The deaths continue on and Toshio finds himself in the worst position a doctor can find himself in - using his own wife to discover a way to fight back against what's happening.
What They Say:
Kaori's father suddenly collapses. At the clinic, Toshio studies his wife's corpse for clues on how to combat the vampires.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With its very deliberate atmosphere, Shiki has built up something quite impressive here as a horror show that's filled with tension and suspense, the kind of horror we rarely get. So when it shifts to the high end horror and gets violent, ti feels even more brutal. What throws the show off a bit is when it tries to do a bit of humor, which we see at the start here for a bit of back story that leads up the latest death, that of Kaori's father at the hands of one very gaudily dressed woman who sees him as the perfect target to take down. She has quite the look, similar to the otherworldly design as others who have moved into the mansion that started all of these events.
The continual string of deaths here is almost getting matter of fact at the hospital. There is a somberness to it, but there have been so many and more added seemingly every day that the emotion is falling away from some of them. Toshio's starting to fall into despair as well, though he still has a focus on wanting to solve everything, but with the loss of his wife, events are starting to overpower him and wear him down. While the hospital struggles with it, there's a very chilling scene involving Kaori's father where he ends up dead at the house while Megumi stares on and teases from outside, pushing Kaori towards hysterics and her younger brother Akira to having to deal with everything even more. Even when the deaths are close like this, people have started to become so numb to it all that the fear is somewhat muted.
The scenes involving Toshio with his wife are hard ones to be sure. To watch her succumb to what has happened to her, to be unable to stop it, is painful enough when it's the usual patient. But with it being his wife, it's even harder to deal with. Yet he's able to take that pain and use what she is and has become in order to find some sort of way to push back against the okiagari. Unfortunately, this material is poorly balanced with the more comical scenes involving Megumi learning that Natsuno was cremated as she beats up on others over her frustration at losing the guy she had the hots for. And for him not being able to turn because of the cremation. I've really liked Megumi and her nature since the start, especially after her turning, but the lighter moments here come across poorly in a show that has focused so strongly on the more serious side of atmosphere.
Some of the starkest scenes of many films I've seen over the years involve people having to deal with autopsies on loved ones. The need to further understanding in critical situations on those that have died is difficult enough. Having it progress to someone who can come back from the dead, different but similar, only makes it worse. Toshio's arc here is brutal to watch as he records it on a snowy black and white camcorder, showing us what he goes through as does his wife. It's the chilling scene that the series has brought up repeatedly without any lost effect now, taking something and making it more intense. Shiki continues to fascinate me as a beautifully animated and choreographed series that doesn't play by the normal rules of anime since it's not splashy, not ultraviolent or filled with gratuitous fanservice. It's the kind of show I really wish we had more of. As with almost every episode so far, this one is very recommended.
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