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.
actully i’m quite sure that the person stabbing Tatsumi was Mr Yuuki Natsuno’s dad
That’s what I thought at first, but his hair is much more blue than Natsuno’s dad’s hair was, so then I thought it was probably Mr. Kirishiki, as his hair is blue like that.
The reason for your confusion is simple. They finally started deviating from the manga. Or, perhaps, not quite deviating, but omitting some of the scenes, adding some of the other scenes, and just completely messing up the order. On one hand it makes sense – they are limited by 22 episodes limit, and by the looks of it they would finish everything to the next chapter, and perhaps have one episode left over, to tie all the loose ends, since it doesn’t feel like manga will end quite this soon. On the other hand… It would have been so much better if they waited an extra season before doing this show, so they wouldn’t have to rush through it…
As for their reasoning.
First of, elder Muroi. The father and the son are actually quite similar in this regard. He was under the weight of unbearable obligations – being the head priest. He was paralyzed, miserable, and in the constant pain. The village took care of him, but only as long as he performed his duty. So he thought that if he becomes a shiki that wouldn’t be that bad, and it would offer him an escape. So they took him somewhere else.
Seishin knew that he had to make a decision. He could try to stand up and fight like Ozaki, but it would be completely out of character for him. He could continue pretending like there is nothing going on, but it has gone too far for that. And if you can’t fight it – join it. So he went to Kanemasa willingly, which equivalent to suicide, granted, but it was his decision.
As for his stroll in the woods, it wasn’t supposed to happen, for various reasons.
Ritsuko. Here it is quite simple. She was running as fast as she could, thinking that if she did that no one would be able to catch up with her. But she saw the truck, and she was shocked. She lost the presence of mind and didn’t know what to do next. So she stopped and couldn’t move any more.
Ozaki… This scene has also gone differently. In the manga it takes place just outside the clinic, (because, well, how could she come in quite yet?), after Ritsuko has already died. When he sees Mrs. Kirishiki, he turns on the projector to project crisscrossed pattern which naturally scares her. She runs away.
Then, sometime later, next day, I think, Seishiro shoots the projector.
And then he does say that he is sick of villagers attitude, but only as a reference to Seishin’s desicion, and not in context of begging for his life.
The net result is the same, but anime took a shortcuts and made it make less sense.
As for Mrs. Kirishiki… I don’t know either…. O_O
Did you somehow miss my line about not wanting these questions answered if people were drawing on the light novels or manga to answer them? While I can understand your desire to illuminate things better, I would ask that you please do not reveal spoilers in the future – including those for the manga, as I intend to read that once the TV series ends.
I kind of wish I had of scrolled down instead of reading all that spoilerificness now >.<
um the mr morui thing is sort of spoilerish
Thank you for warning me.
On the topic of the population problem. They did say there was a city unit that kidnapped people. Now this pretty much solves the food problem since Japan not only has some of the most densely populated cities but also one of the most ignored homeless populations. Also since not all those fed on rise and a fair amount could live else where coming back once in a while for a relaxed unlife the population wouldn’t explode.
Of course this only works if the author took it into account.
I know they do have a city unit kidnapping people, but even with a small population of shiki, the food supply necessary would be pretty crazy. Let’s be conservative and say that there are thirty shiki. Let’s be further conservative and say they only feed every three days. So in a week alone they would need sixty victims. That is quite a lot of people, even if a lot of them are kidnapped.
yeah but they only need a glass of blood thats all they can eat before getting full for a day
Where ARE you seeing these previews btw? I really ought to watch them… although then it’d just make me even more anxious for the next episode.
Soon as they showed Ritsuko, I knew it was her ‘time.’ Ritsuko T_T
BLasphemy, that’s a good one :p My first thought when Muroi was totally stalking Ozaki before going over to the Kirishikis was how much you must’ve enjoyed that scene.
I was really shocked that Ozaki got bit. I was certain she’d agree to his plea to let him live so he could see the village die out, I even thought I saw her buying his BS, but then she just up and bit him. I was kinda stunned.
Seriously, there’s no bright and shining star left for the series. Everyone’s dead or dying, how can there be a ‘win’ in this.
But yeah, once again, the characters of Shiki prove that on average they are stupider than most preschoolers.
Previews are at: http://www.okiagari.net/gallery/yokoku.html
I actually wanted to strangle Muroi after that scene. Dude, just go knock on the window or something! WHY ARE YOU GOING TO THE KIRSHIKI?!?!?! ARGH.
I’m not wholly convinced that the characters are just stupid. I think that in such a situation most people would act retarded, honestly, especially in this day and age… We are, generally, so convinced of the impossibility of the supernatural, after all. I think it would take a lot to convince me that the undead are killing off my neighbors.
Throughout this episode I was just constantly thinking ‘everyone is so fecking doomed!’ Seriously, I can not see a glimmer of hope for anyone in this series anymore, but delighted by how completely everything has gone to hell.
I saw Mr Yuuki in the preview – didn’t even question who it was since Seishiro has kind of become synonymous with that cape of his and blue-haired crazy dude is wearing rather unfabulous jeans. Plus Mr Yuuki has that irritating strand of hair dangling down in front of his eyes, were Seishiro’s hair sticks out horizontally…….and Seishiro is in the preview waving about a gun rather than a knife.
Yeah, I do think it is Mr. Yuuki. Like I said, I first thought it was, but then the lightness of the blue threw me off. I’m just stupidly excited to see this totally deranged Mr. Yuuki. He may be even able to recover from my assigning him the second-least-favorite slot on my character ranking for the show! (Tatsumi is my least favorite, hands down.)
Oh I really like Tatsumi’s character! I love utter bastard-like characters – so much fun to watch.
Its characters like Toshio’s mother and Kaori that get on my nerves. Mr Yuuki was also right down there, but if he snaps and goes on a murderous rampage that will completely redeem him – nothing more entertaining than a knife weilding lunatic!
Ugh, can’t stand Tatsumi AT ALL. Maybe its the lack of development, ’cause I don’t have that same burning hatred for Megumi.
Tohru is starting to grate on me, I’ll admit, no matter that he is such BL bait. As for Kaori, I just feel really awful for her right now; she’s not just in despair, she’s totally lost it. If she’d been hanging around crying for eight or nine episodes, though, I’d probably be getting sick of her, too.
Tohru’s constant ‘oh woe is me’ crying is very annoying. Sunako is right, he needs to either man up or go jump off a cliff…….his being BL bait and a really nice fella prior to shikification is his saving grace.
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That is Natsuno’s dad, no doubt about that. Seems like the next episode is going to be quite awesome. Shikis can die by strangulation well that is a new one.