Shiki – 15 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 15 Nov 2010 – Seishin walks in on Toshio just having staked his dead wife through the heart. But however Toshio justifies it, Seishin is against all killing, be it human or risen. Considering he hasn’t been targeted yet, its as pragmatic a position as it is moral. Toshio then stops by the health office, only to find no one there during the day.

Everyone works at night, now that they’re risen. Chizuru Kirishiki happens to be lounging around in that very office when he visits. While that particular fact doesn’t make much sense, it is made quite clear to Toshio that he’s on their list. It’s only a matter of time before they come knockin’ on his door.

No one else who’s still alive is interested in what Toshio has to say. They either don’t or won’t believe him (or in Seishin’s case, cannot help him). Things look pretty bleak, until BAM, Yuuki’s back! Despite being risen, he still has his regular purple eyes, but his get-up is much more Vampire Chic (I’m going to assume he’s risen unless they say otherwise). He isn’t there to kill Toshio. He’s there to tell him he’s not the only one who believes Megumi is still walking around. Tasty…now what’s gonna happen next?


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Shiki – 14 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 13 Nov 2010 – Yowza…just when we think Toshio’s checked out emotionally, he springs into action once his wife rises. He even gets it all on tape. It must take an ungodly amount of dedication to treat one’s recently-deceased wife like, well, a fetal pig in biology class, and treat her arm like a pincushion. Toshio won’t let the risen corpse speak, even though she knows his name. As far as he’s concerned, his wife is dead. Whatever this is, it’s a golden opportunity to discover what makes the vamps tick.

Even so, you can’t help but sympathize with his corpse-wife: he’s doing these terrible things to her while she’s wide awake, listening and watching. Even for a vamp, this is clearly torture, which then leads to a staking, Toshio’s last resort to extinguish her. We all know staking and beheading vampires is the only way to get rid of them, but he had to be scientifically sure. With possession of this concrete knowledge, he’s perhaps the only one who can save the town.

Meanwhile, Megumi kills the Tanaka kids’ dad, and later expresses her concern that Yuuki hasn’t risen yet. We love how she still has the hots for him. It would be a shame if Yuuki ended up cremated in the “big city”, since the first half spent so much time on his character. When the creepy effeminate guy (bad with names) who did rise rubs it in Megumi’s face, she has a rock and Chuck Taylor ready for his face. We’ll admit a macabre satisfaction when this kid’s big mouth gets him in trouble.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Shiki – 12 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 16 Oct 2010 – After a hiatus of a couple weeks, the dark, angsty vampire series has returned for its second half. It doesn’t start off with a bang nor a whimper, preferring to take the middle road. Natsuno was bitten by Tohru, and continues to be bitten, so he’s well on his way to dying of anemia and likely becoming a vampire himself. Interestingly, Megumi doesn’t seem to care about him either way anymore.

Natsuno wants to find a solution for the risen to coexist with humans, but Tohru doesn’t want to hear it. Sure it’s hard to kill people for food at first, but like all things, with practice it gets easier and less of a big deal. The more human lives you take, the less human you become. When and if Natsuno becomes one of the risen, he’s bound to find this out for himself. His urban-minded, anti-superstitious father tricks Natsuno’s friends into leaving him alone and tosses out all of their crosses and talismans. So no help there.

There’s still hope for the human Natsuno; if his family moved out of the village, back to the city, and he was admitted to a hospital and given a blood transfusion, he could recover. But it isn’t entirely clear one can even leave the village, and it isn’t known whether anyone who ‘moved away’ is even alive anymore. That’s kind of a downer. What are the humans gonna do?


Rating: 6 (Good)

Shiki – 07 thru 09 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 8 Sept 2010 – So just about all the cats are out of the bag: this village has a nest of vampires, and they’re sucking everyone dry. We feel even worse for the poor tortured doc after his piece-of-work wife and battleaxe mother stop by and tell him to wuss out and let someone else handle the ‘epidemic’. Great advice, gals.

We also feel pretty bad after he does everything he possibly can to keep a bite victim alive (and actually succeeds for a time) but it’s all for naught, as the blue-haired daywalker intervenes. This marks the first time the doctor has had direct contact with his pointy-toothed nemeses.

Having watched a lot of True Blood, we believe the solution to the village’s problem is fairly simple: stake the daywalker(s) and burn down the nest(s) in the daytime. PROBLEM SOLVED. Of course, there’s the matter of getting them all, and with thirteen episodes left, doing so will be no simple task. Still, now that things are moving and all the important people know the score, I’m enjoying this dark and unrelenting series, goofy hairstyles and all.

Special mention to the OP – “Kuchizuke” by Buck-Tick – an angsty, twisted J-rock ballad filled with despair and longing, fitting the series rather perfectly.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Super 8: The Anime?

Sometimes our minds wander here at RABUJOI, and we think about anime that might work – or decidedly not work – as American TV shows and films, or vice versa. We’re not talking about particularly financially successful shows and films…just interesting ones. And sometimes we just draw parallels from existing anime to existing Americana, or vice versa.

A few for instances: there are tinges of Harry Potter in Occult Academy and Blue Exorcist. True Blood, while a good show, would be far scarier and less goofy if it followed Shiki’s storyline rather than Charlene Harris’s books. I was so turned off by the Marvel-backed Heroman (Bones) and Iron Man (Madhouse) anime, I didn’t even bother with Wolverine (which some may say was a mistake, but I still don’t really regret skipping it).

And then there’s Super 8: a perfectly decent and well-executed sci-fi mystery thriller that amazingly stars a bunch of middle schoolers – including Dakota Fanning’s little sis Elle – that manage not to annoy the hell out of me. The film wasn’t perfect, and the whole time I was watching it I was cursing J.J. Abrams for taking the time to make this film instead of the new Star Trek sequel (Classically a Trek film came out once every two years…the next one better be good for the extra year-plus we have to wait).

Super 8 was a very charming, engaging, and entertaining film, and for some reason I think it would make a great anime. Not a long one, mind you; an 11-episode series in the Noitamina timeslot would suffice in building up and laying out the nicely self-contained story. There are a lot of subtle changes that would have to be made that wouldn’t affect that story in the least. To wit: JSDF instead of USAF; a rural Japanese town instead of a rural American one; a HDV camera instead of a Super 8.

Other things could be left alone. There’s a lot to love: A romance between a boy and girl that’s forbidden by no fault of their own, but by their fathers, due to bad blood? Check. Love triangle that doesn’t get in the way? Check. Train wreck? Check. Weird happenings in a small, quiet town? Check. Classmates making a movie? Check (it worked in Haruhi Suzumiya). Aliens? Check. The town policeman bumping up against the industrial military complex? Check A shonen having to work up the courage to not just defy his and her dads, but to save said girl from said angsty alien? Check and check!

I think Super 8 has great potential moving to the anime medium. Realistically, the chances of J.J. Abrams licensing his script to a Japanese production company are probably slim to nil, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Fortunately, and this is why I watch far more anime than American television, there is no shortage of great stories that already inhabit the anime world.