Finally, after seventeen episodes of relentless waiting, it’s finally time: the counterattack. And holy crap, this episode twisted this series into a new dimension. Beyond the main attraction of this episode (Toshio), there also were a lot of these neat short scenes that took place during the first half of this episode.
Especially the way in which the episode started was just completely out of left field: usually this is a very dark and composed series, and yet it sometimes includes these really weird and over the top scenes, like what happened previously with the eccentric undertaker. For starters, Tatsumi’s suit was just completely pinpin’, but the way in which Natsuno’s father just popped up from nowhere also came completely by surprise. We still don’t know what happened between Natsuno and his father, but that scene definitely gave a lot of insight there.
Second of all, the Shiki are looking more and more human now that their numbers are increasing. Their conversations almost feel normal now, and this episode also shed a lot of light on the hierarchy between them, and how each of them has a different job. The thing is also that Tatsumi no longer is able to keep an eye on everyone in order to scare them. Because of that, Tohru ended up in front of Ritsuko when she first awakened, who looked more like an angel than a zombie in this episode. You can see that the Shiki are getting confident: it’s not like ten episodes ago, in which they still had to be careful in their actions.
And that’s what Toshio took advantage of in this episode, and he did so wonderfully. I first thought that Toshio would take her to some dark place and stick a stake through her heart or something, but this was of course the perfect chance for him to lure out the Shiki and expose them to the villagers, and it’s really the way in which he did it that makes it awesome. If he were to scream and yell, people wouldn’t listen to him, so he really subtly showed the villagers that Chizuru was a vampire. The look on his face really was priceless. Atsushi’s arrival just made it perfect.
I really love the restraint of this series: it’s just been seventeen episodes of building up, and every time at which you thought that the characters would make some kind of come-back, the vampires only ended up making things worse. Instead, this series was really waiting for this single moment, five episodes before the end, in order to turn the tides. That’s really how you should use build-up. Lately we’ve seen a lot of series that did spend a ton of time on build-up, and yet failed to optimally use it, the biggest offender being Sengoku Basara 2, so it’s great to see another series that does know how to use it effectively without making the build-up boring or wasting all of that effort that was put in building up.
Rating: *** (Awesome)