Shiki Full Review: Mysteries left hanging…

YAY! Down with Sotoba! So long, stinkin’ village putting everyone’s lives on the miserable line!

So, it’s the end of Shiki, isn’t it? I’m gonna miss writing this weekly, despite my lazy side trying to pull me away from writing an episodic review whenever an episode is available.

But seriously, this series needs more love. Because it seems that this is one of the only blog (Other than Star Crossed, the only other anime blog that I know so far) that even cared about writing this series that most of you don’t even watch. It won’t be too long like my episodic reviews, seemingly that I turned back to my lazy self after that.

Warning: Heavy Spoilers Ahead! I suggest that you should only read this after watching all 22 episodes. But no spoilers for chapter 35 of the manga.

To avoid confusion, I’m not talking about this Shiki:

Shiki Senri from Vampire Knight.

Not this Shiki either:

Shiki from Togainu no Chi.

Not this old man either:

Haiku poet, Masaoka Shiki, a.k.a., Masaoka Noboru (1867-1902).

Or this Shiki:

Shiki Tohno from Tsukihime (But this has vampires too! But different.)

And not this Shiki either:

Another Shiki from a TYPE-MOON work: Shiki Ryougi from Kara no Kyoukai. And she wants to kill you. Yes, you, in front of the screen.

And if you’re mentally-challenged enough to guess this incorrectly, it’s this Shiki I’m talking about:

Gazuru Chizuru Kirishiki, Lady Gaga-wannabe.

I admit, I’m slow at getting the fact that Natsuno and Tatsumi are dead. I mean, the animators made the dynamite Natsuno’s holding on look average. Didn’t realize that it would do massive damage to both him and Tatsumi. Speaking of which, chapter 35 of the manga is out and it follows exactly what happened in episode 21 of the anime series, except that we get to find out about Senshirou’s past prior meeting Sunako and Co. (I’ll avoid the spoilers for now to those who have yet to read chapter 35.) So probably things would go on a different course after that.

Sometimes, I do hang out at MangaFox’s forums while reading the manga version of Shiki (which is still ongoing, BTW and it’s not going to end anytime soon by the looks of it) and found out that Fuyumi Ono, the original creator and author of the Shiki novels series wrote this not only to write a story about vampires, but also exploring the human nature in different ways, how peaceful villagers would also have their own killing instincts and ready to kill one another with or without any reason at all. Depressing, isn’t it? Talking about the novels, Natsuno did not make it in the novels. To put it in simple terms; he remains dead; no revival, no turning into a shiki or a werewolf, no nothing. So you might wonder what made Toshio reveal the existence of the Shiki to the entire village without Natsuno’s help. I can’t find which topic it is in the forums, but I’m sure it’s somewhere in there. If anyone knows where to read the novel or buy them, let me know in the comments below.

So now, what do you think of this series, and are you satisfied with the ending of Shiki, since most series has a crap ending despite a great build-up to prepare the aforementioned inevitable? And according to psgels-san over here, Shiki is having a slim chance of having a second season, if there’s going to be any. Too bad the best stuff is more often too good to last than the opposite and has once again proved the most likely truth of the Sturgeon’s Law. I would blame myself from watching too much Daria where the only clever people in the story is actually Natsuno and Toshio (possibly Akira and Kaori too since they, specifically Akira knew that something’s smells fishy with the people living in the Kanemasa mansion) where they could just sit back, see their hometown burnt into ashes and witness the stupidity on the rest of the villagers still having no clue that they are under attack if not for the help of the only two (or three or four) people with a bit of common sense in mind.

It’s also a series for people who are just begin entering the anime fandom as one of the good series that should be worth watching or to people who are already sick and tired of the sudden ‘modern vampire fantasy’ surge (we know who we are looking at right now, *sparkles*), for them to reminisce the traditional vampires we’ve known to love.

I feel that some of the characters that did nothing much to contribute to the build-up could let other important characters to have some importance on how the direction of the ending could have been different, such as Masao Murasako. I think Masao’s role in Shiki was to make all the other Shiki look awesome, clever and beautiful/handsome compared to him. After all, he’s the Straw Loser just to make everyone else look good and he suck all the way. No one ever loves him for being such an ugly, unlucky and stupid guy who wants to take Megumi the path of freedom. To make matters worse his death seemed so unimportant as everyone’s lives continued as per usual and him without making any slight differences at all. In the end his sister-in-law, who looks and behaves as the least suspected person to have kill anyone decides to kill him, sigh~.

I only existed to make everyone else look like winners.

