Shiki 20 – Raising the Stakes

Jesus fucking Christ, Shiki is basically assaulting viewers with insane levels of tension. Everything is going completely to hell, and we’re moving steadily toward . . . whatever will happen in the end. Surely it will not be good because both sides are getting increasingly desperate. Everyone wants to live; nobody wants to die. By killing Ozaki’s mother (and later with Seishirou sniping Tamo), I think the Risen prove that they are likewise willing to do whatever it takes to survive.

But as everyone spirals further into “survive at all costs” mode, it becomes that much more difficult to keep in control of one’s emotions, which is why I agree with the consensus that Ozaki is clearly losing control of the group (really, you could see signs of him losing control in the previous episode). There is probably nobody else in the village like Ozaki; they cannot separate themselves from the situation in such a clinical manner. Look at his reaction to his mother’s murder: Sure, she was a fairly horrible person, but he has next to no reaction at all; really, he accepts it as an inevitability.”I killed Chizuru, so they struck back against me to try and scare me off. Fine.”

It’s just so much easier for everyone to fall behind a dominating, emotional leader like Tomio. He doesn’t do anything that much different from Ozaki, in practice — he kills his son just like Ozaki kills his wife — but he speaks directly to what everyone is feeling and throws barrels of fuel into the fire. Nobody wants to separate human from shiki if there’s even a hint of collaboration; if someone is being controlled by the Risen, then he or she is a lost cause and must be killed. (Again, probably why Yuuki has mostly been working from the shadows. Nobody in the group would be willing to work with him.) There are more than a few echoes of when we persecute people during wartime — the Japanese internment camps in World War II, the “MUSLIMS ARE EVIL DERP DERP” sentiment spreading aroud now, etc.

Don’t know if I am the only one, but I could not help but think of The Manchurian Candidate (the original, not the remake, which I haven’t seen) during this scene. Sleeper agents who are made up to be completely normal members of society, and then all of a sudden . . . (except with less incest)

Anyway, going back to Yuuki, it’s maddening that Shiki shows so little of the guy these days. Now that he’s a more active character, he of course only shows up for bits at a time, and even with a mini-cliffhanger here. I doubt Seishirou killed Yuuki, because that would be an unbelievably lame, anti-climactic way to go out. Not totally sure about Seishirou. Tatsumi says Seishirou is fine, but he could be saying that to make Sunako feel better. Doesn’t mean that Seishirou is dead, of course; it could just mean that Tatsumi doesn’t know what is going on with Seishirou at the moment.

I do wonder what he is ultimately trying to accomplish, however. Yuuki is sneaking around and stirring things up, but he hasn’t really done anything of note yet except, I guess, stop Seishirou from shooting more people. You think he would have coordinated a bit more with Ozaki beforehand . . . and, who knows, maybe he did? Yuuki only has two episodes left to get some shit done, though. I think it’s only a matter of time before one of the villagers notices him and the shit really starts to hit the fan.

And of course it would be a crime to go through this post without mentioning this scene. I mean, fuck. Shit. God damn. I can’t even write about this without swearing in admiration. Even if you side with the humans, I don’t know how you could not be at least a bit sympathetic toward Sunako at this point. Such tragedy~

This is going to be such a depressing ending, both for what will happen and the very fact that Shiki will be over. ;-;

16 Responses to “Shiki 20 – Raising the Stakes”

  1. I for one and looking forward to Sunako’s demise. I don’t care if she’s a killer by nature. Just as how she and her brethren killed humans with no remorse, I’m fine with the humans striking back and killing her with no remorse (and actually, I probably side with the humans largely because the beginning of the show established the shiki as the hunters).

    But I have this sneaking feeling that both she, Tatsumo and maybe Seishirou will escape. I don’t think we’re going to get a complete ending.

  2. I mostly feel bad for Sunako because she’s unable to arrange a deal that would get her access to… oh, I dunno, a bloodbank under the pretense that she has some medical condition that forces her to ingest on human blood and avoid sunlight. Then again, if she was smart enough to do that, there wouldn’t be this story :p

    Her mistakes are in looking at humans as Varelse rather than Ramen (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve read Ender’s Game + Speaker for the Dead). For that, her destruction is completely warranted.

    Also, I’m taking Ozaki’s view on things. He’s been the character that I’ve been able to relate the most to in 2010.

    • I have not read Ender’s Game, so that reference goes right over my head!

    • >>He’s been the character that I’ve been able to relate the most to in 2010.

      Would you perhaps like to qualify that statement a few more times? lol

    • Well remember what changed the buggers from being classified as varelse to being classified as Ramen was a change not within the buggers but within the humans. The shiki could have found a more diplomatic means of going about things but I imagine they have a long history of being classified as varelse by humans.

      Plus Ozaki is no Ender.

  3. >>I mean, fuck. Shit. God damn.

    My thoughts exactly.

  4. adaywithoutme Says:

    Well, I think we don’t see so much of Natsuno since in the novel’s canon he actually dies-dies and Ozaki is the true lead. So I think both the manga was having some difficulty with truly integrating him in after he rises up, and so the anime in turn is also struggling a bit with it.

    Anyway… TEAM SHIKI.

  5. Aoi yuuki deserves big fat awards for that final monologue.

  6. I actually think that falling in line with Tomio is the most logical thing to do in this situation. I mean it’s nice to try to save every human, but when they’re getting guns and shooting at you… I mean any sane person would have a rather adverse reaction to that.

    For that matter, how in the world did they notice that some people were breathing and had pulses if they instantly smash wooden stakes into their hearts? Ah well whatever.

    • Yeah, in that specific situation, I don’t think they were necessarily wrong to protect themselves after being shot at. Nor would they really be wrong to protect themselves in the future and be on guard against people who might be controlled by the Risen and whatnot. But this will leap to wholesale slaughter pretty quickly, regardless of whether people are a threat or even controlled.

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