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Shiki (manga): Chapter 3 – 4.5

January 28, 2011

Continuing on with these posts on the Shiki manga, chapters 3-4.5 equate to episodes 3 & 4 of the anime.  Again there aren’t many differences, but there are a few interesting points.  A Day Without Me already has her post on these chapters up, be sure to check it out (as shall I as soon as I finish writing!).

First off we get some more information of how Sotoba village came to be.  Established in the Edo period, it started out as a small settlement of woodscraftmen leasing some land from the temple, the settlement gradually getting big enough to warrant a doctor (the Ozaki’s), when the Kanemasa bought a large amount of land and let it out.  So the triad of power in Sotoba has always been the temple, the Ozaki’s & the Kanemasa – amazing how it’s stayed like that for long!

The manga version of Muroi is notably more proactive than his anime counterpart, he goes about visiting many more villagers and is seen to receive calls from people other than Ozaki – Muroi doesn’t seem quite as detached from the village as he does in the anime.  In the anime Muroi was seen doing his own investigation & spotting the odd pattern of people quitting their jobs before they died, however it seems to have more impact in the manga.  Perhaps this is because Muroi gets a bit more attention in the manga since it doesn’t have to worry too much about running time, but in general Muroi in the manga just feels less passive than his anime version.

Oh, but I do have to mention the hilarious ‘bishie sparkle’ moment Muroi was randomly given in chapter 4.5.  Dressed in full robes, skidding to a stop on his scooter (how fast was he going on that piddly thing?) and then taking his helmet off to pose whilst surrounded by sparkles – it made me giggle like an idiot because it just seemed completely out-of-place, like it should have been in an omake or something (although Masao does have a weird moment of fanboying Muroi in this chapter as well….hmmm Muroi as the village idol anyone? XD).

We also get a glimpse at Muroi & Ozaki’s childhood when Muroi takes a trip down memory lane as news of Mikiyasu’s illness reaches him.  Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that it was just the three of them most of the time – Ozaki’s power-tripping started at an early age it seems, Muroi has always been quiet & shy and both he and Mikiyasu were content to follow Ozaki’s lead……all of them were bloody cute as kids too!

Of course the main thing of interest in Muroi’s part of the story, is his second meeting with Sunako in the abandoned church……..which isn’t actually a proper church since it was never consecrated, guess that’s why Sunako decides that its fine for her to go in there.  The building was definitely intended to be a church, but never properly used as such.  We also get a proper look at the stained glass in this building with its depictions of the grizzly deaths of various martyrs – think Sunako is spot on when she says that there was something a bit odd about the Kanemasa family member that commissioned this building!

Sunako for her part comes across as even creepier in the manga than she did in the anime.  I found her unsettling in the anime due to her seeming old beyond her appearance, but its taken to an entirely new level in the manga, what with her wandering about in the dead of night with no torch & seeming to be fascinated by death – she also clearly unsettles Muroi more than she does in the anime.  Sunako does ask for an invitation back to the church, but Muroi only gives it reluctantly “the mountain paths can be dangerous at night, I wouldn’t recommend it”, a feeble attempt to put her off coming back to his refuge.

You know I didn’t think it possible, but I hate Masao even more in the manga than I did in the anime!  Masao is shown to be physically bullying his nephew in the  manga, rather than just being creepy & mean-spirited as he was in the anime – in the manga Masao is out-and-out vindictive, and selfish to the extreme.  While Masao does appear to be genuinely upset by Tohru’s death, it seems to be purely in the context of what it means to him, not the effect it may have had on Tohru’s family and other friends – Masao seems to be completely incapable of empathy, he fully believes that the world should revolve around him.  I was so fecking glad to see him get attacked again, the prick fully deserves the slow death being fed upon by a shiki involves!

By contrast Natsuno comes across much better in the manga.  While Natsuno’s sleep deprivation and hallucinations were better portrayed in the anime, his personality is much more likeable in the manga simply because we get much more from his POV.  Natsuno has a huge chip on his shoulder about his hippy dippy parents, from their choice of name for him, to their dragging him out to this backwater town so they can indulge themselves in handicrafts. Still Natsuno for all his withdrawn stoicness, is nothing but polite to everyone he meets – it may be a front, but he definitely behaves in a more likeable manner than Masao.  However Natsuno is also very much in denial about his need for friends in Sotoba – he constantly denies that he needs them, even though he admits that he spent lots of time with Tohru and his family, and got to know them all very well – its like Natsuno is being drawn in by the Mutou family’s warmth almost against his will.

It’s quite obvious how close Natsuno is to the Mutou family at Tohru’s deathbed.  The family is utterly distraught, but unlike in the anime in the manga much of the focus is on Mr Mutou’s reaction – since we’re much more aware that Mutou is one of the managers at Ozaki’s clinic, and knows of the ‘epidemic’ at this stage since he was at the medical round-table discussion.  As such Mr Mutou is keen to get his family out of the room ASAP so he can speak to Ozaki about how he overlooked Tohru’s symptoms.  The Mutou’s are reluctant to move from the room, so Mr Mutou turns to a stunned Natsuno to herd the family downstairs, that Natsuno recognises that Tohru’s father needs his help shows remarkable maturity for a 15-year-old who’s just seen his best friend lying dead.

