A creative metaphor for blood? Sweet! (Lame pun not intended.)
After a rainy and quick week of never-ending assignments, with several essays I have yet started, a rather tough week and falling down on my sad bum, episode four shows us how it takes for the villagers to stay alive. It’s killed, or be killed in the dog-eat-dog world of Shiki…
A decent pun of ‘four’ and ‘death’. Well, this means someone’s about to die.
With more deaths happening recently in the hot summer heat in Sotoba, the next victim in this disease spree turned out to be Takumi (The young policeman you see in the first episode, sadly he has to die early) with his family shocked with his sudden death, a strange occurrence for a healthy and lively man like him. Meanwhile, Natsuno woke up sweating, having the hunch that there is someone or something stalking him (Most likely the deceased Megumi). He soon brushes it off after realizing that he’s just hallucinating.
The next day, Ritsuko was at the local cafe, talking with the chef and the other guy (Can’t remember every single villagers in Sotoba, too many characters to count) on Takumi’s wife and children moving out of the village late at night so suddenly, leaving all their belongings behind. Discussing about the replacement policeman taking Takumi’s place and the mover truck that only works in the night, another strange case occurred at Toshio’s side with Susumu, Nao’s child caught the same illness as his mother. Telling the rest of the family that he can still be saved, he wonders if he caught the disease from Nao. Turning to Mikiyasu, it turns out he was infected too by looking at his skin complexion and blank eyes.
Megumi’s Eyes of Doom. Your very own stalker watching you after her death, Natsuno~
Let’s all give poor Mikiyasu a hug, shall we? If I were him, crying is probably the most humble way of showing true feelings of losing your loved ones. Poor man…
Overhearing Susumu calling out for his mother last night, the only thing Toshio could do for his childhood friend was to obtain a blood sample of his son and taking him to the hospital located in the city. A phonecall from Seishin in the middle of the night, Toshio throws in his fabulous medical vocabulary once again, with anemia being the only word I understood throughout Toshio’s explanation. He suspects that Susumi is infected with the same ‘disease’ Nao and Megumi caught.
It’s summer and it’s not Christmas yet. Don’t you feel hot wearing that dress?
The same night, Natsuno caught the nightmare bug twice, dreaming of Megumi with blood red eyes watching after him in his room. Once again,
creepy ill girl Sunako visited Seishin in a church once again, looking at every stained glass portraits on the wall, telling her that one of the Kanemasa made those stained glasses in the past. Talking about profound things such as life and death (don’t you think Sunako’s a little too young talking about such things?) Seishin warned her about going out at night, especially with the strange deaths appearing out of nowhere.
The stained glasses reminded me of some strange hidden Christians images before the Japanese government lifted the Christian ban in the Meiji period.
On my ‘birthday’ (September 12), Natsuno went off to school, then ran as fast as he could staring at something. Ritsuko told Toshio about a call from the city hospital, he conducted a meeting with every medical staff in the village clinic, announcing Mikiyasu’s death not too long ago. Currently, nineteen people (including Mikiyasu) had died of this strange disease, counting some villagers living in nearby villages.
Bringing up some possibilities about the nature of the disease, he was positive about it being an epidemic, an unlikely situation it’s an allergy of an unknown substance or the usage of poison and drugs, the only solid evidence about the disease is that it all began with the victims suffering from anemia. He ruled the usage of poison/drugs out of the possibility as the patients’ behavior made this unlikely to happen and they also happened to die only at night. Other suggestions such as the victims dying form PNH (a.k.a. Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria; a rare, acquired and life-threatening disease of the blood due to destruction of red blood cells in the body. Symptoms include red urine and thrombosis. Details are found in Wikipedia.). Toshio agrees with the nurses mentioning the symptoms of PNH but he broke the ice by telling them Mikiyasu’s lung, liver and kidney failure.
Boys, this is Satoko all grown up. The bad news is; no, she’s not the same Satoko in Higurashi.
