Shiki – 18

He’s a pimp

I need just four words to sum up this week’s episode: That was fucking AWESOME!

How long have we waited for the battle to finally be joined, at long last? Turns out Toshio had a plan all along, and a damn good one. The whole Kagura festival – remember, he encouraged the villagers to go through with it – was a premise to get the remaining humans together to expose the shiki once and for all. I don’t know exactly how Toshio managed to counteract Chizuru’s control over him – were those bite marks from Natsuno, perhaps, a Jinrou’s bite trumping that of a shiki? – but he played her like a concert grand. He lured that shiki into his trap, and it was Megumi’s father who was the final piece of the puzzle.

She’s an Angel

You know, Toshio has redeemed himself totally in my eyes from the “Dr. Obvious” character he was in the first. Not only is he a master of strategy, but he’s also stone-cold with balls of steel. He didn’t finch when he was forced to experiment on his wife, and he was smooth as silk luring Chizuru into the trap. This time, I confess, he almost seemed to be enjoying it. What was even more ingenious about the trap was the fact that the timing was perfect – it was the overconfidence of the shiki that made them vulnerable.

Lots of other stuff happened in this episode too, of course. It started off perfectly, with Tatsumi in his pimp getup striding through town to the techno BGM like some kind of 70’s action hero. He was none too pleased to see that Natsuno had risen, and not only that but as only the fourth jinrou he’d ever seen (Natsuno, Tatsumi, that lady who was with Touru, and…?). What really galled Tat-chan was that Nat-chan never reported in – a grave (heh!) faux pas apparently – and then apparently saved Akira to boot, although we’re still left wondering about that part for now. Turns out Jinrou have a pulse and can (obviously) walk in the daylight, even eat normal food – but they don’t get superpowers unless they feed on human blood. For that reason Tatsumi could have killed Natsume on the spot, but it looks as it Sunako wants to give him a few days to come around to the shiki camp. That could prove to be a big, big mistake.

He’s a stone cold badass

The other standout this week was Ritsuko. She rose, but apparently with her own free will in tact (“Don’t I have that freedom of choice?”) which leads her to refuse to kill. Touru clearly respects her decision but doesn’t think she’ll hold out. She was so brave, so pure – it was one of the real heartbreaking moments of the series. It looks as if Sunako really is in charge – the jinrou lady referred to the Sunako-Chizuru relationship as “mother & daughter”, with Chizuru as the daughter. She seems to be calling the shots, hoping to procure the village as a safe haven for her kind – but she also spares Natsuno to let him decide his fate, and has high hopes for Touru despite his reluctance to kill.

The thing is, the roles are starting to be reversed here – it’s the shiki who have become the establishment, and the humans the upstarts. That cockiness is clearly their vulnerability, and with Toshio and Natsuno – along with probably Akira – and a crowd of angry villagers who have finally had the cowl taken from their eyes, it may be that the humans will assume the role of hunters, and the shiki the hunted. I know that some viewers are actually sort of rooting for the shiki, but nothing would please me more than to see that happen – I want some payback for the casual cruelty the shiki have unleashed on the village for 17 episodes. This turn of events was a long time coming, but that makes it taste all the sweeter.

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