When the traditional methods no longer apply, you either keep at it or you look at other avenues.
What They Say
It's clear to Toshio that the source of the deadly illness won't be found using conventional methods. He and Seishin observe a patient overnight to catch any sudden changes in her condition - "or possible moonlight visitors.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Slowly but surely, time is moving forward and the number of bodies falling continues to rise. What's become a problem is that all the research that Toshio has done has led him to the inescapable conclusion that this is not a normal problem that's happening. It's not a typical outbreak of a virus or something else that can be explained away easily or scientifically by him and those he's working with. After exhausting all his available options, he made it clear to the others, and Seishin as well, that there may be something supernatural about it. Or unnatural, as he brings in the concept of the okiagari as being the root cause of the deaths.
A truly fascinating and surprising moment comes when Toshio and Seishen spend the night with one of his patients in order to see if there's something to this theory. While I would expect some kind of interaction, maybe one side, I did not expect one of the turned, Nao, to appear outside the blinds and gaze in hungrily with a creepy grin when Toshio opens the blinds. Similar to the sequences with Megumi haunting Natsuno, it's positively eerie and chill inducing in watching this happen. And with the creature unable to feed on the patient, Setsuko, Toshio has noticed a marked improvement in her within just a day. If recovery can happen so quickly if being fed on stops, it gives him hope to help others, but doesn't deal with the core problem. A problem that would get him labeled as mad by most everyone.
The second night doesn't go as smoothly though as the two intend to wait out again and see what happens. Toshio in particular is eager to spend the night out after a harassing visit from his mother the day before and the inanity that his sister brought to the table when she returns. But with Setsuko doing better, they intend to make sure she continues to recover. Nao, in her otherworldly state, is intent on getting to her mother though and uses some creative approaches to feeding on her. And this time she's not alone, bringing more of the turned with her in order to make it clear there's no stopping them. With Megumi standing out the strongest, it's yet another incredibly haunting scene in this series. There's some really neat little moments to this that hints at what else is going on and Toshio's role in it, which sends quite a few chills up the spine.
Shiki hasn't been uneven but there have been some quiet moments that haven't worked as well as others. This episode keeps the focus on Toshio mostly, which I find to be the most interesting, and he gets a double dose here along with Seishen helping him out. While we see some of his family issues creeping up once again, which is no surprise, he becomes very entangled in helping one patient and makes his full connection with those that are not of the living. With the okiagari term fully out there for him, it's both a moment where he's proven right and yet it's one where he wants to be wrong as well because admitting such things exists turns a lot of beliefs upside down. But he's the kind of character that doesn't give up and watching him deal with it and the results of helping Setsuko only makes him a more tragic figure at this stage as he's becoming increasingly unable to help anyone. Shiki continues to present plenty of chills and creepy moments that definitely stick with me and have me coming back for more and more.
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.