The Shiki Diaries [1-22]

The Shiki Diaries – 01/11/17 5:06

For the last couple of weeks in October I reviewed every episode of Shiki and detailed the experience thoroughly, so since I structured this in a diary type format I thought it’d be fun to release the entire thing in potential the longest and most thorough anime review you’ve ever seen. I’ll also be reviewing the extra episodes very soon so look forward to when that happens! This post is intended for people who want to have an easier time reading everything to do with Shiki I’ve written and I’m happy to release a full post of it. Enjoy.

 Shiki Nikki Start


First Blood – 17/10/17 7:40 PM

Before watching the episode I had a few points in my head to look out for, the first being jump scares. If there were any, and this is true for a lot of early episodes I would give up this project and change to something else, jump scares aren’t scary and they don’t make you feel scared for long periods of time, just the initial shock. I wanted psychologically scary concepts which may be what I got, can’t tell for sure. So I started with my notebook and pen in hand (because it helps to remember ideas) and a fine feeling I began to watch.

The episode starts with the conclusion of the episode telling us what will happen, you can also see the community and tell immediately that they’re in a rural village through the way the guys are searching, they’re looking for a name not some lost girl they don’t know about.

When we go back to the past the starting characters’ facial expressions seemed oddly animated as they explained everything, it wasn’t scary and the animation didn’t last that long however it was unsettling at first.

Then they brought up these things about Buddhist rocks, and I was really disappointed by the fact that they’re using these because they’re really not scary. If anything I wanted the horror to be psychologically based like perfect blue or physically scary as in a real physical person and not a supernatural being. The reason is that super natural ghosts and demons aren’t real (unless you’re religious in which case your god will protect you anyway) or at least have no effect on your life what-so-ever even if they’re there, so they’re less scary in my opinion or at least less interestingly scary.

Anyway a person dies in that huge house within the village and it’s meant to creep you out for some reason.

Theirs a new guy on the block who just moves in and the girl who dies at the end is already watching him. He doesn’t seem to notice though even though she’s in plain sight. To be honest if you saw someone stalking you I don’t think you’d want to react or show that you’ve seen them because that could only make them worse and more difficult to track and report. Maybe that’s just me though: a guy confident that he’ll never be stalked anyway.

Megumi immediately forms a romance for Yuuki the guy who moved in straight way for no real reason. Megumi wants to leave the village however she’s held back, since Yuuki’s super rich she maybe sees him as a better person for previously living in the city and falls in love with that idea.

So Yuuki has to move in but there’s a bit of a conundrum with the delivery man. He asks directions to the place he’s currently in. This made me think the village could be trapped or cursed or something like that, I don’t really think so though.

Then Megumi goes up to the house and feels like someone’s watching her. That’s not scary because it’s her feelings and probably not true since the chemical imbalances in your brain and hormones don’t suddenly change as soon as you have some eyes on you, it’s just that she was probably in a vulnerable position for people to look at her in an open place.

It’s also quite hard to tell if the house was the same place she was stalking that guy at because the two settings look completely different. Anyway at this point for no reason I can explain other than potential dread I started to feel a tense gut feeling in my stomach which only ended once they found the body. I knew something was up but I wasn’t sure what.

The fact that Megumi doesn’t show up for a while gets the whole village to look for her, she’s unconscious. They take her back and she dies after a while. The thing is that she doesn’t give any hints as to what happened and she seems a bit crazy before she dies.

A huge element of the show has got to be a mystery and it’s mostly being introduced. It seems like the show wants us to believe that Yuuki is the villain but I’m not really sure. Yuuki seems kind of empty inside by not really caring about Megumi’s death and caring more about being able to open the blinds. Whilst this makes him a suspect I’m not threatened by him because I don’t think the show would introduce the main villain in the first episode. I think he’s just an arsehole who doesn’t care because he just moved in and doesn’t care about her yet. Some people don’t have a lot of empathy and have seen a lot of deaths online, so I can see this being possible to happen.

 

Second Decay – 17/10/17 9:03 PM

Before watching I set up some guidelines I didn’t want to see in the video. I didn’t want them to pay attention to the previous death because it’s horror and we suspect that kind of thing, I also didn’t want to see a bunch of police on the scene or for the villain to be too obvious or for something stupid to happen. Thankfully none of these happened.

They do investigate the way they died at the start however it’s glossed over mostly, this way we saw the parent’s reaction to the death whilst also experiencing the mystery of it.

I forgot to mention this earlier but the OP seems really way too hype for the type of story this show is telling. Shiki feels dark and supernatural whilst the OP begins in an action packed, hype way.

There is a very annoying character whose name is not mentioned but he appears right after the OP and is seriously obnoxious because he’s constantly hinting at the supernatural, and I’d rather use actual real explanations before reaching to any huge conclusions, I discussed this in the previous part as well.

When a young nurse is walking her dog, the dog ends up licking Yuuki, obviously annoying him. If nothing happened to this nurse I was confident that she’d be fine from Yuuki since he’d probably kill her knowing the nature of horror shows. This didn’t happen but more on that later.

At the funeral of Megumi chan a lot of things happen. Her friend receives a moving post card from her which we saw sent in the previous episode. As well as that she tries to give the card to Natsuno (Yuuki) and he doesn’t accept, he hates the way the villagers act.

Then the girl buries a present with Megumi and I couldn’t help thinking that Megumi might raise back to life as a villain, it would bring relevance to the present left with her. I’ll also say now that nothing in this episode was scary, it was just build up mainly. Also none of these guys are nearly sad enough for a young girl’s funeral; it doesn’t really get any more serious than that.

Yuuki criticises village rolls and culture, he hates the way people expect things of him. He also happens to notice that people have crushes on him and that’s an interesting detail to implement in the character, and his cold attitude towards that girl is pretty sad and makes him seem twisted.

So people continue to die and the doctor declares it’s an epidemic at worst, I didn’t like this part of the episode very much but it showed the conflict that would take place in the future, and I don’t want these characters involved in it any more than they need to be. They’re very logical and take away from the mystery aspect a whole lot to the extent that it becomes less interesting.

We then see Yuuki get those eyes which make him feel like he’s being watched, and we know that he’ll either die or this is a brilliant anti red herring or just something to confuse you. I’m getting a little impatient with this mystery so I want something to change and develop further so that the show will become interesting enough for me to warrant writing this much about it. I know people don’t really like episode reviews but this is just for a week so I hope you can deal with it.

 

Third Tragedy – 8:22 AM 18/10/17

I stayed very calm and normal throughout this episode, this show seems pretty calm really with all the deaths only being seemingly natural. Before watching I wanted to see new plot points occur which shed light on the mystery, the issue was from the previous episode was that the mystery got kind of dull so I needed something to change. I also wanted threats to be established because how else is a horror film going to effectively scare you? As far as I knew it really was just some random epidemic. I also wanted a huge hook to pull me over into watching the fourth episode. Some of these things happened.

Super natural guy is back and I still hate him, this time he’s mumbling about some promised one clichéd garbage which could only come from a guy who thinks he’s dabbling in the occult, I can’t take this guy seriously because he comes across as really dumb and any scene with him is infuriating. I also found out that the guy was called Seishin so I now have a name to direct my rage at.

I forgot about the hook from the previous episode, the hook that Natsuno could have been about to die. This didn’t happen and was just being watched but I’ll bring up his character design to say why it works so well. Yuuki doesn’t look like anyone in the village because he’s from the city and feels out of place, the fact that he looks out of place as well helps to demonstrate the divide he feels between everyone (who he considers strangers) and helps individualise him even more.  Anyway he becomes friends with this guy because he’s kind enough to repair his tyres and they start hanging out, which is cool I guess.

This next part of the episode made me sure that I’ll never look at the wiki or anything online again, since I may have received a minor spoiler. Anyway theirs the guy called Masao and he’s the strange one with big huge eyes who seems very bitter about the world. He’s either jealous or bitter about his older brother’s engagement but has the most rotten attitude. He is already assuming the worst of his future sister in law and he seems like a horrible person to be around, I will not care when he dies, to be honest I’ve not cared about anyone’s deaths in this show so far so this isn’t an outrageous statement to make.

Then we’re just randomly introduced to a family of ghosts who’ve just moved in. They are clearly supernatural ghosts and it’s stupid that nobody else notices. I wonder if they’re related to all the recent deaths. Well they are, but they’re also not scary because they behave like normal people and the way they murder is very peaceful, I simply don’t have enough investment in the show to care about these guys, never mind be scared by them. I can understand the villages treating them normally though since they have no evidence that they’re bad and it’s a bit rude to call people you’re talking too normally ghosts.

