Shiki isn’t Perfect

Final Grade: ++

Now lets talk about everything that sucked. Spoilers abound.

The vampires are sparkly and have feelings.

Nice cleavage

Natsuno looks too much like a girl, even for anime. His personality is too inconsistent, even for anime. He has too much implicit gay sex with his best friend, even for anime.

Megumi’s attack on Tohru was a huge ripoff. We’re eagerly trying to deduce what kinds of powers the vampires have in the early episodes. In comes Megumi. She yaps her mouth for a while. Nobody moves. She climbs on top of Tohru and bites him. Nobody moves. She presumably leaves. Nobody presumably moves. The next morning, Natsuno wonders if it was all a dream. What happened? Can the vampires paralyze bystanders? Can they erase their memories? Do they only attack in dreams? No, Natsuno was just a huge pussy.

The vampires have the most inconsistent powers in the universe. There was one scene in which a vampire was flying. Gee, that would’ve been convenient at any other point in the show. Ditto with the eye powers.

If only she could see the tractors. Or fly away.

Yeah, I get it, the vampires are made to seem overpowered at the beginning to contrast with their portrayal as vulnerable and human toward the end. Whatever, I’d rather see flying byakugan vampires, but if you’re going to do the vampires-are-people-too theme, don’t let it screw with the plot.

The book was pretentious. Nobody cares about a story within a story having a character based on a character, unless it involves a nameless monster.

The scene with the women laughing and eating while covered with blood lasted forever and was an insult to the intelligence of every single viewer except Glo. We get it, they’re desensitized. WHO ARE THE REAL MONSTERS? Move on with the show already.

I can’t say the second opening sucked. Buck-Tick is just a tough act to follow.

The ending seemed a little half-assed. Just a little. I’ll say one-quarter-assed and leave it at that since some dumbass is reading this despite the spoiler warning.

Shiki’s evil of least importance but greatest magnitude was repeatedly showing a fat lady in her underwear. On the bright side, she got attacked by wolves.

Despite all these problems, Shiki succeeded in disappointing me less than PSG (+) and Kuragehime (++).

Shiki is also the best of the on-average-slightly-above-average novitaminA shows that everyone’s sucking up to these days.

52 people love sucking up to me

  1. Natsuno was just a huge disappointment. Nuff said (about that).

    Creepy. Shiki was creepy as hell. And that’s one of the things I loved about it. idiffer has already said above, and no doubt many others will say it below, that it was ‘boring’/ ‘slow paced’, but I strongly disagree, as I think that the atmosphere and pacing are two of the show’s biggest strengths, and crucial in terms of creating, maintaining and (finally) exploding its creeptastic promise. I mean, aside from the more obviously creepy/ gruesome goings on which are brought to light later, I think it’s certainly things like the setting (as well as the ecclectic and contrasting cast members) that straight away evokes such a high creep factor and, if not actual fear or terror, but certainly a sense of being creeped out/ feeling uncomfortable, and thinking that something’s not quite right…

    In short, I’d agree that it isn’t perfect, and I’d say that this is mainly because of inconsistencies and downright annoying-ness/ angsty-ness in terms of some of its characters, but it’s certainly one of the best horror/ psychological-thriller shows I’ve seen in ages. Definitely one that, still (er, as you can see – sorry), makes me think about it long after it ended, and probably will continue to do so for a long while yet.

    • Natsuno could’ve/should’ve (not) done so many/not enough things I wanted/did not want to see him (not) do.

      The pacing was perfectly fine when I marathoned it. Anyone willing to suffer because “the creators intended it to be watched week to week” is more than welcome.

      Nothing scares me, ever, but I do enjoy horror from a sadistic viewpoint (figuratively speaking since I (un)clearly can (not) see). Shiki did it nicely.

      • Nothing scares me, ever

        – ‘If a man fears nothing, then he loves nothing and so what joy can he have in his life?’

        • “It is death that gives this world meaning. We love a rose because we know it’ll soon be gone. Who ever loved a stone?”

          If you fear death, then you truly don’t know love

              • Ok, what the hell happened here while I wasn’t looking?

                @Hana: I do have fears, they’re just the depressing type, not the scary type.

                @Rekenber: What about fossils?

                @Anca: Diamonds are technically minerals.

                @RJO: I’m sure Krauser could really love a mineral.

  2. dunno, i was disappointed with shiki on more basic level. the animation sucks, the char designs suck. the story couldn’t get any more cliche’d and boring (slow pace). it’s higurashi + dracula, WOW! the characters couldn’t get any less human (not the vaampires), but more importantly – everyone is dumb as fuck. i really don’t know what the fuss was all about. it wasn’t even half as scary as higurashi. it didn’t even have all that much blood. maybe it’s just that vampires are COOL nowadays, or smth…

    • Is there anything more basic than revulsion toward a fat lady in her underwear?

