Shiki 4 – death is terrible (love could be worse)
July 31, 2010
Episode 4 of the horror anime Shiki sees the “epidemic” spreading. Things are getting pretty bad in the village, and the good folks at the clinic are struggling to find a way to protect the village they love. Sunako stops by for another chat with bou-san Muroi, and Natsuno can’t shake off the feeling that he has a visitor of his own.
People keep dropping in Sotoba, with the count reaching 19 before this episode even ends. The victims include the boyish policeman we saw briefly in episode one. The folks at the Ozaki clinic are trying to come up with an explanation, and the medical knowledge of the nurses does seem impressive. I kind of felt sorry for Towada, pictured above, as he didn’t seem to have anything to contribute to the conversation; of course I could barely keep up with the acronyms, myself, but I don’t hold a job in a medical facility.
Meanwhile Muroi encounters Sunako, whose wandering around in the darkness. He invites her into his “secret base” (probably not the smartest thing to do with the creepy girl who wanders around in the dark). Muroi is feeling down because a childhood friend of his, and the friend’s son, are dying from a mysterious disease. Sunako gives him a lecture about how terrible death is. Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to cheer him up, but he does extend an invitation for her to stop by again whenever she wants.
Meanwhile Natsuno has been having trouble sleeping. Every time he dozes off, he gets the feeling that Megumi is watching him. Does he have a guilty conscience for the way he acted, either when she was alive, or at her funeral? Regardless, it is interfering with his sleep, and he can’t even get a nap in on the bus without having strange nightmares. This section really excelled in giving a creepy atmosphere (again very effective sound treatment), and conveying the experience of having a nightmare. Natsuno seems to be aware of things he can’t quite see. When he “sees” things, he is shown immobile, an experience I know all too well, where you are awake enough to be conscious of your surroundings, but not quite awake enough to have control over your own body, which gives you a sense of helplessness.