Second-to-last episode of Shiki ahoy.
The villagers have become desensitized to the violence around them. In fact, they’ve become so desensitized that killing Shiki doesn’t even faze them, and even the women are chatting and laughing like there’s nothing unusual about being splattered by blood or burying mounds upon mounds of bodies.
Back at the mansion, Sunako is becoming more and more inconsolable as she is gripped by the constant fear that she will be next. Tatsumi, however, vows that he will protect her no matter what. To comfort her a little, Muroi tells Sunako why he tried to kill himself once, while also telling her the ending to his story. (Which I won’t even try to summarize here because it will lessen the impact.)
Meanwhile, while it is still dark, Yoshie leads a small group of Shiki to try and make a last stand against the humans. They bite as many humans as they can and hypnotize them into sabotaging the humans’ efforts. For one particular victim, Yoshie hypnotizes him into killing Ozaki. As dawn approaches, Yoshie tries to attack more humans on her own, but is killed by Seishirou, who had been bitten and hypnotized by Yuuki.
During this time, Yasuyo somehow amazingly survives despite all odds AND being chased by a pack of Seishirou’s dogs. She immediately goes to Ozaki’s stronghold and tells him where the rest of the Shiki are hiding—in Yamairi. However, Yasuyo seems to have second thoughts about this action, after seeing how ruthless the human villagers have become. The men immediately go to Yamairi, and more Shiki are slaughtered, including Toru and Ritsuko. Pretty much all the Shiki have been wiped out now, but Ozaki refuses to stop until ALL are dead.
He remembers two Shiki that are still alive: Tatsumi and Sunako. However, he doesn’t know where they are, until another villager suggests they go check out the mansion again because he thinks there’s probably a basement. And so, Ozaki’s “army” heads back to the mansion. Tatsumi, seeing this, realizes that the villagers have discovered Sunako’s hideout, and so quickly stuffs Sunako in a large suitcase and asks Muroi to escape with her. Tatsumi, on the other hand, has pretty much sacrificed himself to be a decoy.
While most of the villagers have followed after Tatsumi, Muroi takes the chance to drive Sunako and himself to the temple, since that’s the only place he knows of to hide temporarily (as all the exits from the village have been blocked). In his weakened state, Muroi has a hard time carrying Sunako around, but nonetheless manages to hide behind the altar when a few of the villagers spy his car.
The villagers, in their rage, kill Muroi’s mother and some other temple workers when they can’t reveal where Muroi is hiding. Muroi is greatly saddened by this when he finds out, but still continues to try escaping with Sunako. On the way out, he’s not so lucky and gets slashed by one of the villagers, losing even more blood. Even so, he somehow manages to escape into the woods dragging the suitcase with Sunako inside. At the end of his rope, Muroi hides Sunako under a small incline and walks away, hoping to draw the villagers away from her.
The Shiki anime continues to reward people for their patience. This episode, like the last, had great story-telling and there was never a dull moment. Muroi gets most of the spotlight in this episode, though the switching of perspectives to other characters is well done as always.
What I like most about this episode is that it really nails it down just how strong a person Muroi is. Although he may have seemed like a bit of a weak or sissy-ish monk at the beginning of the series, he has managed to escape with Sunako multiple times while suffering blood loss, and even while suffering from a gaping wound. That takes a lot of willpower. It’s pretty much guaranteed by now that Muroi will die, (I mean, I can tell that without even knowing what’s going on in the manga at this point). I just hope that he and Ozaki have one last “confrontation.” It just wouldn’t be right if they didn’t…
It’s also pretty clear by now that the humans will “win” as there are only a handful of Shiki left. However, a steep price has been paid for this victory. The human villagers left in Sotoba are now ruthless and jaded, having no qualms with killing not only Shiki but somewhat innocent villagers who have gotten in their way. They are also full of paranoia now, to boot. Even if the villagers were somehow able to return to their “normal” village life after all this was over, they will never be the same. And a village full of people who are so paranoid and distrusting of each other will not last long. In a way, the human villagers’ transformation to this state is possibly even scarier than the Shikis themselves…
About the episode itself, the animation seemed a little higher than usual. This is probably because this is the next-to-last episode. Before I end this review, however, I want to ask one thing… WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO AKIRA?! He disappeared around… six episodes ago? And he still hasn’t shown up since. I know that there’s a high chance that Yuuki rescued him but… where is he?! I’ve been so caught up in the action that I nearly forgot about him. I hope they resolve this issue in the next episode, because if they don’t there’ll be a gaping plot hole and that would just sort of mar how great the Shiki series has been so far.
Anyway, I should stop here before this becomes a five page essay; so see you next time for the final episode!