      For better or worse, animation quality rarely matters to me. I didn’t like the character designs, but this is coming from someone who disapproves of the character designs in nearly every show since 1989. Still, these were worse than usual.

      I’ve heard complaints about the pacing from people who watched it week-to-week. The story certainly isn’t slow when you marathon it. My only complaint was the way it tended to wait until episode n+2 to continue plot points from episode n. The would really be annoying from week-to-week.

      Cliche? I mustn’t watch enough vampire stuff (in fact, I’m sure I don’t). A lot of the vampire theory seemed unique to me. I did get Higurashi vibes throughout the series, but Higurashi is the most original anything ever. You can’t base a cliche based off one very unique show, and even if you could, I’d be thrilled if more shows ripped off Higurashi.

      The characters were idiots. No denying that. Some entertaining idiots, some irritating idiots, and some a little of both. This wasn’t a series I liked for the characters. As always, plot is king.

  3. For some reason, I doubt that the humans would have been THAT desensitized after like….1 day. I mean come on.

    It was still a good series in my eyes but there were definitely flaws. I think I gave this a 5, which is about right. it was good, but not really to the level that adaywithoutme takes it to.

    2 updates in the last week? Guess that pink line isn’t that bad.

    • I was tempted to give Shiki the +++ after the vivisection episode. The ending pushed it back down to a very comfortable ++.

      Day just likes it for all the gay stuff.

      The pink line torments my soul. I should write a story about a guy who’s exactly like me and has a pink line on his laptop screen. Then everyone will understand my pain.

  4. Surprised that I agree with you on all the negative points of Shiki! I’d also add that some stuff was just fucking confusing and silly. Still an amazing show.

    And the second op did suck. You just can’t see it because you assume Buck-Tick was so awesome that anything looks like shit afterward (in this case, true, though).

  5. Hey Baka. I thought you were laying off anime for a year?
    And, want to watch Wakfu? ATLA-esque french anime-thing. It has a guy beat a skyscraper-sized demon into submission with his forehead.

  6. The only part of Shiki that I didn’t like (I was sick and hacking up pieces of lung matter punctually every half hour, so my lenses were tinted with delirium) was that damn book. It didn’t add anything to the plot, and it really took away from Muroi’s slightly more fascinating interactions with Satsuko. Granted, he was a giant pussy throughout, but that whole book thing made it worse.
    The hairstyles were ridiculous as well, which made some of the moments that were supposed to be disquieting borderline hysterical, but they didn’t take too much away.
    Again, I felt on the verge of death when I watched it, so I may be looking back on it a little too fondly to recognize any other failings.

    • To be fair, I liked that the show got on and off the book pretty quickly. It probably only killed less than 10 minutes total throughout the entire show. 10 minutes of annoyance, sure, but I could easily see other series running away with it.

      • It just felt rather pointless throughout. I mean I forgot the damn thing existed until they insisted on bringing it up, to give Muroi a backstory that could likely be gleaned from his actions. In a show that does subtlety well, this seemed a bit like it was saying “Hey, get it? Muroi’s suffering because of his past! Get it? Get it? Get it?”

  7. Oh wow. I thought this was a gay romance or something. I have a habit of not reading summaries at all and just looking up pictures of animes I want to watch…. So when I looked up pictures of the main character and there were two guys making out everywhere, I jumped to the conclusion of gay happy times going down in this anime.

    Eh, I still don’t think I’m going to watch it. I read somewhere in the comments of this post that the characters are idiots and I hate having the feeling that I’m watching a show with Dora the Explorer and she can’t find the bridge to her abuela’s house or something.

    Also, I can’t stop looking at their pointy chins. They’re just so hilarious.

    • It’s not not a gay romance. However, the gay stuff is just a sideshow. A very gay sideshow.

      Stupid characters, interesting plot. Imagine Dora the Explorer fighting vampires.

      If you like pointy chins, may I interest you in Kaiji?

  8. I started watching Shiki by week when it aired, then dropped it because of the slow pacing and didn’t pick it up again… yet. For some reason I’m going through a hating-dumb-characters phase so I guess it’ll be a while before I skip through Shiki.

    That nameless Monster is pretty creepy, was it made or did you buy it?

    Also seconded on wanting to hear your opinion on Madoka Magica if you can bother to.

    • The hating-dumb-characters phase is a tough one to get over. Try watching K-ON. No characters will ever seem stupid in comparison.

      Found the Monster here. It must’ve eaten a Beanie Baby from the inside out.

  9. I did think Natsuno was angsty and melodramatic as fuck, but he seemed pretty consistent about being so…I did finish this show a while ago, though.

