Shiki – 17
This episode was much faster paced than I’ve become accustomed to from Shiki – clearly everything has now reached a fever pitch and the final few episodes will be concentrating on the pay-off of all this painstaking build-up. Still, this episode was full of ‘OMG, what on earth are you doing!?’ moments – everyone is DOOMED, DOOMED I tell you! We’ve been saying this for weeks, but with episode 17 it really becomes apparent that the worst case scenario is looming for Sotoba – DOOMED!!
Lets start with Seishin, because for the life of me I can’t figure out what this man is thinking. Seishin does end up meeting with Tohru and just ends up feeling sorry for the shiki even more than he already had. Tohru is still distraught over his inability to stop himself from killing when his hunger gets too much for him to deal with. Muroi tries to comfort him by saying that its ok to want to live, and he then remembers his conversation with Sunako in the church about equality in death. Muroi spends the majority of the episode deep in thought, agonising over his relationship with life – he seems to feel that he’s unqualified to lecture people on doing whatever it takes to survive, because he himself once tried to throw his life away. Seishin can’t make a firm decision the way Toshio has, Toshio has always been about protecting human life, but Muroi can’t see the world in the stark black & white Ozaki does – he can see that the shiki are also doing what they must to survive and sympathises with them.
Seishin’s decision to go to the Kanemasa castle voluntarily really confused me though, as it seems like entirely the wrong decision. Afterall there isn’t much difference between what Ozaki & the shiki are doing – both sides are pretty much out to kill the other for survival, so I would have expected Seishin to come down on the side of his childhood friend rather than the creepy child he met in the dead of night a few times. But then again Sunako’s philosophical speeches seem to echo Seishin’s own thoughts, so perhaps he feels that Sunako will understand him better? As it is it does not appear that Muroi has been bitten, it just looks like Sunako has drugged him; so it will be very interesting to see what happens to Muroi in the future.
Weirdly it seems having a death wish runs in the Muroi family, as Seishin’s father Shinmei disappears this week after writing a very explicit invitation into his room (and his room only) to the Kirishiki’s. In Shinmei’s case I can kind of understand why he would have a death wish – he’s very sickly and probably didn’t have long to live anyway; however his decision to invite death in and then disappear without indicating to his family just what the nature of the threat afflicting the village is, is just strange. Shinmei’s very carefully worded invitation ensures the temple is still protected outside of his own room, but what good does that do if his wife & son have no clue whats going on or how to protect themselves when Shinmei is gone? It also raises the question of just why Shinmei was taken from his room – it raises so many more questions than it would if had just died there. Perhaps Shinmei isn’t dead yet and father & son will be reunited in the Kanemasa castle? But then what would the Kirishiki’s want with a family of priests?
Seishin’s meeting with Kaori was heartbreaking. Poor Kaori, she’s utterly broken. How horrible would it be to have to live with the knowledge that your undead friend is picking off your family members one by one and that you are basically a walking corpse. Kaori has never been the strongest character and she doesn’t deal with stress well, but her practical side that tries to ensure she attends school/does homework, comes out in a frightening way this episode. Since Kaori knows her family is dead and that there aren’t many people left alive in Sotoba she goes and digs her own grave and beseeches Muroi to give her a posthumous name so she can prepare her grave marker properly. I was shocked by Muroi’s reaction to Kaori’s disturbing attitude though – the poor girl is clearly unbalanced and probably should not be left alone since the fear of Megumi alone is likely to kill her off, but Muroi simply gives a half-hearted lecture about not giving up on life. Muroi clearly feels that he shouldn’t be saying such things to people and retreats into himself, leaving poor Kaori with no one to comfort her – Kaori was clearly asking for help in this scene, but Muroi was too distracted by his own issues to reach out to her – very sad stuff.
Moving on to happenings outside of the Muroi household – Sotoba really is completely doomed at this point…..surely the shiki are starting to out number the humans now? We’re shown that certain shiki are now moving back into the village without being noticed by the human population – the death toll has gotten too big for people to keep track of. This situation is pretty dangerous – once Sotoba becomes a village solely of shiki what will they feed on? We already know that there is a unit of shiki sent to obtain prey from outside the village, but they can’t realistically provide for everyone that’s risen – will groups of shiki begin to leave the village and start the process all over again elsewhere or will the Kirishiki’s start damage control and reduce the shiki numbers? I doubt the anime will address this conundrum though!
Surprisingly Natsuno isn’t shown to be doing anything in particular this week – he’s running through the forests at night looking very srsbns, but we have no clue what he’s been doing. Whatever it is, he’s caught the attention of Tatsumi, but I’m not sure if Natsuno knows that or not. For the time being Tatsumi seems to be keeping news of Natsuno’s return quiet since Tohru is still convinced he’s dead.
Over with Ozaki things are also not going too well. He and Natsuno seem to have agreed to wait things out until the shiki seem sure of their victory and let their guard down a bit, so while Natsuno is running about the forest, Ozaki is biding his time and stocking up on stakes. Unfortunately for Ozaki the shiki aren’t going to sit back and just leave him be – this week reduces the staff of Ozaki’s clinic down to just Nurse Lingerie, as Nurse Bowlcut is abducted and Ritsuko is bitten. Really, Ozaki has no one to blame but himself here – just because some of the villagers refused to listen to his ranting about the Risen, and the majority of those left alive seem to be content to bury their heads in the sand, does not mean he shouldn’t attempt to get the word out – to his staff at the very least. Ozaki’s credibility is already shot – those that are ill are now going to the Kirishiki controlled clinic (no doubt on the hypnotic instructions of the shiki) instead of going to him, so he doesn’t really have anything to lose by putting the theory about the Risen out there. It’s quite frustrating to watch him sit back and do very little apart from brood and carve stakes.
Of course it all goes pear-shaped for Ozaki at the end when Chizuru decides she’s peckish and wants to move Toshio up her menu a bit, biting him and placing him under her control. This sort of surprised me – I thought Ozaki would hold out for another few episodes at least, but it seems that with Natsuno being stalked by Tatsumi, Ozaki under Chizuru Kirishiki’s control, Muroi giving up and heading to Sunako’s side and Kaori completely breaking, the shiki resistance movement is all but dead.
Oh! It’s also confirmed this week that Seishiro Kirishiki is indeed fully human and has chosen to side with the shiki – the man also has some damn impressive sniper skills! I’m even more curious about how the Kirishiki family met now – clearly it is a very recent alliance since Seishiro is fairly young and it does seem that he and Chizuru are married (even if he doesn’t fully approve of her taste for good-looking men to feed on)……wonder if Sunako was the one to turn Chizuru?
The preview for next week looks all kinds of crazy – Mr Yuuki seems to be back and in full on insane knife-wielding wacko mode, Tatsumi has Natsuno by the neck (and is wearing another rather fabulous looking outfit) and Seishiro appears to be going on a shooting spree! Shit has truly hit the fan in Shiki – looks like it’s properly time for this show to properly show its fangs, and I am really looking forward to it!
EDIT: Also manga/novel readers, please don’t post spoilers in the comments – I like to be in the dark and come up with wild theories, spoilers take all the fun out of speculation.
EDIT 2: Please don’t post manga spoilers in the comments as I’d like to read the manga myself at some stage -_-