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Synonyms: Corpse Demon
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 9, 2010 to Dec 31, 2010
Duration: 22 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.171 (scored by 53545 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Jan 1, 2011
And then Shiki comes along and blows that whole idea out of the water.
Originally a two part horror novel published in 1998 by Ono Fuyumi (which was later reprinted in five parts), Shiki was adapted for manga in 2007 by Fujisaki Ryu. Set during a summertime in the mid 1990s, several people in the small town of Sotoba in rural Japan are afflicted with a strange and incurable wasting disease, and the local doctor fears an epidemic may be starting.
Around the same time a new family moves into the newly built Kanemasa mansion .
Shiki may not look the part at first glance, especially because of the colour scheme, but don't be fooled as there is actually quite a deep plot to this series, and while there is a degree of predictability about the storyline, this is balanced some good scripting and a more reasoned narrative approach. One of the things that separates this anime from more recent offerings is that it harks back to older vampire tales, so unlike Fortune Arterial, Rosario + Vampire, and other titles of that ilk, the undead in Shiki are unable to venture out into sunlight, nor are they able to enter a home unless invited, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to this there's an intelligence about the story that materialises in some interesting ways, from the doctor's logical approach to the town's crisis, to the strangely normal reactions of the local women at the beginning of the penultimate episode. Shiki could readily be compared to Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni as it explores certain aspects of human psychosis over the course of the series, and it's pleasing to watch an anime that doesn't assume that the audience are blithering idiots.
The thing that may put people off though, is how everything looks. The town and rural scenery are nicely detailed and varied, but viewers may initially wonder at the incongruity of the bright colours, or even the European styled mansion sitting on a hill overlooking the town. Rather than a whimsical approach to the design, this is a purposeful nod at the stereotypical hilltop "castle" that is prominent in a number of European horror stories.
This slightly methodical approach to design also manifests itself with the characters as it seems as though there has been an attempt to include just about every body shape into the series. Now while this adds a nice touch of diversity, there are some rather ludicrous additions which seem a bit out of place in a rural setting (one example is Ookawa Tomio, the owner of the liquor store, who looks like he was built in a shipyard). That said, the one glaring issue is that the vampires are easily recognisable because of their eyes, which is a bit of a shame as there are several scenes where the effect would have been heightened if there was less of a difference between the undead and humans.
As for the animation, the production company Daume isn't really well known in the West, but the work they've put into Shiki bodes well for the future of the studio. The characters generally move well, and while there are some slightly ridiculous body positions and actions at times, there's also a bit more realism about the series since none of the undead can leap over buildings or fly through the air. The action sequences also benefit from this more realistic approach, but there are still a small number of scenes that "bend" the laws of physics at the very least.
One thing that does bear mentioning is the quality and impact of the visual effects, especially the colour scheme, partly because of the variety, but mainly because they provide a number of scenes with some much needed emphasis.
Speaking of which, Shiki features some pretty decent acting, and a number of seiyuu really do put effort into their roles, even if they only have a minor speaking part. Now one could argue that this is to be expected from professionals, but sadly this isn't always the case as there are many anime out there that simply haven't understood that a poorly executed supporting role can spoil the performance of the leads.
The downside is that there are times towards the end of the series where the actors and actresses seem ... a bit too enthusiastic. Fortunately the seiyuu playing the main roles are there to steady things, and their performances are very good indeed.
Shiki is well served by a variety of incidental music, ranging from quiet yet slightly ominous music box pieces to haunting choral anthems, all with some slow techno beats thrown into the mix to round everything out. The series has two opening and ending sequences that, in all honesty, are a bit of a mixed bag. The first OP, Kuchizuke by Buck-Tick, is a pretty angry piece that actually fits well with the theme of the show, but sadly the second OP, Calendula Requiem by Kanon x Kanon, doesn't really work as it's a bit too J-pop for its own good. As for the EDs, the first one, Walk no Yakusoku by Nangi, is a slightly bittersweet track that echoes of triumph, and in all honesty it's difficult to judge how fitting the song is with this anime. On the other hand the second ED, Gekka Reijin by Buck-Tick (again), really does work well with Shiki, and the track is reminiscent of the music produced by some of the "darker" European rock/pop bands of the 1990s.
As for the effects, they're suitably gory when the occasion demands, but even poor effects would be raised by the quality of the choreography throughout this series. Everything from the music, including the OPs and EDs, to the pitch and cadence of the speaking roles, is timed very well, and it's clear a great deal of effort has gone into making this anime an aural experience as well as a visual one.
Now one of the things that is clear from the opening sequence is that Shiki has quite a large number of characters. Normally this would mean that much of the developmental aspect of the storyline would focus on the leads, with the supporting characters reinforcing this growth, but Shiki takes a different line, and it's one that will hopefully be seen a lot more in the future. The main strength of this series is characterisation, and from the bit parts on up, every single role is clearly defined. The advantage to this method is that it's not always necessary to develop a well defined character, and Shiki follows this path almost religiously. While some growth does occur over the course of the series, what's most interesting is how each character adjusts and adapts to the events in the town. Probably the best example of this ethos in action is in the latter half of episode 14, and the methodical approach taken by the local doctor Ozaki Toshio is reflective of the fact that there is a degree of logic and intelligence in the plot.
In all honesty Shiki managed to surprise me. After the recent run of poor horror anime it's pretty obvious that I ventured into the series half expecting more of the same, so when I encountered actual intelligence in the plot, it came as something of a shock. That doesn't mean this anime is perfect though, as aside from the more obvious audio and visual flaws (like not washing off blood), there are several elements in the story that could have been resolved. That said, it's nice to watch a show that sets out to tell a story without assuming that the viewer is afflicted with the moe bug.
The main reason I like Shiki though, is because it doesn't fall foul of the drivel produced by authors of "dark romance", but instead postulates some moral and ethical dilemmas for the viewer to ponder. In addition to this it also highlights the human capacity for adaptation, something which is often overlooked in anime. If you're looking for an intelligent horror, then this series is right up there with the likes of Ghost Hound, Ghost Hunt, and other equally worthy shows.
Given that this is effectively a throwback to the type of horror that epitomises Bram Stoker's Dracula (without certain supernatural shenanigans), Shiki is something of an oddity in anime as the general trend leans heavily into romanticism and moe, and in all honesty I haven't seen a vampire tale this good since Kurozuka, which says a lot more about the anime industry than I can put into words. read more
Sep 3, 2010
Compared to many other vampire themed animes, such as Blood+, Rosario + Vampire, Vampire Knight, and Trinity blood; this anime comes back to the roots of vampires and their myths. In this anime a town is plagued with death with no reasonable explanation; though thought of a possible epidemic, Doctor Ozaki, the head doctor of his clinic cannot find any actual symptoms related to any known disease, besides Aplastic Anemia, which is the loss of red and white blood cells. As the body count rises, he becomes desperate to find an answer until he comes up to a conclusion, albeit a far fetched one, that it might be a work of Okiagari, or vampires. His next problem then is to convince the village; of course such a mythical conclusion would "never" exist in the rational world. As he tried desperately to prove the existence of okiagari, death sweeps through the town faster and faster, until soon, more than half of the population has been wiped. Still they did not believe him. That is until he killed a vampire, named Chizuru, in front of everyone. Then the vampire hunt begins. There are mini plots within the whole series that I will not divulge, go watch it to see. At first, the anime's plot progression might come up as slow to most people. Even I had a hard time dealing with the first 3 episodes. But it get's really good. The fact that the anime went back to the original vampire myths alone made me smile, such as that they can not enter a home until they are invited in, or that they die if stabbed with a stake at the heart, and the fact that they are UNDEAD; just including those classic myths already got me hooked. This anime has definitely gave back the respect of vampires that Twilight has taken away. And contrast to the other animes I've mentioned, very little gore is shown, at least until the way later episodes, even then, it was there as part of the ambiance, and not for its own sake.
The lines were sharp, and the colors were almost fluorescent. The art of the animation just didn't look like it fits with a subtle setting and plot like that. Not to mention the crazy hairstyles that almost every relevant character had. It was like watching bakemonogatari but with better details. The animation would be more fit for shounen anime in my opinion.
The1st season OP got me the first time I heard it. It was almost celtic, and goes perfectly with the whole theme. The BGM, it was not intrusive, but yet it'll make you want to jump at times; some even sound like something out of the catholic church, which is awesome due to the ties of religion to vampires;the good thing about it is that they also barely use BGM. The 2nd season OP for some reason reminded me of one of the OP's of Rozen Maiden, i don't know why, but I didn't like it as much. The 1st season ED is that like something off a romance anime though, but once you get to the later episodes, you will figure out why. The 2nd season ED I liked because it was indie/soft rock for me, and it was calm yet eerie, which what the anime was about.