Then it seems like the daughter of this ghost family reads Seichin’s work and stalked him to the village, the fact that it’s a little girl talking normally though doesn’t make it scary – just a bit weird. She knows that Serichin cut his wrists though which makes me hopeful he’ll die soon and be written out of the story, I’d just like it more if that happened. This episode tried to be creepy and not scary and I don’t think it really worked. Yes they’re responsible for the deaths but they don’t feel threating enough and there’s nobody I want alive enough to be worried about the future so there’s no reason to be scared of them.

Then the weird depressed guy comes back in and is happy that someone died, it was a girl who we only saw for a few moments and I don’t really know why he’s so happy, he just comes across as a depressed angry teenager who’s insanely stupid and childish if nothing else cold hearted. He’s also so hypocritical to be happy about one death and criticise Yuuki for not being sad for another’s. His autistic reaction to this made me think of him as always a child.

The show ends with another ghost from the ghost family threatening to kill that guy at the vending machine. The issue is that yet again this ghost family isn’t scary at all and the ideas displayed through them aren’t enough to psychologically damage me.

I’m going to give up with criticising this anime for not being scary or creepy enough because it’s not going to happen. I thought it was known as scary but I think the ideas are going to be terrifying and that’s it. The actual episodes won’t be scary which is kind of disappointing, either way I hope it’ll be creepy enough to at least start feeling like an anime worthy of being in Halloween week.

 

Fourth Death – 18/10/17 9:55 AM

Before every episode I talk about what I want to happen in the episode. This time I actually wanted to be made to care about the bad guys and what they do, care more about the characters already introduced and most importantly I wanted the show to build up that spooky atmosphere to make them more entertaining.

So characters I don’t care about at all are dropping fast with 12 deaths by the start and theirs a bit of a huge panic. I’m actually really interested to see what happens once the cast realises why everyone’s dying and the witch hunt for the family begins.

An annoying thing about this anime is that the show’s characters don’t mention character names in person yet mention names when they’re far away. This results in my calling everyone “this guy who…” and it’s pretty annoying. Every time I notice someone saying a name to someone in person in the subtitles I write it down but this happens so rarely that I don’t care about most of the characters because I really don’t know their names.

Then we see another dead person and two of them had the same blood mark dots on their body’s, making me think at the time that the ghost family were vampires. I went in completely unspoiled so theories like this are actually in the dark and I like the idea of people who’ve finished the series know better than me and comment on my ideas. It’s unfortunate that I don’t get that feeling of being intelligent because they’re confirmed to be vampires by the end of the episode. Oh well, if you doubt me anyway then I can release my notes online so you can tell for sure.

More of the evidence that I should have seen earlier was the fact that all the deaths seem to happen at night and the symptoms of dead people align with being bitten by a vampire.

It was here in the episode that I was reminded of an anime called Another, which was similar to this show but sucked. The reason was that the mystery was boring and the only reason to continue watching and it tried to freak you out with obnoxious sound design for no reason when what’s happening on screen isn’t scary. I’m bringing this up because Shiki doesn’t use terrible sound design to communicate horror and I respect it for that. I’d much rather watch a horror show that’s not scary than a show which is only scary by using sound design. I’m looking forward to see what happens when the village joins forces against these guys and I had no idea what to root for in Another at all.

Then the vampire child appears in the forest to meet Seichin who I may have misrepresented. He’s actually a religious guy who’s not actually talking about the events in a super natural way and now appears sane, so I think he’s alright now. The girl in the forest then rattles on about things I forgot and vanishes. I don’t think the scene was very effective because I just glossed over the information in my head and I didn’t really care. I’m pretty sure it was all lies anyway since the girl was talking about all deaths being sad when she’s clearly a murderous vampire.

So the deaths continue to pile up and Yuuki is now seeing things, like the girl who I predicted would come back to life! And she’s there, well only in his head but the latter scenes might say otherwise. Yuuki decides to stay at his friend’s house (whose name in actually never mentioned) and the vampires attack in the night. They seem to suck the blood from his friend and it’s either what really happens or just in Yuuki’s head. Either way I’m eager to see how this unfolds.

 

Fifth Deceit – 18/10/17 4:54 PM

After scheduling the previous five posts earlier today I noticed that I’d made a few mistakes whilst watching the previous episodes. The first mistake was the conditions I was watching the show in, either broad daylight or with the lights on too much. It’s not as spooky this way, so I made sure to put myself in pitch darkness to watch this. The audio wasn’t really very loud earlier so I made sure to turn that up as well. So did this make the episode scarier? No, it wasn’t scary or atmospheric but that’s what I’ve come to expect from the show anyway.

Another thing I should have noticed sooner was that the numbers before the episode titles aren’t actually relevant and just indicate the episode number. I’ll therefore be titling everything without the number indicator since it’s kind of useless and makes the episode title sound a whole lot more dumb.

When I went into this episode I hoped for the characters to get a move on and discover the vampire’s presence or at least for one of them too. I also wanted to feel that creepy atmosphere a lot more and develop a sense of dread for the future since it would become more entertaining. The show currently isn’t terrible but I think it could be so much better if the show wouldn’t hold back so much, I want it to just let loose because I know it can. The fact that it’s giving me such an entertaining experience whilst going at its current pace shows its competency anyway, I just hope it changes.

There is a big difference for what I mean between changing and improving. I think Shiki is currently really good at what it wants to do, the issue is that I don’t want it to do what it wants to do and I want it do something the other show doesn’t want to do whilst keeping the quality the same. Enough dawdling, let’s review the episode.

Honestly the thing that sucked the most whilst watching the episode was having to take notes in the dark, I couldn’t see very well. Despite the dark environment I seem to have immunity to the horror in this show and I can’t really explain why, the most worrying thing was probably whether I could read my notes by the end because I had no idea where the lines were.

The episode starts with a resolution to the climax at the end and it looks like it’s all stuck within the characters mind. Not to be completely dismissive of the idea I thought that if Tohru died (yes, I know his name now) later then the vampires would be a real threat which could disguise themselves as an illusion within the mind.

The monk is now trying to figure things out for himself and has the shocking revelation that everyone who died quit their job suddenly.  I think the best part was him riding a motorbike and then praying over a corpse under the guise that he’ll get more information. He’s respectful but not sad for the deaths, obviously he would prefer if they never happened at all but his calm nature to approaching the mystery and willingness to put himself in the line of danger make him a respectable character I no longer despise.

So Tohru dies in this episode. Yeah, Yuuki found out that the illusions were most likely real. The way he reacts in the wake of his death is with utter misery and sadness where obviously nobody will believe him, maybe even himself. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does in the future. One thing that happens to him is receiving a post card from Megumi, the dead girl, a long time after she passed away. I want to know what it said and I want to know if the vampire Megumi could have sent it.

Masao is such an annoying child who doesn’t know how to human normally or in a likable way. His rotten attitude is sad and I just hope that every upset leads him in the right direction to becoming a good person. He messes up with his opinion of dead people, children and his friends and it ends badly for him. The guy wants to be accepted and have good companionship so I hope he’s able to change. I can’t imagine many people caring about the guy if he dies and has a funeral and it’s sad because he could improve.

The episode ends foreshadowing his death. A new vampire leaps onto him from behind and we don’t really know what’ll happen. I’m guessing he’s dead but you can never be 100% sure with this show. He might survive narrowly or something. Anyway I think it’s pretty funny that theirs some characters on the human side who I want dead even though they’ve not even murdered anyone, this kind of nuance in the show is something I appreciate.

I had a little more to say but it’s not episode specific so I’ll save it for a time when I may be a little bellow the usual word count, this will probably turn into multiple posts per part anyway so I that’s why the daily structure remains despite the fact that theirs 22 episodes to get through.

Sixth Skull – 18/10/17 7:19 PM

Wow I really loved this episode because everything I’ve been saying and re-iterating finally seems to be happening. Let’s talk about why this episode was really exciting to watch!

We opened with a shot of Megumi retrieving her ripped post card from Yuuki and it’s sad because it seems like she’s just stalking Yuuki and that can only be the most terrifying thing possible. Not being killed by one but being stalked by one infatuated with you. An interesting thing here is that the vampires despite appearances have very human thoughts and emotions which makes the conflict with them a little more nuanced and I wonder if there will ever be a point where one of the vampires doesn’t kill anyone and just feeds a minor amount of blood, the conflicts of that will be very interesting since they wouldn’t technically derserve to die and just be born with an unfortunate race.

Yuuki is around for a lot of the episode in minor bursts so I’ll talk about him all in one at the end. Sadly Masao did indeed die when I hoped for a character redemption arc to occur. He was kind of an asshole anyway so I don’t care much about it. I just feel sad that every time I learn the name of a character they seem to die straight away and it’s pretty sad since I can only really talk about them in post life.

