There’s a Lot We Don’t Know About Mogwai, and That’s a Problem

When people think of mogwai, visions of mysterious Chinese shops come to mind: walls stacked with curiosities from the Orient, delicate serpentine tendrils of opium smoke dancing on the still air, rich with the scent of thousands of years of culture and mystery on display. An Eastern melody breaks the tranquility, but the tune itself is of a relaxed and soothing nature.

Yup, it’s a mogwai hiding beneath that sheet. The sheet over its cage performs two functions: first, it keeps the potentially unsavory customer from spying the ancient and noble creature, but it also keeps the bright light from harming it. Under the warm flicker of candlelight, the ancient shopkeeper, whose clothing hearkens back to literally another era, affords a peek at the adorable and mysterious creature inside to the pure of heart. Underneath that square of muslin?

Gizmo.

Furry, hands naked, with impossibly big ears, Gizmo is perhaps the mogwai. As kind as he is mysterious, Gizmo is the embodiment of what Western society believes mogwai should be.

And that’s the problem.

Gizmo, for all his cuteness, for his furry, cuddly, and resourceful self, is the only instance of good the mogwai world has ever produced. While all other mogwai share Gizmo’s cute features, they lack any of Gizmo’s innate goodness.

Stripe was not a good mogwai.

It’s safe to say, mogwai are inherently bad creatures.

Remember, when Gizmo gets wet, and the tiny fur balls sprout from his back and bounce around the room before coming to a rest, those little Koosh balls are hell-bent on mischief. Where Gizmo wants to dance, the other mogwai want to caper and get up to no good.

And this is before they even eat after midnight.

The bigger question, then, is “is Gizmo in fact dangerous?” Sure, he can shoot a tiny bow and arrow fashioned from a paperclip and rubber band to help save the day, but all it takes is one drop of water to create another evil mogwai.

We all know Gremlins are bad. They kill indiscriminately. They revel in it. Mischief is how Gremlins get their kicks. Mischievous is how they feel. But if you’re blaming they’re mischiefism on the fact they ate after midnight, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Once they hatch from the mucous-lined confines of their Gremlin cocoons, the mogwai have changed only in physical appearance and prowess. Their penchant for mischief was there long before they metamorphosed. It was there from the minute they burst from the furry back of a visibly distraught Gizmo.

It all comes back to Gizmo.

It’s safe to assume were Gizmo to eat after midnight, he would become a grotesque Gremlin, with slimy green skin and sharp teeth and claws. But his good-nature would remain with him.

Because turning into a Gremlin is NOT what makes a mogwai bad!

Gizmo is an anomaly. Mogwai are bad from birth. And yet, we still think of them as great Christmas presents. Imagine if the Nintendo Switch could spawn evil versions of itself simply by having water sprinkled on it? It wouldn’t matter how much fun the newest games from Japan are, what would matter is the evil it’s capable of unleashing.

I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the mogwai belong where they are right now: as curiosities NOT for sale.

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