There were really only 4 main characters in the anime; Sunako, Ozaki, Seishin, and Yuuki. However, you will definitely be able to tell that EVERYONE is important, even the ones who died, or risen. This is because of the sub-plots, as I mentioned earlier, and they are awesome. However as much as that's a good thing, the downside is that no one really has any room to grow. The viewer really can't see if there is any character progression. However, that really isn't necessary due to the big-picture nature of the plot.
Like I said in the Story section, it is at first slow, but as the people die, and the vamipres close in to the main characters, it becomes a classic thriller. At one point I actually jumped off my seat. This take on the classic vampire is really something that needed to be done.
Basically, if you hate twilight, you would love this. It puts back the vampire's reputation of being mysterious, scary, and are considered "monsters". It went back to the classics of vampire myths, and made it work quite well. I really do hope that this anime becomes a classic; in case everyone needs to refresh that vampire actually DIE under the sun, and not sparkle like a disco ball.
Nov 29, 2013
In a nutshell: During a fiercely hot summer Sotoba from a peaceful and quiet village becomes a shelter to aunty DEATH. At the same time, a strange family moves into a long abandoned mansion in the region. Hospital dean Toshio Ozaki cannot figure out the cause of death in the deceased, initially suspecting an epidemic. As investigations continue between the hospital staff and the residents, it turns out that the village is being attacked by vampires.
Genres: horror, mystery, supernatural
Allow me to share my opinion on Shiki.
What makes horror horrific? Murders, gore or something else?
Without a doubt, these themes are scary, but vampires have always been the main characters in such stories. I think you have read Bram Stoker’s works or you should have heard about Twilight, forget about Twilight. Seeing another work featuring these overused creatures, you may have thought “Another vampire series,oh, whatever.” Luckily, Shiki avoids cliché road.
The story takes place in a village called Sotoba. This strange and fatal disease spreads on residents of Sotoba. Within a few weeks, the village gets stuck in the deaths of its residents. People are worried and want to know a solid explanation, however, to their horror; they soon realize that the cause of the shocking mortality rate is not an epidemic, but the work of the undead.
The series starts out pretty slowly, but Shiki won’t give you an opportunity to relax. These mysterious deaths will sure make you worry. But, what I really like about this show, is its pace. It’s really difficult to find a solid pace nowadays; Shiki however, manages to get it.
I don’t know, watching people struggling to survive makes this show really interesting.
Some people discuss the problem trying to find a way out. Others try to make a more solid approach by finding the answer by themselves. In particular, Toshio Ozaki – The dean of the hospital in Sotoba– wants to find the answer at all costs. Having taken an oath(like all doctors do) , the physician seems to spiral into insanity as he unravels the mystery piece by sinister piece.
While watching this show, you will ask yourself a question or two.
I won’t spoil you the moral of this show, find it by yourself.
And as my final addition to Shiki’s story, I’d like to say that in addition to the steady mystery, intrigue, and moral questioning, Shiki provides the viewer with a reasonable amount of gore scenes. While not always horrifically explicit – most of the action appears just off screen – certain parts can cause your stomach to lurch and send chills down your spine. Watching this show at night will help you to enjoy the show better.
What makes horror amazing? Of course animation! Thankfully, Shiki manages to deliver an extremely dark atmosphere to its viewer. The animation is just an eye candy.
It should be noted that Shiki vampires are just flawless. Drawing you into their trap, this show will prove one more time why vampires are gods of darkness.
Shiki animation is really amazing, but it fails in some insignificant aspects, like hair motion.
This series had a very solid mix of good OPs and EDs themes, along with a few all-star VAs. The sound track itself was well made and put together quite well, but it wasn't to the point that I recall an awe-inspiring moment.
Shiki’s is very interesting and unique anime. The anime introduces characters, you get used to them, BOOM and they are dead. Yes, it does help to build dark atmosphere, but it’s a bit confusing, you don’t know who is who.
Death brings a new life to characters.
That’s when the story becomes interesting. Just like in Hell Girl Shiki tries to show “the true human nature” and this anime does it pretty well. Watching a big variety of people, of different people, with different aims and personalities is really interesting.
What should I do? Should I kill? Should I complete my revenge, or what?
Characters are really deep and have depth, but I really hated their “life time”, too bad, this show could have been really great.
This show isn’t about vampires or the undead, but more about the nature of humanity and the lengths people will go to in order to survive. The series promises mystery, intrigue and the undead, but in truth it delivers so much more.
A must watch, for those who like depth in anime. read more
Jan 6, 2014
Shiki definitely falls in the third category.
Now before I go into what's bad about Shiki, I'd like to commend it on what it did well.
The best aspect by far is the audio. Almost every single track on this OST is superb, and the voice acting never feels flat nor lifeless.
Then there's the art which is rather beautiful. I know a lot of people take issue with the sort of designs Shiki has for its characters, but I personally liked them a lot; everyone looks quirky and memorable. The coloring is also great, as are most of the effects and the lighting. Honestly, there's not much to complain about in this respect and it goes beyond saying that the animations are top notch.
Shiki's true downfall is its writing. While it manages to present you with quite a few interesting characters that you'll find yourself rooting for and a few very dark scenes, I find it very difficult to say that it impresses when it comes to anything else.
The first few episodes are definitely the best; they invite you in, they present the world and the characters in an engaging way, and they set up a mystery (at least in the context of the show).
However, the slow and systematic reveal of what's going on in the first episodes is quickly discarded in exchange for a downright pedestrian reveal, at which point the show begins to drag and it continues to do so for quite some time. It's not that nothing happens, it's just that the same thing happens over and over, just to different characters, some of which you couldn't give less of a shit about given that they're either completely two-dimensional or entirely new to you.
Still, to say that there's a bit of filler is not uncommon in most anime so that could be completely negligible if the culmination made up for it, but it doesn't. The final episodes leading up to and including the ending are by no means bad, but they're nothing special either; there are no outstanding quotes, no memorable scenes, nothing that would ever make a top ten or anime history. It's just a decent conclusion to an average tale and that's about it.
Where the terribleness of the writing seems most obvious (particularly in the last episodes or so) is in the motivations of the characters and the absolutely abysmal attempt at depth. The author(s?) are essentially trying to convey that what might sometimes be considered evil, unjust or simply improper by society might be the very thing another person's survival hinges on - and if so, should they not do anything they can to live on, even if that act might be considered evil?
That sounds like a good theme for a story, and it might even imply three-dimensional characters with depth, but in Shiki's case this could not be further from the truth. While the quote-unquote hero of the story shines, the villains are fucking horrible, and I'm swearing for emphasis here.
It's almost as if the author himself had no idea how to portray these antagonists. On one hand he has them commit completely unnecessary acts that would be defined by most moral codes as pure evil, but then he has them go on overly-long speeches about how all they're trying to do is to 'survive.'
There's never a reason - not once - presented there to justify the actions as the villains as necessary, absolutely none; however, the story is still told as if there were and an odd emphasis is made on these completely absent circumstances.
Think of it as being starving and deciding to steal bread, but killing the shopkeeper and his entire family at the same time. But hey, it's cool, you were hungry! Of course you'd choose the worst - and on top of everything unnecessary - action imaginable in order to satisfy what is essentially a simple goal. And that's how retarded the villains are in this show. There's no excuse for anything they do, and that's fine, but the fact they never stop droning about how they're forced into it coupled with the fact that the show is essentially trying to cast their actions in a morally gray area is evidence that the author failed miserably at his intention of conveying a twisted tragedy that speaks of humanity's hypocrisy.
Honestly, I'm baffled by how little understanding the person behind this show has of philosophy, or at the very least ethics. What he has characters do, and the way they justify it is simply... incomprehensibly flawed thinking.
The final aspect I would like to touch on briefly is the portrayal of vampires in this show -- in essence, it's rather poor. Not only are they generic, but their nature and inner workings are explained very poorly. We're never told if they could consume animals instead of humans, nor if they could simply feed from blood-bags. This might seem minor but it has a huge impact on the show and why they're doing what they do.
The real irony is that the author shoots himself in the foot repeatedly. He sets up interesting points of mystery only to break them down in an instant or dismiss them entirely, he tries to present the actions of the villains as necessary in their circumstances and then builds a world and plot to the opposite effect, and finally he tries to philosophize while seemingly having not even a basic understanding of ethics in a story that's completely unfit for the themes and motifs he has in mind.
