Saturday, 4 December 2010

Shiki - Episode 18

Come the end of Shiki's previous episode it seemed as though all hope was lost, with even Doctor Ozaki falling victim to the growing threat of the Risen.  Is it really game over for the normal humans still alive within this story?

Certainly, as this episode begins it seems as though the "Shiki" have everything well and truly under control, all the way down to the preparation of a number of huts to monitor for recently deceased village members to see if they come back to life or not.  Amongst this number is Ritsuko, who appears to have succumbed to her attacker last episode and now is amongst the Risen herself, although at this early stage she refuses point blank to drink blood or do anything of that sort.  Can she hold out and live up to that promise though?

Away from Ritsuko's own personal dilemma, it's no real surprise that much of this episode is focused upon Ozaki himself after finding himself a victim of Chizuru Kirishiki's particular whims at the climax of last week's instalment.  Of course, with his medical knowledge and access to vital equipment replacing the blood he's lost from Chizuru's "meals" is a trifle, but despite this he seems more than happy to spend time with her, even offering to accompany her to the village's Kagura festival on a "date".  It probably isn't too much of a spoiler to say that there's more to this offer than meets the eye - is this the point where the Risen's plans suddenly take a turn for the worse?  Besides which, what of Natsuno's meeting with Tatsumi, which confirms what I'm sure we already knew about this potential hero of the day's status...

After working through so many weeks of dark, depressing stories and developments within Shiki, as its village seemed on the brink of being over-run by its unwelcome guests, it was always going to be a fist-pumping, adrenaline-inducing moment when the tables first threatened to be turned against them, and of course this is the episode where exactly that happened.  This whole scenario was played out perfectly to deliver an immensely satisfying experience, and you can't help but get carried away with the euphoria that the Kirishiki's plan has finally been laid bare for all to see.  Of course, there is still time for numerous twists and turns before this series is out, especially now that we realise that Sunako is at the helm of what is going on, but for now I'm happy to simply wallow in the satisfaction of this episode's victory for the hero of the day... and what a wonderfully depicted victory it was too.

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