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Shiki – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「くちづけ」 (Kuchizuke) by BUCK-TICK
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「第遺血話」 (Dai Ichi Wa)
“First Blood”

Taking the second half hour in noitaminA‘s recently expanding time slot is the adaptation of Ono Fuyumi‘s light novel Shiki (“Corpse Demon”). She’s best known for her work in the Twelve Kingdom series, but is no stranger to the horror genre as her Ghost Hunt series has already been adapted into a very enjoyable anime. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend giving it a look if you have an interest in supernatural/horror series. In Shiki’s case, this premiere episode covered the beginning portions of the manga that I skimmed over when writing the Summer 2010 Preview, which centers around Shimizu Megumi (Tomatsu Haruka) and her sudden death from what appears to be anemia. This happens shortly after the mysterious death of three other residents, followed by some new residents moving into the western-styled mansion, Kanemasa, located on the top of the hill in her small rural village of Sotoba. More than anything, this served as a setup episode for the series and introduced us to a plethora of characters early on.

As I mentioned back in the preview, Fuyumi has over 150 named characters in this story, which makes it pretty difficult to discern who’s critical to the main plot. However, this in turn makes the numerous deaths that are bound to come more pronounced, as the village’s 1300 inhabitants start dying one after another. It wasn’t entirely obvious in this first showing, but the male protagonist is the teenager Yuuki Natsuno (Uchiyama Kouki), whom Megumi had a stalker-like obsession with despite how much he hated her. The resident doctor Ozaki Toshio (Ookawa Tooru), his friend and local priest Muroi Seishin (Okitsu Kazuyuki), and the Kirishiki family that moved into the Kanemasa mansion are also key players. So far, the story’s been mysterious but not overly creepy. The destruction of the dousojin served as an ominous sign, whereas the arrival of the Kirishiki family made it a little too obvious that they were involved with Megumi’s death. Megumi’s recollection just prior to her death already hinted that it might be the work of vampires, which would help explain her anemic condition as well.

I suspect things will be much more involved than that, as this first episode made it pretty hard to tell what we’re in store for later on. Admittedly, I’m a bit disappointed to see Megumi die already — being a character played by Tomatsu Haruka — but I can’t help but wonder if she’ll make a return of sorts later on. (She is in the opening sequence after all.) The Kirishiki’s 13 year-old daughter Sunako has yet to make an appearance, but is clearly one of the key characters based on both the opening and ending sequences. She’s played by Yuuki Aoi, so I’m really looking forward to seeing her creepy-looking character’s role in all this. Produced by Daume, the animation is fairly good but nothing exceptionally amazing to write home about. I’m still not a big fan of a lot of the male character designs as they look too young and bishounen-like, though I do like the female ones. Megumi in particular looked really pretty, especially with that semi-backless dress she had on. I’m surprised Natsuno can ignore a girl as pretty as her and be somewhat relieved about her dying, but it did give me a sense of what his personality’s like.

In any case, being a rare two-cour, 22-episode series airing in the noitaminA time slot, I’m definitely going to continue watching this to see how creepy things get. For a first episode, it didn’t have quite the same impact as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, but I’m inclined to believe that Fuyumi’s story will get better as we go along. I won’t be covering any more episodes here because I’m already at my limit for Thursdays shows; however, FUNimation is simulcasting it on their site, making subs “accessible” to the masses. I may occasionally post about some quick thoughts, but that will depend on whether or not I feel compelled to say something about it. (i.e. If there are lot of twists and surprises.)

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「walkの約束」 (walk no Yakusoku) by nangi
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

July 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm
42 comments »
  • July 10, 2010 at 6:45 pmZoboCamel

    It would be nice if Funi was able to get simulcast rights outside of America for once. As is, Crunchyroll is the only official way for me to get episodes. Well, there’s always fansubs.

    The show itself looks interesting, at least.

    • July 10, 2010 at 7:01 pmDivine

      Yeah, FUNimation cuts off their Canadian neighbors up north as well by hosting a lot of their episodes on Hulu. This is where groups that re-post simulcasts come into play… or proxy servers. >_>

  • July 10, 2010 at 6:45 pmamado

    it somehow had a much creepier atmosphere in the manga though and megumi is one of my fave char in the manga, she looks a bit of a yandere

    and yay, you did blog this(at least the 1st ep for now)

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:57 pmJaysus

      Speaking of yanderes… she kind of reminds me of Yuno from Mirai Nikki.