Despite its flaws I would still recommend Shiki, especially if you can overlook bad writing in favor of a quirky characters, good visuals, fantastic audio or just vampires in general.
If you're looking for a deep story, or at the very least one that doesn't make you mad due to inconsistencies and plot holes, I would steer clear of Shiki. read more
Feb 4, 2014
Maybe at first you will hesitate to watch this one and I admit that I am one of them but for some reason I managed to finish the story and leave me "Amazed" and "Satisfied"
Ja! Let's start this one.
Story 9/10 : Note: Do not be fooled with thumbnails for each episode. As this one has a really good plot and story. Ja! When you come up with the first few episodes it seems to be boring especially when you come up with a hot summer season on a quite small village of Sotoba.
Until all of these suddenly changed when a series of deaths occurred in the small town of Sotoba which is the first victim is Megumi Shimizu a teenager who wants to leave this town for some reasons.
Ozaki Toshio, a doctor who hardly works to determine what the real cause of death is. And he come up with different conclusions and unknowingly ended up with an "Aplastic Anemia" theory. But, still series of deaths never end up and came to the point that the whole town is nearly wipe out.
As Toshio was really frustrated that he can't save any single life and he was convinced that the cause of death are caused by an epidemic disease that plagued the town of Sotoba. Until he figured out that this one is not ordinary situation anymore.
As he gathered all the relevant data he comes up with a theory that the series of deaths are cause by the "Risen" and the story goes on.
Also note that as you progress with each episode you will notice that every-time there is a change on scenes, there is always a Date, Location, and Name stamp. These stamps has a big role with the story, although Shiki has only "Four" main characters, each characters in Shiki has their different involvements and relation with each characters.
Art 7/10 : Art for location is really nice. Simple and very detailed. Art for Shiki is not totally good when it comes to its character. I can rate it as an above average only. Lines are too sharp especially on chins, and there are also some issues when it comes to colours. Especially when it comes to the "Risen" features. I've interpret this one as they were emphasizing the viewers on what is the difference between a normal person and a vampire. ( I think )
But, maybe behaviour and eye colours are enough to determine this.
Sound 8/10 : Sounds are really nice but still in an average tone. I've never encountered any issues when it comes BGM and SFX. Totally rhymes with the theme of the story.
Character 8/10 : I am really amazed with this part as handling a huge number of characters is not easy. Although Shiki has only "Four" main characters; the other characters are not generic and they had difference with each other when it comes to 1) Behaviour 2) Characteristics 3) Personality and 4) Traits.
Also I enjoyed the town atmosphere when elders are chatting outside their houses very typical. (Thumbs UP)
Enjoyment 9/10 : I am not a Twilight or Vampire enthusiast but I really enjoyed this one. The idea of the plot and the story is really impressive.
Overall 9/10 : Ending was really impressive. " The village is dying, not in a sense that the villagers had been wiped out but, the village itself died" Toshio loses this battle. Also I hate the fact that the villagers are even worst than the Shikis because of desperation.
Note : This review never intended to persuade or to please everybody. All of the words that you read are only based in my opinions.
Jan 18, 2014
Shiki is a very hard series to talk about without spoilers. It’s a show that you really need to see for yourself. Still, I consider this to be the best show to have debuted during the past half year, so I’ll at least try to vaguely explain why I consider it such an awesome and unique series.
Shiki is another one of those series set in a tiny Japanese village that’s set in the middle of nowhere. One thing that immediately stands out is how well it manages to colour that village: even the simplest of residents are given an identity. The entire town has about 1200 residents, and this show manages to make them so life-like that you actually feel like part of the village as the series goes on. It creates a truly excellent backdrop for the series to take place in.
First and foremost, Shiki is a horror series. It’s got a really thick atmosphere and most of the time it’s just building up and dragging the viewer within this atmosphere. It’s got plenty of disturbing scenes though, and that’s really where it’s at its best at. Now, there are times at which this show feels like this series is moving a tad slow and that it’s building up a bit too much. But trust me: it all pays off in the end with a fantastic conclusion. That’s all I’ll say about it.
The character designs in this series are… unique. I admit that they take their time to get used to, but that’s not really a problem considering the charms of the different characters. It’s perhaps not the series with the best characterizations, but they are written really well: when they’re developed, it’s done very boldly. The characters are also incredibly diverse, ranging from teenagers to adults well in their thirties, forties and fifties and that overall makes it into a great and huge cast to watch.
Most of the best episodes of Shiki are located at the end so it takes some perseverance to really get to great parts of the series, but the weak moments are very few and far in between. It’s got a haunting soundtrack and a stunning atmosphere. It’s not something you should watch when you can’t stand gore, but it’s a must-watch for anyone even remotely interested in horror. read more
Mar 28, 2013
Let's start with the music first. I didn't like the first OP, Kuchizuke, I dunno what about it got on my nerves, maybe the howling/haunting male vocals or the fact that it fell between rock and pop. The howling voice does suit the overall creepiness of the series... but it just was not my cuppa tea. Strangely enough, I loved the second ED theme, Gekka Reijin, which is by the same band... with the same howling/haunting male voice but music and beats sounded smoother and the guitar sounded sexier. Can't say I felt the same way about the first ED, Walk no Yakusoku, it's not a particularly bad song, but this singer's voice got on my nerves a little bit as well. However, I really liked the 2nd OP theme Calendula Requiem, I like upbeat songs and liked the speed of the words.
I watched this series twice, once in Japanese and the other in English... either way is fine. I suppose, but I don't particularly feel the need to score Japanese audio that much considering people seem to generally like that more than English dubs, personally I will always pick English dubs because I prefer to not have to read subtitles. The English dub was
really good fit Shiki.
The art for this series is pretty nice... It's a mixture of quirky and childish character designs with the set designs being far more detailed and sophisticated. The character designs are definitely of the shounen variety: thick outlines, fierce eyebrows, funky hairstyles and a bright, solid colour palette is used. The real art is shown thru the various settings and backgrounds: walls have visible imperfections and textures, furnishings look believable, the woods look dark and foreboding. What I really appreciated was that we were taken everywhere thru the village, some homes were more modest than others, some were extravagant, the doctor's clinic, the gazebo, the shrine, etc. so many shows would have taken a lazier approach and not have made these settings as detailed. I will say however that the animation was pretty standard, considering this wasn't a type of show that had complex battle scenes then we can forgive that much. The "camera" pans, 360 rotations and semi-rotations used for dramatic effects were smooth enough.
Shiki starts out with the story of Megumi, your typical kind of frilly teenage girl with a sour attitude--we all know the type! She moans on and on about being stuck in some hick town, completely devoid of any sophistication or panache... we can't blame her though, I know I'd be the same. Anyway, her bitchiness aside, she develops a little crush for the main character, Natsuno, then she becomes a little stalker, then dies in some freakish yet mysterious manner. Her death coincides with the rash of other mysterious deaths occurring in the village, and that's all I can really say about that without going into spoiler territory. Using "mysterious deaths" as an opener for an anime isn't new or rare but at the very least it serves it's purpose by making things very interesting right away. You will immediately have some sort of interest to find out what's wrong with that town... and that's when the narration can take it's time to slowly peel away the layers to reveal the mystery. I thought the pacing was really great, it was never slow and boring, but it never rushed into big excitement right away either, it was a well controlled and deliberate on a steady climb to a big finish... and it wasn't predictable-Another big plus in my book! Some episodes definitely toyed with your emotions, such as episode 14.
the character designs aren't too shabby, they're drawn quite attractively as far as general face and body shape is concerned... which is always a big plus in my book (who wants to look at ugly people?) But there were some minor niggles that worked their way under my skin. Let's talk about some of the hairstyles, some of them looked about as wild, hard and as immovable as tree bark...especially that little devil-child Sunako. I know according to Twilight, today's vampire likes to play around with a little mousse, maybe some hair wax, but her shit was just straight up ridiculous! Same goes for the nurse, Ritsuko, as much as I liked her character, that hair was silly. it was as if some green rattlesnake bit her on the back of the skull and hung there for all eternity. Then we had some chin problems, chins that ended in a very sharp point, a style I haven't seen since the 90s. And possibly the weirdest, most "perplexingly" annoying aspect of their character designs were the eyes... no I'm not talking about the black pupil-less eyes, even though those were creepy as fuck. No I'm talking about the fact that they drew eyelids above eyelashes on everyone. Really??? was this intentional or did someone fail Anatomy and Character Design 101? Eyelashes are at the end of eyelids, so why it's it that when these people lower their lids halfway, it also conceals their eyelashes? that's virtually impossible unless their eyelashes are tucked inwards and scraping their eyeballs. Also the monk's irises are too large! All that being said, these imperfections or designs don't bother me too tremendously and do not detract from enjoying the story.
