Shiki 19 – Amulet Nosferatu
The shit really hits the fan in this episode, with the humans and their crazy, mask-wearing mobs of doom scoring some major victories, but that frankly just makes me all the more wary that the Risen are going to sneak in one last massive attack soon. We all know people love to break things all the live long day, and even though Ozaki is a cold-blooded, calculating leader, will he be able to control everyone when they shift completely into Blind Angry Mob Rage mode (they’re practically there already)? If there is anything Shiki has taught us, it’s that humans are dumb even when they are smart. After watching these people bumble around two-thirds of the time, I wouldn’t trust them to decorate a Christmas tree, much less execute a coordinated strike against a horde of vampires.
This fight during the daytime is the best chance they have got. Once night arrives, the vampires will be better prepared, better organized and they will have a pissed off Tatsumi leading them. The guy dresses himself like an ex-boy band star fading into the twilight (he probably has a cordless microphone stashed away somewhere), but I sure as hell would not want to meet him in a fight. They’ve also got Seishirou camping out in the wilderness, ready to snipe any human who falls into his crosshairs. Not gonna lie: He’s kind of awesome. If only all snipers were that fabulous.
Seriously, why does Tatsumi need such ornate nipple crests, what the fuck . . .
Shiki has such a wide, varied cast that it’s nearly impossible to get time for everyone unless it’s in tiny vignettes (like we see with Ritsuko and Tohru, Kaori and her father, etc.), but it does make me wonder what people are doing when they’re not onscreen. Conspicuous in his absence this week is Yuuki; I doubt he is just dicking around right now when Ozaki is leading a charge against the Risen, and the vampires are scurrying away and fortifying themselves for a grand attack later. If he is really serious about an attack, then he has to have something up his sleeve to use later.
Speaking of vignettes, there are a ton of effective short scenes in this episode. There’s the opening with Chizuru, of course, showing a tender moment between herself and her former husband before she ultimately bites it (sorry). Then there’s the scene with Ritsuko and Tohru, where Ritsuko struggles to keep in her hunger while Tohru pleads with her to kill Lingerie Nurse. Ritsuko would have held on, anyway, but clearly having a colleague be the one she is meant to kill adds just a bit more incentive for her to deny the hunger. Lingerie Nurse is pretty damn lucky.
And then there is what I think is the creepiest scene in this episode: Kaori attacking her father. Shiki does not allow anyone to have it good or easy. Kaori finally decides to take a stand instead of giving in to self-destructive impulses, and of course the first vampire who comes knocking at her door is dear old dad, who hates being one of the Risen and only gave in because the hunger was too damn strong to hold in. Poor guy. That result is depressing enough, but because I knew whoever was at the door would be someone close to Kaori, I was hoping beyond hope that it would not be a freshly-Risen Akira. Dear lord would that have been depressing. I’m assuming enough time for Akira to have come back to life (if he was left in a state to come back to life, anyway . . . if he is even dead) has not passed yet; I’m not sure, because I am shit at remembering dates in this series.
(By the way, either Kaori becomes a steely Ozaki type to the extreme after killing her father, or she is completely done after that traumatic experience. Don’t think there will be anything in between.)
Is it just me, or is this shot creepy as fuck? Not just because of the great lighting, but of the ambiguity behind how they’re interacting with Kanami — the tone of their voices as they tell her about what is going on, and how it sounds partly like information and partly like a grave warning if she’s harboring vampires. Look at those suspicious eyes!