    Actually, the biggest problem I had with this show was the inconsistencies in Sunako’s character: near the end, she switched from being a centuries-old manipulative terrifying badass who looked like a 6 year old girl, to being a 6 year old girl. I mean, fine, she can have some insecurities, but I would think someone like her wouldn’t be so emotionally unprepared for the idea that she might one day be murdered.

    • I’m calling Natsuno inconsistent because he started out seeming cold to everyone, then he was really…affectionate toward his friend, then he’s frozen in place when his friend is attacked, then he goes around stalking vampires and beating them with shovels, then he turns into a total pacifist, and then he starts blowing shit up.

      Actually, the biggest problem I had with this show was the inconsistencies in Sunako’s character: near the end, she switched from being a centuries-old manipulative terrifying badass who looked like a 6 year old girl, to being a 6 year old girl. I mean, fine, she can have some insecurities, but I would think someone like her wouldn’t be so emotionally unprepared for the idea that she might one day be murdered.

      Agreed 100%.

  10. I was totally going to read this, but then I remembered I promised someone I’d watch this, and I saw the spoiler alert.

    You should do what I do–just be a mean jerk and not give spoiler alerts at all.

  11. I don’t like the vampire movies where they shine…

    I wish they burn under the sun… Hahahah!

  12. I loved Shiki to bits (Day and I spent many hours on wild speculation while it was airing), but will agree that the characters had a tendency to be utter idiots at far too often. Natsuno was also completely pointless in the latter half of the series (didn’t even get any BL scenes with Tohru!), he should have stayed dead as his turning into a werewolf completely ruined Muroi’s moment at the end.

    The pacing bothered me in the 1st half of the show, because of that alternating timeline where they’d leave cliffhangers unresolved, and also because of the frequent hiatus’ the show took – it was very frustrating for a weekly viewer (although it also really wracked up the tension). However overall I think the atmosphere of the series was amazing. Shiki is definitely one of my favourite shows of the past few years.

    • Day’s explanation below makes a little sense out of Natsuno.

      The only show I can remember that pulled of alternating storylines was Legend of the Galactic Heroes. It had a natural divide, and it wasn’t big on cliffhangers. There wasn’t any need or natural feel for the split in Shiki.

      Don’t get me wrong, Shiki is still one of my favorites of the past few seasons, if not years. Anything in the ++ range is a strong recommendation.

  13. Tatami Galaxy is the best more-than-above-average noitaminA show I have ever seen. I thought the pacing for Shiki was pretty slow especially with the earlier episodes, but it picked up in the second part, and that was great.

    You should watch C and Ano Hana, though. Both entries are pretty strong in the noitaminA slot, although you’d have to deal with QUALITY for C. Ano Hana is great. It’s like a little-bit-lesser Honey and Clover in a high school setting. BTW, when’s your birthday?

    • Ewwwwwwwwww, quality.

      I’ll review Tatami Galaxy one of these days. Of the novitaminA shows I’d rank it behind Shiki and H&C, and I’d rank it on par with a few others like Moyashimon, Trapeze, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.

      Every day is my birthday.

  14. The only characters I have full empathy with in Shiki are Natsuno, Akari and her brother, and Ritsuko.

    Ritsuko was just … awesome. She was the true saint among them all.

  15. The real problem with Natsuno is that in the source material he actually stays dead, and neither the manga nor anime seem to know what to do with him once they decide to keep him alive. I think he ultimately seriously detracts from the final arc, as he basically becomes a deus ex machina and also undermines the effectiveness of Muroi becoming a jinrou himself.

    • That would explain why Natsuno’s return struck me as more unsettling than disappointing. Why didn’t they make him interact with Tohru or Megumi when he came back? Why did he fall from being a main character to sitting in the background? Why did he want to kill ALL the vampires after letting Tohru suck him dry? I’ll leave the source material research to you. Keep up the good work.

  16. Okay, you pointed out a lot of truths, but truths that aren’t going to stop me from loving the hell out of Shiki. The apparently Twilight comparison did sort of bug me, because I know the things that are wrong with Twilight (wrote an entire essay about why that is a shitty book series and got an A, made my teacher feel bad about liking the books and all), and Shiki should just not be compared to that because instead of everyone sitting around talking things out at the end, there’s a very attractive bloodbath.

    But my only real issue with the post is that I can’t wrap my head around this: “He has too much implicit gay sex with his best friend, even for anime.”

    I just…don’t comprehend “too much” and “gay sex” in the same sentence. Oh, plus my girlfriend and I plan to cosplay that couple, which just makes it harder to understand.

    I will go be confused elsewhere now, haha.

  17. Yay, Monster reference! O.O
    I nearly forgot about what a great anime i watched during it aired… Time for a rewatch–>getting my true opinion

  18. Despite all the negative stuff being said about it, I really liked Shiki. It just got too graphic for my taste at times. I actually don’t think the animation sucked at all, and the bizarre style they made the eyes is the main thing that drew me in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *