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Superb Horror Anime
Posted by: Dval from: Clarksville, TN on
The original volumes of Shiki are gone, so here's my review of them together for the S.A.V.E. bundle!
I'll leave out any spoilers until the end of this for those that want to watch the series without knowing anything about it beforehand. Most will already have suspicions by the 1st or 2nd episode, but Shiki does a wonderful job at building the suspense and mystery throughout the first season.
I loved the assortment of characters that we're introduced to here, but there isn't much in the way of character development. Surprisingly, the "Shiki" seem to develop more than the regular cast. Toshio Ozaki, the village doctor, is probably the best developed character so far seeing as how he starts out completely calm and composed but by the end he's lashing out at everyone because of his frustration. He regains his composure in an effort to combat the village's situation.
The artwork and visuals from Shiki are phenomenal #might be something to do with the Blu-ray...#. It's not just about the graphics, though. The character designs run the full range of everything that you'd expect to find in a backwoods village in the middle of nowhere with a population of only 1300. You have the few kids/teens born into the village, a couple "aliens" that have moved from the big city, and the majority of older/elderly residents that comprise the location.
Aniplex/Funimation hit a home run with the voice cast in this one, too. Haven't had any English voices that made me want to box my own ears...#looking at you "Vampire Knight"# and haven't touched the original audio, yet. I enjoy series where I have to read the subtitles, but it's a lot more enjoyable when I can focus on the whole screen instead of trying to read what they're saying.
SPOILER ALERT: SPOILER ALERT:
Now, that's out of the way. Little bit of coverage for the story through the end of the first season.
"The story takes place in a particularly hot summer in the nineties, in a small quiet village called Sotoba. A series of mysterious deaths begin to spread in the village, at the same time when a strange family moves into the long abandoned Kanemasa mansion. Toshio Ozaki, dean of the only hospital in Sotoba, initially suspects an epidemic. But as investigations continue and the deaths begin to pile up, he becomes convinced that they are the work of the undead plaguing the village. A young man named Natsuno Yuuki, who hates living in the village, begins to be pursued and surrounded by death."
The story mainly focuses around Natsuno and Toshio, but occassionally you'll get scenes shown from the point of view of the supporting cast. What's the story really about? Vampires! Actual vampires...not the freaks from Twilight that glisten in the sun. Stake through the heart, decapitate, burn up in the sun Vampires! The village also calls vampires the okiagiri who are a local legend. There is no peace-making between humans and vampires here. It's just kill or be killed. This season pretty much ends on a high note for the vamps as they seem to be knocking off those who suspect them one-by-one.
Definitely recommend this series to anyone. Little bit of blood but not enough to be gore so far. Fanservice is pretty much non-existant. Tons of suspenseful moments.
2nd season review:
Well, by this point, you know that it's a series about a vampire invasion. Won't ruin any spoilers of the end. Season two was like the first season with a lot of drama, but the action must awesome this time around. Whereas before it was a horror/suspense series, I'd call the 2nd more of a horror/gore/action type. There's no shortage of blood to spill going on as the streets and sewers literally run red with blood. Mountains of bodies pile up as old friends become new foes and no one knows who they can trust. Definitely not for the weak of heart as I found myself cringing and trying not to mute a couple parts. The graphics are one thing...but the voicing was so superb...it really made all the screaming reach out to you.
I had a hard time trying to find a side to actually go for...humans or vampires. The beginning of the series definitely made me feel more for humanity, but the attrocities they commit in the second half made me wish that the vampires would succeed in their attempt to create a home base for themselves. Shiki was a true masterpiece in this sense. Both sides were just after their own livelihood: "Their survival means your demise" sums it up pretty well. The fear and despair on both sides can be felt so vividly. Really wanted everyone to survive.
The ending was a pretty big surprise for me, but I thought it was actually pretty well done. Shiki goes through more characters than Game of Thrones, so you can't get attached to any characters. There were two deaths that I had a hard time watching. They both experienced extremely graphic and horrible deaths. Even if they were vamps...the humans still put them through pure torture. Hrmm, there's actually a 3rd that was particularly bad as well. Toshio's experimentation on his wife after she comes back to life wasn't pleasant. Especially when he explains some things he did to her that weren't visualized.
In the end, a ton of humans and vamps bite the dust. My only regret is that there isn't anymore to watch. Believe this is a great time to go read the manga and see how it is compared to this adaptation. As long as you don't lose your lunch easily, this series is incredible. Wouldn't recommend Shiki to kids, but the story is top-notch and really drags you in with all the suspense.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Worth the investment
Posted by: 3dknights from: on
I've seen a lot of vampire based anime but this is one is better than most I've seen.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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