Archive for the Shiki Category

Shiki 20.5 — I Watched This Whole Episode with a Grimace on My Face

Posted in Shiki with tags on 06/16/2011 by Shinmaru

The first of two bonus Shiki episodes is out, and if you want to be reminded just how grisly and gruesome Shiki can get, well, this is the episode for you. Shiki isn’t really more violent than many pieces of horror, but it feels that way because of how well it builds its scenario and characters. It’s a horrible, tragic situation, and plenty of good people get caught up in it. This episode partly centers on Nao, who got hit hard pretty bad — she’s one of the first victims, and then goes after her family, none of whom rise like she did. Nao’s not really shown to be a bad or evil person; she’s perhaps insensitive (but not to a greater extent than many people), and she definitely makes a selfish choice by going after her family, but it’s not selfish in a way that is meant with malice. She just wants her family around to lessen the pain of being a monster.

It’s not really “right” — especially considering how everything ultimately turns out; she essentially murders her family — and brings Nao a massive helping of guilt, but more than anything, it shows why I never really found myself with the “ALL SHIKI MUST DIE BECAUSE THEY ARE EEEEEEEEEVIL” crowd (though I definitely believe the humans should have protected themselves). Strict human morality wasn’t really built for a situation like this: Something undeniably unfair happens to a person, and then tragedy follows. Nao is shown to be like most people — not an angel, but decent. But suddenly she becomes evil because of something inflicted upon her entirely out of her control? I can’t buy that.

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Shiki 22 – Burnin’ Away (END)

Posted in Shiki with tags on 12/31/2010 by Shinmaru

I know this was a serious scene, but I could not help but burst out laughing at this. Oh, Ozaki . . .

It’s very strange to know that Shiki is finished; yeah, there are the two extra episodes that will come out when Shiki is released on DVD in Japan, but for all intents and purposes, the show is over. It’s pretty sad, but at the same time satisfying because it has been the best show I’ve followed weekly for a good while now, and while the final episode is not perfect, it’s about as good as it could have been given the course of the story. A solid ending for a damn good series, possibly my favorite of the year.

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Shiki 21 – Expressway to the Most Depressing Ending Possible

Posted in Shiki with tags on 12/26/2010 by Shinmaru

Digiboy pretty much hits the nail on the head when he writes that there is basically no way the vampires had a shot once the humans got going. This episode makes that quite clear. Whatever advantages the vampires have are negated by severe weaknesses. And you can’t discount the anger of a bloodthirsty animal backed into a corner, and who will do anything to survive.

Every close relationship is basically destroyed. Masao’s sister presumably kills him when he goes into his former home (either that or she is about to give him the most painful okaeri ever). Tohru’s father has to see his son’s corpse dragged out unceremoniously with a stake driven through his heart (and as a lovely bonus, his beard is there too!). The vampire’s powers are turned against them when it is heavily implied that Yuuki bites Seishirou and orders him to kill a werewolf. Muroi’s father is killed after turning his back on his religion. And on and on and on.

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Shiki 20 – Raising the Stakes

Posted in Shiki with tags on 12/18/2010 by Shinmaru

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.”

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Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 11 – True Horror

Posted in 12 Moments, Shiki with tags on 12/15/2010 by Shinmaru

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?

Shiki 19 – Amulet Nosferatu

Posted in Shiki with tags on 12/11/2010 by Shinmaru

I wish I could take credit for that fantastic title, but it’s all the work of kadian1364, who ran with my Megumi = Amu Hinamori comparison. Excellent work, good sir. Full marks!

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.

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Shiki 18 – Taking a Bite Out of Crime

Posted in Shiki with tags on 12/05/2010 by Shinmaru

If only this moment had come about eight episodes earlier . . .

Still, it’s a pretty great moment. I assume that this plot was discussed during one of Ozaki and Yuuki’s meet-ups, and that it was Yuuki who bit Ozaki and got dibs on him. (By the way, if that’s the case, then props to Shiki for not pushing it in the collective faces of the viewers and assuming the audience is intelligent enough to deduce it on their own.) A good number of the villagers will be on Ozaki’s side now (though I suppose Yuuki will have to work in the shadows, depending on how many people knew he kicked the bucket; can’t imagine they’d be too happy to be teaming with one of “them”), but the element of surprise is gone. Then again, this plan works best on someone more gullible/arrogant/flighty like Chizuru, so the options were probably limited. Gotta give something to get something.

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Shiki 17 – Doom and Gloom and Doom and Gloom and …

Posted in Shiki with tags on 11/28/2010 by Shinmaru

Is it at all ironic that someone who doesn’t wear pants wears the pants in the Kirishiki relationship?

So, um, WE ARE ALL FUCKED. Muroi is . . . surrendering himself to Sunako, or something; Ozaki has become Mrs. Kirishiki’s vampire sex slave (with the snipetastic blessing of Mr. Kirishiki, as if he really has a choice); Tatsumi and Yuuki are on their way to do battle soon; and the precious few villagers remaining are still croaking left and right. Good times! Good, bleak times where every human is dumb and buries their heads in the sand. (Which I would probably be doing, too, considering that, um, I don’t believe in any of this stuff. But I probably wouldn’t bury my head in the sand for very long, because I would totally be among the first dumbasses to die.)

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Shiki 16 – Tatsumi Is a Douche

Posted in Shiki with tags on 11/21/2010 by Shinmaru

It’s been simultaneously wonderful and horrible to watch Shiki recently: Wonderful because the show has so many well done scenes of legitimate horror, and horrible because it’s so damn good at twisting the knife that it’s uncomfortable. That scene at the end with poor Akira? I was squirming, and I’m no horror newbie. I’m hoping beyond hope that Akira somehow gets through it, but given how the series has progressed so far, the chance of that is roughly o.0000000001 percent.

And that Tatsumi. What a dastardly way to kill someone — I can’t help but think that Tatsumi is killing two birds with one stone here (so to speak). Not only is he offing someone who is a threat to the vampires (even if only a small threat), but he is also teaching Akira a lesson should he rise. If you screw with Tatsumi, then you’re going to pay. Even a hot-blooded little kid like Akira would probably cower before a bully like Tatsumi.

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Shiki 15 – Vampire Cougar

Posted in Shiki with tags on 11/15/2010 by Shinmaru

It was only a matter of time before a vampire cougar showed up to run amok in a horror story, but I’m shocked Japan got to it before America. Isn’t that the perfect set-up to a trashy horror flick? Like people wouldn’t watch it, even if only out of morbid curiosity.

(That said, it probably has been done — given how sexual many vampire stories are, I can’t imagine that someone didn’t think of this idea at some time. It’s an impossibility, I say!)

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