It’s official: Shiki has killed me.
It just leaped upon me, fastened its fangs upon my neck, and sucked me dry. I am now sprawled against the floor and incapable of pretty much anything. It probably tossed a hypnosis spell on me, too.
I find that I have less and less to say as we get closer to the end, probably because the show has me so ratcheted up that I get pins and needles in my own hands right before I start watching and at least through the first half of each episode as of late. I feel lame admitted that, but it is the bare truth. At least I’m an honest loser…
Ozaki looks like he’s losing his grip on the group, honestly. He even more or less admits to himself that he couldn’t’ve expected anything else to happen once he whipped everyone into a frenzy. He may still have some control, but I think things are quickly spiraling out of his hands completely based on the murder of a bitten-but-still-alive villager at the end of this episode despite his objections to it. Tomio is looking like a very strong candidate as taking over as leader of the mob right now.
The fact is, Ozaki’s calmer approach to leadership just isn’t going to be a match for Tomio’s impassioned call to utter destruction at this point. Ozaki can’t really draw a line between the shiki and the merely possessed any more because the villagers just aren’t at all interested in having such a line. They’re angry and they are beyond pure reason at this point. This is the danger of the mob – you may incite it, but that doesn’t mean it’ll go the way you wish it to go.
Ozaki has a flash to Muroi leaving the clinic after discovering his staking of Kyouko during one of the earlier conversations about what to do with ‘collaborators’. He argues that they shouldn’t be killed because they’re human, so its murder. I smell some impending angst about Muroi.
More importantly, though, Tomio and Ozaki disagree about whether humans who attack the other humans are collaborators or simply hypnotized. Tomio thinks they’re just like Mr. Kirishiki, whereas Ozaki argues they’re under the spell of the shiki and will be fine if kept at the shrine long enough. Which of course ends up just going back to the end of the episode, in which Tomio kills one of the characters who has been bitten and hypnotized.
Anyway, speaking of Muroi, he lets Tatsumi have a snack from him again. I’m not sure how Muroi isn’t dead yet at the rate he’s going. We did actually get to see Tatsumi biting him this time. And I did begin to think during Sunako’s monologue about getting staked and wishing for someone to come save her and sin, etc. that he had died while sitting there with her. But, nope, Muroi’s just useless, as usual. Sunako, go talk to Kaori! Ask her how much good he did for her!
By the way, that Muroi has now offered Tatsumi his left arm twice seems quite indicative, doesn’t it? Its the arm he slashed, after all, when he tried to kill himself. I don’t care what he says about not knowing why he wanted to kill himself; he’s still trying to, and he’s not going to convince anyone to the contrary. All he’s getting is that IV, after all. No food, letting the vampires gnaw on him, offering that scarred arm… if this isn’t the behavior of a man who still yearns for death, I just don’t know what is.
Tatsumi has become less repellent to me. I still don’t really like him, but the more I see him interacting with Sunako and Muroi, the less completely awful he seems. Ugh. I hate to admit that. I suppose since it seems like he gets Sunako better than anyone else does. I wonder if he was the first one she stuck around to see if they rose up? With all the victims when she was locked up, she didn’t seem to know or care what happened to them. Just when did she begin building this small retinue?
This episode also furthers the reminders that Tohru has a crush on Ritsuko, what with Ritsuko dying on his shoulder and him being willing to comfort her at the end. He also lets Yasuyo, our favorite lingerie nurse, go at Ritsuko’s behest. Poor Ritsuko. She really did see it through. Vampires in this story can starve to death, then, after all (it varies by the mythology being followed, but in some narratives the vampire just gets weaker and weaker without blood but does not actually die from it).
The background on Mr. Kirishiki, however brief, was intriguing. He was also startlingly honest – there is a lot of evidence that children grow up to mimic the behavior of their parents, particularly when the behavior is bad. But for him to actually come right out and state that he is with the shiki because he wanted to be in the position of power because of how awful his father was? Quite straightforward, wasn’t it?
By the way, I have a bone to pick with what happened with Mrs. Ozaki. It certainly made sense and everything, but I’m a bit irritated with how in Shiki the worst fates for people seem to be reserved for the women. Kyouko has gotten the worst deal so far, but what happened to Chizuru was also pretty awful, particularly the entrapment which went before it. And now Mrs. Ozaki is the first to be murdered outright by a vampire? What, they couldn’t’ve just snagged one of the remaining male clinic workers? And for those who would say it wouldn’t have the same impact – well really? After all, we’ve only seen Mrs. Ozaki be unpleasant, so it wasn’t as if the loss was very much felt. The pattern is just a bit frustrating. I’ve really liked the show otherwise, so this area is particularly of consternation to me.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. The day is about to dawn again in Sotoba, which’ll put a damper on the activities of the vampires. Not that they really did all that much during the night, though – Kanemasa is surrounded, so Sunako and Muroi stayed put there all night. Tohru and Ritsuko also stayed in one place during the night, and we haven’t seen any of the other shiki such as Mao or Megumi. Where the heck are they hiding?
While things look pretty bad for the shiki, I think with the madness brewing at the moment that the humans could very well make their own problems, giving the shiki a bit of a chance.
By the way, I find Ozaki’s cautioning of not setting a fire lest the fire department come a bit jarring. Same goes for discussions of blockading the roads so outsiders cannot get in. It just comes off weirdly given that so much of the problem allegedly arose because the place is so isolated that no one was taking any notice of what was happening.
Anyway, next episode preview gives life to another idea for what we are, ultimately, watching – we are watching the book that Muroi writes after escaping, although he’s passing it off as fiction. He seems to be dragging Sunako uphill in a suitcase during the preview, after all. On the other hand, there’s a huge trail of blood behind them, so… maybe he still will die after all…