Characters that made my year – Toshio Ozaki (12 Days of Christmas: Day 12)
And so its Christmas Day and it brings us the final of these 12 Days of Christmas posts. I’m ending with a character from the series I’m most hyped about at the moment – I’ve loved watching and discussing this show to death, so it’s quite fitting to end with my favourite character from the show. On this twelfth Day of Christmas I give you Dr Toshio Ozaki from Shiki.
I had to end with a Shiki character really. It’s the series that I’ve been most invested in lately, and have spent countless hours watching/thinking/writing/talking about the series and its characters – not many shows can really make me do that. While the character I spend most of my time pondering over is Seishin Muroi, ultimately its Toshio Ozaki who is my favourite Shiki character. I like how Ozaki has developed over the run of the series, at the start, when Shiki was really all about Natsuno, Ozaki was just the man of science, there in the background getting more and more frustrated over his inability to save the villagers. Ozaki has a bit of a hero complex, he feels that it is up to him to protect Sotoba’s residents from whatever it is that’s killing them off; but Ozaki also has a bit of an over inflated ego, and he tends to like to do things on his own. Once Ozaki was certain that the threat was supernatural, he pretty much calmed up and tried to go it alone – mainly because no one would believe him if he started claiming that it was the undead that was killing off the villagers, and that would really hurt his standing in the village. Regardless of how much Ozaki may claim to resent the role thrust upon him by his parents, he plays up to the part and seems to revel in his high social standing. If he had of perhaps got down off that high horse and confided in a few more people, perhaps Sotoba would have never reached the breaking point it’s now at.
There were two episodes I considered as Ozaki’s best moments – episode fourteen’s experimental bloodbath, and episode eighteen’s major turning point. While episode 14 will always remain stained in my memory for Ozaki’s clinical dissection of his wife, episode 18 clinched it for me as it marked a complete turnaround in Shiki that I didn’t fully see coming. Throughout the episode Ozaki had been acting doomed – he had been bitten by Chizuru and was fully under her sway as far as we were concerned. So when he seemed to be embracing his doom I was a bit disappointed, however that all changed at the end of the episode. Ozaki’s skillful manipulation of Chizuru Kirishiki’s weaknesses and the way he subtly led the villagers on so well to reveal the existence of the shiki to them was just brilliant – I actually clapped. In one short moment Ozaki (with some help from Natsuno behind the scenes) managed to completely turn the tide in Sotoba, stirring up the villagers and inciting a bloody witch-hunt – it was beautifully done. Bravo Ozaki, you’ve made Shiki one of the most memorable series in recent memory for me!
So there we go, those were twelve characters that have made 2010 special for me. It was fairly difficult to keep the list down, and I only allowed myself to pick one character from each series (with the exception of Panty & Stocking, but they’re partically a double act anyway), just to make things even more difficult! However I’m very happy with the list, and quite impressed that I managed to get all twelve posts done since I only decided to do this Twelve Days thing at the last possible minute! 2010 has given us some great series, not a bad year at all. I’m quite looking forward to getting stuck into my ‘Best of 2010’ posts in January! 😄