Shiki 3: who are the people in your neighborhood?
July 24, 2010
Shiki episode 3 introduced several new characters. We met the Kirishiki household, as expected, but there was a surprise waiting in the form of Sako Masao. Once again the episode created a generally creepy atmosphere, but we also got some solid information, that points towards the rules that underlie the phenomena of the show, and even got some hints into Seishin Muroi’s back story.
We got some more insight into Natsuno and his “leave me alone” attitude is on full display. Regardless, there is one person who has managed to strike up a friendship with him, Toru Mutou. Another of Toru’s school chums is Sako Masao, who seems petty, possessive, and downright creepy. In fact there is a good Italian word for his character, schifoso. For some reason he has the most extreme character design of anybody seen yet in the series, including the Kirishiki family members. The seiyu (Shinya Takahashi) is a relative newcomer, who has performed mostly bit parts, but he really gets into this role, during a flashback to his meeting with his step-sister, where he apparently tries to creep her out, and make her hate him. Sako gets bigger, but he doesn’t quite grow up. He is seen throwing several tantrums in the course of the episode. Having met Sako, I now wish to take back everything I previously said about Natsuno; in comparison, Natsuno seems like a nice guy, and I have a new suspect for the person who would kick down shrine statues.
Meanwhile the deaths continue. Ozaki sensei tries to find an explanation, but is baffled. He does discover that the latest victim, who’s blood tests show similarities to Megumi’s results (a shortage of red blood cells), has prominent “bug bites” on her arm. He asks the woman’s husband if he noticed anything unusual in the behavior of people with whom they came into contact, and is told about meeting the Kirishiki family.
The story of meeting the Kirishikis contains the first of two major hints about the way this world works. When the Kirishikis stop by, the man’s wife clearly hasn’t been afflicted. They don’t do anything, but ask if they are welcome to stop by later. Much later in the episode, Toru Mutou is walking around at night, when he meets Tatsumi (voiced by veteran, Wataru Takagi, e.g. Onizuka, GTO), an assistant in the Kirishiki household. Toru, being a friendly sort, invites Tatsumi to stop by. Tatsumi asks if he can bring somebody along… It seems Shiki will respect the vampire convention that the vampire cannot enter unless invited in to the house. And yes, besides the way being invited was worked in, I think the bites on the latest victim’s arm, and the anemia are clear indications of vampirism.
The other major introduction was Sunako, the daughter of the Kirishiki family. Intriguingly she went to visit bou-san Muroi. He has written a number of horror stories, and she is quite a fan. She is also quite perceptive, as she notices that he had attempted suicide, and jokes with him about it. Sunako’s seiyu is Aoi Yuuki, who has been cast in a lot of major roles recently, as diverse as those of Mina Tepes (Dance in the Vampire Bund) and Ichigo Amano (Yumeiro Patissiere). She even voiced Shinra in Durarara!!. There seemed to be some sort of subtle effect used to process her voice, which I found disturbing (as if I had been tripping for two days and my senses still hadn’t fully returned to normal).
In conclusion, this episode managed to continue the slow build in tension, while placing some cards on the table, thus driving the story forwards, and interesting new characters. That is quite impressive.