Official designation: the WTF episode.
Seriously. I don’t know how many times I felt like screaming that during this episode. To whit:
- WHAT THE FUCK, MUROI?! Why are you wandering around the woods at NIGHT?! Does the presence of vampires mean NOTHING to you?!
- AGAIN, WHAT THE FUCK, MUROI?! So, you finally act like you’re going to DO something, and then you let yourself just get roofied by a loli vampire?!
- WHAT THE FUCK, RITSUKO?! You suspect the dead are walking around, but when your dog tries to get you moving back home and acts kind of scared, you just STAND there?!
- WHAT THE FUCK, OZAKI?! There’s a vampire in your clinic… and you rush head-on at it with a stake! Did you really think that that was going to work?!
- WHAT THE FUCK, MR. MUROI?! You know that the Kirishiki are VAMPIRES, but instead of warning anyone about this, you invite them to come eat you?!
- WHAT THE FUCK, MRS. KIRISHIKI?! WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?!
- WHAT THE FUCK, KAORI?! You’re digging your own GRAVE?!
In the case of Kaori, I did feel very badly for her, so that tempered my WTF feelings somewhat.
And, now, for some more generalized WTF feelings:
- so, what the fuck did Muroi end up doing about Kaori when she came to him asking for a posthumous name?
- what the fuck was Mr. Muroi hoping to achieve by inviting the Kirishiki to feed on him, but also prohibiting them from entering his wife’s or son’s rooms, and also not telling his wife or son what he suspected?
- also with Mr. Muroi – why’d he just vanish? He was clearly an ailing man, so surely his own death wouldn’t have been hyper-suspect – at the very least, no more so than him just disappearing entirely. Maybe he’ll be a shiki.
- what the fuck is Muroi doing?
This was the first episode where things felt rushed, which I think may have something to do with some of my confusion over what went on during it. The show has been such a slow-boil affair that the events that transpired felt especially abrupt – Ozaki was bitten, Ritsuko was bitten, Muroi got drugged
and turned into a love slave by Sunako, Kaori gave up, one of the nurse’s was kidnapped by the shiki, Mr. Muroi vanished… maybe it doesn’t look like a lot on paper, but essentially all routes have been cut off for any hope of an eleventh hour rescue effort. Ozaki is burning all his records as the episode closes out, and Natsuno is being chased by Tatsumi. It does look a lot like game over.
I watched the episode twice, and Ozaki’s scene with Mrs. Kirishiki and Muroi’s scene with Kaori several times each in an attempt to suss things out more satisfactorily. I’m still not hyper-clear on what Muroi was trying to do; I’m not sure if this is since the episode was trying to fit so much in this week, or if its just since Muroi is kind of wishy-washy and not good at making his intentions clear. I do know that I feel like we’re really missing something by not having seen Muroi’s teatime with Sunako beyond her pouring him tea and then a later still of him passed out in his chair as she looks on.
Based on Muroi’s own thoughts, the most likely option seems to be that since he hates the village, feels sorry for Sunako, and tried to kill himself, then it is hypocritical for him to do anything but go over to the Kirishiki. He had also told Tohru earlier in the episode that it isn’t a sin to want to stay alive in response to Tohru’s admission of killing Natsuno and of having killed someone before running into Muroi, which seems to lend further support to the idea that he isn’t off to try to reason with Sunako or something of that sort.
The only other thing that seems even remotely possible is that he’s off to the Kirishiki to destroy them from within – ironically, also because he hates the village, feels sorry for Sunako, and tried to kill himself once. Essentially, because of all of that, Muroi is a bad person (to his mind), and so he should be the one to bring it to an end and in the process expose himself to danger. He doesn’t deserve anything else.
I think there’s a slight chance that Muroi doesn’t get bitten at all, after all. All his introspection and moping certainly sets him up as the kind of character who outlives all the events, and then continues to live if only to warn people away from making similar mistakes. And, hey, irony’s fun, isn’t it? The only person in the show who has demonstrated a desire to die surviving? But of course!
By the way – looks like Muroi comes by self-destruction honestly, given that his dad invited the Kirishiki to come feed on him.
I find Mr. Muroi’s actions a bit confusing as well. Is it that he figures there’s no hope for the village, so may as well get it over with? But if he thinks there is no hope, then why tell the Kirishiki that they are not welcome in his family members’ rooms? But if he’s telling them to steer clear, and so thinks that can keep them safe, then why not try to convince his wife and son to get the fuck out of Sotoba? And if he thinks that there is a hope to keep his wife and son safe, then why invite the Kirishiki to feast on him at all?
