Check-in Station: Shiki eps 1-12 (without horrible hair you have no chance at the afterlife)
Apparently, while I was sh*tting on Highschool of the Dead and its LOL-ability, there was another show that was getting just as popular and receiving much more respectable praise. That show is Shiki. The name for the show I’m just now understanding. And the praise it received I came in wondering if it could possibly be warranted for a show about supernaturals. A concept that could be as awesome (Vampire Hunter D) as it could be weak and half-baked (Ookami Kakushi & Vampire Bund). I wonder what category this show will end up in?
Shiki didn’t really waste time getting into the story or the mystery. Starting off with a somewhat annoying, but attractive girl in Megumi and her lambasting her tiny, remote town. Her only shining light apparently being the jerk guy she has a crush on (Natsuno) and a newly arrived and affluent family that she can’t wait to meet. I won’t get too involved in describing the beginning of the story, you can watch it for yourself afterall, but it kicks off with some rather quick and mysterious deaths and some very creepy people.
So far what I’m enjoying the most is that this show can be genuinely tense and, like I’ve said before and may say many more times in relation to this show, creepy. It’s classic nightmare stuff. Being unable to move, seeing something creeping around your window or even slowly opening your door and staring you in the face. Even the scratching of fingernails on a second story window, it’s all somewhat predictable and effective. It has also done a good job of racking up a body count without telegraphing who exactly is safe and isn’t safe. It’s all been very enjoyable and engrossing up to this point.
The things that bug me are numerous, but merely nagging. It takes some time to get used to the character designs. Even the normal human beings can look incredibly creepy given their RIDICULOUS hairstyles and the way their eyes are drawn. Oh those hairstyles. I shudder at the thought of them. Like Higurashi, things can seem just a little bit off because of the artstyle. Unlike Higurashi however, I cannot fault Shiki for its animation quality which has been well… quality up until this point.
The story also comes with the horror/supernatural story caveat of having people who act ridiculously stupid given the circumstances. Natsuno and his parents being a good example of this. I hardly find infuriating though considering that these mistakes just come off as mostly believable or as just honest and naive.
I’m rather impressed up until this point and I’m anxious to see this show’s conclusion. Shiki has shown itself to be a surprisingly entertaining and quality watch. Drama, mystery, good characters; it all seems to be there. All I need to do now is finish the journey and see if it has a satisfying and memorable conclusion.
- Caraniel’s Ramblings on Shiki, my favorite blog so far for Shiki related conjecture, insight and rambling.
- Gar Gar Stegosaurus on Shiki.
- Shinmaru on Shiki.
- Episode by episode, you can find my posts on Shiki here.
- My thoughts on a generally much less stellar vampire series. I do this to offer a bit of contrast.
- And a little bit of insight into Ookami Kakushi. I would use my own posts, but I was less than insightful and really just verbally burned the show.