Tuesday, December 29, 2015

MARIAH's TAKE on Shiki Anime Series

Genre:
Mystery
Supernatural
Thriller
Vampire
Episodes:
22
Rating:
R - 17+
(violence & profanity)
Run Time:
22 min. per episode
Release Date:
Jul 9, 2010 to Dec 31, 2010

Based on the Novel by:
Fuyumi Ono

Directed by:
Tetsuro Amino

Studio:
Daume Studio

Produced by:
Aniplex
 Dentsu
Fuji TV

Plot Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu dreamed of a glamorous life in the big city; however, her unexpected death in the quiet village of Sotoba marks the beginning of what appears to be a ferocious epidemic that turns the hot summer into a season of blood and terror. A young doctor named Toshio Ozaki begins to doubt the nature of the disease and comes to understand that to discover the truth, he must abandon his humanity. Meanwhile, Natsuno Yuuki, an antisocial youth from the city, is haunted by the sudden death of Megumi and must realize the pain of friendship in the face of his own tragedy. Toshio and Natsuno form an unlikely pair as they work together to save Sotoba before it transforms into a ghost town of vampires.

Shiki, adapted from the horror novel written by Fuyumi Ono, goes beyond the average vampire story. It tells the tragic tale of survival in a world where one cannot easily distinguish between good and evil. Abandoned by God, the Shiki, as the vampires call themselves, have only their will to live as they clash with the fear of the paranoid/unbelieving villagers. Shiki explores the boundary that separates man from monster.

Cast:
Tōru Ookawa, Kouki Uchiyama, Aoi Yuuki, Kazuyuki Okitsu


~~~~~

*My Thoughts*
In short, it was "a'ight" but I regret suggesting this anime to my school’s Anime Club and I'll tell you why. With a painfully slow sense of suspense, Shiki leaves much to be desired for me as an anime. I respect the deeper meaning it portrayed but the only thing I felt overall was annoyance for the villagers. That’s mostly because of my lack of empathy for their ignorance. In appearances, the animation is lovely, sharp, and clear but then again when isn’t it when a well-funded studio stands behind it. For example, the details of a tractor could be seen from “afar” and everything else was so well done that I felt sorry for the person who had to deal with Sunako’s gravity defying hair. Ironically, almost all of the characters had freaky hairstyles, which made them counter intuitive for conservative and rural village people that gossip and mocked anything “strange.” But enough of that. The plot itself, like stated before, was painfully slow because the villagers were so doubtful in the existence of the shiki despite deaths continuing and vaguely excused activity of the village escalated at night.

The pacing hardly helped to introduce the character’s backgrounds because Shiki  more or less asks you to “pick a side.” On that note, this isn’t an anime for the atheist and the agnostic because we wouldn’t pick a side. We’d weave our way through the series to pick and choose what characters are worthy of praise. Character development was lacking and there were few characters worth remembering. By episode three, we already know who’s killing off villagers. The only person with the most thoughtful background was probably Sunako but that’s because she’s the oldest character in age. The deeper meaning to Shiki isn’t blatantly stated until the climax, where “Shiki explores the boundary that separates man from monster.” But there didn’t seem to be any men in Shiki, rather they were all homicidal idiots or hedonistic zombies adhering to their instincts. The only real heroes to me seemed to be Natsuno Koide and Ritsuko Kunihiro; the boy who wanted to save lives and the nurse who stuck true to her ideals even if it meant starving to death. They kept their heads on tight, whether dead or alive, and stayed true to themselves. All in all, it doesn’t “get good” until two thirds through.

My Rating:


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