Now the chief doctor, who represents the analytical, biological side of the story, meets with Seishin who represents the more supernatural and spiritual side of things meet and discuss the events that have occurred. This is fascinating because it’s easy to relate to both sides. On the Doctors side we know that under normal circumstances these things can’t happen however on Seishin’s side we do really know what’s going on and he’s more likely to be correct. The doctor’s argument wins at the end however the discussion was vital to sow the seeds of his future revelation.

The fact that the doctor cares so much about patients and becomes increasingly stressed and angry makes him more likable and empathetic in my opinion, he’s a great character even though nobody ever calls him anything other than Sensei so I don’t actually know his name.

Later the little girl vampire appears to Seishin and gives the game away so easily if he was thinking about that kind of thing. Surely those blank empty eyes haven’t deceived him? All he does is sign his own book but I’m sure we’ll see more of this couple in the future.

Then we see the best transition which conveys so much in such a little amount of time. It’s a shot of Masao (the freak nobody likes) dead. Nobody is around him and people have forgotten him, it’s really sad to see when this guy cared so much about external appearance even if he was just an arsehole at the end of the day.

My last idea before talking about the Yuuki stuff was how sad it was to watch the whole village suffer and speculate whilst we knew about the vampires who were running rampant. Not only is it annoying but it’s also pretty sad too.

Now Yuuki played such a great part in this episode because of all the research he tried to do. Instead of hiding in terror he seeks answers by trying to find Seishin and eventually talking to the doctor. He seems to try everything including Christian crosses to try and ward the vampires off.

Yuuki and the doctor then have a talk and the doctor makes the realisation that it’s vampires by himself and it’s a really hype moment which encourages me to continue. It’s very reassuring in an anime where I didn’t think something like that would happen.

The episodes end with some kind of cliff hanger and I don’t really care about them because their tension really isn’t scary or interesting. Two children are watching the vampires castle and think they’re evil, only to see a vampire right behind them. It’s not particularly scary with characters we don’t care about but at least it’s something!

Seventh Killing Spirit – 18/10/17 8:17

This show is getting a whole lot better and I really love the direction the series is headed. It’s not going to be scary but it’s going to be really interesting and entertaining anyway. Doing the three episode rule showed me that the series would be something I’d like in the future however it’s great to see that investment payed off.

So after dropping such an interesting episode they naturally do a thing where they introduce a whole new premise and idea which is really fun to see. I basically wanted to see the plot thicken a lot more and interesting ideas to be introduced and I wasn’t let down.

We essentially learn something I was fearful about all along. Most of the vampires are just normal people brought back to life. We cut to Masao who’s stuck buried alive underground and it confirms everything about vampires which we may have initially thought.

Vampires only need to drink your blood once to make you subservient and obedient to them, and even after that you could be converted. We see a character that’s been paid a lot of attention to go through this whole process and it’s seriously creepy ideologically. It never sent a shiver down my spine or anything like that but the very idea of an ex-human having to kill its own kind for survival is both tragic and a horrible situation.

One of my favourite parts of the episode was the detective work that went on with the three kids who decided to dig up graves to investigate whether Yuuki’s hauntings were real or psychological. Avoiding the stalking vampires was something that was interesting to see them try and fail to do, it seems like the vampire with the hideous looking cat ears got a hold of their plan and maybe got to the graves first since he dug Masao out.

It’s in this discussion with Masao that we learn some fundamental weaknesses to the vampires. Some creators decide to interpret vampires differently so here’s how they work. They burn in sunlight except for some and die with a beheading or a stake to the heart, that’s it. They don’t die of disease or old age; they must either make a mistake or be hunted down. Luckily for us some of our characters might start to just do that. We know that most vampires have a thing where they sleep during every moment of sunlight and wake up at night, breaking into the house and murdering all of these guys in their sleep would be a great way to remove the epidemic.

But there’s something strange about saying that: why do I feel so bad for saying that statement? The vampires have such a human quality to them that I really want them to just get along and only drink blood from places stored in the hospital or something like that so humans aren’t affected. They’re human life forms as well so I’d think that would be one of the best solutions. And obviously just because they’re vampires doesn’t’ mean their above the law so all the ones who murdered should be in prison anyway.

We then end with the trio of kids digging up a grave, I really hope the cat eared vampire hasn’t done something to mess those guys up and that this grave digging will progress the characters along with their knowledge instead of regress them, that’s what I’m hoping for. Either way that episode was really entertaining to watch and think about and I’m looking forward to more!

Eighth Night – 19/10/17 5:39 PM

After the previous thrilling episode where everything started coming together to form a narrative more focussed on the threats instead of reactions to deaths I wanted this momentum to continue into the next episode and well, this sort of happened.

Whilst the characters made progressions to come to the right conclusions we were very focussed on the three kids and their grave digging efforts which was interesting however not immensely progressive of the plot. The discoveries and events were interesting but took away time from the other two main characters who know about the risen and what they could be doing.

The episode begins with them finding the present that Kaori dropped in Megumi’s grave (yes I’ve learned her name! And the other one’s Akira!) Outside of the grave, oh no… I actually predicted this from the moment she put the present in herself so I feel strangely proud of myself. To be honest it wasn’t that hard to spot and I shouldn’t be proud, but it’s the fact that I don’t often notice these kinds of things which is what makes this moment so special.

An annoying thing that can occur in episode transitions is that at the end of the episodes they can make the character in an immensely difficult scenario that looks like they could die, only to change what happened or where they’re located to make it a situation they can get out of in the next episode. Whilst I’m sure Shiki will never be that bad the detail of the present was omitted in the previous episode to increase the tension, it’s fine really but it feels a bit petty to do when they changed it later. I wouldn’t have even minded if they went through the grave digging and then found it straight after so it’s quite a strange thing to happen.

The grave is empty and we feel a rush of excitement at the outcome. Not because we just realised something but because we’re eager to see what the characters do with their knowledge. This element doesn’t last long and the creepiness sets in. A vampire grabs Kaori and drags her away and it’s worrying because you know characters can die but also that other vampires might be there too.

A seriously weird thing about this is the vampire’s reaction to when Kaori shows him her charm (physical item not looks) because he leaps back. It was hard to tell at first whether this is a reaction to the charm and a defence mechanism because he thinks it’s violent or something supernatural but I think we can both agree that vampires resisted by charms is the worst idea ever.

With the dead vampire (who I didn’t believe was dead)  and the doctors opinion along with the empty grave the guys have a brilliant case for convincing everyone that vampires are real, if only it were that simple. I would have thought that vampires would be easy to tell by sight for the characters and brining him to the doctor would have been the best solution but no they bury him in the most stupid way possible. I really don’t agree with their decisions and of course a vampire could survive a knockout and there’s no way to know whether they display visible signs of breathing yet.

Rightly so the kids are paranoid and scared so they decide to sleep in the same bed together, yeah turns out they’re a brother and sister so they live in the same house. I can’t really make an incest joke here because they really are understandably that frightened. Then again I’ll probably never be able to make a joke like this again. Like that time when they said they never got any sleep; yeah I bet they didn’t…

The siblings meet up with Yuuki and they decide what to do next and they come across a great idea I’d have never thought of. They set up a plan to dig up more graves and kill the people before they have a chance to come back to vampires. They also decide to steak the heart as well which is one of the methods which works against these guys so I’m pleased. The main issue that I’m looking forward too is threats on both sides from these characters. The vampires know where they’re graves are so they’ll have to take care not to get in the way of them however during the day the villagers might not like them going through the graves of the recently deceased, this shouldn’t be an issue though since the graves are pretty isolated from anyone.

So the vampire that they knocked out wakes up and they seem to be setting a trap for Yuuki who we can consider the ring leader of this entire thing. A young vampire girl manipulates Yuuki’s parents into letting her into his house and waits in his room. I’m seriously worried for Yuuki now, he’ll probably die and we might see these guys follow in Yuuki’s footsteps and kill him if he ever starts to turn back. The issue is (as demonstrated by Masao) that the vampires originally think they’re still human and I don’t know if these guys would be able to kill him even with the chance once they saw him moving. These parents are annoyingly trusting and extremely stupid, I’ll leave it at that.

Something kind of scary I noticed at the end is that Yuuki basically has the eyes of a risen so maybe eyes aren’t such a good identifier. Even so he doesn’t give off the same monstrous presence so I think he should get the pass anyway.

Let’s wait with baited breath to see what all this vampire drama is all about, I’m incredibly concerned for the characters if Yuuki ends up dying.

