Waking dreams of dead girls who may really be vampires torments Natsuno to no end.
What They Say
After visiting the surviving families of the deceased, Seishin discovers a peculiar similarity amongst every victim. Natsuno is tortured by helplessness as his visions of Megumi become terrifyingly close to reality.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If ever there is a show that needs a timeline in order to track so many deaths, it's Shiki. As the show moves back and forth in time some, both in the actual deaths and the exploration of it, it can get confusing to figure out what's happening when and where as it spans about a month or more of time. Even more so as the investigation follows two paths to ferret out information about the victims. Seishen is performing his path by visiting many of the people and friends of the recently deceased while Toshio is putting together his medical investigation with the results from the various cases and what he's gleaned from either the doctors of nearby villages where people died and from his own notes. And all the while, the main village itself seems to carry more and more of an eerie feeling to it.
The pieces are starting to come together a bit, but in an interesting way for the viewer and Natsuno only. When Natsuno heads over to check on Toru who has skipped school again because of a new game he bought, he discovers that he's actually just been pronounced dead by the junior doctor. With what we saw in the previous episode of the dead form of Megumi entering the room and biting him, it certainly explains the relatively quick death in comparison to other people who have died, giving clue as to the differences in how people are bitten relating to how quickly they die. It's a crushing moment for Natsuno to watch, but it's not something he can put into words that people would believe, never mind actually act on. So much of it still feels like a terrible dream as opposed to something that could have really happened.
What becomes interesting about a series like this where so many die is to watch who lives. And to them wish that certain ones of them would die already. Maseo is definitely one of those characters where he's got such issues with his family and his entire personality is so screwed up and almost cruel and mean that it's hard to watch him on screen. When his sister Hiromi gets sick and taken out of town for help, he's just spiteful over it in comparison to how he was treated when he was little and sick. His attitude is even apparent when he goes to where Toru's funeral ceremony is being handled and he feels terribly out of place there with the way he handles and carries himself. He quickly became the character that you wonder why he hasn't died already, or how big his death will be when it happens.
Shiki offers a lot of interesting moments here, though I'm less than thrilled with the extra attention that Maseo gets. But as people keep dying, it's not too much of a surprise that the living characters get more attention. The previous episode still stands out as the best episode of the series so far, but this one earns some kudos for the way it deals with a few things. Natsuno's loss is growing, though he's more affected by it this time, and there are some neat little things that surprise, especially right at the end since it wasn't something I expected to happen based on how much of the episode went. Shiki isn't as creepy this time around as it was before, but it's still one of the more engaging and curious shows of the season that leaves me wanting to know more. I suspect it will have good replay value as well in being able to examine events and nuances that might have been missed as the revelations become clearer. Definitely an intriguing show worth taking the time to watch.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.