Shiki (TV) – Episode 4
With this episode, the story officially begins. Technically it began before – but episode 4 finally revealed the most important aspect of the anime and explained the main mystery, which wasn’t a really mystery for the viewer anymore.
Episode started off peacefully, if we close an eye on the usual news of people dying. The son of woman from previous episode (Nao Yasumori) suffered a cardiac arrest, and was taken to the government hospital. His father also had the symptoms of the mysterious illness – although he didn’t have that many emotions, he managed to shred some tears while standing over his struggling son. The doctor instructed to take him to the hospital, but took a blood sample first.
Both were announced dead a few days later, bringing the total death count to 19. Quite much for a village with only 1300 residents, so the doctors decided to gather a meeting and discuss the possible cause (why didn’t they do that sooner?). They reached some far-fetched conclusions, but at least they now had some theories.
The priest once again had a meeting with Sunako. This time he met her in the woods, near a temple. He showed the girl around the building and talked about its builder. He learned why Sunako was outside so late. It appears that she has some illness, which prevents her from going out during the day. Excessive UV light is very harmful to her skin, and therefore she enjoys walking around during the night.
Meanwhile, Natsuno is having even more trouble sleeping due to nightmares. The constant feeling of being watched drives him crazy and he falls asleep even on the bus. Now, however, the visions start taking over his wake life too – on the same bus he fell asleep in, he heard his name and for a moment saw a familiar person sitting some seats to the front. It was Megumi. Blinking brought everything back to normal and the girl was gone – but the emotions remained.
Natsuno asked Tohru for a place to sleep again. Of course his friend agreed, and even prepared a bed where Natsuno could stay whenever he wanted. In exchange, he asked whether Natsuno could come as a backup when Tohru asked the nurse (Ritsuko Kunihiro) out for a date. The answer was positive, and both went happily to sleep.
The nightmares remained even in the new place – two shadowy figures appeared in front of Tohru’s house. One slowly walked inside and up the stairs. By this time, Natsuno was totally awake, but unable to move. He could only watch as Megumi walked towards him, and finally reached the door. She opened it and… It was Tohru’s sister, Aoi. She just wanted help while studying for exams. Disappointed that everybody was asleep, she closed the door and left.
Natsuno calmed down and was about to fall back asleep. Suddenly, the familiar voice called out again. Megumi crawled out from under Tohru’s bed, cracking with every bone in her body and smiled at her crush. She stepped towards him and her expressionless eyes regained a shine. She then turned her head angrily towards Tohru, and said he was interfering with her love – Natsuno spent more time with his friend than her. This gave her a reason to get rid of him – she sat next to him, opened her mouth revealing two sharp fangs and bent over the boy’s neck.
As expected, the sotry is about vampires (disregarding the ‘vampire’ tag in the anime desription). If in the first episode or two, there could have been some doubts, the two bite holes on the hand explained everything for me. However, there’s much more to the story than just vampires. The dead were buried after all, so they couldn’t really rise up from their graves. Therefore, these look like zombie-vampires, or even ghost-vampires! They move according to the guidance of Tatsumi, who is probably also a blood-sucking creature, but a superior one.
What is the role of the Kirishiki family? Are they vampires, or are they some kind of perpetrators? That’s the main question I have about the story right now, and the anime looks promising in regards to answering this. If my own theories are correct, their background story would prove to be interesting.