Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Shiki Review


This review contains spoilers

I thought this was a pretty good show. First off, the art and animation wasn't the best I've seen nor the worst, but it was serviceable and it looked nice enough. I quite liked the character designs as they were fairly unique and had a lot of variety even if this did result in some of the characters looking a little out of place. The music was also serviceable, not memorable but it always fit nicely into the show.

The main pull of this show is it's story which I quite enjoyed. The main aspect of the show that I enjoyed story wise was the duality shown in the later part of the series between the humans and the Shiki. Whilst the Shiki are the ones demonised early in the show, later you start to sympathise quite a bit with the Shiki. You realize that the Shiki and the Humans are two sides of the same coin, both wanting to survive but they can only survive by killing each other. I'm not sure if this is unique to this show, I haven't seen much in terms of Vampire fiction, but it certainly made it stand out from the few other vampires I've seen in other shows and films. The pacing could have been improved a bit in my opinion. The first 6 or so episodes really get caught in a cycle of scenes and they become redundant fast. New information is revealed in these episodes, but it's so little and it makes the pace seem glacial at times. Luckily, the pace does pick up from Episode 7 onwards, so it's not a massive issue.

The show also features a large cast of characters, almost too many. It can be a little overwhelming trying to remember who they all are, seeing as only a few of them are really important but the others reoccur enough to the point where you can't just forget about them. There are three main characters and, in my opinion, the best is easily Ozaki. Throughout the show you see him go through a metal decline and it's done quite well. It's very gradual and you hardly notice it but before you know it he's experimenting on his wife's reanimated corpse without even flinching. The other two main characters I'm a little mixed on. Yuuki is decent. He isn't really all that likeable at first, he can be pretty cold and distant, but he improves as the series continues. He is probably the most active protagonist in the first half and he is the one who pushes the story along the most. However, he vanishes for a good chunk of the second half of the show, only to come back in the last episode to die, which was kind of a weak way to go with one of the main characters. The third and final main character is Muroi. He is easily the weakest out of the three and it goes far enough to where I can say I wasn't sure of the justifications of his actions. For a good 3/4 of the show, he just kind of does nothing but act as a voice for the side of not murdering the Shiki. However, after that, he then completely sides with the Shiki, actively shunning the humans and risking his own life in order to protect them, even going so far as murdering another human to protect the Shiki. I can understand him not wanting to kill the Shiki, after all, they retain the personalities of people they were before they turned, but killing a human to save a Shiki seems hypocritical and it doesn't make much sense. You could say it was because he started caring for Sunako, but they only shared a handful of scenes together, not really enough to justify murder. Also he is a Monk for Christ's sake. The ending was also quite abrupt. It wasn't like Berserk abrupt, but I would have liked an epilogue or something. The best you get is the survivors getting on a bus at the end but that really isn't enough.

One last thing I'll add before I conclude is the show has some pretty good action in the last 4 or so episodes, and it really delivers on what you want out of a show about Vampires vs Humans by delivering an all out war towards the end.

Overall, Shiki is pretty enjoyable, with a good moral story based on an interesting moral quandary as well as some great characters.

8/10

Original Publish Date: 27/5/15

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