There is a nice mix of characters in this series. You have young people, old people and everyone in between, each with varying personalities and stations within this small hick village. They were all drawn with somewhat realistic proportions and attributes, we didn't have freakishly busty 13-year olds or well fit looking old men. I particularly enjoy this diverse type of ensemble, because I believe the more diverse the cast, the richer the story will be. And this cast is pretty developed... well, at least as developed as 26 episodes can allow.
The story centres around three central characters: a stubborn gruff doctor, a pensive monk and a brooding teenager. These are the most fully realised characters with completed backgrounds and the narrative shifts from one perspective to the other. This is definitely a character driven series, which is probably part of the reason why I like it so much. Because besides these three central characters I mentioned before: Dr. Toshio Ozaki, Seishin Muroi and Natsuno Yuuki, almost every person in the town is given some kind of past or history no matter how inconsequential they are. You get to know these people personally, know their family, their story, empathise and feel their pain, their loss... even some of the so-called "bad guys." Which I especially liked! Nowadays, simply saying bad guys are just bad because they are, is not good enough. A good story goes beyond that, we need to ask; why are they bad? And are they really bad in the first place? Just because they are vampires, does that make them inherently evil? Shiki explores this really well.
I gave this show a "9" because I saw something different about this anime. Vampires attacking a town isn't exactly a new concept here, but perhaps I appreciated this interpretation of the vampire... a more human-like vampire, ones with feelings and regret. Not feelings to the point of pure sappiness like Twilight but more along the same vein like "Interview with a Vampire" where vampires have their own personalities and behaviours... yet still have the obligations that come along with being a vampire. I also gave it a "9" because there are fewer anime clichés in this one, no high-schools, no unnecessary guns or explosions, no young grinning shonen with some big sword or robot saving the world...one power up at a time, no love polygons or dramatic death scene where someone screams "nnnnnoooooooo or akiraaaaaaa" for seven minutes. This was a proper story with a beginning, middle and a heck of an ending! Definitely worth the watch.
Nov 14, 2010
The story takes place in a village named Sotoba.Sotoba is a quite and peaceful village,till the chain of bizarre deaths started to occur.Nobody knows the reason but more and more people are dying.Toshio Ozaki is the hospital dean and he suspects an epidemic. But what first starts as an epidemic, turns out to be much more. The first episodes might be boring.I didn't really enjoy watching them but later the show really gets good.There is nothing such as an epidemic the reason of the deaths are Okiagari ( Some people might call them vampires ). Dead ones who come back to life. I'm really glad this anime is here. Because I'm sick of the shows who show only romace between humans and vampires. This anime is different. If you miss old school vampire animes,this is for you.
The art is very abstract and I think the style is unique. Please don't be one of this people who hates Shiki because they say the art is weird. What? They are having interesting hairstyles.Really I never saw so much crazy hairstyles but this is not bad.The art could be better but I like it like it is.
I love the openings! The first opening really fits the anime. To be honest I didn't like it at the beginning but later I just started to love it ! The endings are ok to,but they look like endings of some romance animes. Shiki is just amazing. It has everything !
They aren't much main characters but that doesn't mean other are not important. You don't like Shiki because much people die? Well this is a part of this anime and if you give Shiki a chance you will see that everybody is important. The dead ones to.
Like I said the story is amazing. It's just to good to be ignored. If you still didn't choiced to start watching Shiki you're going to miss something. Clannad or Death Note didn't get popular in one day and look at them now ;)
What is the next thing you have to do? :O
Right go and watch Shiki you will make me and every Shiki fan very happy. If you don't like the anime I'm sorry that I wasted your time. But I think it's worth watching.Do you love Twilight and hate vampires who kill and are "scary" you won't like this.But if you miss old vampire storys without a vampire and werewolf who are fighting for a girl,vampires who can go outside days and they sparkle -__- and stupid " I love you " that is every second sentence in Twilight. Sorry to all Twilight fans but I just want to tell you there is no romance in this anime. Well not that much,but sure there is,so Twilight fans there is something for you to ? ~ :) read more
Jul 29, 2013
I am a sucker for dark themes. I always enjoyed watching horror movies when I was young and would be frightened. It is the fear factor that made me watch it. I grew curious and soon attached to dark genres. What I do like about dark themes is that it shows what the author was thinking and how the director puts the story into place. Soon my attention was brought about to anime. I was suddenly in love with the vampire genre in anime. There have been many genres for vampire anime, but the best would probably be mystery and thriller. Shiki has the genre of thriller and mystery and I believed that it was brought out well throughout the anime. The plot started within the first episode and the suspense started growing.
The plot started off beautifully. It shows a young maiden that wants to achieve a dream that could never be reached. This is important because dreams are far from reality. Not only that, but we hope to achieve it. This is used to build up a bigger plot, the myth of deaths appearing in the village. This is pretty common when you see many people start dying suddenly in a small village. Not only that, but all the victims have two small marks. They were assumed insect bites…What is there to expect except superstitions.
As hell breaks loose in the village, what is the possible answer for the massive death toll? The only solution is vampires. What do you call people that died, but rose to life again? What do you call people that hide in daylight? What do you call people that feed on human blood? The only answer is a vampire. The aspect of vampire in Shiki is the fact that each villager is dying, yet some are turning into a vampire. Shiki means corpse demon, but then again, it fits to the questions I said before. Shall humanity fall into the hands of vampire? Of course not, we shall be the hunters, not hunted. We shall not cower in fear and we shall fight against. We have always been the dominant species. As we journey through hell, Shiki was an everlasting journey that brought happiness and sadness.
There are many other situations beside the main plot. Those small plots are well put and they do connect with the main plot. I would say that the more I watch this anime, the more intense it gets. It is very dark and I enjoy the aspect of it. Besides the dark scenario, what else can we have by a one sided love? The love is to an extent to stalking. I feel as if I have to keep my windows closed and have the shutters on. Hold up; let me turn on my night light too in case. Besides that, we also have a situation of seeing families corrupt and how to adapt to changes. It is truly a sad thing to watch, but I have seen much of it already. I felt that the anime took the right approach that humanity must do whatever it takes to retaliate.
The art style is alright. I wouldn’t say it is amazing, but if you look at it, the characters look extremely skinny for some reason. The hair styles are a bit weird, but some are fine. The colors are beautiful. I do love the color pink and they made Megumi look beautiful. Pink hair is just to kawaii. A bonus was that Megumi has twin tails. Megumi was the only character that I find favorable along with the doctor. Her character reminds me of Gasai Yuno from Mirai Nikki. You already know… “Yuuki-kun” in a kawaii voice. It also happens in this anime too. Now only if Megumi was a loli too… The eye colors are pretty too. The animation is pretty good. I have to give credit to the opening because the animation is high quality and well made. It wasn’t what I expected. The scenes were similar to those from a horror movie as the flashing, the camera angle and the fading.
The music is appropriate for this anime. The goal was to bring out suspense and was able to achieve it. I feel like the first opening is impactful. When you watch the first episode, you want to have a good impression. While I was watching the first opening for the first time, I was amazed. The lyrics are suitable and it does explain portray future thriller scenes. The first ending took a different approach. It is a slow pace song which is my type. It is beautiful in its own way. The vocalist’s voice is good. The piano is beautiful. I have always wanted to learn either piano or violin, but I didn’t have the effort to put in. This is my loss, but I still admire great musicians. The lyrics for the first ending are quite vague, but it brings back to the topic of dreams. If you recall, dreams are far from reality. We hope that one day we achieve it. The second opening was alright. The animation is superb, yet the lyrics were unrelated. The second ending was meh. The lyrics are good, but the animation is like half assed. The animation is good. The OST is slow paced. Slow paced shows the horror that is upcoming. Since this is also a mystery genre, you would want to hear some eerie sounds. The music was able to fit my expectations.
The characters are ordinary I would say. It isn’t like those characters that are perfectly made. First off, I would like to say that almost every character in this anime is important. Even though they are not the center of the spotlight all the time, they will have an impact on this show. The show starts off with a dark aura so there would be misfortune everywhere. There are antagonists, but I don’t think I should cover it. It would be pretty confusing if I were to explain the aspects of the antagonists. I believe the protagonists contributed more to the story rather than the antagonists. There are four main characters that the story relies on. Each character is an important factor because we see the story with their views. One of the main characters is Natsuno Yuuki. He was forced to live in a village and felt that he was out of placed. Due to this, he develops a cold behavior and tries to avoid anyone who gets close to him. We also have Toshio Ozaki. He is the doctor of the village and has to deal with all the cases of death. I would have to say that his character is the one that brought about the fear. Ozaki couldn’t discover the causes of these deaths and blamed the fact that there are vampires. There is no solid proof… but the village is filled with fear.
