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Summer 2010 – First Impressions (Shiki)

July 8, 2010

Coming to the end of these first episode impressions now!  Today we have Noitamina’s offering this season – Shiki.

Shiki

Interesting first episode. While I’m not tripping over myself to declare this the best show of the season, it’s definitely the show I’m most interested in plotwise. The Higurashi vibes are strong with the isolated village setting and mysterious deaths, but Shiki has plenty of identity of its own. I was quite impressed by the direction in this episode as it managed to make a fairly run of the mill introductory episode pretty interesting.

The one thing I’m not feeling is the characters – they’re not really very interesting or likeable at the moment. The old folks in the background are much more fun, as they’re quite realistically portrayed – old women that love to gossip and like to know everything that goes on in their close-knit little community. Old men who enjoy their simple pleasures and are protective of their village and the people in it. By contrast Megumi (the main focus of this episode) comes across as a whiney bitch with stalker tendencies, and the object of her stalking is one of those cool aloof characters that irritate me to no end. Hoping that the family that have moved into the big house are more compelling.

In terms of production, its pretty solid. The character designs are going to require some getting used to – especially since this is another show that has that main characters are much more colourful than the background characters thing going on. I mean Megumi has pink hair! Bubblegum pink hair and red-eyes, yet the normal villagers are all drawn much more realistically – that always annoys me for some reason.  Despite that, I quite like the stylised way the characters are drawn with dark outlines and hair with a life of its own! The girls are much prettier than the men though. The backgrounds are also very nicely done and really capture that rural, out-of-the-way feel the show is going for. I also really liked the trippy animation during Megumi’s dream(?) sequence towards the end.

I’m also like the soundtrack – there’s lots of silence to emphasis the secluded feel, but there’s also great use of music to add to the atmosphere at key moments. OP & ED are pretty good – really like the accompanying animation too. Voice acting is OK, nothing really stands out; but then again the only character with a decent amount of screentime this episode was Megumi.

Definitely keeping this on – Noitamina is a very dependable timeslot and once again Shiki seems to be something a bit different. I’ll be blogging this show weekly (unless it proves to have a disastrous 2nd episode!)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 1:45 am

    I wonder where this is going. We were “introduced” to a large number of characters, but as you said, Megumi (the wanna-be pop idol) sucked up most of the time. She certainly did not come across as a likable character. And then we got a reset of sorts (leading to questions about who the main character truly is). I think I read that this will be the first Noitamina show to get a double-cours, so it might take several episodes to figure out what the main focus of the series will be.

    • July 9, 2010 6:53 pm

      Actually the very 1st Noitamina series, Honey & Clover was 2 cours and so was Nodame Cantabile’s 1st series. Shiki is still only the 3rd to get 2 cours though.

      I like shows that take a little while to indicate what the’re going to be focusing on – tis fun to speculate 😄

  2. BigFire permalink
    July 9, 2010 2:32 am

    The novel is huge (over 1000 pages), and has cast of hundreds. There are also multiple point of view characters from chapter to chapter. The writer of the novel had said this is her homage to Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot. In the novel, the main characters are the doctor and the shinto priest/novelist. In the manga adoptation, they shifted some of emphasis to the teenager, and looks like they’re going to do the same with the anime.

    • July 9, 2010 6:54 pm

      Wow thats some epic source material, no wonder they’ve given the series 2 cours!

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