Ninth Coffin – 19/10/17 7:25 PM

A huge issue which detracts from this show is its slow pacing and this puts many people off and makes them either drop or put it on hold. To be honest I’d much rather the show be faster paced but there’s a lot of good things the show has been able to do at its current pace. For one the setting feels real and establishing all the villagers living in one place and making us used to it and worried for when the vampires come to attack. The vampires are also fleshed out and their mechanics are truly established and new discoveries seem even more severe than they would if they got there straight away. Horror nearly always has a large build up in order to lull you into a sense of security and establish the rules of the world and conflicts so that they can be used to scare you and I believe this is what Shiki is trying to do.

This time the episode only focusses on Dr Toshio and Seishin as they go through their efforts to monitor a person with a vampire trying to attack them. And the realisations of the victims nature towards the vampires (who are now called Shiki or the risen I guess) is shocking. It never got to the point of being scary but the responses the vampires are making compared to the humans is going to make future drama interesting.

One worrisome fact is that theirs only really five maximum human main characters so far into the show, and way more vampires, making them overpowering. I don’t think the show would be able to execute horror effectively if the vampires only had five people to go against so I hope that changes. I can’t really see a good conflict with the current cast of humans so we may be introduced to some new guys soon.

Then the two guys at the hospital see a vampire for the first time and it’s a freakish display, they’re able to fight her off and she leaves but it conclusively gives us a lot of information which we weren’t aware of previously. The victim calls out to its vampire in the night to tell them where they are, so once bitten your kind of screwed. We also see that the victims have dreams of their vampires which are pretty creepy to be honest. It’s also another symptom you can use to identify if someone’s infected.

Then on the next night the vampire with cat ears Tatsumi along with his gang of vampire’s breaks into the hospital and takes the woman, having everyone feed on her. It’s a humiliating moment for most of the cast and it shows how prepared these guys are to work together even though theirs a limited number of vampires to feed off of.

The idea of a victim’s vampire showing up in their dreams makes me think of Yuuki and Megumi. Yuuki sees visions of Megumi a hell of a lot during the day and it makes me think that Yuuki is Megumi’s victim, however I believe she’s keeping him alive for her own benefit. From the way Masao was revived I see no reason why she cant’ still love Yuuki so I think she’s deliberately keeping him alive and feeding off of him for that reason. The thing that made me come up with this whole theory was at the end where Megumi ran off from the rest of the group and the vampires knew where she was going. I reckon it might be to save Yuuki who from the previous episode has a vampire hiding in his house waiting to eat him. It’s just an idea and I’m throwing it out now because I’ll be so happy if I’m correct. It would also explain why Yuuki wasn’t in this episode at all and why the Dr and Seishin weren’t in the one before that.

So let’s just wait and see, having this moment occur would make the conflict between man and vampire, good and evil a whole lot more complicated.

 

Tenth Mourning – 19/10/17 8:18 PM

There was something about this episode which made the vampires feel a whole lot less villainous than they used to be and that’s done through showing us the story from their perspective, they’re really evil but I’ve ended up liking some of the vampires, which is something that I thought wouldn’t happen.

My theory from the previous part that Megumi was protecting Yuuki turned out to only be partially true, though partially is better than nothing. Wisely Tatsumi (the cat vampire) made sure she didn’t get Yuuki as a victim however she clearly still shows her affection and her running off at the end was to Yuuki.

We also saw the scheming of the vampires before their attack on the hospital in the previous episode and what was going through their mind as they did it. They naturally did it to protect their own and to get rid of the people who knew of their existence.  They are murdering when they don’t really need too so they’re still bad guys but seeing the story from their perspective always makes them appear more sympathetic even though I dislike them really. A lot of their motivation also comes from hoping their victim will come back to life so they can spend time with them, which doesn’t really justify their actions but they’re now more understandable. The fact that they still experience very human emotions from this gives them even more relatability and sympathy.

Yuki’s house then gets attacked, and it’s Tohru as a vampire who needs to be the one to do it. Though we instead experience a very human moment, he has Yuuki in his grasp yet lets him go because of his human side telling him to not kill.

Tohru and Megumi talk about this and Tohru justifies his actions as best he can. He feels forced into it, and would rather be the one to do it himself even though he doesn’t want to. The emotions that come across from these two people make both the vampires redeemable as a victim of their circumstances.  It seems seriously messed up to suggest this but I think that’s the point of this anime: it wants you to see the story from both perspectives and make your own judgement. Whilst I like the humans overall more I can’t help but feel at this point that some of these guys are ok.

Anyway Megumi and Tatsumi attack Yuuki who tries to run away but it closed in on by Tohru. The difference in the three vampires reactions is amazing. Megumi is tragically sad, Tatsumi is extremely happy and Tohru is just dutiful, I’m sure he’ll regret it later. I don’t really want Yuuki to come back but you never really know with this anime. I’d hate to see Yuuki turn into a murderer; it’s just not him, which of course means it’s probably going to happen.

This idea of vampire’s vs humans is slowly becoming more and more twisted as time continues and the scenarios become more complex, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up caring more about the vampires than humans in this show, it would be quite interesting especially when you consider the message the author would be trying to portray.

Eleventh Slaughter – 21/10/17 8:30 PM

Most episodes of Shiki are enjoyable to watch and just think about even if they only really focussed on one thing in particular. What made this episode so interesting was the fact that they seemingly introduced one character, explained what her purpose and ideas were, have the rest of the characters react to it and have her tragically die at the end. Her death is implied and will probably be shown on the next episode but it’s essentially a sure thing.

I’ll just open with a discussion of the few moments away from this character first so I don’t get side-tracked on a long tangent later.

Toshio and Seishin have a discussion of the ethics of stabbing dead bodies or performing tests on the risen as they behave and have common traits of humans. This fundamental disagreement drives the two apart which is sad since they’re both village leaders and their union should be used to a great extent.

The next part is when Seishin talks to Sunako (the small girl vampire) and realises her true nature, she almost bites him then and there but she’s stops herself. An interesting thing she mentions is saying the risen man in Seishin’s story has the soul of a human and is equal to humans and this obviously reflects her outlook on society. And technically this is true, the vampires are essentially humans with different biology’s however their murderous ways make me dislike them more. And having humans fight back just provides more arguments like the one between Seishin and Toshio earlier.

So the character this episode focus’ on is the resident Shaman whose name is never mentioned. She’s basically a fortune teller who’s convinced herself that her thoughts are true and correct. It’s so obvious that fortune tellers are just glorified con-artists but unfortunately it seems like the rest of the villagers knows this as well.  She reaches a correct conclusion that the deaths are happening because of the risen. I genuinely believe that it’s a coincidence that she’s correct and the effect she has on the rest of the villagers is negative overall in my opinion.

She runs around hectically telling everyone about it, she assembles the villagers in front of the hospital and confronts Toshio about it. And what a dilemma, what a complete awful situation to be in; Toshio knows that she’s correct but doesn’t want to create panic, lose his credibility or cause more harm than good. It’s clear what Toshio’s plan is: wait for a corpse to come back to life and demonstrate on it proving him to be correct. Anything less just wouldn’t work in my opinion. So Toshio going along with it might just be the best thing since the fortune teller just happened to randomly guess and he needs to be in control when it happens.

What I might have personally done is sit everyone down in the hospital and give out the evidence whilst also openly stating that they don’t think its vampires.  This would have opened up the villagers’ minds for when Toshio brought in a corpse, made them more open to the idea of experimentation on a corpse and not cause a massive panic. Yet the solution he comes across isn’t terrible I think he could have done a hell of a lot better.

The fortune teller blames the people who just moved in and they march up to the house to check. They open the gates and we see Toshio’s twisted reaction to Tatsumi which is painful to see, he’s been driven to the edge and he can barely hold it in.

He tests the vampires pulse and breathing and it’s normal, he relays this information calmly and the rest of the villagers back off.

Once the vampires see that she’s spreading rumours of them they decide to murder her in the night. The funny thing is that it’s a completely stupid idea from the perspective of the vampires. Having a crazy woman constantly shout about her beliefs will make the villagers see them as more and more false and keeping her alive wouldn’t hint at any idea of a motive to keep her quiet, re-enforcing the idea of vampires existing. So good job vamps.

Theirs so many interesting characters which the show constantly jumps too and each one of their stories is interesting and worth watching so I’m greatly looking forward to catching up on the other characters now that Toshio’s story arc has seemed to have reached a dead end for the time being.

Twelfth Decay – 21/10/17 9:37 PM

I’m writing this the day after I watched the episode so if this is the worst one that explains it. I mentioned to my mum today that I was watching a show about vampires and she was very concerned about it having violence against women. Not against everyone, just women. So do vampires stereotypically only attack women or is my Christian mother who takes vampires and Halloween as if they’re serious (seriously bad) completely misguided? I’d love to know, because I’m pretty sure she’s just making it all up.

