I had a cake metaphor all planned out for this episode that I can’t even use now because this episode went completely bonkers on me and just about dissolved into yaoi, and everyone knows that cake + yaoi is way too sexy for mass public consumption here at 91.8 The Fan.
It would have been good, too – something like, “Shiki is like a piece of cake, because there are a ton of storylines and they all interrupt each other and intersect, like layers of cake and frosting.” Except I like cake and I think it would be doing cake a disservice to compare it to Shiki. Not that Shiki is bad, but…sometimes it really baffles me. More like rice pudding; I mean, who thought that was a good idea?
This episode starts out with a sort of legend about a forsaken guy and his younger brother, who he killed but feels bad about killing and who comes back at night. Sometimes. I think.
Back in the episode, real-time, Yuuki is walking home from school and his buddy pulls up in one of them auto-mobile thingers, with Ritsuko, who we met last episode (hot nurse? remember?). We haven’t met the buddy, Mutou, before and there’s something sort of weird about the relationship he has with Yuuki. You guys, for a while there I thought I was watching some kind of Shiki parody by accident – a sexy, shounen-ai parody.
You know how it is (admit it! you know!): the art gets all soft, a little bit foggy, the music turns a little dreamy. Two young men meet, one extremely friendly, one extremely stand-offish. They spend a few moments together, awkwardly denying their ever-increasing attraction. Longing glances, fleeting touches, and then…
But, no – this is for real. This is really the episode. I am not a yaoi-hater by any means (though Yuuki and Mutou are not really my type, sorry guys), it just caught me way, way off guard. Am I imagining all that? Am I revealing myself to be a dirty old lady? What the heck are you trying to say, Shiki?!
Back at the doc’s clinic (and a gratuitous cleavage shot, I’m so confused), he’s growing more and more worried about Nao, who you’ll remember from last time is poorly. He wants to examine her again. Something is not right!
So I left this out earlier, but we also meet Mutou’s little brother and Masao, who is very strange-looking and gives me the creeps. At his house, he has a little tantrum about not wanting to go to dinner with his family and then there’s a flashback – in which he looks very strange and gives me the creeps – of him talking to his future sister-in-law about how she’ll eventually grow to hate him. She handles it gracefully and cheerfully, but he pretty much says, “don’t worry, you’ll totally hate me before long,” and from then on he hates her…for whatever reason.
Nao is sick! Nao dies. I am shocked. Shocked, I say. it’s revealed that those creepy people from the big house visited her family not long before she died. They are strange looking, and have a weird sort of Isaac and Miria knock-off thing going on, which doesn’t work for me at all.
Then there’s a weird scene between Danger Monk (er…Seishin) and the little girl who belongs to the creepy people in the creepy European house. He’s a writer (fancy that!) and has written a few books and essays, all of which she’s read and seems to like. One essay in particular may have been the reason for her family’s sudden move to the village, hence making all the deaths completely his fault. Before she skips away, she says to him, “you know you can’t die from cutting your wrist,” and he’s all, “yeah, I know,” as he looks at an ominous scar on his wrist.
But…I’m pretty sure they’re both wrong. Is there a doctor in the house? Back me up here!
So. Upon learning that Nao has died, Masao skips off to Toru’s house looking…sort of gleeful. This is weird, right? He interrupts yet another near-make out scene between Yuuki and Toru and then tries to argue Yuuki into being more sad about Megumi’s death, even though he himself didn’t look all that sad about Nao’s death. This kid makes no sense to me at all – what’s the point of his character? Where is he coming from? Did Shiki’s writer quit and run off with the episode scripts?
In the final moments of the episode, Yuuki decides to spend the night (!) in Toru’s bed (!), but he ends up just falling asleep. Toru, of course, tucks him in very tenderly and goes off to get a coffee from a random vending machine in the street. He drops his money (oh no!), but then that goofy cat-ear-hair guy shows up with his back scratcher (?!) and helps him out. And then Toru’s all, “thanks man! You should come hang out at my house sometime!” and Cat-Ear-Hair is all, “OH BELIEVE ME I WILL! EVIL FLOURISH!” and then episode three is over.
You guys…I just…I can’t even…I don’t know. My mind cannot even process what it’s just seen. I’m trying to come up with a storyline where all that stuff has a place to live and it comes together in harmony to form a cohesive narrative and I just…I can’t do it.
Instead, here’s what I’ll be pondering until next week: Why the heck do most of the characters have such disgustingly ugly hair?!