Shiki – 9

Of course you realize, this means war…

In a rather evil maneuver, the producers abandon last week’s cliffhanger for now and the focus of the story shifts away from the children to the second front in the developing vampire war – Toshio and Seishin. And lo and behold, the formerly hapless, helpless, half-bright and do-nothing Dr. Ozaki finally begins to show his worth – he truly has come to the correct conclusion.

Unfortunately for him – and even more for poor old Setsuko – his plan to foil the vampires by using her as live bait is foiled by one of the two new characters with bad hairstyles (this show certainly has the worst hairstyles in anime this year) we meet this week, his absentee wife. Toshio’s harridan of a mother has recalled him from whatever big city she’s living in to help Toshio deal with his exhausting workload. Alas, she unwittingly invites Tatsumi into the clinic the morning after Nao was foiled in her attempt to feed on her mother. This leads to a magnificent scene where a horde of okiagari (interestingly no Tooru or Masao) descend on the hospital and cut the power in a juicy bit of horror cliche. Tatsumi disables Toshio, then leaps out the window with Setsuko. In one of the most chilling moments of the series, they fall on her in a feeding frenzy and suck her dry, leaving Oazki in a fit of helpless rage. So here’s my question – what was his plan, exactly? There was talk of capturing one of the vampires, but how? I wonder if he’d though it out beyond merely proving his hypothesis.

This series is getting more and more creepy and genuinely scary as it progresses. One of the wonderful things about having a huge cast (there are drawbacks as well) is that we can shift the focus for a few eps and not see someone, then they return to the center of the story, as Toshio and Seishin mostly did. Now we assume we’ll return to Natsuno and his peril next week, and by all indications Megumi is on her way to his house to join the fun. What we haven’t seen much of is the main family, the Kirishikis. Though they’re presumably at the heart of all this, other than Tatsumi and the occasional conversation between Sunako and Seishin, they’ve hardly appeared. Of course, with 13 eps to that’s presumably going to change sooner or later.

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