Shiki Episode Twenty-One

It’s just a flesh wound!

FACT: I watched YumePati Sp Professional’s latest episode after this because my hands were shaking too badly to type efficiently. This show just stirs me up very badly. Hearing the Sweet Romance OP after watching Muroi spurting blood everywhere was really bizarre, though. I also had to RAGE since apparently it was the last episode! WTF.

Anyway. Shiki.

I’m having a hard time corralling my thoughts on it. It was an incredibly intense episode, as have most of the recent episodes been. But I actually didn’t notice any heart-rate increases at all, which is odd since the previous three or four episodes have induced a spike in my heart-rate, pathetically enough, as I’ve loaded up the episode. Maybe because I waited so long to watch it? Who knows.

Ozaki seems to have given up on trying to control the more violent impulses of the villagers; despite his obvious discomfort with killing people who are alive but under hypnosis, he displayed no opposition to that in this episode. He also seems to have given up on Muroi completely, having sent Ookawa after Muroi after they passed by him in the truck. I actually laughed when the truck fell over.

The slaughter of Muroi’s mother and the remaining temple workers was disturbing. We’ve seen people killed by other villagers before, but this is the first time they killed people who weren’t under hypnosis either. They were also wholly blameless – how were they to know Muroi was hiding in the altar? We can file this under Muroi sucking at not causing others’ harm, by the way. Wonder how Kaori is, hmm?

Speaking of Muroi, it was nice to finally have him admitting that he did have a reason for trying to kill himself instead of the bullshit about not knowing why. It is possible to have people attempt or commit suicide without actually having a reason to; it is well-documented that individuals with impulse control problems can do such a thing. But it was fairly clear that this was not the case with Muroi, if only since the show itself seemed to support Sunako’s notion that there is no such thing as killing sans intent.

Muroi’s monologue about his Abel and Cain characters was also fairly interesting. So Muroi is Abel and Cain – and he ultimately takes the worst of both with him, pretending to be a devoted religious man and also trying to kill himself. This may be the first time we’ve heard Muroi actually be fully honest with himself. So trying to kill himself was an attempt to break free, and so was going to Kanemasa – which was, in essence, actually killing himself.

The attack on Muroi was, I think, the most visceral violence we’ve had so far. The staking of the vampires, particularly with Kyouko, has been pretty gruesome. But there was something about the struggle and Muroi getting slashed with the cleaver that was much more… well, it was actively violent. That’s the only way I can think of it. With the staked vampires, they’ve mostly been held down by others as they were staked or have been incapable of truly fighting back because they’ve been in the sunlight. So it was brutal. But there was a more active element to Muroi’s run-in.

Hey, and maybe it’s the fact that, afterward, we watch Muroi dragging the suitcase and his sorry ass uphill while bleeding out. For such a passive character, its fairly striking to watch. But its obviously too little, too late.

I think we can ultimately blame Muroi for the destruction of Sotoba. Really. The Kirishiki came to town because Muroi wrote about Sotoba in one of his pieces, which was read by Seishirou who then viewed it as a perfect place. If Muroi had actually tried to change things for himself, had tried to actually break away from a place he hated so bitterly instead of taking the martyr’s route and accepting the role of the younger priest, then he wouldn’t’ve been there to write such things about Sotoba. Maybe he would’ve been miserable elsewhere – a change of scenery doesn’t change the person after all. But he just stayed put and stayed sad.

Would it have been hard to walk away from Sotoba? Absolutely. I am not denying that at all. But it would’ve been possible. Difficult, but possible.

And, so, here’s your true catalyst: Muroi.

We also get further evidence that Muroi apparently comes by his self-destructiveness honestly, as Mr. Muroi is discovered as a vampire in this episode, lying in a shed. He tells Ookawa to kill him, and makes a statement about finally being able to die. I don’t think he wanted to rise up at all; he obviously wasn’t thinking his earlier plan through very well, when he invited the Kirishiki into his room and specifically told them to not enter his wife’s or his son’s rooms. He probably just thought he’d die! Well, too bad, dude. You and your son are both utter failures at suicide.

Natsuno’s biting and hypnosis of Seishirou was brilliant. I wish someone would kill Natsuno, though… I hate how he’s getting more the shiki killed.

We had Tohru’s father lose the will to keep fighting in this episode upon seeing his son staked. We also had lingerie nurse prove that she is apparently the teflon character – she escapes vampires and wild dogs! I figured she was dead when the dogs set upon her and was kind of pissed that she got away from the vampires only to get eaten by wild dogs. So I was surprised to see her show up later in the episode.