If you like gripping onto horror, Shiki is for you. I honestly thought there was no ‘scary’ anime at all. I was told Another was scary, but it was alright. I wasn’t terrified as much when I saw Shiki. The expressions the character had was true fear. I couldn’t think, but the animations, the lighting and the disturbed radio waves… It was just too good of an anime. Another aspect I like about Shiki is the creative titles. They are pretty good and I enjoy the title scene. If you are interested in Shiki, you should watch Another or Hellsing Ultimate. Another is another great anime that shows thriller and mystery combined. Hellsing Ultimate shows the true power of vampires. Hellsing ultimate however takes more into the action genre rather than vampires and thriller. Though, they are both well made and should get a spotlight. Also, before you watch Shiki, it is very gruesome. If you are a light hearted person, you should stop and go find some pictures of cute puppies. This anime is for those who wants to see despair. I have always questioned the fact that humans won’t survive till the end. After seeing Shiki, will humans still be the dominant species?
Apr 13, 2013
It's been a while since I dared to pick up a vampire anime. The modernization and romanticism of these blood-suckers in titles such as Twilight and other anime like Rosario + Vampire left me with much despair for this genre.
Luckily, Shiki rekindled my appeal towards the night stalkers.
After watching the entire series, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I went in not expecting much, and came out finding a hidden gem among anime. But, Frag, what makes this show such a gem? I'll do my best to answer that question in the following paragraphs, my dear readers!
Shiki's story starts off fairly simple. A small back-hill village that seems trapped in it's own little world. And it's because of this simplicity that the producers were able to catch the viewer off guard. Just when things seemed normal enough, there's just the smallest, slightest flash of insanity that reminds you you're watching a very mind-boggling show. As the story went on, the simplicity began to evaporate. What was left was more insanity. More horror. Shiki goes back to the roots of the vampires most older individuals remember. Burning in sunlight, fearing religious objects (such as crosses or buddha statues) and faith, coma-like sleep during the day. I don't want to say too much, for I wouldn't want to spoil anything, but I will tell you that Shiki does vampires justice after shows such as the Vampire Diaries. As the story progresses, you begin to become more enthralled within it's mysteries. Just as one mystery is figured out, more appear. It's what hooks the viewer, and it did so marvelously (I watched the entire series in one weekend.) Some people found the ending to be not what they were expecting, but I thought it matched the series as a whole perfectly; full of mystery.
I've seen quite a number of anime's in my time, and I've really come to appreciate good art when I can get it. I find there are two categories; shows that normalize their art to fit in with other anime, and shows that shape their own style. Obviously, it's impossible to be completely unique when manga itself is a repetitive art, but there are shows that manage to create a style that works well for it. Shiki is one of those anime. Watching it in HD, the animation was incredibly fluid. The scenery was vibrant and colorful where it should of been, and dark and horrifying where it ought to be. The horror scenes are really what entranced me, however. The way that the artists conveyed the terror of being watched during the night, of wondering if you'll wake up the next morning truly enthralled me. It's been a long while since I got chills watching an anime, and Shiki delivered quite well. Major props to the art team.
I had some mix feelings about the sound of Shiki at first. Loved the initial opening theme, but the choir and gothic music felt almost cliché at first. Over time, however, the anime's original soundtrack really grew on me. It didn't completely "WOW!" me, especially at first, but as the story progressed, the music really began to fit in with the emotions that this show stirs inside of you. The ending theme, like many other anime, really didn't impress me, however. It felt out of place for the type of anime Shiki is. Overall, Shiki's soundtrack did a great job after giving it time to settle in.
Now, what really made me adore this anime wasn't any of the above, but the characters themselves. I can't really say that there's a "main character" in this story, but some characters perspectives are highlighted more so than others as the show progresses. The thing about Shiki is that it hosts a massive cast; that cast being the village. You would think that spreading so much of the story throughout many characters would be a bad idea, reducing the chance the viewer can become attached to them, but Shiki manages to do quite the opposite. The key was the fact that the characters were believable. I've yet to have seen an anime (other than Clannad Afterstory) that manages to sport such realistic characters. From Megumi to Natsuno, to Toshio and Seishin; all of them feel like people I've met in my life, people that I can relate to or say I know. It's because that these characters are believable that you so quickly become attached.
Did you enjoy Shiki, Frag? Well, if it wasn't apparent enough already, it has truly been one of my greatest pleasures of anime to watch this year. When a company can piece together all these delicate categories of anime in just the right way, it can create a genuinely memorable experience for the viewer. Shiki is an anime I'm proud to add to my collection of favorites. Something I should mention is that the show really manages to get you to think about morals. What is truly right or wrong? Is there such a thing as pure good or evil? The best part is that Shiki leaves it up to you to figure out the answers yourself.
To sum it all up, I urge you to give the show a chance. Two episodes in, I was hooked, and I'm willing to bet it'll do the same to you. I'm surprised this show isn't more popular; it's a real breath of fresh air when it comes to the long neglected genre of vampires. Even if you've never been one for blood-suckers, you might find the genre more appealing after sitting down and watching Shiki. read more
Dec 2, 2010
Shiki is by far the most riveting, suspenseful and thought-provoking series I have seen all year. Truly a category of its own, it not only contains elements of horror and mystery but also makes you question what truly is considered good or evil?
The story is set in a small village where a string of unexplainable deaths start to occur. What is suspected to be an epidemic proves to be something the villagers would never suspect. The main plot and characters are introduced in the first few episodes, while pacing is slow, it provides an important backdrop to the rest of the episodes. As the story progress, we start to see what is really going on. What I like most about this series is it’s nack for detail and realism. Even as some of the characters gradually figure what is going on, there is a vehement disbelief from the villagers in general. The anime pays tribute to vampires well, but even better it addresses our society’s inability to accept those who are different (be it humans or the supernatural). In addition, what I think is the highlight of the series has been the last few episodes where the line between good and evil, humans and vampires have been crossed. What defines a ‘human’, can someone who still feels emotions be considered a ‘monster’? Shiki makes us questions that.
With Shiki’s large cast, it seems likely that characters who don’t get as much screen time to be very shallow and two-dimensional. However, I didn’t get that feeling in this anime. Most of the characters have enough background story told to ‘flesh’ them out. And they aren’t ridiculous or unbelievable background stories, you could say we all knew these kinds of people at some point in our lives. I would say the two most intriguing characters are Muroi and Ozaki. Both carry the great burden of knowing the truth behind the deaths but make completely different decisions in the end. And many other characters surprise me by fighting against expectations.
Rich colours, dark lines and detailed shading. Some of the horror scenes are reminiscent of Higurashi with its emphasis on the eyes.
Gothic opening song and melancholic ending. Background music is very appropriate and adds to intensify the scenes.
I literally marathoned 18 episodes non-stop. It always kept me guessing as to what would happen next. Shiki is also one of the few animes that has underlying meanings to them, it really made me think about the actions of some characters and what some characters have said (particularly Sunako). I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the series.
I highly recommend this anime to anyone who has a fondness for thought-provoking shows. It’s definitely not comedic, if that is what you’re looking for. But if you appreciate mysteries, dark themes and some psychological reasoning, then do give Shiki a try.
EDIT: Now that I've finished the series, I'm dropping the score from a 10 to a 9, simply because the ending wasn't as great as the middle. Perhaps my expectation were too high for the ending, I just found it wasn't what I expected. It is also is pretty up in the air, which might suggest a second season.
Nov 20, 2013
Story/Ideology and Characters
The first half is simply story telling, and some characters of the episodes are pretty immature, like Megumi or Masao (Honestly, this guy is one of the most stupid characters in the series, although he's a tragedy himself.) The second half brought into light many interesting issues. Like how people are unwilling to accept an unintuitive fact that they are not willing to accept, whether killing shiki is a "justice" thing to do, and how people start to murder those innocent, including Muroi's mother etc. Also it later reveals the reason why Muroi attempted to commit suicide. It's a reason I can completely relate to.
Toshio and Muroi have two typical and completely different reaction to the situation. One is to hunt down every shiki, and the other admits that killing others in order to keep one alive is of course not right, yet not wrong either. "Killing is never justice, no matter what kind of noble cause one upholds." Sunako also pointed out that death treats everything equally and that there is no death that is not terrible. I think the audience probably also can be divided by their preference of the two opinions. The two types are pretty extreme. Most people may fall somewhere between the two.
