Shiki 4 – death is terrible (love could be worse)

July 31, 2010

Sunako discusses death with Muroi.

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.

Towada, probably not the sharpest knife in the clinic.

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.

Look, if you came to cheer me up...

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.

Could there be something under the bed?

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.

9 Responses to “Shiki 4 – death is terrible (love could be worse)”

  1. RP Says:

    Sound direction for this show has been fantastic. Really atmospheric, really moody. In fact, I think almost all of the “scares” have been driven largely by the sound.

    I think Natsuno is probably hallucinating… but maybe I’m just saying that because I don’t want to see Tohru bite the bullet.

  2. Den Lim Says:

    I’ve been noticing that some of the victims invited the new arrivals over. Maybe it’s like they have to have to be invited before they can go inside other homes.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Hi, yeah, I think you are right. Just about everybody lately. In fact it seems that Natsuno would have been safer had he not gone over there to sleep!

  3. Kyokai Says:

    The Megumi sequence was excellent. From her voice, bone cracking sounds to the background music. I would so like to think that it was all a hallucination only to give some more screen time to Tohru but oh well, things never really go as we expect in Shiki.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Two days later, as I was going to bed, that scene came to mind. Not a good way to try to get to sleep. 8(

      Those non-musical sounds are excellent. Once, many years ago (late 1980s), I was working sound for a radio drama; during a one-shot about witches on a ship at sea, I wanted to mix illogical and unpleasant sounds into the mix of sounds used for a storm (creaking, rain, thunder) to add to a sense of psychological pressure for a scene when the witches were arguing and something magical and dangerous happened. Unfortunately the show’s director and I disagreed over the idea. 😀

  4. Hana Says:

    I think Towada might be sharper than you give him credit for – clearly, he’s planning to just get the hell outta there, lol.

    • Mushyrulez Says:

      Methinks he’ll become a victim because of that 😛

      • Joojoobees Says:

        @Hana: Quite possibly. It’s not like I have a lot of proof, besides I have often been wrong in the past.

        @Mushyrulez: Heh, that is the way it frequently goes. One guy says, screw this! and leaves, only to get eaten as he leaves the temporary safety of the group.

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