Saturday, 13 November 2010

Shiki - Episode 15

After subjecting us to the horrors of Ozaki's experimentation upon his dead wife Kyoko last episode, it's tempting to expect this next instalment of Shiki to offer Ozaki immediate recompense for this hardship given the knowledge that it has granted him.

If that is what you're expecting from episode fifteen however, think again.  For starters, Muroi's reaction to walking in on Ozaki after his experimentation upon Kyoko is probably not what he was hoping for, and his subsequent efforts to get other influential village members on his side also fall upon deaf ears as logic and common sense rule over the seemingly crazy things coming from Ozaki's mouth despite his own stature amongst them.

Thus, this episode is really all about Ozaki's isolation from the rest of the community, as his invaluable knowledge proves to be useless as those around him either fail to understand or simply refuse to acknowledge what is happening to them, while the increase in the population of the "Risen" means that they're exerting an ever greater influence over everything that happens within the village, from their overly flamboyant funeral home (a rare moment of comedy in all these recent dark episodes) through to controlling the reports of deaths in the vicinity, which is now officially recorded as zero thanks to their clever manipulation.  Does this leave Ozaki all alone to deal with the problem?  Not quite, as on individual appears out of nowhere to suggest that he still has at least one individual on his side...

After really getting its fangs (sorry, bad joke) into a bit of truly horrific and unsettling story-telling last time around, episode fifteen of Shiki concerns itself with getting to the heart of the village's current psychology - something that it does pretty well by following Doctor Ozaki around and seeing him ostracised despite the information that he holds which could save them all.  This allows the show's recent trend of portraying a relentlessly dark and depressing scenario to continue, before granting us a tiny slither of hope come the end of the episode - by this point it's probably fair to say that the series has a lot of us drawn in hook, line and sinker with this strategy, as we wait and hope for what is surely the inevitable turn-around to allow a triumph for good over evil.  Needless to say, I'll be eagerly tuning in to see just how (and indeed if) this pans out.

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