Shiki is the story of a quiet village that suddenly becomes victim to mysterious and rampant deaths. The village of Sotoba thrives on its use of trees as a source of income to make tombstone markers. This town is literally surrounded by death. At the same time of these odd deaths, a strange family moves in, changing its serene nature forever.
Megumi Shimizu is a fifteen-year-old girl who yearns to move out of the village and find a lavish life
elsewhere. She has a huge crush on Natsuno Yuuki, a fellow schoolmate who recently moved to the town from a big city.
Megumi has an infatuation with an awkwardly placed mansion, as it is a glimmer of the lifestyle she wants so dearly. One day, she approaches the home out of curiosity and she vanishes. The search for her is the start of a series of mysterious events…
As deaths are being reported throughout the village, Toshio Ozaki begins investigating. Toshio is the dean of Sotoba’s hospital and is respected for his intellect. He quickly becomes the focus of the anime as he is the only one who seems to care about why these casualties are occurring. He immediately realizes their deaths happen due to a form of anemia. The subject’s symptoms and alarming rate of deterioration suggest otherwise. After many episodes of investigating and other dramatic problems, he comes to a conclusion. Vampires. He then works to expose the truth to the townspeople…but they aren’t accepting it. His goal remains to fully solve this mystery and protect the people from whatever, or whoever is the cause.
Tatsumi is a young man who moves in as the Kirishiki family servant in the Kanemasa mansion. It is a Victorian styled home that seems very oddly placed at the top of a hill, especially in this community. They moved in, in the middle of the night. This is the same place where Megumi disappears, how peculiar. The residents of Sotoba become wary of him and the family. Seishin Muroi is another main who is a novel-writing, local priest. His newest book is titled “Shiki” or “Corpse Demon.” Sunako Kirishiki, the daughter of the Kirishiki family, has a peculiar interest in his secretly published novels and his sense of the supernatural. He has an interesting perspective and definitely a soft spot for the Shiki, not taking a stance against them. The anime starts slowly with the introduction of characters and introduction of deaths. From there it moves into the interactions of the vampires with humans as Toshio slowly discovers them. And from there, we learn more about the Shiki and their kind.
Now for my personal opinion, this is one of my favorite anime in the supernatural/horror genre. The anime is good quality in terms of its story, music, character development, and visuals. Now I don’t scare easily, and I won’t say I had to sleep with the lights on or anything, but yikes. There aren’t many anime that I have seen where I was legitimately creeped out after watching it. Some scenes become quite terrifying when figures with glowing red eyes slowly drift towards the screen. I am a big fan of gore and there is definitely a fair amount of disturbing scenes with decaying bodies and bloody attacks.
The soundtrack and music fit perfectly with the eerie setting of the town. One track is like a luring siren song, ethereal and so beautiful. There is a sound bit that plays frequently; it is a sigh that can get annoying at times. I won’t give away spoilers, but I will say that this anime does have a satisfying ending. One where most questions are answered and you aren’t begging for a second season. My only complaint about this anime would be how slow the plot is. Now that I know the entire story, I feel it could have been cut down to 13 episodes. It seems like this anime isn’t as popular as it should be. I don’t know if it is its age or its genre but I wish more people would continue to appreciate it. This anime can sometimes be predictable but I find it goes a bit beyond the typical vampire story…and to a fiery conclusion.
IMDb – 7.8/10
Aired Summer of 2010
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller, Horror
Director: Tetsuro Amino
Adaptation of the Shiki manga series by Ryu Fujisaki, which is an adaptation of a novel series by Fuyumi Ono.
- Genuinely creepy.
- Very slow plot. Could be shorter.