Anime Review: Shiki Episodes 19, 20, and 21

(Originally published and formatted for Livejournal on 1/7/11)

Anime Summary Review: Shiki Episodes 19, 20, and 21

Rather than the longer reviews with all sorts of pictures and such, this is just a quick summary review. For a series that I’ve already been watching for several episodes, there’s not much of a reason to go into much detail. At this point in the series, you’re either still watching it (so you already know what’s going on and a long detailed run-down of everything is not really needed), or don’t care. So, without further ado:

Shiki Episode 19 – Sotoba Village has been under the thumb of the vampires for months, but he tide has finally turned. After the initial shock of discovering that Chizuru is one of the undead, they quickly dispose of her and methodically set about ridding the town of the menace without bringing attention to the outside world. Meanwhile, Tatsumi and the Kirishiki Family try to plot their counter-attack as a weakened Seishin comforts a troubled Sunako. There will be blood, oh yes, there…will…be…blood.
My thoughts: It’s amazing at just how quickly the tides have turned. While it seems the Shiki has gained nearly complete control over the village and the doctor had been reduced to abject despair, their control was tenuous at best. For months the anger and frustration of the townsfolk has built up, unsure and unable to direct their rage at anyone or anything. Now with a clear target to focus their ire, the retribution is fast and furious. It gives the phrase ‘paint the town red’ new meaning.
A better review: Star Crossed Anime Blog

Shiki Episode 20 – Part Two of the bloodbath, as the villagers continue their rampage. The Kirishikis try to mount a defense, but they are hopelessly outnumbered as lair after lair is discovered and the Shiki are killed. At one point the doctor becomes horrified at the monster that has been unleashed as the mob begins to kill living people merely suspected of collaborating, but soon realizes the mob has taken on a life of its own and is beyond his control. Sunako and Seishin hid in a secret underground basement as the burgeoning Shiki empire crumbles around them.
My thoughts: Very little of Natsuno, who only shows up briefly to take care of the threat of the gun-toting Kirishiki — otherwise this whole rampage has been under the nominal control of the doctor and Mr. Funky Beard. However, there will apparently be two additional unaired episodes (#19.5 and #20.5) that will expand upon everything that is going on. Given the massive number of people whose storylines need to be wrapped up, so much the better. If anything, this episode punctuates how an angry mob can take on a life of its own, and you begin to wonder which side is more hideous…
A better review: Star Crossed Anime Blog

Shiki Episode 21 – The Battle of Sotoba Village is over, and all that is left is mopping up the remaining pockets of undead. By this point, the villagers have largely become desensitized to what they are actually doing, walking around in an emotionless haze, soaked in blood. Sunako’s dream of creating a haven for the Shiki has been shattered, and now she plots with Seishin and Tatsumi on how to escape. With only Seishin to rely on, he manages to spirit her away in a suitcase, but gravely injured and trailed by the mob, it’s clear there’s little time left.
My thoughts: I still don’t really understand Seishin’s motivations, what he ever thought he might accomplish by voluntarily putting himself under the control the Kirishikis. Sure, I fully get that he and Sunako are kindred spirits, but how that translates into “I’ll be yours forever and always” sort of loyalty is just too far a reach for me. By this point, I can only think there may be four or five of the undead left ‘alive’: Sunako, Megumi, Tatsuno, Natsuno and maybe a stray here and there. Just one more episode left to wrap everything up for what has turned out to be one of the best shows of the entire year.
A better review: Star Crossed Anime Blog

The Verdict:

Up next: Soredemo Machi wa Maidshit, My Little Sister Can’t be Incestuous, Scanty and Kneesocks with Fastener, Boring Detective Yakumo, Invasion! Squid Girl, Kuragehime, and Arakawa’s Neverending Bridge

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