One thing I got really excited about is Masao’s impending staking. I hate that kid. He was so awful to his sister-in-law, so that she’s going to be his killer is pure awesome.

Speaking of his sister-in-law (her name is Chizuko), gotta love that scene where she reaches for the onigiri, notices the blood on her hands, and wipes it casually on her apron before actually picking up the onigiri.

Next episode preview! I was right! Sotoba does get lit on fire! Hooray! And the clinic burns too! I hope everyone dies.

Sunako may get staked. Ookawa certainly looks like he’s about to stake her. Muroi is somehow not dead yet. Apparently he has more blood than anyone in the history of the world. He also is shown toward the end of the clip with shiki eyes, although it’d be a record time for death to rising, so I’m not so sure about it. If he is shikified, my money is on him somehow escaping with Sunako. And it looks like Megumi opts for the Mean Girls end, if you get my drift.

Anyway, I think I want them all to just die at this point. The villagers are completely mad. Everyone’s lost their humanity. Let the whole place burn.

For now, I’m going to start reading Salem’s Lot. It may be of some interest to all of you that Fuyumi Ono has said that her Shiki novels are an homage to that book. I’m not really into Stephen King, but I’m willing to check it out if Ono was influenced/inspired by it when she wrote Shiki.

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12 Responses to Shiki Episode Twenty-One

  1. Caraniel says:

    How can Shiki be so good? I really am in awe at this series – the way Sotoba has so completely gone to hell is fecking frightening.

    Muroi….oh Muroi. His capacity to destroy everything around him is amazing – for a character that isn’t really meant to be one of the main ones, he’s certainly at the middle of everything!

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I think the best term for him is ‘linchpin’. And, due to that, I kind of wonder if he must die for the show to end; he started the whole thing, so it would be fitting if it all ended with him.
      I really hope he doesn’t end up a shiki =(

      • Caraniel says:

        He certainly is a linchpin for events in Shiki. It would be a nice neat end to finish with him…..it depends on how they spin it in the end, but him ending up as a shiki does seem like an overly tragic ending.

      • adaywithoutme says:

        Yeah, even considering how tragic this whole show has played out to be it’d be a bit much. Ono couldn’t’ve been that cruel, could she?

        Ugh. Forget I even asked. I could absolutely see it happening, especially since both OP’s foreshadowed it. But I’m going to be incredibly bummed out if he does go shiki on us.
        Maybe this is why I like writing Shiki fanfiction so much – I’ve grown so attached to the characters that I want to give them an alternative somehow. Sigh.

      • Caraniel says:

        Ono has proven to be very mean to her characters, I can completely see her given everyone the worst possible end, just because she can!

        Shiki!Muroi would be taking the biscuit in bad ends for a self destructive priest though

      • adaywithoutme says:

        I took a gander at her bibliography – its so strange in a way that she’s become most known to Western fans for her 12 Kingdoms series, as most of her work is in the horror genre. I feel an urge to go re-buy all the 12 Kingdoms’ novels Tokyopop has released, write Tokyopop a letter demanding a Shiki translation, and then go wish on some stars. Ah, a girl can dream, huh?
        I do hope Ono isn’t so depressing as to give us a suicidal immortal man. Ugh. It’d be different if he became an Anne Rice-style vampire, but a shiki one? Dreadful.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    I keep hearing Shiki is good, but is it as good as this?

    • adaywithoutme says:

      But… where’s the Manningface?

      • Baka-Raptor says:

        Oh, I’m terribly sorry, is Elisha being ignored at a press conference not good enough for Princess Day?

        http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2010/12/eww-dat.html

      • adaywithoutme says:

        Is it bad that the first thing I thought of was the Tenchi Muyo song ‘Call Me Princess’? It was the S&M-tinged one…
        Look at all that Manningface. What a whiny little bitch. Surely there’s enough material out there to re-start your Eli Manning Sucks blog?

      • Baka-Raptor says:

        That was an interesting trip to YouTube. For the record, whenever you ask me if something is bad, yes, it is.

        I’ve actually been getting a few search queries for the blog these past two weeks. Seems it’s not completely forgotten.

      • adaywithoutme says:

        So… if I ask you if dinosaurs are bad, then they are? If someone else poses the same question, does that change the moral standing of the question?
        Please bring back the Manning hate. Its been long enough since that Super Bowl that you won’t just get floods of folks calling you a bitch if you re-start it…

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