Saturday, 27 November 2010

Shiki - Episode 17

Every time we think that Shiki has reached rock bottom in terms of the rise of the... well, Risen, so we find that the next episode pulls us even deeper still into the mire.

For a large portion of this episode our focus moves to follow Seishin Muroi, who aside from having nightmares following stumbling across Ozaki's experimentation on wife is also finding himself with numerous other problems to contend with.  Arguably topping that list is the disappearance of his sickly, elderly father from his room - he soon comes to realise just what's happened to him as he finds a copy of the letter sent by his father to the Kirishiki family, inviting them to come and visit him but explicitly telling them they don't have permission to visit anybody else in the house.  In other words, he knows exactly what is going on, as one might have expected from his behaviour not so long ago.  If that wasn't enough to confirm to Seishin that the Risen are real, he bumps into and engages in conversation with Tohru, before also finding himself visited by a distraught Kaori, who seems to have lost both her sanity and the will to live with her parents dead and her brother missing.  But what is Muroi's answer to everything he's now heard and seen?  At first glance, it may not be what you expect...

While all of this is going on, things aren't exactly getting better elsewhere in the village, with the Risen now living unashamedly around town and happily attacking those who have not yet been drained of their blood.  These attacks eventually reach the staff of Doctor Ozaki's clinic, with Kiyomi kidnapped (for some reason - guess someone must have liked her in her lingerie...) and Ritsuko attacked by the Risen as she attempts to held her colleague and friend.  Come the end of the episode, even Ozaki himself isn't safe from the attentions of the Kirishiki house...

It may not have laid out its moral questions and probing like last week's instalment, but this was another gruesomely entertaining (and it feels almost wrong to use that word) episode of Shiki - I can't help but wonder just how deep the hole we are travelling towards is going to get before things turn around (assuming that they will of course), but the series is handling its increasingly relentless tone of hopelessness and depression well, creating some horrific and creepy moments while keeping its story moving apace and in an increasingly fascinating fashion.  If nothing else, it's nice to be able to enjoy a series which leaves you with no real feel or assumption for how it's all going to end, and it seems pretty certain that there will be some major twists and turns before this show is through.

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