Shiki 15 – a spark of hope

November 14, 2010

In a moment of great despair, a single spark of hope emerges.

Shiki episode 15 sets up a mood of inevitability that the Shiki have already won, except for a few remaining, but minor details. As one of these somewhat insignificant details, Dr. Toshio Ozaki is feeling isolated. This is especially true because his childhood friend has essentially abandoned him. But in the final moment, when Ozaki looks like he has accepted the Kirishiki’s claim on the village, a single spark of hope emerges in the darkness.

Yes, but ...

Here is why I disapprove of Seishin’s behavior here. He turns his back, seemingly in anger for what Toshio has done. Righteous indignation doesn’t absolve him of his responsibility to give counsel to a troubled man. Seishin’s beliefs and religious training (or personality) might enable him to watch unmoved as the entire village is killed and turned into undead, but Toshio is a villager, a husband, and a doctor. His medical training explicitly values life over non-life. Further, the Ozaki family training stressed responsibility for the well-being of the village, whereas the Muroi’s are responsible only for the dead. When Sotoba’s population are converted to shiki, Seishin Muroi’s responsibilities conveniently end.


Toshio finds out that the vampire that is going to eat him has already been picked out, but she’s too busy to be bothered at the moment. For now all he can do is wait for the end.

"You are not alone."

Poor Toshio Ozaki. It seems that none of the villagers will believe him about the shiki taking over Sotoba, and Chizuru Kirishiki even manages to relieve him of his copies of the death certificates. Just as I thought another bleak episode had come to it’s end, a figure briefly emerges from the darkness to ask a question, and possibly rekindle Toshio’s resolve to fight.

I like this kind of an ending. It isn’t exactly a cliff-hanger, because there really is no immanent threat. Instead the overall situation is so dire, that the slightest suggestion of hope is eagerly pursued by the viewer long after the closing credits end. What could happen? Do the villagers really still stand a chance, given what we’ve been through these past few episodes?

7 Responses to “Shiki 15 – a spark of hope”

  1. Overcooled Says:

    Seishin could certainly have given him counsel, but he most likely assumed Toshio was a lost cause. I can’t see anything Seishin could say that would change his mind. Still, if my friend was going crazy, I’d TRY to stop them.

    It was relieving to see Natsuno, even though he didn’t actually do much, per se. Like you said, it’s more of a spark of hope of what is to come, but it makes for a great way to end the bleak episode. Shiki does subtle hints oh so well~

  2. RP Says:

    Nice point about the Ozaki’s being responsible for keeping people living while Seishin’s responsibilities are for watching over the dead. Seishin didn’t have to agree with Toshio and didn’t have to help him clean up, but turning his back and walking away in silence was cowardly, especially since he has no plan of his own.

    Really interesting ending from Natsuno. Being the first of the Shiki-haters to be killed, I was wondering what his personality would be like once risen.

  3. Joojoobees Says:

    @Overcooled: That’s one of the reasons I find Muroi’s actions so annoying. He knows Ozaki isn’t evil. There are extenuating circumstances! Even if you don’t agree with his actions, at least be willing to speak to the man. He’s a childhood friend, not a monster. The fact that he confronted the undead at his office by waving paperwork instead of lighting them all on fire shows he isn’t eager to go on a killing spree.

    @RP: Yes, I am really looking forward to how Natsuno responds to being undead.

  4. Jo Says:

    I agree with everything you said…

    Toshio seems to be coping a lot of flak because of how he did things, whereas Seishin, doing nothing gets praised for being neutral. In times of need, people look up to religious leaders for guidance, and Seishin is not fulfilling that role as a village/religious leader.
    He talks about being forsaken by God, yet he is doing the same thing to the village.

    About Natsuno, he’ll probably come back the same. Angry and pissed off at the world, except ten times worse since his life was taken away from him. He died wanting to leave the village. Going to college, living in the city etc etc all gone…

    • Joojoobees Says:

      “Seishin is not fulfilling that role as a village/religious leader.”

      Exactly. Even if Muroi thinks he can avoid dirtying his own hands, I personally believe he has a responsibility to give advice to those in the village about what to do. Ozaki is taking his role as a leader in the Sotoba community seriously, but Muroi seems to think he has no responsibilities other than watching the transformation of the village take place.

  5. Hana Says:

    Seishin has been one big fat disappointment so far. At least Natsuno’s back, and has probably already done more than everyone else put together – can’t wait to find out what he meant by that comment to Toshio… 🙂

    • Joojoobees Says:

      He certainly was early to the party, but he’s finally gotten some competition from Ozaki, who is the only person in the village to have killed one of the shiki.

      Man, the humans needed an ally, so hopefully Natsuno will get things back on track.

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