I am posting this on Monday because I couldn’t finish Shiki in one sitting… because I started it from the beginning. I was super excited about this one when it first aired and I watched half of it, but then they had a two weeks break (because of a tsunami or something similar) and I kinda lost the enthusiasm so I stopped watching for a lot of years but I watched it in two days so let’s try and review it!
Shiki is a lot like Salem’s Lot. Actually, Shiki is Salem’s Lot only better! Salem’s Lot is a book by Stephen King that I read a couple of months ago. It was pretty awesome and woke up my interest for vampires. I know that sometimes when you say something resembles something else is not really a good thing, but Shiki takes Salem’s Lot and makes it ten times better so I guess we can just skip the part with “takes Salem’s Lot”.
Just like the book the anime has two parts: the slow part (and my favourite one though many were annoyed by it) – the one that helps setting the story and the event and knowing the villagers; and the fast one – the one with all the killing (there is killing in the first one too, don’t worry). The story starts in a similar way to Salem’s Lot. There’s a huge house that you can see from almost every part of the small village, vampires move in it and try to transform the townsfolks into vampires too. But I should stop using the term “vampire” because they prefer to be called “shiki”. But then the two are very different. While the book is pretty good and interesting (just don’t watch the movies), the anime manages to go deeper and explore other layers of the “shiki” problem.
The story and the characters are really complex and different than any other vampire anime I watched. Let’s take for example the two adult that know about the shiki-problem, they are old friends and they are very similar, both having to carry the family legacy on their backs, but their motivations are so distinct and it ends forming a gab between the two – and that was heartbroken for me. I am, of course, talking about the Junior Monk and the Doctor (Muroi-san and Ozaki-sensei). As much as I love them together I hated them when they took different paths.
And it’s not just the humans who are different, the shikis are too even though most of them seem to just obey the orders. Like I said, the characters are developed in a really great way, they are fascinating and I don’t feel like I am able to talk about all of them though they deserve it.
You must watch Shiki because it’s a great one! But beware, by the end of it you might find yourself in my dilemma (and it’s a centuries old one): what’s good and what’s bad? What’s right anymore? What would I do if I was a shiki? Is it bad that they kill humans in order to survive? Who is to blame for this? Are they different?
It’s a sad anime about humans becoming monsters and by “monsters” I don’t refer only to shiki.