Music is not very impressive in my opinion. I watched the BD episodes with Japanese audio, but the background music gets cut off sometimes...The OST does fit the series, but it's simple (Simplicity itself is not bad. It's the music that's not great.), not something that would surprise people.
Two bonus episodes
The bonus episodes are pretty good. Usually bonus episodes of an anime are about something not so related to main story and are completely extra, but it's not the case here. Episodes 20.5 and 21.5 are great side stories from viewpoints of two people living in the village.
Hasegawa in episode 20.5 directly points out the brutality and unnaturalness of the fact that most people behave incredibly cool towards killing shiki, not treating them as humans at all, kill humans who are just sucked and take that for granted. Arguably they're doing it just to protect themselves, but Shiki kill humans to protect themselves too. How're they so different from Shiki after all?
Episode 21.5 is about how a woman gets crazy, due to the death of her family and the whole situation. It's nice to have the episodes, since most people behave quite normally and it's not weird to have some people go crazy given what they've experienced.
Overall it's a great story that brings up interesting questions.
Sep 5, 2013
It’s atmospheric, it’s subtle and furthermore, it doesn’t rely on jump scares and copious amounts of bloodshed to shock its viewers. Instead, with masterful utilization of a remarkably eerie soundtrack and deliberate pacing, Shiki captures what makes a good horror series… good.
Of course, Shiki is also aware that a good horror needs more than just well-executed music and pacing. It needs good characters.
Why should I care if Bob and Joe are ripped apart by werewolves? Why should I care if little Timmy is decapitated by one swift swing of a chainsaw? Why should I care if Mary Sue trips down the stairs and impales herself on an umbrella?
These are all questions we ask when watching a subpar horror flick and Shiki takes heed to those questions.
Shiki may be void of any real character development, but in similarities to a series like Baccano, it makes up for a lack development with strong characterization giving each character a distinct role, a personality and their own set motivations. But while Baccano’s cast is remarkable for being a Hell of a lot of fun, Shiki’s cast is remarkable for the amount depth implemented within them.
It’s worth noting that Shiki isn’t really just a well-crafted horror series. It may start out like that in the beginning, but bit by bit it becomes a psychological drama delving into human morality and rationality.
Which side are you on? Humans or Shiki?
Questions regarding how far someone would go to survive, uphold justice or maintaining one’s own humanity come into play and Shiki delivers these questions with fantastic intricacy.
Its view - multifaceted and free of bias - goes beyond simply showcasing a black and white territory. It digs deep to expound on the question, grabbing perspectives from every angle, bringing in a grey area.
And never is Shiki pretentious or underwhelming. It constantly keeps the viewer both engaged with pondering over the morality of a character’s action while building up to the perfect – I’d rather not spoil it for you - ending.
Its earlier half might be deemed too slow for many, but with episode 14 comes one of the most haunting scenes in the story-telling medium and from there on out, Shiki is flawless.
No episode left me without goose bumps tracing along both my arms and no episode left me without a couple shivers down the spine. Every episode rendered me speechless and aghast. Every episode had me at the very edge of my seat.
There were impeccably wrought twists and turns around every corner. Scenes of heart-breaking brutality and merciless murders haunted me. Acts of unexpected kindness and tenderness in the worst of times hit me straight in the heart.
Shiki clicked with me in a way few other anime have; Shiki… is phenomenal.
Do I Recommend?: Without a second doubt. If you’re looking for a compelling horror series, look no further. Have some patience with the first few episodes, the pay off is well worth it. Whether it’ll leave an impact on you or not, I can’t say, but it sure as Hell did for me. read more
Aug 6, 2013
Ok, I guess some people are right about how Shiki is not so much a mystery to the audience. The audience can indeed figure out what is going on by the first episode alone. But I assume that the writers of this anime did this on purpose. It didn't pay off as much, however as I stated, if you understand what is going on, you can understand what many character's mean when they say certain things.
The art of Shiki is definitely what makes it a unique anime. Many people may criticize the character designs and such, but honestly they weren't bad, they were just different from many other designs people may commonly see in anime. The art of the setting is pretty well done and most people will agree.
Music is something not many people can agree upon. However, I found that the opening and ending songs were not what made this anime's music enjoyable (the songs made sense as to why they would use them though). It was the osts/background music that are really amazing. The background music fit almost perfectly with what was going on in the series. Some of the osts used became my favorite songs. They make they viewer feel empty and sad and for music to bring such emotions to me is rare.
There are so many characters in Shiki that this is hard to decide on. There are certain characters in the series that can be loved and others that can be hated. Also, some people like certain characters, others don't. Ultimately though, each character has their own place in this anime one way or another (except maybe Masao), so it all works out in the end.
The story may start out slow: Many people complain that they solved the mystery the first episode and don't want to wait for the characters in Shiki to have to figure it out. Once the show gets going (say around episode 8) it really just takes off. If I could give a score to the first half of the series, it'd only be an 8. If I could give a score to the second half of the series, it'd be somewhere high above 10, more than any other anime on my anime list by far. So note: if you enjoyed the first half a little, you're going to enjoy the second half a lot. If you thought the first half was slow, then don't worry.
One thing that makes Shiki unique is simply how philosophical it is. It presents so many different philosophical standpoints which are interspersed between the many characters in the series. Is it wrong to kill? Why is it wrong to kill? What makes something alive or not? Why bother fighting for a cause? What happens when something that doesn't want to change is forced to change? There are so many ideas of freedom, hard work, and happiness inside of the characters which you can see get fully crushed.
Shiki is a very emotional anime, with a very emotional soundtrack, in which philosophical ideas are presented. It is one of my favorite anime, not because it has horror, blood, blood, blood, and more blood, but because the way the blood will make the viewer feel.
OK, so not many people were satisfied with the ending, however people need to understand that Shiki attempts to have characters act realistically. Shiki is not a 'and then they lived happily ever after' story. No, it is quite the opposite. It is a tragedy in which many people suffer. read more
May 13, 2013
It works through its cold-blooded commitment to its moribund atmosphere, existing in a perpetual state of grief for those already lost and those about to go. The cast is not the most nuanced or memorable, but it is good enough for the repeated tragedies to evoke more than apathy. They are normal people; few with any heroic strain, most unaware of why their parents, children, friends, neighbors and lovers are dying, their love for one another the only vigil against the night where the dead supplant the living and death supplants life.
The series is utterly enveloping in its sadness; from only a few episodes in I could not stop watching except to eat and sleep, and I ended up finishing the whole series within the span of 24 hours. My one major gripe with it is the fanservice. It is thankfully far from ubiquitous, but a few female characters are very unrealistically proportioned and when an especially dramatic scene (a few in the series' second half come to mind, but I can't go into details without spoiling things) has comically oversized breasts bouncing around it is about as distracting and inappropriate as a stripper at a funeral. I haven't read the novel series that served as the basis for this adaptation, but I'm guessing it didn't have this problem. read more
Jan 23, 2011
I think the true success of Shiki’s story is the fact that this time such a tale was told through the eyes of Japanese creators, making it effective in two particular ways. First, it was a fresh approach of a legend that belonged to different cultures than theirs, so that automatically helped the creators move off the beaten track. And then comes the slight mix with their own traditional myths of the “Okiagari”, which literally means the Risen.
Vampires in this show are just as they should be, afraid of light, can’t come out in the day without burning themselves, they don’t like holly water, charms and crosses, they drink the blood of their victims after completely hypnotizing them and they don’t fall in love with them..*ahem*
They also can’t enter a house uninvited. Then again, they have everything that a traditional vampire would be proud of, in addition to the so well know wooden stick killing method, that in contrary they so much loathe.
The myth of the undead, blood thirsty killers, this time, unfolds in a quiet, isolated village and at first look, common village, were sudden disappearances start to occur after a strange family moves in to the big mansion on the mountain. A few people are becoming aware of something out of the usual going on and that is how it all starts moving.
At first the story runs slow, just as the unaware victims continue to carry on their daily lives. So the pacing of the first part of the series might throw some of the viewers off, especially those who are fans of full time action. Well, how I saw things, this choice of pacing was indeed a clever one, not throwing the viewer into the middle of an already unfolded story, but slowly and steadily shroud him into its mystery. As it rolls, you will find yourself entangled in it, with questions that you just need to find the answers for, doubts about the actions and choices of some of the characters and some very clever twists here and there to spice up your viewing experience.
