Okay, the chapter gap has been filled so I was finally able to read up to the latest scanlated chapters. So now I’m ahead of the anime again, hooray! Sorry about not putting up a review of episode 16 last week—I was busy.
Episode 16 Summary:
This first half of this episode deals mainly with back-stories—mostly Sunako’s, but it also shows a bit of Nao’s too. Nao grew up in a troubled family, so the reason she’s been killing off her own family members is so that they could rise up as shiki so she wouldn’t be alone. As we all know, however, this plan has greatly backfired as she’s the only one who has risen while the rest have rotted in their graves.
After this, Toru gets summoned to meet with Sunako personally, where Sunako tells him the story of how she became a vampire/shiki. After her death and “revival,” her parents locked her up in a storage shed and attempted to take care of her even though they knew she was a shiki. One night, Sunako decided to escape to go back “home,” but found that her parents had moved away. She spent the next couple of years trying to search for them, but then realized that they were probably dead by now due to how much time had passed.
After this short bit of back-story, Megumi convinces the newly arisen dad (of Akira and Kaori) to attack his family. Although the dad is shocked to even think of attacking his own family, he eventually ends up biting his wife when he discovers how scared of him she is.
The next morning, Akira and Kaori are shocked to learn that their mom has been bitten. Thinking that it’s also the work of Megumi (which it kind of is, though indirectly), the pair decide to take matters into their own hands; with Kaori making stakes and Akira going out to buy amulets. En route, Akira hears that a supposedly dead villager has moved into a recently vacated house and realizes right away that the man is a shiki. Running back home to get some stakes, Akira decides to kill his first shiki.
Meanwhile, the village elders are still busy planning for the festival, while Yuuki and Ozaki discuss some plans in secret. Yuuki acknowledges that when all the shiki are wiped out, he will willingly die too. As he walks away, it’s shown that sunlight has absolutely no effect on him despite being a shiki…
Back with Akira; Akira successfully locates the shiki but gets intervened by Tatsumi before he can do anything. It’s implied that Akira gets knocked out, and when he comes to, he’s tied to a pole and it’s almost night. As Akira struggles to get free, the shiki he attempted to kill before wakes up, and looks at him hungrily…
As Muroi is walking around one night, he happens to meet Toru, who tells Muroi that he feels bad for having killed his friend, Yuuki. This conversation causes Muroi to remember Sunako’s words to him in the church (about…ten episodes ago?). The next day, Muroi is shocked to discover that his aging father has somehow disappeared from the temple. It’s only then that Muroi’s able to read his dad’s letter to the Kirishikis, in which his father asks them to end his life.
At the Ozaki clinic, even the nurses are now aware that more and more people are going to the Ebuchi clinic (run by shikis) instead of theirs. Ritsu is also aware that shikis are probably the cause of the continuing “epidemic,” but decides it’s too silly an idea to disclose to Doctor Ozaki.
Back at the temple, Muroi is still mulling over his father’s letter when he’s called out by Kaori, who looks somewhat mentally unstable. Kaori asks Muroi for a posthumous name, because she’s sure that she is the next in line to be killed by Megumi. Once night falls, Muroi decides to go the Kirishiki’s mansion.
Around this time, Ritsu gets an urgent call from Kiyomi, a fellow nurse. Kiyomi manages to say that she’s being held hostage in her own home right before the line goes dead. Ritsu calls up Ozaki to tell him what she’s doing, but hangs up before she can hear Ozaki warning her not to go. Ritsu arrives at Kiyomi’s house (with the help of her dog) but is unfortunately too late and ends up seeing Kiyomi being kidnapped in a giant moving truck. Promptly after this, she gets bitten and is found by Ozaki, who feels that it is his fault for not being able to protect Ritsu.
When Ozaki returns to the clinic (after having dropped Ritsu off at her own house), he’s greeted by Chizuru, Sunako’s “mom.” As he attempts to kill her with a pre-made stake, the stake gets obliterated by a sniped shot from Seishirou, who’s revealed to be a human husband of Chizuru. After a short chat between Ozaki and Chizuru, Ozaki is promptly bitten.
With the anime quickly nearing its end, the plot is progressing much faster—in more ways than one. In these two episodes, it’s now really noticeable that the anime is cramming in more chapters into each episode. They’re also moving things around too; like the Sunako back-story actually should have happened earlier, among other things. Fortunately, it’s done well enough that everything fits nicely at least; and honestly, the Shiki manga is just as confusing so I don’t really want to go to the trouble of being really nit-picky.
But as the anime is cramming in so many chapters, they’re cutting quite a bit of stuff out, and changing a few of the characters’ circumstances. The time when Ozaki is bitten is actually his SECOND one-on-one meeting with Chizuru. The first time, he’s able to ward her off with some religious symbols, causing her to bring her husband Seishirou the next time she meets Ozaki. Also, the meeting between Muroi and Toru didn’t happen (to my knowledge) in the manga. There are probably tons of other changes too, but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. (But rest assured, all the deaths here happened in the manga, too; so the anime isn’t just killing off characters for kicks.)
Seeing as how they’re rushing NOW, I kind of wished the first few episodes of this series had covered more ground. Looking back on them, there were some episodes where a bit more plot could have been stuffed in, if only to avoid the “OH NOES, WE ONLY HAVE A FEW EPISODES LEFT, LET’S TRY TO CRAM AS MUCH IN AS WE CAN” syndrome.
In the end, though; I’ll still be okay with it if the anime ends well enough. I don’t care whether the ending is happy or sad; I just want it to be pulled off in a way that doesn’t feel completely cheap.
Anyway, on to things more concerning these two episodes. The animation, BGM, etc. is still the same as usual; but at least it hasn’t deteriorated. And there’s a healthy dose of PLOT too, though not too much action… yet. That’ll probably change in the next few episodes, if the latest manga scanlations are any indication…