We get to see a new side of town at the village hall where all but one of the workers have left. As a substitute they’ve introduced two new people who only work at night. Hmm, I wonder what the vampires are trying to do. To be honest it’s a good idea to take over all the admin and work for the village as hiding their identity would be made a whole lot easier.

Yuuki’s back but he’s obviously been bitten, I’ve lost a lot of respect for him already because of his foolish mistakes and this only continues to worsen throughout the episode. Yes he’s in a difficult situation but he really needed to rationalise and think a lot better, prioritising his own life.

Just as I suspected the Shaman from the previous episode ruined pretty much everything, anyone talking about the risen is treated as foolish and it’s sad to see. It makes sense that vampires aren’t real so I can understand their perspective but it’s just so sad.

A lot of this episode focusses on Yuuki’s condition due to the vampire bites and I wish he’d just be sent to Toshio. In a previous encounter Toshio realised he also knew about the vampires so if they got together and had a chat I think it would be so much better. Also Toshio would share my anger at Yuuki not being sent to him which is a very human reaction I understand.

In this episode we also learn a lot more about the vampires and why they behave in the way they do against the moral standards they have as humans. This happens as Tohru chases Yuuki through the forest because Yuuki stupidly tries to reason with him. He mentions that all the vampires are reluctant at first but then slowly become immune to it as they need to survive. It’s sad that their very existence causes their minds and behaviours to change so drastically but that doesn’t justify murder in my opinion.

What’s interesting is how Tohru mentions he won’t be able to escape from Tatsumi which makes me think Tatsumi’s controlling presence has turned the vampires into what they are today. We haven’t seen Masao who came back as a vampire and I think it’s because he drank from the cup of blood instead of the body, and Tatsumi didn’t appreciate it.

Our last real part before talking about Kaori and Akira is that Megumi is tasked with killing the only remaining human on the leadership team of the village. This would put vampires in charge for good.

I once played a game of werewolf with a large group of people. Werewolf is a game where everyone closes their eyes except the vampires and they point at someone to kill and the rest of the village team up to try and work out who the vampires are and which ones to kill. The issue was that there were too many werewolves. I was the mayor of the village so I got two votes (I was a werewolf) and there were a lot of cards where you could chose to be either so there was a werewolf majority after the first murder. So basically I’m worried this is what the show will turn into since it seems entirely possible at this point.

Kaori and Akira attempt to protect Yuuki before he dies and it goes down as well as you’d expect. Yuuki’s suspicious father removes all their charms and stops them from hiding in front of their house by pretending to agree with their opinion that the risen is real. This was such an obvious bluff and I’m going to be sad to see Yuuki’s death, which will happen.

In the last round of the game of werewolves I was killed as mayor of the village. We had one person left who was the hunter, when they died they could chose to kill one person. At their demise they realised what I’d done and decided to kill me. Even if the rest of the villagers die and the vampires die I want Tatsumi dead.

Also we’re past the half way mark yeah!

Thirteenth Tragedy – 22/10/17 7:32 PM

This episode was the worst episode so far and probably the only episode of Shiki I would rate a score of 5 or less. Essentially everything which happened was something we either knew already or didn’t care about, and it’s because of the emotional value the show tried to force on to us during the episode which didn’t really work.

In a village haunted by vampires, which I’ll now be calling Shiki since they don’t like being stereotyped as vampires (apparently), we get to experience death constantly and since we often don’t know the characters around the people who died and since it’s an anime and not a real death we naturally don’t care. This episode has three deaths, two of which we don’t care about for this very reason and the other one we didn’t care about since we knew it would happen since episode ten. This led to a drama without fleshed out characters and people’s name we couldn’t even remember leading to a boring episode.

Let’s talk about Yuuki since he’s the character we do know. As predicted he dies and Tohru is all emotional about it, reminding us of the complex nature of a vampires existence which we’ve had explained to us already. As well as this Kaori and Akira are frustrated by their mistake, something we knew they’d already made in the previous episode. Yuuki’s father also completely brakes down, I’m interested to see how he moves on from this point forward.

Probably the best discovery from the episode was that the vampires are now telling their victims not to be hospitalised, since it highlights their scheming and makes me think this village is now beyond saving.

Two guys die and as I mentioned earlier I didn’t care, people die all the time in the show so I’m de-sensitised to it. In fact the large amount of time spent acknowledging these deaths made me care even less, and the side characters reactions really didn’t move me since I’ve not been made to care about them and I never will.

At the end of the episode Toshio is by himself with the dead body and I couldn’t help but feel excited. Toshio wants to do experiments on Shiki so if she comes back it’s a great opportunity for progression and advancement in learning. It’s Toshio’s ambition to present a Shiki to notify the village and rally them against the vampires, this could very well happen. Unfortunately the Shiki in question is somebody he has a strong attachment too and the struggle he faces because of this will be well worth watching.

One of the other positive things that I can come up with is that it seems Toshio and Seishin are back together, somewhat friends again which is great for the rest of the village. At this point I don’t think the humans will win; there’s not enough episodes left for all the villagers to rally together and win, but if it did happen Toshio and Seishin would be needed at the centre of it.

A lot of foreshadowing took place as well, that Megumi is after the entire family of Yuuki’s friends, and things like that. Megumi is one of the most interesting vampires so I’m glad the story will be through her and nobody else.

I’ve basically skipped out a lot of things because I hated them, I might also need to bring back the “what I want to see” section because this anime now seriously needs it.

Fourteenth Death – 22/10/17 8:31 PM

Last episode really was a tragedy and this episode needed to accomplish a lot to fix it. I wanted more characters I knew in situations I could enjoy, a faster paced story with more advancement of the plot and just things that were actually interesting, that last one is a pretty strange thing to want but it shouldn’t be too hard to ask for.

At the very beginning Atsushi (who’s the guy who stood up to the Shaman and the granny) is on the roof and met by the mother of the vampire family who quickly seduces him. You know what’s happing next: It’ll be sad but I’m looking forward to seeing the scenario play out.

Megumi kills Kaori’s dad in the night and it’s so tragic because it happened in their house and she seems to know a way inside. He was also visiting the new clinic which emerged recently and I think that could be entirely Shiki so that could have played a huge roll in how his death happened and how Megumi got to him.

It’s really strange to see Megumi proudly proclaiming a death go on later to mourn for Yuuki and try to find out where he might be or if he might rise. It’s pretty messed up as her morality doesn’t apply to everyone and just people she selfishly cares about for her own reasons. It’s here that we learn about the big city Shiki team who kidnap people from big cities in the night and take them back to the village for people who can’t feed or won’t feed. Masao shows up to show who uses these services (no prizes for guessing) and it’s not very nice to see that he’s just as much of an arsehole he used to be and dying hasn’t changed him at all.

Now let’s move on to the main focus of the episode: Toshio and his dead wife. At the start of the episode we can see that Toshio’s completely fallen off the rails and is so tired and broken from the constant death surrounding him.

And he’s there with his dead wife four days later and her heart suddenly starts beating again, or the life machine just starts working. And it’s the most worrisome and brilliant moment all at once. The moment the village could be saved at the cost of Toshio’s sanity.

He does horrible and violent experiments on the Shiki and it’s really difficult to watch. We learn that they actually do hate charms and Buddhist statues which are strange for this kind of story. It’s not really scary to have such stupid items be so terrifying to the creatures that are meant to be imposing but maybe the fact that the show goes to this extent, painting the shiki as standard vampires makes the race so human and scary to think about ideologically, even if they’re feeding mechanic really doesn’t make sense.

Toshio learns some valuable facts and documents them for the future. He’s no longer a righteous character for his actions however they really were necessary to preserve the rest of the village so I don’t hate him really. It’s what he does with the information that counts.

Seishin shows up at the end and we’re left with probably the best ending line so far: “Good timing. Help me clean this up”. It’s not only funny considering the context of the murderous situation after Toshio kills the Shiki but also highlights Toshio’s lack of empathy and hatred to the creatures who took all his friends away.

This was a great recovery for the series; I just hope the momentum continues into the next episode.

Fifteenth Deceit – 22/10/17 9:28 PM

Tohru puts flowers out in front of Yuuki’s grave to mourn his death, this doesn’t compensate for his actions but is a sad touch to the show, even if the moment is wasted in a confusing way at the end of the episode.

After Toshio murdering the Shiki Seishin is understandably mad at the horrible display which he made for research. It’s kind of strange because the survival of human kind has almost always been the fact that they are the most brutal and terrible people at the ends of human nature. Seishin’s nature is explained by suggesting that the story he’s writing where the brother murders his sibling is actually his own story, which could explain his stance if he’s sorrowful.

Meanwhile Toshio tries to persuade others to join him in his cause, and fails miserably. This is the most infuriating thing about his character: his lack of using evidence. He filmed a whole video and has medical records and information on every death (until it was stolen but this is before then) and doesn’t decide to use it. It really sucks that nobody believes him and he only has himself to blame. He has the power and it’s the most infuriating thing ever to not see him use it.