The final question is probably the easiest to speculate about – he’s old, he’s bedridden, so he probably figures its his time anyway. But the rest of that just baffles me.
By the way, my asking these questions doesn’t mean I want them answered in the comments. If you are reading the manga or light novels, please kindly keep your mouth shut.
Honestly, at this point, I’m kind of feeling like all the characters could go jump in a bonfire and die. I have varying degrees of frustration with them all. I’m still enjoying the show, but the characters are being absolutely maddening. The only character I feel sorry for at the moment is poor Kaori.
There really is something unbelievably horrible about digging one’s own grave. And what is also awful is that Kaori would actually be perfectly safe in her house – her brother was killed elsewhere, and her mother was dragged out of the house after denying her dead husband entry into the house. So she’s safe so long as she remains inside her house – Megumi can’t hurt her. But the poor girl doesn’t know that, and, even if she did, her situation is rotten, as her entire family is now dead. I just wish she had the wherewithal to pack her bags, get on a bus, and get out. Obviously this would be pretty hard, since not only is everyone in her family dead, but she’s a junior high school student, so where she could even go is questionable. But I wish she had a larger sense of self-preservation.
Ozaki’s acting sucked when Mrs. Kirishiki grabbed him and he tried to convince her to not bite him. You just tried to stake her, and now you’re claiming that you’ve given up and just want to watch the village die? Uh, yeah, sure, dude. You’re just carving all those stakes for shits and giggles. Although I do wonder how much truth there was in what he said – his frustration with the other villagers is certainly understandable/plausible, even if I don’t believe for a moment that he really wants to watch the village die out.
By the way, I’m getting a bit… hmm. I’m not sure how to put it. Ok, so we’ve got these tiny little villages, including Sotoba and more mountainous ones. And now we’ve got enough vampires such that they can staff the entire public office and a clinic. There are also enough to move back into some of the houses, and enough people have died that they can walk around and not raise suspicion from others saying, “Hey, wait, didn’t he die last week?” And these villages didn’t have a hell of a lot of people to begin with – I seem to recall Sotoba’s population being stated as something in the one thousand-range. At what point does the carrying capacity get exceeded? You’d think that, after a while, the Kirishiki would prefer to just have people burned after they die so that they don’t threaten their own food supplies.
Actually, this problem in general is why vampires couldn’t possibly exist in real life – everyone in the world would either be dead or a vampire within a very short amount of time. I’ve been pretty good at ignoring this fact generally when reading or watching anything with vampires, but here it is starting to stretch my willingness to suspend disbelief.
So, I committed BLasphemy this episode by thinking during the car ride scene that I could definitely see the appeal of and be in support of an OzakixRitsuko pairing. Don’t worry, though, my ship is still OzakixMuroi. This episode heightened my feelings about that as well, since everyone knows best friends turned bitter enemies is the hottest thing in BL. Duh.
In the next episode, Mrs. Kirishiki and Ozaki talk a bunch before he dies. Mr. Kirishiki appears to get some background, as he is shown laughing madly and stabbing Tatsumi – at least, I think its him given the blue hair of the person who looks insane, but the face is pretty warped, so its hard to say exactly. And Tatsumi strangles Natsuno, so I’d say he’s not going to be calling in the troops, either. Everyone is doomed!
EDIT: I’d thought that the mad blue-haired man at first was Natsuno’s father, but then revised my opinion based on the hair color. Someone has since said that they’re pretty sure its Natsuno’s dad. I wouldn’t be bothering to mention this, except that my first thought that it was Natsuno’s dad, too. So, maybe we’re in for a real treat next week! Natsuno’s dad goes insane! Good times.
By the way, after watching this, I decided to go to sleep… and I kept hearing this weird noise outside my window (it was the middle of the night). At first I thought it was just relatives still gas-bagging with their car doors open, since my relatives suck at actually leaving events in a timely fashion. But when I got up to use the bathroom and said something to my father, he said that, no, they’d left. So of course I went, “Aww, fuck, the vampires are here to kill me.” I did look out the window, and it was a freaking church owl! Those damn things are huge! And it was staring in my window! Fucking owl…
Oh, and I ended up having nightmares all night. The one I remember best was like a weird mash-up between Paranormal Activity and No Country for Old Men. So, they weren’t like Shiki, but I do blame Shiki for causing them – I was thinking about the episode as I was falling asleep. Also, my nightmares are usually much more subtle, so, yeah, totally your fault, Shiki.