  • July 10, 2010 at 7:10 pmSkizzit

    There are some really strange hairdos in this series isnt there?

    These two in particular;
    http://randomc.net/image/Shiki/Shiki%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2012.jpg
    and the nurse looing character in the opening with the really long green hair

    • July 11, 2010 at 2:34 amcrazystudyguy

      Ahh watching anime you always have to put in a little ignorance to reality on your part XD

  • July 10, 2010 at 7:16 pmdamian

    This was my second most anticipated show of the summer and it disappointed me greatly. I firmly believe that you need to do your best to hook the audience in that first episode of your series and this certainly failed in that aspect. I didnt care about any of the characters, which were TOO much to begin with, and the plot had a “…that’s it?” feel to it.

    • July 10, 2010 at 7:24 pmDivine

      I agree it was pretty underwhelming. I watched the Moyashimon drama after this and found it much better. That’s also the reason why I blogged it first. I still think it’s too premature to judge Shiki though.

      • July 10, 2010 at 7:30 pmdamian

        Incidentally, I watched Ookami-san before this (a show i had no intention of watching initially) which I loved and when I watched this literally right after, I felt my mood do a complete 180 degree turn. >.<

    • July 12, 2010 at 3:41 pmYoss

      Agree. Disappointing.

  • July 10, 2010 at 7:32 pmFat Cat Lim

    Oh yes, Megumi will definitely be back. Don’t want to spoil you any more.

    • July 11, 2010 at 2:36 amcrazystudyguy

      That’s good to hear every show needs a nice eye candy and she was probably top contender

  • July 10, 2010 at 7:53 pmgodslayer

    finally.been waitinf for this

  • July 10, 2010 at 8:11 pmNice Holystone

    It’s too bad you’re not going to keep blogging this one; it was the different one.

  • July 10, 2010 at 8:50 pmBaka Hentai

    Dropped. Megumi was just too annoying.

  • July 10, 2010 at 9:47 pmewok40k

    must watch for the who/what dunnit factor…

  • July 10, 2010 at 9:51 pmSuzuku

    Too bad you’re not going to actively blogging this, since it has some of the best animation this season imo. I thought Kiiragi or Prooof could do it because it’s simulcasted, but I guess they aren’t interested in it?

    Anyways, this was very interesting. The art was great (like I said, probably the best I’ve seen so far this season) and I know I’m going to love the mystery thriller aspect of this. I haven’t read the manga so I don’t have a good grasp of the story yet but I’m hoping we get more info on just what the hell is going on next episode. As far as the characters, we really only got to experience Megumi in depth, but it was kind of sad how they made an example out of her, so to speak. Although something tells me she’ll be coming back to haunt Natsuno lol.

    • July 10, 2010 at 11:50 pmDivine

      They’re only willing to take on two shows at a time, so they’re at their limit already.

  • July 10, 2010 at 9:54 pmKewldude

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 10, 2010 at 9:56 pmdmo

    Is it just me or is the male lead a total d-bag?

  • July 10, 2010 at 10:06 pmyanipheonu

    http://randomc.net/image/Shiki/Shiki%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

    Geezus, her waist is so small, even by anime standards! 0_O Where do her organs go??!!!

    • July 11, 2010 at 6:19 amentropy

      There are real people with waists almost like that. Any guess who they actually are? XD

  • July 10, 2010 at 10:08 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    hmmm, wasn’t really impressed with the first ep..it didn’t really give me anything,BUT this is just the beginning so… whats that yall say? megumi will be back? GOOD, i felt bad for her the way she ended so pitifully. don’t know why i kept watching the part where she sashays and busts her ass, poor kid

  • July 10, 2010 at 10:52 pmtayuyagirl

    I’m a little sad that you won’t be blogging this, it’s interested me quite a bit. Really getting those good ol’ Higurashi vibes from it.

    • July 11, 2010 at 2:41 amcrazystudyguy

      I’m sure Divine will start blogging it when he receives our cheques in the mail, lol :P nah but it would be nice to see this blogged.

