Shiki review – The village surrounded by death

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Shiki is a horror anime lasting 22 episodes full of suspense and thrill. It was first aired in 2010.

When seven people die in two weeks out of an unknown illness, the head doctor of Sotaba suspects it to be an epidemic. Little did he know that it would turn out to be the realization of Sotaba village’s old legend of unnatural creatures that rise from the dead.

Plot

shiki review - TheAnimeHigh

When the Kirishiki family moves from a big city to the small village of Sotaba, people are delighted and curious about their new neighbors. Little do they know that this would be the most unfortunate event to ever happen to their village. This story is about a small village where suddenly people start dying one after the other. When in two weeks seven people die with an unknown cause of illness, the village hospital head and Shrine head consider it to be an epidemic. When they further investigate into the matter, they meet the realization that their village is being haunted by vampires. Sightings of a few people in the forest who were supposed to be dead and missing bodies in graves further confirm the theory.

The deaths started when the Kirishiki family – a couple with a daughter – moved into the village. As all the deaths have only one thing in common, that the victims met the Kirishiki family before they died, suspicions are raised against the Kirishiki family of being a family of vampires. When an uncountable number of people die due to the invasion of vampires, the viewer is forced to see the vampires as the “enemy” and a dark presence which needs to be driven away from the village.

In an encounter of Sunako (the daughter of Kirishiki family) and Seishin Muroi (the shrine head), Sunako tries to gain the sympathy of Seishin. She explains to him how vampires are also just like humans and are feeding on humans to satisfy their hunger just like humans feed on other animals. She explains how their actions are not acts of violence but acts of survival. This makes Seishin change mind and side with the vampires.

The real trouble starts when a few people who died are seen wandering at night by villagers. Due to this and other similar events, the presence of vampires is disclosed to all villagers. The story now becomes an all out war between humans and vampires.

My opinion of the Plot

Shiki poses a very deep philosophical question. Who decides that one species can live and the other can’t. In this case, if humans can kill animals to get food, it should be perfectly fine for vampires to kill humans for their food. 

In the end, the all out war between humans and vampires where vampires are exterminated shows the true brutality of humans. It shows how for the sake of survival, humans forget the concept of right and wrong that they developed themselves and dive into their dark sides.

Animation & Soundtrack

shiki review - theanimehigh

The animation has clearly been given a lot of thought in Shiki. I personally don’t like either very fancy and sharp animations or very dull animations. Thankfully, the animation here lies in between. Though there could be some improvements in minor details, overall I like how it has been animated.

Soundtracks fits the scenario the anime wants to describe perfectly. In all the scenes, the addition of the soundtrack makes the viewers much more involved in the story. Serious is always related to scary in the anime. When the context of the scene becomes serious, the soundtrack injects a feeling of insecurity and horror into the viewer which I feel is perfect for this genre.

Characters

Toshio Ozaki

Toshio Ozaki is the village doctor who figures out the truth behind the deaths. As he tries to save the village from this grave danger, he faces difficulties since people do not believe the existence of vampires. The way in which the story changes the personality of this character is both motivating and heartbreaking. The character Toshio Ozaki kicks off as a person who wants to protect his village. But as the story progresses, the dark things he has to do in order to achieve that goal changes his personality altogether.



Sunako Kirishiki

She is the vampire who started the whole story. She brought the vampires to Sotaba village. She is the character who tries to compel the viewers to have sympathy for vampires. She tries to justify the killings by vampires as a means to fulfill their hunger. As the story goes on, my perception of her changes from an evil vampire to a scared child.


Seishin Muroi

Seishin Muroi is the Shrine head. Initially, Seishin wanted to protect the village with all his heart. But listening to Sunako’s side of the story, he starts sympathizing with the vampires which lead to hatred for him among some viewers. Seishin has a deep mind and seems to be a character full of sorrow. He is the one who gave the title “The village surrounded by death” to the village Sotaba. As the story progresses, he finds himself helping Sunako and trying the get her out the village at the time of war.


Final Verdict

The overall quality of the story and how it keeps the viewer engaged throughout is amazing. The best part I like about the anime is that I never felt that the anime was rushing or too slow, the pace of Shiki was well maintained all through the 22 episodes. As I watched Shiki, I never had to skip even a second of it, and when that’s the case it clear that that’s some good art. If you guys are looking for a thrilling horror anime that can keep you excited and at the edge of your chair at every minute, then this might be your next anime to watch.

That’s it for the review, I hope this helps you and if you have any points to add leave them in the comments below. If you like the review, do share it with others. Happy anime watching.


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