Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shiki 02: Surrounded by death

EPISODE 02: Second Decay

And the mystery continues to build up.

But it's kinda hard to take Shiki seriously when all the characters have this -CRAZY- hair. It's even worse than Casshern Sins. In the latter, at least, we could blame the retro 'do on the series' stylistic, moody approach as well as the apocalyptic future backdrop. Moreover, it actually worked for that series. In Shiki, however, set as it is in a sleepy out-of-the-way countryside village, it's a little disconcerting to see all the insane hair colors and hair styles that could drive even the DBZ characters to shame, when we're all supposed to think that these characters are true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool country bumpkins.

That said, the plot is unfolding nicely. The dark side of the village is slowly being revealed. Shimizu Megumi, who was diagnosed with only a mild case of anemia, a common-enough illness among young girls, died. Her death arouses the curiosity of local doctor Kirishiki Shoujirou (voiced by Gackt), who suspects foul play. However, Megumi's heartbroken parents refuse to let him conduct an autopsy on their daughter's corpse, leaving him with no choice but to wait until Megumi's blood test results arrive. Of course, this being a small town, it takes about three days for the results to come in. Plenty enough time for more mysterious deaths to occur.

Meanwhile, Natsuno Yuuki, the reluctant object of Megumi's unrequited affection, finds that he is becoming uncomfortably aware of Megumi's palpable absence from his life. It must be weird finding yourself missing your own stalker. That or Yuuki is even more full of himself than I first imagined. Compounding his discomfort is Tanaka Kaori, Megumi's self-proclaimed friend from childhood, who tries to give him a letter that Megumi wrote but never sent him over the summer. Yuuki, however, wants nothing to do with it and leaves the funeral service early.

Know something? I hate Yuuki. It's not only his personality, it's also his hair and his outfit. He tries so hard to be the cool, brooding sort but it's just not working. He strikes me more as a brat who is in perpetual sulking mood because his parents grounded him indefinitely.

Good thing we don't have to dwell more on Yuuki and his braggart issues as the episode goes back on Shoujirou. Megumi's test results are in and they're not looking bright. Shoujirou discovers that he made a mistake in his diagnosis of Megumi, believing that she suffered from common anemia when it was actually a different, much more serious type of anemia. He says that this kind of anemia could be due to any number of causes, including fatal blood loss. However, when he conducted his examination on Megumi, he didn't find any signs of injury.

Oh my god! Vampire?! Shit. I hate that trope.

It looks like it though. So, are we supposed to believe that Shoujirou is Japan's version of Van Helsing? This whole thing reminds me of Bram Stoker's Dracula, that vampire movie starring Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. What with the fatigue/sleepiness sickness affecting young girls. I'm just waiting for the sexy, seductive vampire to show its pretty face and that would be that. I'm saying goodbye to this series.

Give me zombies anytime. I don't like vampires.