Toshio learns just how terrible the nature of the village is when he goes to the village centre and realises vampires are everywhere, we’ve made the realisation a long time ago and its Impact is reduced due to this but it’s crushing to see Toshio’s reaction all the same. And all his medical records get stolen there as well so that kind of sucks.

Just as I was thinking about how much I wanted to see the story from the vampires perspective we got it! The Shiki are creating their own burial system which improves the time for corpse retrieval and reduces the chance of humans digging up their graves. They’re taking over and from here I see no way the villagers can win, it’s just really sad watching them struggle and we don’t see enough of the vampires perspective to relate to them and root for any of their characters to make me happy that they’re winning. I might try watching the next episode rooting for the vampires to see if it affects my enjoyment.

The nurse who was complaining about her other nurse friend going missing resigns due to Toshio’s lack of empathy towards it. She’s understandably sad and it’s unfortunate to see the staff dwindling even if they’re actually useless and have never saved anyone. They provide a sense of security for the villagers and seeing that vanish is understandable and difficult to watch.

Toshio seems to not even care about his own life at this point. He’s just sitting outside smoking while another vampire threatened to kill him. And sure enough a vampire arrives, and it’s Yuuki. He’s not violent or aggressive and he’s very similar to Tohru at this point (remember how I said him putting flowers outside the graves didn’t make sense) and that’s the nicest vampire to see. He asks the same question about Megumi to the doctor again and his response shows that he knows the vampires are real. Yuuki then walks off slowly telling him he’s not alone.

I’m excited to see how vampire Yuuki behaves and I’ll be sourly disappointed if we get anything less.

I’ve also noticed a massive absence of other characters besides Toshio, he’s a good character but he’s getting dull and I really want to see the series from another perspective which shows more interesting things happening. It also kind of feels like all the interesting events are over already; the Shiki have near ultimate control, the characters have explored all the main avenues of investigation and learned the truth and all that’s left is to put in the final blow and kill The village entirely. I don’t want the show to feel this way and I’m starting to dislike it because of this, it’s probably the intent of the show but I feel like something really cool needs to happen soon for my enjoyment to be brought back.

Sixteenth Skull – 23/10/17 10:04 AM

This episode was great, not only because my pre-determined wants happened but because they happened in interesting ways which are promising for the future and side character involved heavily involved with the plot yet not given much attention.

Sunako, the child vampire, was one of these people in particular who explained her tragic story fully and how Shiki can feel so far away from society that they don’t care about human deaths. Sunako isn’t the child of the two adult vampires as I first thought, it seems Shiki are made and never born which is why Sunako has never aged despite being alive longer than most people’s life time.

Yes that’s right! Sunako has lived a terrible existence which has made her the way she is. A rich vampire came to one of her family’s rich upper class parties and most likely bit her that night. This moment was before the OP and brought up later for relevance with a troublesome Shiki who’s mourning the death of his friend: Tohru.

It’s through her explanation of drifting from place to place in the search of her family only to have them die whilst she’s still in the body of a young child. The point is that vampires are understanding and empathetic with their sense of community because they’ve all been through the same process and want to preserve their community and expand their race, even though the occurrence of this happening would lead to the death of all humans making Shiki go extinct as well. If you look at the pyramid of biomass, the carnivores always number less than the producers and omnivores in biomass. This is because having a larger amount of carnivores is unsustainable with a lesser amount of secondary and primary producers since there’s not enough to feed off of, making them die of starvation eventually even if they outnumber them at specific points in time. That’s why vampires are unsustainable and will never be able to take out all humans.

The unfortunate reason why this isn’t a thing in Shiki is that no matter what occurs the vampires can still retrieve bodies from the big cities. So the Shiki’s co-operation is both a help initially and a curse for the future since their very nature of life is unsustainable in the long run.

Alright the biological tangent is over, even though it’s clearly the best kind of tangent. The reason for this is. Alright I’m just joking. It turns out Kaori’s dad has been revived and he wants to see his family again. He goes to the house and isn’t welcomed. His wife is scared that he came back and his dog doesn’t even recognise him. It’s sad, there’s a lot of sadness in this show and I’m worried I might care less and less as it continues. He then bites his wife out of panic and the show cuts to a new scene.

We then are treated to Kaori’s and Akira’s reaction which is as great as it sounds. Reacting to having both their parents die they decide to leap into action, skipping school to buy supplies to take revenge. Kaori stays at home making stakes, Akira takes one of these, breaks into the Shiki’s hideout and attempts to murder one of the vampires in their sleep. Unfortunately Tatsumi has other ideas. Akira wakes up in the same position, only tied up with a gag on in front of the vampire he tried to kill. This Shiki wakes up and we look on in fear because we know what’s going to happen.

There was a part of this episode which I glossed over because I wanted to save it to the end. And it brought up the annoying fact that as soon as the episode’s attention was taken away from Toshio I immediately wanted to see his side of the story again! Yuuki is a shiki (don’t ask me how he was there in sunlight) and is teaming up with Toshio and they have a plan. Yeah! I’m so looking forward to seeing what this might be.

I greatly enjoyed this episode and hopefully I’ll be able to release the plan in the next post as it’s getting exciting. The series would be either the best thing ever or the most tragic thing ever if these guys were able to turn it around with only 6 episodes left.

Seventeenth Killing Spirit – 23/10/17 11:37 AM

This episode didn’t reveal the plan I wanted to see, I sure do hope the plan involved Toshio getting bitten and becoming subservient to the vampires though, because it happened. At the start of the episode Toshio said the plan was to wait until it looked like the Shiki would win to trick them at the last moment and I really hope this is calculated by him. More on that later.

Seishin is a major part of the episode which is unfortunate because he doesn’t do a whole lot of good. He’s very twisted about the violence Toshio displayed towards the vampire and it later turns to him making a strange decision along with other reasons he comes across.

The first is when he finds Tohru in the forest crying because of the deaths. He sees that vampires have empathy and their forced into it by their nature. He then rattles off the exact philosophy Sunako told him in the past perhaps making him relate more to vampires than the twisted humans he decides to be with. Something sad that I’ve noticed is that all the bad things seem to happen to the most sympathetic vampires, the ones we like the most. Nothing seems to have happened to the evil ones and it’s sad because it should be the other way round, the conflict would be less uncertain but that’s something I’m sure the show doesn’t want.

Then Seishin’s dad dies and this could be the thing to push him over the edge because he knows why he died. In the previous episodes his father was given attention (which made the episode overall worse) to show how he learned about the Shiki’s presence and this accumulates to letting a vampire come into his house and kill him. Whether this was an act of protection for the rest of his family or an act of suicide I don’t know but it has a clear effect on Seishin.

As well as this Kaori arrives at the monks home to talk to Seishin and ask for a posthumous name because she’s convinced of her death. A posthumous name (something I didn’t have to google) is a name given to someone once they’ve died and is used to refer to the person instead of their actual name. Seishin doesn’t agree to give her one and tells her that she won’t know when she died. After this Seishin goes missing and it’s because he seems to have become a person who sympathises with the vampires and lives with them most likely because of the sacrifice of his father and he trusts them enough to not kill him.

Ritsuko (the nurse with the hair that looks like a massive individual root) hears of another vanished nurse and goes out to help her. She sees her in a van getting kidnapped, realises the truth about the Shiki and then gets bitten before she can do anything about it. Toshio then takes her home and is saddened by the death.

When Toshio gets back to the lab he’s met by Chizuru (the adult female vampire of the main family) who kills him. She also gives him orders to carry out in the days before his death where he changes all the medical records and things like that; this is what I meant earlier about my hopes for the plan since it might work now or could it be intentional?

I really don’t think this is part of the plan since Toshio tried to murder Chizuru with a steak immediately and I don’t think he’d do that if he had plans to die to her.

We see Yuuki running around but Tatsumi is following, the future is really in his hands at whether the humans can be saved or not.

Eighteenth Night – 23/10/17 12:44 PM

I think this episode was the best yet because everything I wanted to happen from the start took place here, and it was great. But I’m getting ahead of myself; the introduction was still interesting for its own reasons even if it didn’t have the pay off at the end of the episode.

Ritsuko rises as a vampire and Tohru just happens to be the one who meets her. If you don’t remember Tohru was about to ask Ritsuko out before he died so this fateful encounter is sad.  Ritsuko also represents the ideal vampire that Tohru wants to be; she doesn’t want to kill and is prepared to starve herself for it. Tohru’s jealous of this and wishes he has the same resolve. I don’t have any sympathy for vampires really because of their harmful nature however I do respect Ritsuko so much for trying to continue with her human ideals.

