Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 11 – True Horror

Shiki has been one of the better shows this year for many reasons, but prime among them for me is that it is the rare anime that really delves into horror to the point where it settles under your skin and festers, week after week.

And you know why? Because the audience actually, you know, gives a fuck about these characters. If there’s one thing Shiki‘s slow pace has really benefited, it’s in giving the viewer enough time to grow attached to the characters. There are two requirements for real horror, I think: Feelings of sympathy and feelings of powerlessness. Sympathy gives the viewer a reason to care; the powerlessness gives the viewer a reason to feel terror. What is scarier than having no control over a situation? Perhaps, it is what people will do to regain control . . .

That is where the fear originates in Shiki‘s most blood curdling sequence. Fans already have it burned in their minds: Ep14, Ozaki experiments at length on his wife, who has recently risen from the grave as a vampire. She is frightened, confused, in constant pain as Ozaki tinkers with all sorts of chemicals and death-dealing maneuvers to find whatever weakness the shiki possess. And all Kyouko can do is struggle as Ozaki does whatever the hell he wants. It’s undeniably ruthless and cold-blooded, especially as Ozaki records his experiments for posterity.

Is Ozaki just doing what he needs to do to survive, or has he stepped into madness?

13 Responses to “Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 11 – True Horror”

  1. I almost agree with you completely, this scene was one of the more creepier, unsettling scenes you’ll ever see, but I think it has more to do with wanting to delve into the mystery – much thanks to the very deliberate pace. in contrast, I actually care very little for the characters, except for Toshio and to a lesser degree Natsuno, Lauri and her little brother. I think part of the problem has been due to the humongous cast, there’s only been a couple people you could get attached to. but its also because a lot of these other characters are pretty unlikeable. I think the anime could’ve been at an even higher level if the characters were better and more relatable.

    • I dunno, I’m kind of surprised at how I’ve grown to like some of the characters. Like Yuuki, I thought he was a fucking douchebag at the start, but now he’s pretty cool. Ozaki (cold-blooded as he is) and Muroi are pretty sympathetic. But I think the most interesting thing Shiki has done is turn the horror onto the vampires — a lot of the most horrific things (this scene and the bits in the most recent episodes) happen to them. The show has generated a surprising amount of sympathy for the Risen (most of them, anyway), and it makes the horror that much more terrifying for me. The mystery was honestly the last thing on my mind during this scene.

      • I was just thinking “what mystery? Shiki doesn’t even have a mystery!”

      • I do like Yuuki and Toshio. Muroi can go lick the crevices from Tatsumi’s latest jumpsuit.

        I guess my issue is that I could never find any sympathy towards the Risen. They’ve too much damage for me to humanize them. If you want to argue that what’s the difference for the people? Now that they’re starting to kill the shiki in order to stay alive, which is what the shiki were doing. And I’d say, well, you’re right. But still, I see the shiki as getting what they deserve. So I enjoyed Chizuru bite the dust last week. I enjoyed Toshio carve up his wife in the name of science. And so on.

        • I can see that point of view. I’m still on the side of the humans, and were I a part of this, I would definitely be doing all I could to survive against the Risen. But seeing the former humans who have become Risen against their will, I can’t help but have some sympathy for them.

  2. adaywithoutme Says:

    I thought you weren’t gonna go with the obvious… ;)

  3. Fine, I’ll watch it. Geez.

    • Just as planned.

      It’s pretty slow in the beginning, but I assume you’ll watch it when the show’s done in a few weeks (or whenever you get around to it after that, haha), so you’ll be able to blow through the slower paced episodes pretty quickly.

  4. This moment was fucking amazing. It’s probably one of my favorite scenes in the show, though not the most memorable. You’ll see that in my moments post tomorrow, which is almost what you just said in 3x as many words XD.

  5. [...] of Chizuru, and I came to hate Ozaki for having killed her. In the comments on that post, and on Shinmaru’s twelve moments post on Shiki, I saw a lot of moral questions raised about taking sides in this conflict, and especially so in [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: