Shiki – Ep 09 – Ninth Coffin

Posted on Sep 11 2010

Oh, sure, it might be kind of boring, and it might have the silliest title we’ve seen yet from this series (pretty sure we passed nine coffins by episode 2!), and it might be implausible that our heroes have suddenly developed psychic abilities where the vampires are concerned, but I think this episode might also be a real winner. Barely a hint of purple hair!

Over at the clinic, Monky Monk and the Doc are sharing a hot beverage and some awkward conversation. Hey guys, Monk Twain is writing a book! It’s basically the Cain and Abel story, and one of the dudes (I can never remember which is Cain and which is Abel) looks a lot like Yuuki. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this story alluded to, and not for the first time I have to ask: who cares? I hope they don’t introduce a sweet little bro character. One Yuuki Jr. is my limit.

Not even three minutes into the episode we get our last glimpse of Yuuki. YES – he disappears for the rest of the episode! No doubt he’s been attacked by a rabid bear on the outskirts of town, never to be seen again!

Anyway, after they workshop his novel, Monkey and Doc have some free time to talk about vampires. Doc theorizes that the vamps revisit their victims on four consecutive nights, drinking their fill each time until finally 50% of the victim’s blood is gone and they die. Oh, and the victims are sort of hypnotized to keep them from reacting negatively to getting killed. Remember: no one is ever wrong in anime, so take this as the gospel truth. How does he know? Who cares! Just go with it!

The Doc is distracted, sleep deprived and stressed. How unprofessional! A doctor who cares – bad form! He’s so poorly that Mommy Dearest called in his wife to support him or nag him or something. She’s got hair as ridiculous as the rest, but not as ridiculous as the hair her mother-in-law has…it’s like a sting ray. And it wiggles when she gets agitated. Watch out for that poison stinger, Mrs. Doc!

Ritsuko prepares a meal for the Doc and his Monk sidekick, while her sister Midori asks annoying questions and is generally a bother. Well, someone has to do it while Yuuki’s off getting devoured by insane porcupines. She heads out for a walk through the dark scary woods (the dog has the sense not to go with her), where she sees Nao…you know, the dead lady who’s also the daughter of the old woman they’re babysitting at the clinic?

As they sit around together, they hear a scritch-scratch at the window, like fingernails, like someone trying to get in, LIKE A VAMPIRE! Slowly they advance on the window! Could it be…? Is it…? The Doc rips open the blinds and…well. I’m so used to HUGE BUILD-UPS like this one being a big joke that I was honestly a little surprised to see Nao floating there, looking deranged.

The next morning, the old lady is looking way better and the Doc makes the mistake of being hopeful. Silly Doc. Onk-may and the Doc have a dumb conversation about how vampires can’t come in unless you invite them, so they figure they’re safe unless they do something stupid like invite one inside. But Doc’s dumb wife is the one who invites Cat Head into the clinic, so they have her to thank for the ultimate failure of their attempts to keep the lady alive. And since Momma Doc invited her, I guess we should be blaming her too. Jeez guys. Way to ruin everything.

The lights go out. Monkshake goes to investigate (didn’t this guy see Jurassic Park?!) while the Doc tries to keep the old lady from going outside to see her daughter. Cat Head is already inside, though. Shocker. He beats on the Doc but not very badly, because he has orders not to hurt him. Yet.

Outside, Mother and daughter are united, but it doesn’t last long. Just long enough for Mommy to become a buffet. The Doc is enraged by his inability to doctor and he lets loose a primal scream, which rattles even the vamps. As the episode closes, Megumi is seen running away from the group of vamps heading home. To where is she running? To order up another round of moose stomping for Yuuki, I hope!

With this episode, Shiki continues to disappoint. Though I admit to liking the scene where Nao shows up at the window (the one where the Doc says it would be impossible for someone to be outside at the window because there’s no footholds, only in every shot of the clinic there’s clearly a big roof to stand on) and of course I loved the part where Yuuki wasn’t in it (did we really need that shot at the beginning?), everything else about this episode just seems so heavy-handed and plodding and…done before. I mean, it’s one thing to tell a story that’s been told before, but at least tell it better than it was told before it was told before, you know what I’m saying? What about this series makes Shiki fresh? What about Shiki makes it deserved to be watched? I’m almost disappointed by this series on a personal level – I was rooting for you, Shiki, and now you’re making me look bad! I will never love again.

Anyway, how about an abrupt change of topic? They aren’t good for much aside from background filler and the occasional bit of bad exposition, but we’ve seen a few very interesting bit parts over the course of these nine episodes. Who’s do you find the most intriguing of the non-main-characters, the one whose story you’d actually want to pay attention to?

For me, it’s a tie between the butch nurse (who wears fishnets to work at a clinic?!) and the rage-filled, white-haired guy from the liquor store (how did he get to be so mad? Not to mention that ‘stache…!). Come to think of it, I bet either of those two could teach me how to love once more…

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  • Kibs September 11, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    I hate it when purple hair shows up in ichiban.

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