The rest of the vampires at Ritsuko’s revival spot just treat their work as a job and don’t even care at the high amount of numbers of people who die. They’re completely de-sanitised towards it and it really doesn’t give the Shiki any redeeming factors.

We then switch to Yuuki who is now a werewolf and just a guy secretly moving around trying to avoid Tatsumi as well as possible. He’s eventually foiled and Tatsumi threatens to kill him if he continues to work with the humans. Werewolf’s don’t need blood and can function normally, it’s just that blood elevates their power which makes Yuuki a good person now and potentially able to fit into society.

Yuuki fitting in to society is shown by the fact that he’s able to live with his dad again, who’s crazy. He immediately tries to kill Tatsumi (and I wish he had) but is shot down because of his revival. I was about to praise the show so much for doing something like that but oh well, the rest comes later.

Toshio’s story was by far the best part of the episode, and him being bitten really led to the plan that he was setting up. He’s twisted about the orders that Chizuru’s giving him and reluctantly carries them out. A vampire’s bite can give instructions which need to be obeyed, and Toshio has to deal with this. When the Shiki Chizuru is checking up on him he asks her on a date to show her around the festival and also reduce her suspicion.

The security of Toshio being under her gives her the confidence to go out with him as it will just make the villagers trust her more. One interesting thing that might have been given too much attention is the bandage that she wears on her hand. It really doesn’t make sense to be there since vampires’ skin heals and it’s just there to hide something.

The two arrive at the festival and Toshio tries to get her to go to the temple since vampires are scared of Buddhist rituals for some reason. My interpretation of this is that it makes them weaker, so much weaker that they have difficulty using their normal vampire ability allowing potentially… for someone to disobey them.

In front of a large crowd Toshio reveals the truth about Chizuru and all of the crowd believe him. YES! It’s so exciting that a lot of people are on Toshio’s side ready to fight back, the word will spread and the hunt will begin!

To oppose this Atsushi along with the blue haired head vampire comes to stop this and retrieve the person. It’s funny because he is irrationally scared of his father and he’s able to protect the rest of the villagers and scare them off straight away. The moment is saved and I was happily celebrating as the vampire who murdered many people was torn apart by the people limb by limb. Never thought this show would make me happy to see something like that!

Nineteenth Coffin – 23/10/17 6:51 PM

The episode opens where we left off at Chizuru’s death. Toshio uses this moment to rally the villagers and cause them to go on a hunt for the vampires. I see people rooting for the Shiki or calling the humans equaly bad but this is obviously incorrect. The vampires threw the first punch and the humans are reacting violently because they’ve had enough after their year of suffering. I’m sure the villagers (if they were real) would have been so angry that their familly member got revived and was made to kill other people that they would lash out. The characters have taken enough of a beating and I totally think the vampires are only a distructive force for progression of society that they should be removed even if they behave simillarly to humans.

It’s a really good idea to start hunting the vampires down anyway but it seems like within minutes the vampires become aware of the situation.  Tatsumi breaks the news to Sunako (who thought of Chizuru as a daughter) and she’s crushed by it. The vampires immediately consider fleeing (something I thought wouldn’t happen) but change their mind once they realise they have too many converted. It’s a fair point though since the humans would hunt the vampires to the death but that wouldn’t be good from a narritve perspective.

The Shiki quickly plan to kill the leader (Toshio) and block all communications from the outside world so that they can finish their hunt quickly. In the meantime Tatsumi asks Seishin to look after Sunako and to feed off of him to gain more power, he agress and I hate Seishin that much more. Later while he’s recovering from the bite I found it sad that he’s not just a pacifist but actively supporting the other side, therefore wanting vampires to win. They keep on showing that Seishin tried to kill himself so I think the trauma caused by the shiki and humans might drive him to the edge again at the end of the series.

Meanwhile both the vampires and humans are attacking. But not all of the humans, understandably people who’ve lost loved ones don’t want to attack their dead familly. Kaori faces one of these terrifying curses naturally when her dad comes home to kill her. His dad seems to want to talk however Kaori in her crazed state after losing all her familly lashes out and kills him.

Then we cut to Ricchan who is still resisting drinking blood from a human while Tohru watches, in sadness. His emotions make him worried and outraged that she’s not drinking because of his affection for her however I’m sure he feels inferior for not having her resolve.

And that’s pretty much it, a lot of the time spent in this episode simply established events and things that happened, sometimes taking minutes to just show or explain a simple thing. Theirs also a lot more action which is less easy to comment on. Despite all this it presented a very interesting tale which seems close to concluding and it’s tense because it could end either way!

I can see why the creators postponed villagers learning about the shiki since the radicalisation of the villagers couldn’t be sustained over the long series of episodes. The only worrisome thing is the fact that theirs specials to this show, and I’m worried if they might continue the story in any way and I don’t have that in my schedule. It’s the 23rd now but this is probbably going to release on the day before halloween, I’ve got time but the speed I’m releasing the reviews at might have to change.

Either way I’m not going to be disheartened and root for the continuation of this great story to see how it wraps together and dramatically concludeds. I’ll be so annoyed if the manga’s still continuing or something and we get a non-ending, it better not happen.

Twenteith Mourning – 25/10/17 1:14 PM

At the start of the episode I found myself thinking that at the shows current pace the show would need to do a whole lot of murdering to resolve the plot. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact the episode starts with a vampire’s eyes exploding due to exposure to sunlight and it’s a cool discovery for both the humans and the viewer as we finally realised what happens to Shiki in sunlight.

The humans search through the village and stumble upon a gold mine of vampires hidden in one of their hideouts. And the gruesome murders that the shiki have performed are payed back in kind even though a lot of them would have killed more than one. It’s gruesome and you can empathise with them however they’re not getting any sympathy from me since they’re mass murderers. Now that this episode has occurred you can apply the same logic to the humans however this is their only plausible way of survival. Now the argument comes full circle because this is the only way of vampire’s survival as well, but it’s not. They can use blood donations and their very nature and way of survival is through murder whereas humans are fine on their own and only turn bad once the vampires strike. The humans in this show aren’t saints but I sympathise with them a lot.

When Toshio (the ring leader) arrives back from the murder spree he finds his mum dead on the floor. She’s been murdered and not bitten which means she can’t come back to life, which is a good thing in my opinion (not that she died but that she can’t come back). It’s a simple message that continuation of his plans will result in a much worse experience for him. The issue is it’s a kind of terrible message!

The Shiki have been murdering everyone already and people can die at any time so this message really shouldn’t have any effect since it’s not anything more severe than the events already happened. And if Toshio lacked motivation and gave up there’s plenty of humans ready to take their place. The murderer is Atsushi and we have a strange moment where his father kills him. What I find so sad about it is the fact that his grievances with his son are still there and whilst I know he’s sad he doesn’t let his son know it before he’s murdered for the second time.

After the initial slaughter the villagers regroup and Toshio remarks that whilst they killed a lot not nearly everyone’s been killed. The issue is that by this point it’s already night and a lot of things will start happening. The villagers plan to explore the tunnels looking for vampires but the main leader of the expedition is shot by that vampire with the blue hair, Seishiro, I don’t think I’ve mentioned him yet. Yuuki then comes to oppose him and they have a dramatic encounter, ending with the show implying that Yuuki got shot however it doesn’t tell us for sure.

Then Tatsumi returns to Sunako and Seishin to report on news. We learn that the Shiki lost around 30% of their forces which is quite promising since it’s nearly one third and theirs only three more episodes left. They decide to leave however they’re unable to yet because of a mob of humans outside their house. I wonder if the show might just end by them running away, the fact that there’s so little vampires at the start could show that this kind of thing has happened before and that’s quite worrying since we don’t know how many times this has happened before.

It seems like the show then resolves the Ricchan and Tohru plotline by having them release the woman and die together as vampires (I assume), what the show implied was that they were waiting until sunlight when they would die together.

The show then ends with the humans murdering a human following the vampires’ orders. I don’t know enough about the scenario to comment on the morality of this yet, but it’s pretty messed up either way.

Its Halloween tomorrow and I’ll conclude the episode reviews for the entire series! I hope you’ll join me.

Twenty First Slaughter – 25/10/17 2:46 PM

As far as I’m concerned this may as well have been the last episode since it seemed to tie up every loose end very nicely. The few points that were left hanging can easily be explained or is best left to interpretation in my opinion. So this will be the last episode review of Shiki.

It’s hinted at earlier but it’s revealed that Seishiro is human with a 99% probability. We’re shown several vampires hunting at night and they bite the guy who tries to shoot everyone at the end of the previous episode. The vampires and werewolf’s who do this come across Seishiro and talk normally, yet it’s quickly revealed that he’s betrayed them, or rather had no choice but to betray them. It’s shown that Seishiro’s been bitten and that can only mean one thing, Yuuki won the fight from the previous episode, bit him, and ordered him around. I can assume that he’ll take care of him in the future so he’s not an issue to worry about.

