Shinbi's Apartment Ghost Reviews:
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SEASON 04, EPISODE 08:
this is a dramatic episode focusing on the exorcist kid, Kang-lim, who investigates the disappearances of some hikers and encounters a spirit even he finds frightening; a powerful entity formed from the roots and branches of living trees.
is apparently the amalgamation of many spirits unfairly driven from their original homes by an order of "Dark Exorcists" centuries prior. Kang-lim's family, it would seem, are the modern descendants of the same order, and we've already seen Kang-lim himself resort to villainy for what he believed was the greater good. Having literally slept through that whole redemption arc, the spirit has created a body from the forest to exact revenge and slaughter the last survivors of its persecutors.
Able to sprout countless roots and tendrils, its initial design has a fair bit of personality; a gnarled, wooden looking humanoid with large, glowing eyes and a ragged tree-bark mouth filled with multiple green, tongue-like vines. Almost giving off mummy-like aesthetic vibes, it's a design also capable of some fairly endearing facial expressions; he just looks SO UPSET half the time!
When attacked, the spirit shifts into a sort of "battle mode," or I guess it's supposed to be his "fully grown" form, and it's not quite as interesting to me. It's a more ogre-like demonic humanoid, with bushy treetop hair and a single giant horn on its head. Still, it's cool to see a beast like this made entirely of plant life, and it demonstrates even more vegetable powers in the ensuing fight, like an ability to sprout and fire volleys of thorns. Sadly, there isn't any justice for Sarimgwi; the spirit can't be reasoned with, and gets no sympathetic flashbacks, purification or recruitment.
Tree Spirit is an alright antagonist for an action episode, but overall a bit underwhelming for this series. He never gets to do anything especially surprising or frightening, we don't get any touching glimpse into the being's past and I find his design a bit average, even moreso once he transforms.