
!!!!BONUS GHOST FUSION REVIEW #2!!!!!Two of these in a row?! Centimouth, it turns out, can be fused with Death Diva into what they call...
Divamouth still has the shape, hair and uniform of a school student, but her face now consists entirely of a more fly-trap-like vertical mouth with large, protruding teeth, and retains the screaming inner jaw of Death Diva. Her human arms are now the same sandworm-maws of Centimouth, and another set of tooth-lined "petals" form a skirt! It's a beautifully weird design, entertainingly crammed into a human shape that combines the best aspects of both ghosts.
Together, Death Diva, Centimouth and Divamouth seem to be among the most popular ghosts in the Korean fandom, and their chibi forms among the most heavily marketed. They're even the figures included with this talking Ghost Ball playset!
Like Beelzenurse, I have to give Divamouth a perfect score.