This series… every time I think that the turning point is about to arrive, the Shiki prove me wrong by only nibbling away even more lives. I mean, how many characters at this point are still un-bitten by the vampires? I can only tihnk of Toshio, Toshio’s mother, the three remaining nurses, Seishin and his parents, the awesome beard guy and his wife and Kaori. That’s only eleven characters left, out of who knows how many this show started with.
This series makes excellent use of this hopelessness: this episode was mainly meant to give the Shiki some background, and yet at the same time it went back to the despair when Tatsumi trashed all hopes of Akira of being able to fight back. Just one shot of him was enough for that.
The background of course was very appreciated as well. It’s interesting that Sunako, and not the two vampires I thought to be her parents, turned out to be the mastermind behind everything. Up till now, the biggest potential pitfall for Shiki was shallow main villains, because of the relatively little time that has been spent on this threesome, so I’m glad that at least Sunako has gotten a bit more depth here.
This episode also provided a great view into what Shiki think like: they mostly retain their personality, but what changes them the most is their thirst for blood and attacking people. This leads them to attack their loved ones, in the hope of getting them to the other side. Now, the question remains: what makes special vampires? Why did Natsuno and Tatsumi rise up as vampires who have no problems with Sunlight? Is that random, or do certain conditions have to be met? And if that’s the latter, did the Shiki avoid meeting those conditions in order to have something to manipulate their subordinates with?
Rating: ** (Excellent)