Shiki – Ep 02 – Second Decay

Posted on Jul 24 2010

You know what I really like about Shiki so far? This series is obsessively organized. I mean, in Episode 2 we get an interactive map of town (not once, but twice!) and a slideshow of everyone who’s died so far and they’ve continued introducing new characters with their names and occupations clearly spelled out. It’s like Shiki is saying, “you have bigger things to worry about than visualizing the town and trying to figure out everyone’s name – here, why don’t you let us take care of that and you sit down and have a cup of tea?” And I’m like, “don’t mind if I do, thanks.”

So, reminder: Megumi’s dead. The doctor is flabbergasted by the mysterious circumstances of her death and wants to get to the bottom of this medical mystery (paging Dr. House!), but Megumi’s father is all, “I’d hate to know what killed my daughter and potentially get justice for her, not to mention maybe saving a bunch more people! I’d really, absolutely hate that! It would definitely be the worst thing ever! No autopsy!”

Yuuki goes off to sulk and be moody, as though he’s in some way affected by Megumi’s death (more like he wanted the opportunity to stare moodily down the road – he bores me already). I don’t mind this so much because it gives us the opportunity to meet a way more interesting character – Taro the dog! He also brings his human, Ritsuko, who works as a nurse in the clinic.

An interesting shift from our last series (remember that one? Dura-something?) to Shiki is the way characters communicate. In Shiki, characters actually talk to each other and news spreads via word of mouth and gossip. They even send each other mail – that’s real mail, kids, not the electronic kind – like summer greeting cards. Do you all know what a greeting card is anymore?

Then Yuuki complains moodily about small-town living and Ritsuko laughs at him, though I think she’s being way too kind. He continues in the vein of, “how can you stand living here?” and she says, “obviously since I’m still here I like it!” which shuts him up for a minute. Ahhh, peace and quiet.

Back to Taro: he’s all, “give me a soda, human slave!” and Yuuki’s all, “I’m not done whining about how superior I am to this place,” and hounddog is all, “I’m tuning you out and drinking my tea. Mmmm, tea.”

Yuuki shows up to the funeral looking moody and disheveled. Kaori corners him, trying to give him Megumi’s unsent greeting card, but he pulls an attitude and refuses it and leaves in the middle of the ceremony. Later, by himself because he’s a jerk and has no friends, he returns AGAIN to how much he hates small-town living and how people assign roles to everyone. I’m pretty sure he volunteered for the role of town butthead, though.

During the procession and burial, Kaori muses a bit on her own mortality and when death will come for her. In most situations, I’d say this is a normal reaction to death, but given the nature of this series, I’d call this one foreshadowing. Watch your back, girlfriend.

Kaori has a birthday present for Megumi that she wants to put in the grave with her. She asks Megumi’s parents if that’s OK, but before Megumi’s dad can say, “the worst thing ever in the world would be if you put a present in my daughters grave,” Berserker Monk steps in and says, “sure, that’s an awesome idea and you’re awesome for having it.”

The doctor gets Megumi’s blood tests back! Lots of medical jargon! Very big words! Uhh…it’s not what he thought and he’s not sure what killed her. Still. Okay then.

Before he can think too hard about it, more people die so he has to rush off to deal with that. One of the dead people is a Mr. Giichi; he’s old so the doc assumes it’s an old person thing like kidney failure. The other is an old lady, relation to many of the other dead people. Everyone has a common symptom: feeling tired and loopy, as though suffering from a bad summer cold. Uh oh, Doc!

At the temple, the monks are told about the deaths and it’s also mentioned that 20 years ago there was another rash of deaths in town. Berserker Monk has a look on his face that clearly says, “I already knew that…I killed them.”

So the Doc and the Monk have a little conference to talk about all these dead people. Doc admits he has no idea what killed them all, but it may be an epidemic. Later, the town health officer joins their little gathering with some bad news: three more people have died than they thought. In addition to the seven already dead, there’s Takatoshi Hirosawa (who looks very young), Yasuyuki Ootsuka (who I said last time didn’t look like much of a lumberman…so sad!) and Ryuuji Shimizu. Cue the spooky music! Oh wait, that was already playing.

The episode ends with Yuuki (ugh), but he has a weird out of body experience…or something. It sort of seems like his eyes are in the forest watching himself inside a different room than where he actually was, but I’m sure that’s not what’s really going on.

The plot, as they say, is beginning to thicken. I could do with WAY less Yuuki, but as he’s one of the central characters I fear I’m stuck with him. The art is not my cup of tea (no pun intended – ha!), but even that isn’t terrible I guess and whoever’s in charge of music is doing a great job. Plus I really like the opening, when everyone’s face starts melting off. And all the helpful organizational stuff. Oooh, I wonder if maybe next week they’ll give us an itemized list of all the important plot points! I hope, I hope, I hope…!

Still… How many episodes before the plot weakens and runs cold like last week’s tea? How long before I get totally sick of stupid Yuuki and his stupid face and his stupid hair? When are we going to get some monster action up in here? And when will Love and Taro have a puppy playdate? (I’d watch that for twenty minutes, wouldn’t you?)

I’m curious: besides Yuuki (he’s a given) what would you change about this show so far?

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  • christmas4477 August 3, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    I’m not sure what I’d change about this series, but I sort of enjoy Yuuki. He has the sort of douche vibe that you get from Seto Kaiba. Sure he’s a d*ck but he’s still pretty cool. One thing that i can’t help but notice is the fact that everyone has this double iris thing going on. It’s unique and eye catching, but I’m not sure if I like it or not.

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