Shiki – 16 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 26 Nov 2010 – One of the really neat aspects of any vampire-themed narratives is the ridiculously long lives vampires live. When Toru can’t seem to get over killing Natsuno, he’s summoned to the mansion to meet with Sunako. Who had been just your typical creepy little ghoul girl became orders of magnitude more interesting when she shared her rich and harrowing life experience with Toru. Killed, buried, then risen; she embarked on a quest to find her parents that spanned human lifetimes, all the while killing kind and weak humans for food. Compared to her, Toru has absolutely no reason to kvetch.

The Kirishikis would prefer all of their vampire servants to have an attitude more like Megumi. Parts of her human personality remain – her cheerfulness, fashion sense, and love for Natsuno, for instance – but she’s also become totally desensitized to the actions she now takes nightly as a risen. She’s not going to let anyone rain on her human-draining parade. But she’s still just a baby vampire;  perhaps decades or even centuries from fully understanding what she is.

This week Toshio meets covertly with Natsuno, who is a daywalker…and seems to now get fashion tips from Megumi (we’re not knocking it; after all some people have to look correct in this backwater village). However he’s dressed, he’s not interested in falling into line like Megumi; he wants to help Toshio get rid of the Shiki, including himself. But they must bide their time. We’re curious to learn how they’ll do it, and why they have to wait until the moment the vamps think they’ve achieved irreversible victory.

Not a party to these plans, Akira takes it upon himself to start the war early, but fails pretty quickly when the blue-haired daywalker appears. It would seem Akira is a goner, which will leave poor timid Kaori as the only living Tanaka – a family that’s gotten the short end of the stick in this series. One thing’s clear: if the living are to take back the village, an uncoordinated direct attack isn’t gonna cut it.

Rating: 8 (Great)