On the most public of stages, Toshio exposes the undead to the villagers and inspires them to take up arms.
What They Say:
The villagers band together to free their town from the grips of the Shiki. Meanwhile, Tatsumi decides what to do with Seishin.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the presence of the Shiki far more apparent and public now, thanks to events that played out with Toshio and Chizuru, the villagers are fully aware of what's happening even if they don't quite get it. Their fear has been undirected for so long now because of the deaths and the not knowing that now having an object to focus on, they move full force to deal with it. The series has been so striking with its brutality at times, not overdone but very key to the moment, that even when it's all playing out on a rather public stage, it's just as intense and powerful. Toshio's revelations to everyone following the brutality is just as intense in its own way as he lays clear what's happened and what they're up against. It's essentially rallying the villagers to pitchforks and torches, but it's so natural and appropriate that you can only grin at how it escalates.
The reactions of the core group is most intriguing as they take things fairly methodically after a bit of shock at what's happened. Knowing that the village is essentially lost, they shift their plan to turning as many as they can and then turning them all against each other since there is no way for so many to survive outside of the village in hiding. While they can take a village and control it, that many on the move is far too noticeable and problematic. The plan they put into motion is amusing in a way since all they want to do is create confusion and chaos, which is pretty easy to do once people are aware that there are undead out there. They're going to be tense and jumping at shadows from the start, and what better way to heighten that than to add even more shadows.
The rallying of the human side goes about as you'd expect as some don't quite grasp the severity of what's happening or have moral issues with staking the dead since they can't quite bring themselves to believe they're dead. Then there's also the hope that they can find some way to coexist. For Toshio, he just wants to eliminate them since there are so few ways to do it and it's plain to him that they are a danger. The rallying of the Shiki goes a bit easier as they're fully aware that their survival is literally at stake. There's a lot more emotion to be seen on the Shiki's side as they cope with it and what they need to do. After feeling like they've been the lords of the lands for a bit now, having real threats now presenting themselves has them off balance and even more dangerous when it comes to some of them.
Shiki has a very definite sense of pacing and style it wants to use and this episode is no exception as it inches ever closer to the end. Toshio's opening sequence with Chizuru is brutal in both the physical violence and the emotional aspect as well since we finally see a Shiki experiencing true fear. From there it starts to set the stage for the final battle that is to come and each side is fraught with issues that are definitely real and powerful for them. In the middle of it all, we see a number of characters that are awaiting things to happen, moments of closure that will play out powerfully in what's left of the series. Sunako for her part has her own machinations in place with Seishin and that adds an air of uncertainty to it all, especially with her child like voice and sense of purpose coming from one who has seen so much. Shiki is firing on all cylinders beautifully here and continues to be the standout show of 2010.
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.