Obviously, writing about an anime episode is not my usual way of doing things but I like to try and prove Totali wrong about the whole “Twitter killed Anime Blogging” thing. Because I agree, in a way it has. I just tweeted my shock and surprise throughout the whole time I was watching Shiki episode 17 when I could have been putting that toward a post. Although, it was mostly just caps and swearing and so I’ll clean up my impressions here.
Firstly, there was no Megumi. Bummer. In the past I mostly just watched for her. However, with an episode like this I can overlook that. This is because, before, there wasn’t so much to Shiki. My attachment and willingness to watch the show came from watching what antics my favourite shiki would get into. Since the three week break though, the show has been top-notch. Every memorable and great episode has been from after the break. So, I won’t count the lack of Megumi as a flaw. That’s only my personal preference, still.
I saw that having such a vast majority of characters came in as a benefit this episode. The scene that switched between Ritsuko trying to save Koyomi and then to Masaharu being chased by another pair of shiki was great. It went from one height of despair – a classic horror element of realizing there is nobody who can save you, that everyone around you is the enemy/monster and you will undoubtedly die as a result – to another as Ritsuko sees Koyomi being taken away, becoming shocked and then bitten by a shiki. At this time, the switch between characters was greatly done. I was on the edge of my seat, gasping and in total shock at the turn of events. I mean, I at least thought Natsuno was going to do something for Masaharu. But what did Natsuno do? He ran. Throughout the whole episode all he did was run. Now, I’m no Natsuno fan but this is still pretty damned annoying.
Shiki plays with it’s drama well when it wants to. In the dissection episode, it was done well. Here, it was also done well. There were a ton of episodes where nothing happened and we are now being made up to it as the ball gets rolling. My only complaint is, that from the beginning that early fear I mentioned has been so prominent. More and more humans died, more and more Shiki appeared. I had assumed, early on, that the show would focus on the despair of the people who were left as the village slowly dwindled away. I know after a couple spoilers this is not the case and that ruins all the potential I saw for the ending of this series. The manga is still ongoing, right? So we might not get a definitive ending anyways. The point is, I wanted the Shiki to win. I wanted to watch as each character fought and lost and eventually died. I don’t want to see Natsuno and Toshio fight and win because what would be the point? So many people are dead, would anybody really be happy with the shiki gone? At least with the Shiki, and this is a very blind point to make, I realize, you could have the chance of rising and being with your family again. The husband and wife shiki that appeared in this episode were a good example.
Now, let’s talk about something else that really stood out in this episode. Kaori’s scene. Oh. My. God. I almost wanted to cry for her. I had hoped Akira would die and while that hasn’t been stated directly (I sort of believe Natsuno helped him somehow or w/e), Kaori certainly believes he is. The girl is completely broken. Her brother is gone, her dad is dead, her mom is dead. In this episode, she digs herself a grave and goes to Seishin to help with her gravemarker. Now, maybe I’m just unusually sensitive. But the image of an innocent girl, digging her grave because her entire family is dead. I know she ends up gong ax crazy and I can’t wait. Kaori has grown to be one of my favourite characters. My fangirl-ism wants to even ship Megumi x Kaori despite the fact that there is a mutual hate there probably. I’m a little disappointed they didn’t follow up with Kaori but it gave way to Seishin’s part of the episode.
I know he will be bitten by Sunako (otp for realz) but I can’t really imagine what other part he plays until then. Certainly, he is one of the only villagers with reason. The shiki can’t help but be murderous monsters and the comparison to humans with lesser sources of food has already been made. But think of the way Toshio acted – and he’ll get worse – and compare him to the Shiki. They do what they do because they need to live, he does what he does for science (originally). Who’s way is right? It doesn’t really matter, I suppose.
My level of spoilage has been minimum (how could Natsuno stay dead for real, wouldn’t that change the whole entire story?) but I was still totally shocked when ShikiGaga bit Toshio at the end. I actually gasped out loud. Although that had actually happened a few times in the episode, so yeah. It was sort of like when Natsuno was bitten. You know it is bound to happen but they’re a main character so you don’t expect them to get bitten and (not in Toshio’s case) die This means Toshio and ShikiGaga will have their date soon and everything is going to hit the fan. I look forward to it but I also dread it.
My hope for the end is that the Shiki can move on and they aren’t totally killed off. Megumi has been painted as such a villain (okay, she is entirely but whatever) that any other series would be getting us excited for her eventual head on a pike (not me, I love her) like the show is currently doing. However, I hope the show listens to Seishin’s tales of morality and justice and crap. Bad people can still live on, and so they shall. If Sunako dies, especially after that back story, I will probably be pretty devastated. She’s not even that evil. I doubt Natsuno or Toshio will listen to that though. A resolution with both sides working it out in the end? That would be nice. That will not happen.
But you know? You know what wouldn’t surprise me? If they ended the show off with the villagers – at the festival – all realizing what shiki are. I don’t know how they could draw out so many episodes before Toshio and ShikiGaga’s date but it might happen. Although, they’ve been making episodes packed, overfilled, with substance so maybe the opposite is happening? My mistake, I thought there was 26 episodes instead of 22. I can easily see them wasting five episodes and having the sixth be the festival. Okay, maybe not.
Man, can studios please just stop making some series into shows before their source material is done?
(Shiki OST when are you coming ouuuuut~?)