Discussing about how and which vector is spreading the unknown disease, Toshio emphasized that every person in the medical faculty should avoid catching the disease at all course and keeping any possibilities of it inside the walls of the clinic.
Not too happy about the epidemic. Probably having some plans escaping the village (Not spoiler, if you’re asking).
On his way to school, Natsuno’s head has been preoccupied with Megumi as he delude himself by seeing Megumi, alive and well, sitting in front of him. When he had come to, Megumi was gone. Reminding himself that his stalker is dead and she can’t do anything to him anymore, he got off the bus just to see an energetic Toru keeping him company.
“Natsuno: She’s dead, she’s not there; she’s dead, she’s not there…” Don’t tell me Natsuno’s falling for Megumi after her death, with his mind preoccupied by her face every day. Such apathy should not be picked up by kids in future.
Asking Toru if he could spend the night at his place, he accepts his request. At night, Toru got a bit distracted seeing Natsuno studying like crazy (while playing his N64). Natsuno became annoyed every time Toru called him by his given name. Toru brought up Ritsuko in the conversation, asking him if he could accompany him (Most likely to make a love confession) on his next ride in Ritsuko’s car. Natsuko decided to come along to see Toru confessing to Ritsuko, which sort of pushed Toru’s ‘happy’ buttons, not before kicking him in the face before falling asleep.
Darn it, Toru is a cake eater. He loves older girls, that is all. Hmm, wait, but does this mean…Toru’s bisexual??? He wants Ritsuko and Natsuno all by himself?
It’s bedtime for the two boys, with Natsuno sleeping in a spare mattress provided by Toru. (You know, Natsuno’s life was saved thanks to this if he didn’t agree Toru that he’ll stay awake a little longer.) Sleeping in Toru’s place did not work out for Natsuno, only this time: he’s not making this up in his head when Megumi and that creepy cat guy Tatsumi showed up. Instead of Megumi showing up at the door, Toru’s sister Aoi, with difficult math sums needed help from her brother, left as Natsuno rest easy. But wait…
…who is jealous of Toru, having Natsuno giving more of his affections to him than Megumi and ends with her about to bite Toru in the neck.
Are you forgetting something very crucial, Dr. Ozaki? Something in their bodies…
Damn it, I knew it: Natsuno’s falling for Megumi!
Don’t think this would ever happen (Megumi’s one of my least favourite character in here). Okay, bad day to break this to you when our heroes discern that there wasn’t an epidemic occurring in Sotoba after all. Once again Toru and Natsuno’s conversation sound more romantic than platonic when Natsuno asked him if he could sleep at his house for the night. (Yaoi fangirls would have thought about making a fanfic of a Ritsuko X Toru X Natsuno OT3).
Once again, the animation was quite consistent but the part after where Natsuno kicked Toru in the face after agreeing to tag along looked extremely jarring and out of place (big legs…big legs…).
Must…sleep…with…Toru…to get…Megumi…out of…my mind…
The direction of the last two minutes was surprising, with the entire episode examining what sort of disease the nineteen deaths were catching as well as Natsuno’s hallucinations seeing Megumi in his sleep. Also, be reminded that the vampires you see in Shiki are traditional (opposing to the recent, modern vampires shown in other series), as in they are weak in places with ‘holy’ items such as Japanese talisman or crosses and must be invited before they can enter a house.
It’s only the fourth episode and it’s already one of the most promising series in 2010. I’m hoping to catch the next Notamina series after Shiki ends (I’m also guessing how this series is going to end, the novel has ended its course but the manga seems to be heading in a different direction. Thinking if it’s following the novel, the manga or Daume decides to go for their own ending.) Better not fail me and excited viewers like what other vampire series do (I’m looking at Vampire Knight).
So kids, remember what Sunako has taught you in today’s episode. But too bad everyone has to die one day, including you and me.