From here, I’m not sure which series to pick up right now as school’s starting really soon and I doubt that I have the time to pick up another series, unless Spring 2011 proves me wrong. Also, I would be trying out different writing styles whenever I pick up another series for reviews again; my current writing style I did for Shiki takes me at least an average of 2 hours to complete: not a good idea to do that with a student trying to ace as many modules as possible.

But still, there are still some mysteries that need some explaining to do:

1. What made Senshirou shoot Yoshie? (No manga spoilers, please.) Prior to that, we haven’t seen him what made him do that in the first place, episodes 20 and 22 does not help at all with him declaring that he wishes to become a Shiki and enter the burning mansion and all. Let’s hope episodes 20.5 or 21.5 will clear this up.

2. Did they actually found that woman back in the 1st episode? Seeing her mother turned into a Shiki and escaped back to her own house, it was the last time we saw of her. May or may not be explained in the DVD special episodes.

3. Erm, I’m not sure if it’s safe to show Kaori turns her father into mush. In the manga, Kaori kills her father, despite after knowing that it wasn’t Megumi that going’s after her. Of course, it’s a brutal scene to witness given by the links given. May or may not be explained in the DVD special episodes.

4. Motoko Maeda. See point no. 2. Being the only survivor and her entire family (yes, even her smother-in-law) all died from the Shiki attack, I think we are witnessing a lunatic housewife in action now.

5. What happened to Natsuno’s father? After episode 18 we never see that son of a bitch again. Will or will not be explained in the DVD special episodes. I hope that he dies too like the rest.

Enjoy the new year while I sit in a corner and be miserable since there’s nothing good to watch this winter season. Will pick something up from the upcoming Spring season. Time to spend another hopeful/miserable year ahead.

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10 Comments

  1. Dan
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Seishirou shot Yoshie and Tatsumi because he was under Natsuno’s control. As he reloads, you can see bite marks on his wrist.

    In the mini-epilogue that plays in the ending of the finale, Natsuno’s father is sane again and Kaname is with him getting on a bus, presumably leaving. Kaori seems to have recovered from her shock, too.

  2. Anon
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Re 5: If you watch the epilogue during the credit roll of episode 22, you will find out what happened to Natsuno’s father. Basically, he recovered his sanity and you see him get on the bus with some of the other surviving cast.

    Edit: Just like previous commenter already said. I should read other comments before posting, lol.

    Re 3: They definitely can’t show this on TV, not in Japan, not after what happened in the past few years. Maybe in one of the extra episodes.

    Re sequel: seeing as we have reached the end of the novel, I don’t see any room for a sequel unless the mangaka decides to go past the novel ending for some reason. I doubt Ono herself wants to write a sequel for this, since it has the feel of a completed work.

    • Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      I didn’t know there was an epilogue o.O thanks for pointing it out. Normally I skip the ED because I hate this song (like the first OP ED and love the second OP though)

  3. Sacchi
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    1. What made Senshirou shoot Yoshie? (No manga spoilers, please.) Prior to that, we haven’t seen him what made him do that in the first place, episodes 20 and 22 does not help at all with him declaring that he wishes to become a Shiki and enter the burning mansion and all. Let’s hope episodes 20.5 or 21.5 will clear this up.

    Taken from a forum: http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt269/Static_Wolf/BiteMarks.png
    Natsuno did it. It’s even talked about in the dialogue between Tatsumi and Natsuno in ep22.

    • Posted January 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      @ Sacchi, Anon and Dan: Forgive me for the misunderstanding. Didn’t remember much about much that has happened in episode 22 since I was rushing to get the review done.

      See how scatterbrained I am. Sigh.

  4. Posted January 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Lol at the ‘not this Shiki’ pics. Really enjoyed this series, from the creeptastic opening atmosphere, to the dodgy hair doos, to the war of wits (er, as well as the very real, and very bloody war of fists and stakes). Thanks for blogging this, RV! Hope you enjoy the new season (or at least try to, lol) and good luck with your work!

  5. RulezMac
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I want to know what will happen with the village =O

  6. H
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Who actually bit Seishin though? I assume he’d been turned into a vampire since he had red iris in the end.

    But doesn’t that mean he’s a werewolf? Considering he was driving off in the end at dawn.

    I’ve been left to ponder about this…

  7. Josh San
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I liked the show and i think natsuno bit him

  8. greed92
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Akira is still alive in the credits. Wasn’t he with the gorilla-shiki-with-white-hair? How he survived?
    And also Natsuno’s Father seems to be.

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