From the studio that brought you Black Butler and Fullmetal Alchemist emerges the psychological thriller that will send you to bed with a cross in hand.
When citizens of a secluded village begin dying off in alarming numbers, the sole hospital's head doctor tries desperately to save his patients - but his efforts are in vain. Entire families are wiped out while others desert their homes. All hell breaks loose as the villagers discover their loved ones' corpses are rising from the grave with an insatiable thirst for human blood. Haunting, hallucinogenic and unnerving to the core, Shiki stares into the hearts of both the hunter and the hunted. Who is safe when the urge to kill in order to survive blurs the line between man and monster?
Based on a manga by Fuyumi Ono and Ryu Fujisaki, the eerie vampire adventure Shiki
(2010) takes place in Sotobamura, an isolated village of 1,300 people "surrounded by death," i.e., it's set amid forest of a kind of pine tree used to make grave markers. Even at its liveliest, Sotobamura feels dead to the local teenagers, who want to move to bigger, more exciting places, especially perky, fussy Megumi. But when a foreign family moves to an enormous chateau they've built at the edge of the town, Megumi and other locals begin dying of a mysterious disease. Dedicated Dr. Ozaki, who runs the local clinic, discovers the deaths are linked to anemia, but none of the patients show any sign of injury or internal bleeding. Ozaki and sullen teenager Natsuno suspect the deaths are connected to okiagari
, undead creatures who stalk the night. Unlike Hellsing
and other recent vampire anime, Shiki
is genuinely creepy and disquieting, rather than a simple gore fest. Director Tetsuro Amino skillfully builds a suspenseful tone that may remind horror fans of When They Cry
. The character designs are odd, with hair that suggests awkward paper sculptures, but what they do is so interesting, the strange appearance becomes unimportant. Shiki
is not a series to watch alone late at night, but otaku
will be waiting impatiently for the conclusion of this intriguing series. (Rated TV MA: violence, grotesque imagery, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(1. First Blood, 2. Second Decay, 3. Third Tragedy, 4. Fourth Death, 5. Fifth Deceit, 6. Sixth Skull, 7. Seventh Killing Spirit, 8. Eighth Night, 9. Ninth Coffin, 10. Tenth Mourning, 11. Eleventh Slaughter, 12. Twelfth Decay)