Anime Review: Shiki Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 8/7/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Shiki Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.

tl;dr review: Whiny teenage girl wants to leave the her hick town behind; she gets her wish but not quite the way she imagined.

The Skinny: Megumi is a stuck-up gothic-lolita girl who dresses up fancy dresses and dreams of ‘being noticed’ at the local cafe. There’s only one problem, though: She lives in a tiny backwater farming town. Desperate to leave for the big city, she can only focus on two things: the hunky boy that moved into town recently, and the large European-style mansion that was just built on the hill. Tired of the old ladies’ gossip and the banality of her small-minded classmates, Megumi one day trounces up the hill to the mansion…and disappears. The town mobilizes for a search, and she is finally spotted in the woods days later, barely alive. Anemic and listless, she quickly fades away, her disappearance and death remaining a mystery.

My Thoughts: A horror anime, as the residents of a small village slowly die one by one under mysterious circumstances. As far as the feel and the tone of the series, I am immediately reminded of the first episodes of Shigofumi and Paranoia Agent. Still really have no clue what’s really going on, although that’s sort of the point.

This show has one major problem, however — the incongruous character designs of the main characters are a ***HUGE*** distraction from concentrating on the plot. It’s like they intentionally went out of the way to make them as cartoony-looking with laughable hair styles as possible. How can you focus on a dark, brooding serious plot when the characters have hair straight out of an early seventies anime, or a Lego snap-on set? Major, major mood killer, and I am at a loss as to any possible reason behind the stupidity.

If I can get past the intentionally-crappy character designs, looks like there’s a pretty intriguing story there. Maybe.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Review: http://randomc.net/2010/07/10/shiki-01/
Anime News Network entry: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=11302
Overly-dramatic video trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZouYkthzG8

The Verdict:

The tally for Summer 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Ookami-san, Highschool of the Dead, Mitsudomoe, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II, Kurenai OVA, Nurarihyon no Mago, Shiki
Failing grade: Amagami SS, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Strike Witches 2, Shukufuku no Campanella, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Digimon Xros Wars, Black Rock Shooter OVA

Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Legend of Legendary Heroes, Sengoku Basara II, Asobi ni Iku yo, Cat Shit One, Kaichu, Break Blade, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire, Zettai Karen Children OVA

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