What I love about this show’s story is that it isn’t focused on the events around only one or a small group of characters, but it rather expands itself to cover the events on the whole village and its people and view the story from both sides, both the humans and the Okiagari. So, that will help you get a feel of the broader plan of what is going on. Yes, it’s quite common to expect the endless battle of humans versus vampires, but this time you get to see both sides. In fact, you might be even puzzled about actually labeling what is wrong and right, bad and good, from some point on. It’s a fight for survival, after all, and each side naturally decides in favor of their own kind.
~~ 友引 – Tomobiki Good luck, except at noon~~
A thing that’s fascinating about the story, which shows the effort of the creators, is this small detail of the dates shown at the start of each episode, that is crucial though for one to complete the puzzle. Until the 19th century Japan used a lunar calendar of six days, each having a special meaning of bringing luck or misfortune. Shiki uses this in each episode to determine what the nature of this day is, usually foreshadowing the events to follow.
Shiki always loves cliff hangers in the ending of each episode, so you will find yourselves trapped in a roller coaster viewing ride, which will be getting more and more intense until it reaches its peak. But when starting watching, you’re nowhere around guessing what would come out of all this in the very end.
I will admit that some of its final conclusions weren’t so satisfactory to me, a few things felt abruptly wrapped up, so only there, is where I deduct a point, because the ending is very crucial to me. But, of course, it always depends on what everyone expects to find as a final resolution. So all in all it was one of the most intense anime rides I’ve ever been on.
Another thing that I loved about this show was its characters. Oh, they were plenty of them, and all so versatile. One can never get bored watching this, since you will find all type of characters, and you can easily pick one or two with whom you maybe will relate and follow throughout the story. A lot of people are accusing Shiki of shallow characters. My answer to them is that not every story created should be character driven, and this isn’t a story about teenage angst or a forbidden romance. You know were you got yourself into beforehand, am I wrong? So if you prefer stories focused on one character only, don't watch this.
To the rest, you've made a good choise, since you’ll find yourselves in front of many familiar types of characters, not in terms of anime norms, but relating to real life-types of people. And you won’t be the least disappointed about the depths of their personalities, despite the big number of characters existing in the show.
“What a wonderful day! No one in the village doing anything.”
Now, I don’t know if some of you might have an experience of living or even staying for a while in a small village. If you do, as I have in my vacations, then you would recognize some types of people in Shiki.
There are the small minded people that can’t compromise with thinking outside their little shells, focusing their lives entirely on their daily village routines, forgetting about the rest of the world. There are the gossipers, who of course want to know every single news of the village, since the news isn’t many anyway. There are the usual working people, who just do their jobs quietly each day. And there are also those who sit around in a chair doing nothing but watch the passers by and chit chat about mindless things. You can also find kids that want to escape this narrowed life experience and make their way to the big city and also a priest and a doctor who both try to find their own way to balance the life in the village.
When the events of bizarre deaths start to unfold, everyone will act differently according to their character and beliefs, and that is what’s the most fascinating about them. You’ll see bravery, stupidity, cunningness, understanding, fighters and whiners, some even getting advantage of the whole thing. Generally you’ll find many approaches and that is what makes the characters so enriched. Concerning most of them, you will never really learn any solid background information, and yet they feel so fleshed out and real. For a story driven show this is definitely a success.
Also, don’t forget that you’ll get to know, many of the opposing threat side of characters, the Shikis, as they all have their own unique personality to show. Being the supposedly “bad guys” who everyone fears, doesn’t mean they can’t be diverse.
All in all I’m more than satisfied from this show’s variety of characters.
The only point I deducted from this section is because of the use of some of them by the creators. I felt that characters like Natsuno, Megumi, Masao and a few others, could have been involved a little more in certain points of the story. They still are there and active, but they didn’t intertwine with each other as much as I hoped to.
Art, Animation: 10
Now this is, mostly, the section were haters of the show focus their flaming on. I won’t try to persuade anyone that what I see is more right than what they see. But then noone can try to change my way of experiencing things, respectively. That needed to be said, before I say that I found the art and animation both to be brilliant!
The art is indeed unique. I am not trying to play it cool saying that.
Unique and different doesn’t always mean it’s good. If those same looking characters were dragged and dropped into any other type of show I would at least thought the people making it tasteless. But not in this case!
The people who designed the characters knew exactly what they were doing. The faces have rough angles and the shape of their characteristics is unproportional. The hair is also so crazy that stands out from miles away. They all are like a weird cubistic imitation of some of Picasso’s craziest paintings. But were other people find this unattractive, here is exactly how this fact elevates the story. This specific oddity makes Shiki stand out, looking like an old creepy fairytail that comes out of a dusty old book or from one of those bedtime stories that a grandma used to tell her grandchildren around the fireplace. They remind me of Tim Burton’s seductive dark style and where could it fit better than in a story about vampires?
Vampires are anything but usual, they are extravagant, they are lavish but they are also fearsome and killers. So, the roughnesses of the sketches as well as the crazy colors depict the wildness of the story itself. Also the eyes of the Okiagari that don’t have pupils make it feel like you are looking inside an empty shell, as referring to them not having a human soul anymore. The backgrounds are drawn very nicely making this look really to be this enclosed village that the story describes, one that is far from civilization.
A small detail I found very beautiful is the part where the eyes of the Shiki were glowing red in the night and then their shadow slowly appeared, making it very creepy to watch.
The animation is equally good. Some movements may seem abrupt, but I think it adds more to the roughness of the story better than having gentle moves that create a smooth flow. So I really don’t find anything wrong with the animation being more rough than usual.
Music and Sound: 10
The music section is many times the most neglected in a series. As a big music lover, I hate it when, otherwise good shows, have some lame BG music and sound to support them. Sometimes I do find one or good Opening and Ending themes that stand alone though, because usually the background music of those series keeps me indifferent.
In Shiki though, the music is so brilliant that I don’t know where to start the praise from. The melodies aren’t just pretty or simply fit well, they are one with the show, the same entity. They blend so perfectly in each frame and time of the show that I’m positive Shiki wouldn’t be the same without its music score.
The first OP is mysterious, seductive, special. The second OP is eerie, magical, like a dark lament. The endings are equally seductive, particularly the second one that reminds me of music of past decades, having a passionate and also sorrowful sound.
The background music is equally awe-striking, it’s sometimes playful, sometimes harsh, others soft or sending chills down your spine. The various tracks use from natural sounds to human voices. Some voices sound like a jukebox, others chanting or making creepy but melodic sounds. Each and every single piece used, elevates the show.
As far as the voice acting is concerned, I saw a few new actors involved in this, which I find good for a change. They all did their work marvelously well, projecting each of the character’s unique personality. And then they went through many phases, having to show pain, anger, fear, scream or whisper. They all had a hard job, but pulled it off perfectly.
Many times during a show I find myself indifferent about what is going on with the story and the characters. Some stories manage to grab my attention back again, but usually I always experience one or two times of boredom that I just have to be patient until the good parts come in. Not with Shiki. Every time I started watching this I felt like I was glued to my screen, completely forgetting what was going on in my surroundings or how did I end up watching this at those late hours, hearing and watching nothing else but the show itself. I found myself so concerned about everyone’s fate, the art and music working like a magnet on me, that I just wanted this to go on and on as much as it was possible.
Overall: 9 - 9.5/10
For those of you who love intense experiences and look for a little more thought provoking shows Shiki will come as a real treat. It will keep you excited, at the edge of your seat, and at the same time it will make you the player of a big puzzle were you have to be very careful on what you see to finally create the whole image. What is equally cool about the whole viewing experience is that there are so many point of views from which you can observe this show that I’m sure that watching it a second time you’ll come up with different notes about it.
So if you love vampires or just love to watch a little deeper emotionally shows with a complete lack of pantie shots and silly fanservice, then this is exactly the show you’re looking for. A traditional, creepy, mystical, magical, dark, haunting and twisted fairytale. So just grab a mug of hot milk and join us near the fireplace.
Have a nice and creepy ride! :)
Thanks to everyone for reading this relatively long review. Please feel free to leave a comment on my channel with your thoughts about it or about the show.
Jul 5, 2013
Words that were carved deep into my mind after watching Shiki. You might be thinking what a silly question that is of course everyone is entitled to a life and that would never be considered a crime. Well Shiki took these words and dug deep into the matter of what is right and what is wrong, leaving us with sincere questions on what are we all, as human beings, doing here? Are we all right because we're rational beings or are we the worst animals of all?
This anime was the first vampire anime i decided to watch. I'm not very fond of vampires mainly due to the western idea of friendly vampires that coexist with people. If you're looking for that kind of vampires, you're looking at the wrong show. Shiki managed to bring back the terrifying expirience that encountering vampires is and showed all the gore and carnificine that all real vampires display in serious horror shows. Not only that, it attempted to show what it feels like for a vampire, a seemingly horrifying and with no mercy monster, to have self consciousness, to be aware of its own existence and aware of all other creatures around it. This was a premise that led to an amazing anime experience.