What saddens me quite a bit is when the women stay behind to take care of the vampire’s corpses and seem to be enjoying it, laughing and having a good time whilst also forgetting what germs are as they eat rice balls with blood all over their hands. This is definitely done for a reason, whether it’s to continue the Shiki’s race into the final episode or just to show how empathetic the humans are, we’ll see. At least some of the actual hunters are at least mildly traumatised to show their emotions.

This episode then explains why Seishin tried to kill himself. He had another fake persona of misery and tried to kill himself to get rid of it, it seems like it’s worked. This story shows his troubled and horrible upbringing and how that affected him for later life. This story makes Sunako go to sleep and Seishin and Tatsumi decide to find a way of breaking her out.

In the meantime Masao is running around looking for a place of security and remarks about Megumi chan who’s probably dead in his opinion (Although I’m sure we’ll see her in the final episode) and goes to his old house to ask his sister to let him in. She instead murders him with a baseball bat. It’s a sad ending to his arc and he doesn’t really change much in the grand scheme of things but it makes sense really.

The escaped villager from Tohru and Ricchan returns to the village and reveals the second to last location of the vampire hideout. We see so many shiki die around here and since it’s now morning in the show I’m wondering why none of the vampires really seemed to attack in their huge groups. The final hideout (the underground one) is unexplored but the only one left, I don’t see why these guys couldn’t attack normally and just left the humans to go about their normal business the next day. Anyway they remove the 2nd hideout successfully and theirs now so many humans to vampires that their victory is basically guaranteed especially if they continue with their same brutish efficiency. A vampire win now would be such a twist ending.

A vampire win now looks so desperate that Tatsumi, Sunako and Seishin escape as soon as they realise that they’ve been found out. Tatsumi leaves as a decoy and everyone chases him, letting Seishin and Sunako (who’s in a suitcase) escape. Since all the roads are blocked Seishin takes a cross country route across the forest with Sunako but is found by Toshio and the others who follow him to the temple. They try to hide in the temple (Sunako’s in a suitcase so the light doesn’t go on her) and they kill Seishin’s family. As soon as he realises this he’s spotted and attacked, he wins the fight but he’s bleeding but is able to take Sunako away into the forest to hide her whilst Seishin’s probably murdered.

The most contentious thing with the villagers to me is the human killing which I can’t agree with. They still kill fewer humans than vampires so I like them more but it’s still a bit disturbing to me.

So the only real thing to conclude and finish in the next episode is the events at the last vampire hideout, and what happens to Tatsumi and Sunako. I’d personally want to never know what happens to Sunako because I think the show’s a lot more interesting. So I guess I might actually have to review the next episode! See you in the finale, I’ll be so sad if there’s a giant plot twist now.

The Final Hunt 25/10/17 3:48 PM

The sun sets on Sotoba village and I felt an immense worry for what would happen, since the vampires are now safer. This happens as soon as Seishin runs away so Sunako immediately gets up and starts looking around, which was sad in my opinion. I thought it would be cool for Sunako to wake up at the end of it to realise she’s the last one left, and potentially end the episode there leaving it to the audiences interpretation to decide what happened.

Sunako finds Seishin and mourns his death but runs away to a temple as soon as she hears shouting and flees to the forest. It’s at this time that the villagers hunting her see a huge fire which is taking over a huge part of the forest. It’s not shown how this fire starts but I know it happens in the specials so if you want an explanation try that. I might talk about them later as well. This fire causes one person only to chase after the girl as she hides in the church which is very close to being on fire.

The man chases her into the village and almost kills her but Seishin kills him to save her, likely because the guy was responsible for the deaths of his family. The man expresses all his grievances for Sunako and this persuades her to just wait in the flames with Seishin as they died together. Since Sunako was mourning Seishin’s death I can only assume that he came back as either a werewolf or shiki straight away.

Let’s talk about why Seishin really doesn’t make sense here in my opinion. He’s a guy who joined the vampires side because of the ways the Shiki were being murdered, even though the Shiki have murdered more. What’s even weirder is that he’d kill one life to save another when he claims to simply hate murder. It shows how much the incidents with the vampires have messed him up as a person and destroyed his sense of morality.

Tatsumi is then shown as he’s chased through the village. He is shot numerous times and falls into a lake but that’s not enough to kill him since his blood supply needs to be cut off.

What I was amazed to see what that Akira was actually alive! Yuuki had apparently saved him even though he was about to be eaten by a vampire right in that place. It could be that he was bitten a few times but never actually died and Yuuki just found him. Anyway he seems to drop Akira off and then leap to chase after Tatsumi as he falls into the river. Then Yuuki and Tatsumi face off against each other as two werewolfs. He manipulates the fight into ending in a pit of bodies the villagers put in there to hide from the fire brigade and uses dynamite to blow both of them up. Crazy.

My biggest problem with this episode was the convenient way everyone seemed to have everything they needed at the right point in time. How could Yuuki have obtained dynamite? Where did the villagers get all their guns from? And why does everyone suddenly have chainsaws? It’s not much of a problem because it was a brilliant episode but it was a little annoying and slightly immersion breaking for a 17 year old kid to somehow obtain dynamite.

Regardless the human’s victory was all thanks to Yuuki and his plan seemed to work splendidly. The fact that he hypnotised Toshio was brilliant to the villagers’ success and it’s what saved more human lives in the end.

Megumi attempts to run away to the city but is blocked by all the villagers who run her over with a tractor. Some of these deaths look gruesome and sad however its worse when I think of the alternative Megumi would do in the rest of society.

Seshiro also decides to kill himself and it’s really strange to learn that he’s actually human. He was in a state of hypnosis from Yuuki (as confirmed by Tatsumi) and it’s sad that he sided with the vampires and paid a price because of it. Yet again he’s complicit with murder so I don’t feel that bad.

Toshio finishes up work with the bodies and fire, giving up chopping down trees with chainsaws for safety. He along with the rest of the villagers decide to flee and they sit on pickup trucks thinking about the previous events. The Shiki were certainly the losers, they all were killed by humans and if they weren’t killed by humans (like the ones underground) they most likely would have died in the fire. That being said the humans didn’t really win either, yes a lot more of them survived but they had their homes ruined and loved ones lost whilst also becoming murders themselves. So they won at a high cost.

And a lot of people like this and a lot of people don’t. What’s brilliant about this show is the human conflicts and blurred lines of good and evil on both sides and it’s a show where many people can draw their own interpretations. I have my own which I can justify strongly to myself however it’s amazing to see the amount of people who disagree with me, and disagree with each other in the comments, which shows the conflict isn’t simply black or white.

When I started reviewing this series I expected a horror show which might scare me a lot. What I got instead was so much better. The aim of this show was to make you think and question both sides of the conflict, to present both sides where neither is truly evil and in such a way that the interpretations can be numerous. You have no idea how much I’ve seen people on either side call the other one stupid and then back it up with a decent argument.

Whilst writing one of the paragraphs in the earlier episodes I wrote my justification for why I liked the humans more, and as I wrote it I realised that my exact reasons could also apply to the vampires as well, and I questioned for a whole lot of time before reaching and digging for a much better argument on the side of the humans. It’s these arguments and concepts that really drive the horror in this show, not through vampires, jump scares or creepily loud music but through sheer ideas and concepts which can really mess your mind up while you think about it.

For the entire month of July I worked on a project called JEARETTAS where I released at least two episode reviews a day. I was happy with nearly all of them yet I’m amazed at the length and intrigue in every episode review I made of the show which continued into even the later episodes. Once you get over the first impressions theirs not really always a lot of thoughts if the show can’t deliver episode after episode, and even at the worst of times this show delivered a whole lot each episode splendidly with all the things I’ve mentioned above.

It’s all these facts combined that makes Shiki the brilliant and effective horror show it is.


Shiki Nikki End

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9 thoughts on “The Shiki Diaries [1-22]

  1. About the specials: they don’t continue the story at all. In fact, they’re easily inserted within the series, best enjoyed within the show, rather than separated. I just lucked out and saw them that way. One shows us what happens in the tunnel, and it rather skews how one sees the human side of things. The other shows how the big fire gets started, because one woman goes crazy from all the losses she suffered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m actually releasing two posts about the specials, they’re really good and I agree with what you mean! They were really entertaining as they were able to show all of the unexplained plot points. My only real issue was the lack of ambiguity for some of the characters, I kind of like imagining what could have happened to other characters and watching the specials might have ruined that for me, they were still great though.

      Liked by 1 person

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