Discovering the truth about what's going on means you must be eliminated, according to the dead that have come back to life.
What They Say
Toshio and Natsuno's suspicions were true. Okiagari - creatures of legend that were once human that feed on the lives of others - are now stalking Natsuno.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shiki has worked slowly at the reveal for those who are still alive as to what's going on. And even with that reveal it's been pretty incremental so far as it's only just in the last episode that Toshio and Natsuno got it confirmed for their own certainty that the Okiagari are truly real and are walking among them in the midst of the night. But now that they know for sure, the Okiagari with Tatsumi has determined that they must be dealt with, at least according to the family that seemingly operates everything from the shadows over him. And by dealing with them, it means they have to kill them, though they'd be welcomed if they turn like they have.
Natsuno figures they're out to get him easily enough based on the girl that came to see him in the last episode. While he does what he can to prepare for it, he gets hamstrung by his father that removes all the religious items from his room due to his distaste for it and the supernatural. It's almost amusing that everything his father does to create a harmony in the household is causing it to be easier for the Okiagari to get to his son so they can kill him. Natsuno is a pretty good kid for the show as he figures out things through natural leaps of logic you don't get in most shows and he takes into account the reality of the situation pretty easily, not that it helps him all that much. But just being aware of the world of the supernatural from mass media and pop culture, it gives him a leg up over most other shows that tend to pretend that these kinds of things never exist.
The emotional side of this episode is pretty good as Tatsumi sends off Natsuno's friend Toru to be the one to kill him and potentially raise him again. Natsuno has some really good tense moments before he discovers this fact and it's a crushing thing for both of them to deal with. So much so that it's not a surprise that Toru can't do it. The whole thing goes against what Megumi wanted to happen as well, but she's intent on making sure that if Toru can't do it, she'll be the one to do it. Rather than put Natsuno through more fear than he might otherwise, she'll take whatever punishment she gets for stepping into this situation. Seeing how the trio reacts to this situation and the instructions from the Kirishiki family is a lot of fun, though it takes a strange turn when Tatsumi himself shows up and his lighthearted and almost goofy nature gives it all an unsettling tone.
Shiki continues to work the creepy supernatural angle really beautifully here. While there are some mildly goofy moments when it comes to Tatsumi's scenes and when the Okiagari gather, they're positively chilling on an individual basis. Whether it's Toru stalking Natsuno or the way they bring out Setsuko from the hospital, they have a beautiful and eerie presence about them that haunts me. The visual design of the show and the slow natured aspect of it as it teases out the mystery for much longer than I would have expected makes this a series that I can't wait to see each week, to see what new layer will be revealed. The tenth episode makes things a bit more formal with what Natsuno must do now that both sides are fully aware of each other and raises the stakes for the show going forward.
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.