To start off we have very distinct unique main characters. What made me enjoy this from the start was that none of the main characters were dense and couldn't figure out what was going on, even the seemingly rational doctor has enough brain matter to understand what's happening, this was promising as far as character goes. We have the monk Seishin to act as the role of religion in the series, even though he himself is aware of what's happening. We have the doctor Toshio that is initially a rational human but we discover later that there is dementia deep down inside him. Then our main hero Natsuno who is an anti-social city boy, but he's defenitely not stupid and he is what defines a line between a real human and a monster. And at last Sunako, the vampire master sort of who shows us what being a vampire is like, what is it all about and how much pain and suffering does one actually have to endure to be a "monster" .
This extraordinary cast of main characters will show different prespectives through out the story that will keep the viewer wondering which side is right, the human side or the vampire side. We get to see the ugly side of humanity and what would most likely happen in a scenario similar to Shiki's. We also get an insight on the entire vampire society and what it means to be one, vampires that can't go in the sunlight and are terrified of religious ornaments, that kind of vampires, not the type of vampire that can walk in the sun as if nothing was going on. This amazing plot is what truely makes Shiki an enjoyable yet terrifying experience, and makes us think about ourselves as living creatures.
As if the plot wasn't enough the art is visually shocking. The insane amount of gore and carnage and the eerie looking vampires. This show is not here to show you cute characters that you would want to hug. On the contrary it's main purpose is to creep the viewer out, to make us who are watching want to watch the show not for the adorable characters but for the story and plot. If this was the intent well i must admit they have nailed it. The first time a vampire appeard on screen, as I saw its deep dark eyes with glowing red corneas my back shivered, it really was eerie and if a show can do that just by the art quality well it just gets more points from me. You will not get tired of seeing new vampires because each and every one of them has their share of creepyness.
Going more into the physical aspects we're left with the sound. The opening and ending themes were spot on as well as the entire opening and ending sequence. Not only these but the sound effects during the actual show and the intense music during certain flashback scenes or quick events all are fitting into the environment and won't let you disappointed. When i say sound effects i mean bones cracking, veins being sliced, strange voices inside one's head. These were used to one again enhance the eerie aspect of the show.
For dropping conventional western ideals of vampires and using real blood thirsty creatures and also for an amazing and unique cast that gives us an insight on all different prespectives of a "vampire apocalypse", Shiki is without a doubt one of the most well produced vampire and horror animes, it will not get boring as the story progresses, the slow paced development in the beginning is only the tip of the iceberg and I'm more than glad i did not drop this anime because it was a thrill from the beginning to the end.
So "is it a sin to want to live?" even if you have to kill someone every day in order to live, even if you have a choice not to kill but your entire body is forcing you to and you're doomed to an eternity of killing and murder? Is it right to call creatures that suffer this much monsters? Are we all that much better as humans for trying to survive by killing so called "monsters"? All these questions will be present through out the show and I promise you if you are looking for an amazing vampire series, you are in for a treat by watching Shiki.
Nov 21, 2010
I’ve watched a total of 16 out of 22 episodes of the show and have so far loved every single episode of it! Vampires singling out a small remote town and picking off each of the (mostly) unsuspecting residents one by one, the story may seem clichéd when presented to those who haven’t watched the show, after all vampires are no new occurrence are they? But the vampires featured in this show (referred to as Shiki or moving corpses) are a breath of fresh air to those sick and tired off the angsty, misunderstood veggies vampires rife in today’s media. These vampires return to their original Stoker-esque roots, not being able to go out in sunlight, fearing crosses and not being able to enter a home unless invited making the show far scarier overall than if it were just another cheap imitation of the Twilight saga.
There’s no single main character in this series, every character no matter how minor plays some kind of role in adding to the rich tapestry of the overall story. However the story mostly revolves around the Shiki and those with direct experience with them. The three main protagonists, Natsuno, Akira and Kaori are you three average teenagers until the Shiki strike. Yet they’re forced to grow up pretty sharpish as they start to work out what’s really been going on behind the facade of a supposed epidemic and go about trying to save the blissfully clueless town. That’s about it for character development which is a shame but necessary as if the show were to focus on each and every character it’d never end!
It’s important to note that everyone in the show’s expendable, even the main characters. This I love as it helps to increase the tension felt by the viewers as their favourite characters are caught in rather sticky situations.
Frankly, I’m not a fan of the kooky art style. It kinda ruins the overall look of the show to plop crazy looking characters (sometimes with hair bigger than them!) into such beautiful backdrops. But if you’re into art a little bit unique and out of the ordinary you may find you like it! The show has a good range of ugly and beautiful people, making it far more realistic than the average anime which could be considered a positive I suppose! The animation of the show however is superb. It’s hard to describe but it was great to see scenes in which the animators would try to do something a little different to keep things visually exciting!
All four of the opening and ending themes are so beautiful it’s almost impossible to say a bad word about them. The second opening is in my opinion the best as it adds puts a beautifully eerie spin on the show capturing it rather nicely. The insert themes are pretty creepy too. They’re not noticeable to the point of annoyance yet you hear enough of them to know when shit’s gonna hit the fan!
Overall enjoyment: 9
I’ve immensely enjoyed this show so far. After recovering from an arguably slow start the show keeps getting better and better and the character’s situation becomes increasingly dire. Each episode ends with an edge-of-the-seat cliff-hanger leaving me desperate for yet another episode each and every week. I’d definitely recommend this show to any fan of the horror genre of anime, lovers of the traditional vampire, and haters of Twilight alike. I hope this has helped you a little on your decision of whether or not to watch this show! Bye~!
Nov 15, 2013
Going into Shiki, I did not really know anything about it nor did I expect much. Without giving much away, I will say this: It blew me away. The Storyline is nothing entirely original, mysterious family moves into a rural town and the population of the town starts dropping. Having said that, the idea is not terribly common and it was presented very well. Coming from a variety of different perspectives, it offered a different approach to what was going on at any given point of the anime. This does not simply mean different people, we're talking social, medical, religious. Shiki offered it all.
The art was...different. Coming from someone that is extremely picky about what an anime looks like(not hesitating to drop an anime if it doesn't look pretty),I loved it. The character design was, in my narrow view, original, creative and interesting. Much like most anime, there was a definite style, or pattern that was adhered to. Angular, subtle lining made for an interesting watch and the subdued colours matched the setting and theme very well. Perhaps more importantly, they tended to match the mood of the current scene as well. This made the immersion all the more potent.
The sound(musically speaking) was also well thought out, fitting the theme and mood, adding to the immersion. Having said that, the voices(Japanese) could have been done a little better. At times I found it to be stunted, un authentic. Naturally, this varied from character to character and it was not so often or so bad that it made a large impact on viewing pleasure. But from time to time, it snagged my attention.
The characters were, I feel, what made the anime come alive. The growth and development of each one, their hopes, desires and dreams all fell into a relatable and understandable category, bringing the viewer to care for them without even realizing it. Truth be told, it was a complete shock to feel so hurt on behalf of a character without seeing it coming beforehand. Until that point, I had thought that it wouldn't really bring anything out of me if something bad were to happen. Even the "antagonists" each had something that drew me to them, and all in all every situation was reacted to in a manner that I could see happening in real life. From my point of view, that's a big plus. While it may not be listed as such, I really found it interesting to watch the psych of each character as the anime developed. Be it negative or positive, each character had their own method of coping and dealing with everything that happened. I'd suggest keeping an eye out for that aspect.
Needless to say, I found Shiki to be thoroughly enjoyable. It may not have been the biggest rollercoaster ride of emotions, but it certainly brought more to the table than I had expected and it kept it's quality high throughout the anime. read more
Oct 16, 2013
I understand Seishin a lot aswell he's one of my favorites as well. His view on life is just as bleak as mine. He is the foil to Toshio. He has good reason for what he does but sometimes it to the viewer it doesn't make sense. He is an imporatnt charcater for the plot though, he draws the line between humanity and monsters and he helps to show that their is really not that much of a differnce. Toshio comes in and further inhances what Seishin says.
The charcaters are all so differnt I don't even have time to go through all of them individually, they all have rich lively personalities and they make the series addicting. I remeber when I first watched this I had to buy this just had to! And it was time and money well spent. There is no way to just sum up the beauty of this anime in a review it is much too complex, it goes beyond the sterotypical Twightlight nonsense, it is a vampire story that owns it self it's independent. I love the character development and the interations. read more