Shiki Episode #12 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010

The village continues to empty out, both from those that leave and those that simply die.

What They Say
After Toru's attack, Natsuno warns Kaori and her brother to escape the village before they fall victim to the vampires as well.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After several weeks of a break, Shiki returns and it's going to be difficult to get back into easily considering the way the show has played out. The story of a village succumbing slowly to vampirism as a family that moved in has caused many to die and some to revive has been really captivating. The first eleven episodes of the series worked a parallel story of high school student experiencing the change in the town and an establish doctor who researches it and tries to come up with a cure until he realizes what the truth of it is. The show has a lot going for it visually and in providing chills and scares without going for heavy blood or violence.

With Natsuno having seemingly been bitten, and his life ready to drain away through the way these creatures devour them, he's intent on the others leaving while he deals with his case by himself. He knows that Toru is coming for him and is prepared to deal with that, but with the way their relationship had been prior to Toru's death, dealing with him in this way is terribly difficult for him. He wants to find a way to deal with it, but Toru makes it clear that this has been going on for a long time and there's simply no way to do that as a way would have been found by now. The drama between the two and the emotions involved are well played out in the way Shiki has expressed itself to date. Having it play out with the family at the dinner table, creepy eyes and all, talking about it in an abstract way only adds to it all.

A good part of the episode deals with the fallout from that encounter as the kids keep trying to get close to Natsuno again but his brother keeps pushing them away. Natsuno's fall to Toru has left him in a really bad place and his brothers reactions are, once again, curious as he's come across with a definite agenda since he first appeared. The interactions between the trio play out in an odd fashion where he doesn't believe the two kids at first but then sort of sees there may be something to what they're saying and he begins to investigate it. With Shiki having killed off a number of people so far, I wouldn't put it past them to eliminate Natsuno and shift the story forward through another angle again.

In Summary:
The short break that Shiki took is one that can definitely hurt the series since getting back into its devilish groove can be difficult. And this episode has the same kind of quiet creepiness to it that is part of the overall buildup everything has been going through. Still, if you can get back into it and remember where things left off and who everyone is, it does start to progress well again here and seeing what Natsuno is now going through is quite disturbing and curious as you want to know more, to see what will really happen. I adore this show for its style and approach to the supernatural horror element, and this episode adds nicely to things, I just wish there wasn't a break to throw off the way everything had been progressing.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 16 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Shiki