Shiki Episode 07: 101 Sotoba Survivalist Guide: Sotoba Grave Digging Services, brought to you by Natsuno Yuuki.

Natsuno: It’s a great idea. Don’t you think? Better than playing dumb in this stupid village.

Had a crappy week, this means I have to spend less time lurking on the Internet, or else my grades will spiral down before you can say ‘vampires’ on the internet. Also, I’m suffering some sort of inferiority complex for several lessons this week, so I’ll try to place my personal feelings aside while writing this.

On a related note: The plot has just begun, so stay tuned!

This week’s post is brought to you by Sotoba Grave Digging Services, Kaori and Akira Tanaka and Natsuno Yuuki.

I’m dreaming of flowers…wait! Why am I dressed up as a ghost? Am I…dead? NNNOOOOO!!!!

So first off Masao found himself dressed as a ghost, very much ‘alive’ and active…and stuck in a coffin. It’s pretty sad to be buried alive, except that Masao has joined the legions of the living dead. Meanwhile, Kaori and Akira are spying outside the Kanemasa mansion, who had no idea that catguy Tatsumi is actually watching them. Akira weep tears of joy, strongly believing that Natsuno was on their side into knowing that the Kirishiki family are somehow behind all those strange deaths upon arriving at Sotoba. Having failed to made his (and Kaori’s) parents to believe that the Kirishiki family are behind the deaths and they thought that their children are just having their thoughts run wild in this quiet village (And also seeing the ‘dead’ Yasuyuki and Megumi around the village) the three of them are determined to solve this mystery…first off by digging Megumi’s grave.

Akira and Kaori: We aren’t simple (or stupid) country bumpkins, man. We knew that something’s wrong with those Kirishiki people.

Behind his calm exterior catboy is thinking of doing something nasty to Natsuno.

Back to Masao, he wonders the reason why he ended up in a coffin as he remembered the night he became a vampire, lying on his futon, with Aoi and Tatmosu apologizing what she said to him in episode 5. In his thoughts (since he’s too weak to tell them) he wished that she and Tatmosu would stay by his side but unfortunately for a jerk like him, he didn’t deserved a better ending than this. Too weak to control himself to resist opening the window and die… well, you get the picture.

Too bad. That’s the cold, hard truth. You’re one of the undead now.

Masao was soon discovered by Tatsumi and with difficulty speaking normally, catboy decides to act nice for a bit and told Masao that he’s lucky that he’s able to stay alive since not everyone who is bitten turned into a vampire (Hiromi is one example). Explaining the new functions his new ‘body’ has, Tatsumi warned Masao that despite he’s resistant to serious injuries, he is unable to stand under sunlight, will die if his heart is stabbed or his head is cut off…babble about traditional vampire weaknesses…you should know this by now.

Let catboy teach you the means of being a true vampire.

By bringing Masao to an abandoned and rundown house, Tatsumi instructed him to stay inside and not go outside during daytime and taught him the hard way in adapting to his new ‘diet’. (Hint: It’s red and watery. It happens to run everyday body functions in every human being.) Masao at first reluctantly refuse to suck the blood of a human, but Tatsumi decides that this cannot go on. Forcing him into a room with the victim, with a cup of blood at the edge of the room, it took him a few seconds for Masao to heed catboy’s instructions. And become a true member of the vampires. End of story.

No, there’s more.

Another victim of the vampire spree turned up in Toshio’s clinic one day and understanding what he’s dealing with currently, he assured the victim’s husband that he should leave Setsuko at the clinic and find a way to protect Setsuko at all costs.

No, Mum. We’re…out planting some flowers at the garden. See those spades we’re holding? It’s not like we’re going to dig graves or anything.

Kaori was having second thoughts of joining Akira and Natsuno in their first excavation, feeling that it’s wrong to dig her best friend’s grave (Seriously, Megumi treated you like crap and you think that she’s still your best friend after her death?) but Akira shrugs this off, thinking that Kaori was being such a coward for running away from a grave problem like this (Lame pun not intended). Toshio apologizes to Seishin when our dear priest arrived to report to Dr. Ozaki that the reports of the deaths in Sotoba and Mr. Ishida, who’s in-charge of those reports went missing. This makes reporting the official deaths of the deceased in Sotoba to the government much harder (and I bet that the vampires must have taken those records away), but Toshio doesn’t care as he declares that he has found the root of his problems: Vampires are the ones that are behind in this mayhem. Pleading Seishin to aid him in protecting Setsuko from vampires, Seishin told Toshio if he could think about it and decide later on.

Thank you! Finally Natsuno convinced you that those insect bites aren’t that simple as that.

