Shiki – 17

Well, the bastards did it just like I expected – no resolution to the Akira cliffhanger. I personally still believe he’s alive – there have to be a few humans left or the series seems to be just about over.

Which leads to the main question nagging at my mind at the close of another excellent episode of Shiki. By all accounts, this war seems to be about over. Toshio is certainly bitten, Seishin has delivered himself into the hands of the enemy (not that he was much use anyway), following in his father’s footsteps. Almost all of the nurses are dealt with, Kaori is planning her own funeral… Jeebus, what are they going to do to fill those last five episodes?

What’s that – Natsuno? Yes, he is still out there as some sort of werewolf or daywalker – we saw him a few times this episode, mostly running around and looking foppishly elegant. But what can one super-vampire do against an entire village of them? And the entire village is pretty much shiki now – they’re living openly in the main village houses, picking off the last of the survivors at their leisure. I had thought Dr. Ozaki was the most annoyingly useless character on the show, but at least he showed some steel eventually. Seishin has taken that mantle from him. Seriously – how pathetic can one man be? He’s absolving Tourhu for killing as if it were perfectly defensible. He loses his father, then walks right into the mansion for tea. Is he drugged, or already bitten? Frankly I don’t much care at this point – he’s no use to our side either way so they can have him. I suppose there’s a small chance that this is a ruse, and he plans a counterattack from the inside. But I really doubt it. At least the Senior Monk went down trying to take a bullet for his family.

Talking of Ozaki, at least he’s gone down with a little style. Having attempted to stake Chizuru – foiled by a sharpshooting Mr. Kirishiki – he’s finally bitten as he goes off on a screed about just how stupid the villagers are and how they deserve their fate. Seeing Ritsuko taken was probably the last straw for him, but he was really the only human besides Akira to show any real fight. And then there’s poor Kaori – still alive but in a terrible state. Her entire family dead (she thinks) she goes so far as to dig her own grave and ask the witless Seishin for a posthumous name. Her situation is a metaphor for the entire village at this point.

So what’s left? That’s the question. We did find out that Mr. K is indeed human, for what it’s worth. We know that Tatsumi knows Natsuno is back, but not what actions he plans to take. Natsuno’s one-man (or whatver he is) rebellion seems like thin gruel to stretch for five episodes. As good as this show is, I have to think there are a couple of surprises in store – but I can’t see what they are yet, apart from Akira probably being alive. Dammit, I want a counter-attack – more scenes like the one in Ozaki’s examination room, an eye for an eye. So far the balance sheet for this war is disgustingly one-sided.

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