With the fight against the Shiki now much more public, the villagers are making their might known.
What They Say:
Toshio leads those who haven't joined the Shiki - or fled the village - on a raging, blood-soaked hunt, but there's still one place they haven't looked. As the vampires strike back, Seishin continues his watch over Sunako.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The shift in the show from secrecy and being scared about the Shiki has now become anger and rage as Toshio has shown them that they can be beaten. The staking of the mistress opened the eyes of many and made a lot of them feel emboldened to finish things properly in order to protect those that have survived so far and to end the travesty of those who have come back from the dead. While Toshio understands that it was inevitable, the violence and bloodshed is truly brutal as they work through the village to make things right. Covered in blood, serious and intense looks on their faces, the men know what needs to be done, even after seeing the retaliation that comes against Toshio personally with his mother being killed.
A good deal of the Shiki are dealt with, but Toshio knows full well that even as large as the pile of bodies is, there's still a whole lot more out there. The living have few options for dealing with the bodies since a large fire would cause the authorities to notice, so they're just burying everyone. It's a disturbing scene, even more so because Toshio is so calm about it and more concerned about the larger number of them that are still left out there. With the way they're taking them down though, the okiagari are definitely starting to fight back and it's rather surprising, but welcome, to see Seishiro doing so by using a rifle from a good distance in trying to take down the most obvious leaders of this fight back against them.
The challenges faced here are fairly varied depending on the situation. Toru is still trying to get Ritsuko to feed since his family is dependent on it, but with her nursing background, she just can't bring herself to do it and it's crushing him emotionally to see her going through all of it. The villagers in general have to shift tactics now that Monday has arrived and their weekend of carnage has the potential to be seen by others who come by for simple business. And in the midst of all of this, we see Sunako's coping with Seishiro's not coming back yet and how Seishun is acting as a collaborator of sorts by providing blood to the okigari in order to keep them alive. It's all very emotionally done with the same haunting feelings we've seen elsewhere, especially where Sunako is involved, and though you can view them as evil, their struggle is just as honest as the villagers is.
Shiki starts off with a bang and runs pretty hard with it for a bit, but it doesn't try to sustain it. When it shifts back into the chilling and suspenseful moments, it works just as well. The brutality at the start and the methodical nature of it is very brutal and it's an incredibly engaging series of events, but the quieter moments are just as brutal but in a different way. Shiki hits so many high points here that it's almost a dizzying episode in seeing how events are unfolding. Each new wrinkle adds something new and takes you deeper into what's going on. The villagers being emboldened is a huge change, but it doesn't impact the show in a negative way, rather it just alters the flow and takes us in a direction that isn't surprising but is very well done. If Shiki had been brutal from the start, this wouldn't have any impact. But it's been focused on quietly chilling the viewer so that when it does go this way, it's impact is significant. And this episode has a hueg amount of payoff to it.
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.