Arriving earlier than the Tanaka siblings, Natsuno passed them bigger hoes and spades before leading the way to Megumi’s grave. Still reluctant to dig her best “friend’s” grave, Natsuno began digging Megumi’s grave…come back next week to find out if Megumi’s corpse is inside the coffin.

Spades are for silly little children. You’re a grown up now, Kaori. Join me and Akira into the road of adulthood and dig Megumi’s grave up the bricks!

Thoughts:

So, I was thinking: Everyone dies in Shiki? See the OP, everyone dies, turns into skeletons, the vampires won the battle?

There goes my troll side running around like an old loon.

Also if you noticed, in contrast with the vampires in other series these days, Shiki returns back to the roots of traditional vampire folklore. The close-up image of Masao with his blood drained by a vampire was way creepy of any other shots we’ve seen in this series so far. I don’t mind if someone wants to nominate him as the ‘creepiest character in anime history’ in some sort of animation award.

Poor kid, he should rise up and get his revenge at his evil uncle. On the bright side, it’s better for him to stay dead than be a blood-sucking monster like Masao.

I do agree that it’s difficult to dig up a friend’s grave, seeing that it’s extremely disrespectful to a dead person. (But the dead can’t complain anymore, right? Nuh-uh.) I feel so much better watching better things unfold compared to the last six episodes and we get to see how the other villagers react to the absurdity of our protagonists. (Watch Natsuno’s father and the Tanaka siblings’ parents. I’m not going to list them all, but you’ll get it as more new characters appear.) So far I’ve only spotted one fault in the animation when Toshio’s mother is watching her son and Seishin afar from the window (Toshio and Seishin looked too short and chibi from that angle, but at least everything else is good.) I’m having very high expectations for a great show like this as the mystery unfolds (I think there’s more to the vampires’ story than this) and it has risen up to become my favorite show of the year.

Megumi says she’s not your best friend. Didn’t you realize how she treated you before she died?

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7 Comments

  1. Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, finally we get to see vampire Masao! As if he couldn’t get any creepier, lol. Interesting choice to have his POV as the one through which we learn about all things vampiric in Shikiland, and a very creepy/ cool/ downright scary moment when we see his actual bloodsucker side awaken, even though it was so tantalisingly brief… wait, that was probably why it was so effective… *shudders*

    Incidentally, I wonder why not all potential-vampires reawaken? The example given was Masao’s little nephew, which implies that he’s an ‘innocent’, and so wouldn’t (thematically/ morally? I dunno what word) make the ‘right’ kind of vampire, as opposed to someone so obviously full of issues like the late Mugumi. In which case Toru might not reawaken either, cos he was far too nice of a chap(?). Hmm, makes me wonder what issues the librarian dude had…

    Maybe someone forgot to return one of his precious books on time. Or worse – bent the corners of the pages! :-O

    • Windaerie
      Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Maybe those people who come back as vampires have so called “unfinished business” with the world of the living. For example, Megumi wanted Natsuno to reciprocate her feelings, Masao wanted acknowledgement from his father, and the librarian…..wanted to fine the dude who bent the corners of the pages (Hana, you made me laugh out loud at work with this line :P). If this premise of “unfinished business” is correct, then I’m guessing we will see Toru again, since he needs to tell the green haired (blue haired?) nurse and ask her out on a date. I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed on seeing Toru, he was such a cute character!!!

      • Posted August 22, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Er, hope they didn’t give you too many funny looks at work! Hint, try and bag yourself a desk in the corner, it works for me! ;)

        Good point about Toru’s yet-to-be-given-love-confession to the nurse with the awesome hair, I shall keep my fingers crossed too!

  2. Windaerie
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post, Reverse Vampire. Keep your spirits up and take frequent breaks between long bouts of work. School and work are always going to be stressful, but if you pace yourself, give it your best, and keep your goal in mind, you will be okay. Gambatte!

    On another note, I am really curious to see how exactly the cat boy fits into the bigger picture of things. Does he work for or with the vampires?

    Yay, gravedigging. Very tiring job, I’ve read.

  3. Zeta
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The power of the triangle

  4. Shadiic
    Posted August 21, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Masao looks like he has a thong on his head every time i see him dead. A douche in life and an even douchier fool in death.

    Toru is so much cooler than that since he didn’t have one on during the time of his death. Though Toru seems like he won’t be coming alive since we haven’t seen him since the time of his death and Stalker chick and Douche tool are up and being complete whores about their issues going emo twilight on us.

  5. kagamihime
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    ha i’ve been thinking, but what if cat boy is actually a were wolf/ lycan or something. i wouldn’t be surprised on account of him being able to go in the sunlight and how furry he is. awesome post btw~

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