*Because I felt the other review for this anime was incomplete and doesn't really give you an idea about how great this show is.
Official Title: Shiki
Synonym: Corpse Demon
Genre: horror, tragedy, seinen
Number of episodes: 22 [+2 specials]
Original Story: Ono Fuyumi [same author as Juuni Kokki and Ghost Hunt]
Animation Work: Daume
Subbed (eng) : I would recomand Umee [for the HQ releases with great translation]. Other groups that subbed this: TakaFansubs, Commie, Coalgirls [releasing Blue-Ray]. Only Umee and Coalgirls released the specials as well.
Description [taken from AniDB]: Sotobamura is a small village with around 1300 inhabitants. It is a village which is connected to not even a single highway. An isolated village in which old customs, such as the burial of the dead, are still practiced.
One day, the corpses of 3 people are found. Although Ozaki Toshio, the village's lone doctor, feels uncertain, he treats the deaths as normal occurrences. However, in the days following, the villagers die one after the other.
Is this mere coincidence, an epidemic, or something else entirely?
At first glange you might just want to say: another vampire story, another Anne Rice wannabe? Well, no, Shiki is an original adaptation of the vampire theme and the best parts are not developed through the effective plot, but using the character's struggles and believes. The story is there to help the characters develop. It has a slow peace at first, a creepy atmosphere the entire time and it's at some point predictable, but the normal course of things is clear: life, death and then life again.
Call me weird, but I enjoyed the art all the way: colored, yet still dark. The creepy eyes of the shiki were a plus as well. The lines between the extravagant vampires that felt like everything they did was allowed because they were special and the modesty of the villagers was very clear made through clothing. I loved Megumi's clothes and her art stile overall.
I don't think there could be any other fitting sound better that the one it has. I didn't enjoy the opening, but the ending was pure love for me. Gekka Reijin from Buck-Tick gave you that dark feeling the anime has all through the episode and that idea of desperation the characters go through. The OST was also great. the creepy "la, la, la" song that played in the background every time a shiki speared really gave me the chills.
Some of them seem to be simple plain characters, stereotypes of normal human beings, but you'll see that in shiki everyone pays a very important role to extract and explore the most darken side of human being and how their human instinct survival doesn't make them any different from whiled animals determined to protect their territory. The feelings I had for them were mixed between hated towards the shiki and then feeling sad for them. As for the humans, I felt sad for them at first and then got disgusted by all their actions when they started to hunt the shiki. They becomes less and less human with every single new episode. In the end you can ask yourself who are the real demons in this series.
I'll talk a little about Natsuno, one of the few characters I liked from the beginning to the ending. He's smart and noble and in the end the only hero in this anime. At the beginning he seemed a little full of himself, being from the city and all, not accepting Megumi's feelings, but I do admit the girl was a little creepy with the stalking thing. Anyway, he wone my love during the series and the only one that made me share a few drops of tears. Oh, I also cried a little for Tohru and Ritsuko [some of the few that had the strength to keep their human soul].
Although the story might seem to move slow at the beginning it's actually very well told and developed. Predictable or not I enjoyed this show all the way. Even now while I'm watching the specials I'm amazed how many mixed and deep feelings can this show make me have. If you enjoy psychological animes with a strong touch of drama than this one's for you ^^.
Humanity is a luxury that only the rich and healthy can afford? This show makes me feel that way. A human being struggling to survive will lost "it's" humanity just like shiki lost theirs when they became hunters. And yet, we see that it's actually everyone's choice and you can remain whatever you want, but with the price of your life. The sades part is that this show doesn't lie. it explores and develops the dark side of human nature very well.
Download : Licensed, no dl links allowed [Tank]
Thank you for reading! ^^