Shiki – 19

GAR

The counterattack has truly begun. The hunters are the hunted, and it’s kill or be killed. When there is intent to kill, there is always a reason.

Chizuru is dead – with the help of the relentlessly badass old Ookawa. The villagers at the festival are convinced, but not all willing to go through with the mushi-okuri that Ozaki tells them to communicate to the villagers (interestingly, in real-life this is a festival to rid the village of crop-eating insects. I’ll have to think about that one). Some choose to run – the others he sends off to recruit other villagers to join his army. And finally, at long last, the Shiki are on the run.

And the award for worst outfit goes to…

It all happened pretty quickly, and I can’t but imagine that the Shiki have at least one good counterattack left in them. Tatsumi sends Seishin and Sunako to hide in the cellars of the mansion as he and everyone else flees, to wait for nightfall again. The villagers destroy the mansion and as many of the enlisted-class okiagiri – who seem to lack superpowers – as they can roust up. Kaori, meanwhile, has been hiding in terror and waiting for Megumi’s arrival. At some level she seems resolved to try to kill her, at least, but when the footsteps at her door finally come, it’s not Megumi (or Akira, which was my momentary thought) but her father. It’s family against family now, and only the courageous will have the chance to survive.

Some of the most poignant moments this week come once again from Ritsuko, still fighting against her hunger to retain her soul and perish with dignity. Tohru has kidnapped the fat nurse (fully dressed this time, thankfully) for her to feed on but she refuses, bringing Tohru to tears. He knows he’s surrendered to his weakness and hates himself for it, but has come to love Ritsuko for being nobler than he. While we didn’t see Natsuno this week it looks as if he’ll be prominent next episode, when much will surely be decided. The day favors the humans and they must do all the damage they can before dark, but the daywalkers – the jinrou – are still there to take the fight to the humans, which is why Natsuno is so critical. Seishin meanwhile has clearly been bitten, though it seems as if he’d probably be acting pretty much the same either way. I’m told the novels do a much better job of portraying his inner conflicts but honestly, he comes off pathetic here – a traitor to his species and a tool for Sunako to use as she needs him. No doubt she feels something for the monk and she understands the cost of what she and her clan do to survive – but she still represents death to everyone in the village. Some have come to feel sympathy for the Shiki but as for me, I still think of this as a war they started – kill to survive or not, I don’t pity them – the humans must eliminate them to the last at this point. Nothing less will provide a real ending.

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