      • July 11, 2010 at 8:21 amtayuyagirl

        fft xD I think he’d need more than some cheques to make more time on Thursday for this.
        But watching this show will be enjoyable nonetheless, and we’ll still get to see little blogs every now and then.

  • July 10, 2010 at 11:17 pmBluance

    My highest interest was listening to BUCK-TICK again, haven’t heard them since XXoholic, it reminded me about the show also but this one having 1 plot but left wondering who is the protagonist.

  • July 10, 2010 at 11:21 pmtalkingfrog

    Had to read the manga after watching this… has me totally hooked. Oh, and a word of advice: read SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King prior to reading/watching this. I did (years ago), and I have come to appreciate this series on another level. If you have read it already, and are following the manga, you will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

    Oh, and the first episode was weak. But I implore all of you to stick around. Seriously. Do it.

    • July 10, 2010 at 11:55 pmDivine

      I haven’t read ‘Salem’s Lot, but Fuyumi has said that this series is a homage to it like I mentioned in the preview.

      • July 11, 2010 at 12:18 amtalkingfrog

        Oh, sorry, I guess I didn’t read your preview close enough. I thought I was being cool, lol. But the parallels are definitely there, and I won’t mention them because revealing them will actually spoil Shiki. One I can mention though is the recently renovated mansion on the top of a hill, and strange new people moving into it. Happens in the first episode of this, and very early in King’s novel. Again, I wouldn’t recommend reading a summary of Salem’s Lot, unless you want to spoil Shiki for yourself.

  • July 11, 2010 at 3:23 am1Lau

    Shimizu Megumi aka Shirley has been caught by the Sharigan http://randomc.net/image/Shiki/Shiki%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    xD

  • July 11, 2010 at 5:30 amPandorakun

    Weirdly enough, they’re pushing so hard for the Kirishiki family as villains, I’m inclined to believe that they aren’t. It seems a little, I don’t know, lacking in shock value, I guess, if they DID turn out to be the antagonists.

    On the other hand, I just realised that they’re the KiriSHIKI family. Does that mean anything, or am I overthinking it?

  • July 11, 2010 at 7:40 amJustin2010

    am i just me or is this show not scary at all ?

  • July 11, 2010 at 8:23 amSkippy

    This has nothing at all to do with the story, but I noticed that Kanemasa mansion http://randomc.net/image/Shiki/Shiki%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2019.jpg is actually the castle in Saumur, France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Saumur

  • July 11, 2010 at 8:37 amCrimilde

    uuuh, OP song is by BUCK-TICK ^^ Lovely.
    I’m gonna give this anime a try.

  • July 11, 2010 at 11:21 amsealouse

    You know this episode would have been a lot better if they would have at least questioned the family that just moved in especially since that was Megumi’s last known location before she went missing. I was waiting for that during the entire sequence. Man. Anyways I’ll give this series another episode or two and there is that great opening at least.

  • July 13, 2010 at 1:16 amHollowAvenger

    It’s sad that I liked the opening more than the anime. Megumi reminded me of that ghost chick from One Piece, just not as ugly =/

  • July 13, 2010 at 1:26 amsenefen

    The masses my ass.
    Stupid Australia region >_>. Eh, I’m just getting it from a less legitimate source.
    I’m giving this one a few more episodes to win me over.

    • July 14, 2010 at 4:40 amDivine

      The keyword was “accessible” in that statement. :)

  • July 13, 2010 at 7:52 amGrant

    For a horror series it really didn’t have much horror in the first episode. If memory serves it does get creepy as the story advances, but they still could have done something with music to add a bit of suspense to it.

  • July 13, 2010 at 3:47 pmTomer

    For a horror series where you would want the audience to feel more closely for the characters they could definitely use a little more depth. Partly due to that and maybe because of the bright setting but I felt the creepy atmosphere the music was trying to instill didn’t really come across well enough, I just hope that will develop as the story progresses.

    Still the story seems fairly interesting and there aren’t many other decent looking series’ this season (and this is probably the only one not set in a school) so I think I’m gonna stick with this one.

    As a side note I’m surprised no ones mentioned the guy with furry ears moving into the new house. Kinda implies that other being, i.e. werewolves, might be involved as well as vampires.