Shiki – 01 thru 06 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 15 Aug 2010 – We’re not huge fans of the character designs (some are outright nutty and random), but that isn’t nearly enough to detract from what’s shaping up to be a decent vampire horror series.

The medical professionals in the show spew a lot of medical jargon, which adds credibility to the show (regardless of whether its 100% accurate or not; we wouldn’t know) and paint them in a corner where conventional medical consultation and care is having little or no effect on helping the patients. The village is already quite small and mostly elderly people (mirroring a coming crisis in real-world Japan), so the fact that so many people are dying so quickly creates a great urgency to solve the mystery. The building dread is infectious – no pun intended.

But it’s hardly spoiling to connect the dots (anemia and bite marks) and conclude that this village’s problem is vampires. A monk has already met and befriended one (as much as you can befriend a creepy tweener vampire), while the main character’s dreams are haunted by a vamped-out version of the village’s first victim, a formerly cheerful cosplay girl who had a crush on him. After six episodes, these three – the monk, the teenager, and the doctor – are starting to come together and realize what’s going on (and what we already know.)

What we don’t know is if this can be resolved before the entire village is killed, and how (We know the answer now, but at the time this was written, we were totally in the dark). At 22 episodes, Shiki is a good-length anime, and we’re confident it can make use of the remaining 16 to spin an entertaining resolution. But seriously, WTF is up with some of these characters’ hairstyles?

Rating: 6 (Good)