Shiki 15 – a spark of hope
November 14, 2010
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.
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.
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?