At a time when vampires have become ubiquitous in popular culture, from juvenile novels and live-action films to anime, Shiki
stands out for its deeply unsettling tension and suspense. The power of the okiagari
, or corpse demons, continues to grow, threatening the existence of remote Sotobamura village. When sulky teenager Natsuno is killed by Toru, the vampire that was once his best friend, and adolescent Akira disappears, Dr. Ozaki seems to have lost his only allies in the battle against the demons. But the dedicated young physician and Natsuno are not so easily defeated, although junior monk Seishin falls under the spell of Susano, an ancient child-vampire who resembles a decayed Victorian doll. As Shiki
builds to its conclusion, director Tetsuro Amino skillfully maintains the creepy atmosphere of the earlier episodes. He deftly uses warping backgrounds, dramatic lighting, sinister shadows, and unusual colors to heighten the drama. The war between the human villagers and the okiagari
inevitably grows more violent, but Shiki
never devolves into a gore fest. Like a volume of Edgar Allan Poe, Shiki
is not an entertainment to enjoy alone late at night. But it is an arresting series that reenergizes an increasingly threadbare genre. (Rated TV MA: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, tobacco and alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
(13. Thirteenth Tragedy, 14. Fourteenth Death, 15. Fifteenth Deceit, 16. Sixteenth Skull, 17. Seventeenth Killing, 18, Eighteenth Night, 19. Nineteenth Coffin, 20. Twentieth Mourning and Offense, 21. Twenty-first Slaughter, Blood and Offense, 22. The Final Hunt)
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?