Overall the atmosphere in the manga seems to be tenser than it was at the same stage in the anime.  It just feels like the rising death toll is having a much more significant effect on the manga cast at the moment, since we’re getting to see more people’s reactions to the deaths.  Characters are also getting suspicious earlier – Ritsuko & the cafe crowd are all pretty concerned about the causes of the spate of deaths already. Akira & Natsuno are still the first to voice real suspicion though, Natsuno immediately going for  the ‘dead are rising from the grave’ angle, while Akira lays the blame at the Kirishiki’s doorstep.

Once again this is getting a bit overlong, so I’ll stop here.  Be sure to check out A Day Without Me’s post on the same chapters over at GAR GAR Stegosaurus, and we’ll be back next week with another few chapters!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Envy permalink
    January 29, 2011 12:12 am

    good good

    I felt kinda sorry for Masao he clearly has some sort of mental problem that makes him like this and his hate for his Sister in law and her kids are purely are because he used to be the youngest and got attention for it

    honestly if Masao had just said sorry to his father and Natsuno he would still be alive and a lot less destesable

    • January 29, 2011 3:53 pm

      I think I’m utterly incapable of feeling sorry for Masao, he’s a wretched human being. Masao’s upbringing was probably a factor as well as his stunted mentality – he’s clearly the youngest of the household by a considerable margin, and was probably doted on by everyone as a result. His selfish tendancies are deeply ingrained at this stage and Masao truly believes that he deserves everyone’s undivided attention……doesn’t make him any less creepy or unlikeable though!

      • January 29, 2011 6:33 pm

        Agree! Really, I feel like I want to punch Masao (if I can :p). He’s just the most irritating chara in Shiki! (Megumi was number two in my list xD)

        • clinton permalink
          January 29, 2011 8:36 pm

          I don’t remember but did Masao’s niece Chika live in the anime I don’t remember

        • February 1, 2011 8:37 pm

          Come to think of it, I don’t recall Chika in the anime either……she’s not that important, perhaps she was cut?

        • Envy permalink
          February 1, 2011 11:04 pm

          well i’m guessing she lived them Masao when asking to stay with his sister metioned how he would leave her alone

  2. Kim permalink
    January 29, 2011 2:43 am

    I said the same thing on Gar Gar Stegosaurus but I am really looking forward to these tidbits from the Shiki manga so thanks so much for doing this.🙂

    • January 29, 2011 3:55 pm

      Thanks for commenting! Day and I decided to do this because we enjoyed writing about Shiki so much and didn’t want to let the series go! I’m surprised that we can still write so much on the series, given the anime stuck so closely to the manga thus far.

  3. adaywithoutme permalink
    January 31, 2011 4:42 am

    Muroi = worst village idol ever.

    I still wish Natsuno would die half-way through! I grew to like him by then in the anime, but I hated him again when he flopped around as a werewolf for the second half. Only the good die young, I suppose?

    I will agree, though, that the manga humanizes him more effectively than the anime had to this point. We’re getting into his head a little more, although I will confess I find his frustration with his hippie parents to be tiresome. However, I will also confess that I generally have little toleration for such things in general. You’ve got a roof over your head, your parents don’t beat you, and you eat every day. Stop being such a whiner, dammit!

    • February 1, 2011 8:40 pm

      Hahah, Muroi really is a crappy idol😀

      I wouldn’t mind Natsuno’s becoming a werewolf, if he was actually used in the plot. I mean I know he was doing a lot of stuff off screen in the anime, but it felt like a cheap plot device because we couldn’t see him or get in his head. I’m hoping the manga addresses his side of the whole thing a bit better.

      Natsuno really is a bit of a whiner, although I can’t deny that I wasn’t exactly the same as a teenager😆

      • adaywithoutme permalink
        February 2, 2011 7:10 pm

        I didn’t like teenagers when I was a teenager, so I feel no guilt for being annoyed by Natsuno’s own behavior >=D

        Natsuno’s relative absence in the second half makes me think, though, that the manga itself doesn’t provide a lot of material for his actions, either, given that the anime only deviates toward the very end. I suppose it would go a long way toward endearing him more to me, though, if he didn’t whip out a stick of dynamite at the end. *rage*

        It seems like bad policy to me to have as your village idol the very person who loathes the place.

        • February 3, 2011 11:39 pm

          I was such a typical teenager, while not as bad as Natsuno in his ‘I hate everything, no one understands me’, I wasn’t far off it!

          Yeah I’m concerned that stuff regarding Natsuno in the later chapters is going to be similar to the way the anime handled him, given how closely the anime has been following the manga so far. I will rage if he gets the dynamite out again though…..dear god.

          But Muroi does such a good job of hiding his hatred of Sotoba for the most part, he could so fake idol smiles😆

  4. February 1, 2011 5:00 am

    How close is this compared to the anime? following? or completely off? xD I should check it out…

    • February 1, 2011 8:43 pm

      The anime sticks very close to the manga so far. The manga does spend more time fleshing out the characters & emblishes things a bit more since its got more time to play with, but on the whole there’s not much difference yet.

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  1. Manga Cartoon » Shiki (manga): Chapter 3 – 4.5 « Caraniel's Ramblings

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