Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shiki (Corpse Demon) My Thoughts on Characters


I recently completed Shiki and reviewed it here, but to keep it short, I had to skip a lot in the characters section. So in this article I will present my opinions on the characters and I heavily recommend that you finish the anime before reading because there will be spoilers. I will also emphasize on the choices they made in the final episode and my thoughts on them. Beware though, I might get carried away and use improper language while talking about some characters.


Shiki (corpse demon)
Source:Myanimelist


Shiki’s characters are special because they behave somewhat like real humans do and are highly dynamic with their behavior. They act realistically as individuals and even as a group. Shiki does even better job to present how savage and cruel people can become under tense circumstances and the choices they make are in the end for their own selfish goals.
So lets begin with the show!



Sunako Kirishiki


sunako kirishiki
Source: Shiki Wikia


What a better way to begin than diving into the character of the “Antagonist”. Now everywhere I check, most people hate her because she initiated everything and killed people for her own sake. But I don’t hate her at all, as I can somewhat understand why she acts like she does in the show. But before jumping into that, we need to know what type of girl Sunako is. She is basically a child, but is hundreds of years old. She says some serious stuff, but deep within, she still is a kid. Sunako is no doubt selfish, but she is also caring for her own kind. She didn’t want to live like a vampire, but now she has no choice because she can’t turn back into a human. She has a tragic past as evident from the show and as shown in some episodes, she spent a lot of time searching for her family members.Such events make one lonely, and Sunako even accepts it herself that she indeed was lonely before meeting more of her kind. So you are lonely af, you need a safe place to stay because you are basically unconscious during the day, and people are actually hunting your kind, so what do you do? The most realistic answer would be to go into hiding, but that results in being lonely again. Sunako also needs blood to survive, so she takes the most obvious decision-relocate to a remote place where all the people are like her so she can spend her time in good company amongst people who accept her as she is, a place where she can establish a stronghold to defend against outside intervention and also a place to have continuous supply of food i.e. human blood.
And her plan wasn’t that bad. I also think that people who rise aren't practically dead because they posses both soul and body. Its just that they evolved into something new without losing their memories or their basic character traits. Still, people who were not able to rise died because Sunako was selfish.
In the last episode, it is easily evident that she values her a life a lot and can’t bear the pain of getting pierced by a stake. She even leaves Muroi behind to save her own skin. Is that a bad thing,now a large part of people will say that she just left someone who saved her to die and she was a total b*tch, but I am 100% sure that most of this people would do the same if they were in a similar situation, so her decision was not bad because in the end everyone cares about themselves, even an act of kindness is for our own happiness. Everyone is selfish.
The reason why I am not in the Sunako hate club is because she actually is quite caring. She even got depressed when the Shiki were hunted and killed, although due to some plot holes, there were scenes where she contradicted her own character, but that much margin is acceptable in an anime, because it still is a simulation of human character and not the real thing itself.


Nao Yasumori


nao yasumori
Source: Shiki Wikia

She is the only character in the series that I wasn’t able to completely understand without giving it a serious though for a couple of hours. I mean the only explanation I could come up was that she was a complete nutcase. When she was a human, she was lively and cared a lot about her family and treasured her fulfilling life, but as soon as she turned into a Shiki, she became a murdering lunatic who literally killed her entire family. I understand that she killed her own kids in order to turn them into shiki, in this respect she is no different from Sunako as she too had a tragic past and had to live a lonely life. But, unlike Sunako who had certain sense in her actions, Nao totally acted on impulse until she realized her mistake at the time of her demise. I mean she literally tortured her mother in law to death.
In the last few episodes, we get to see that when she was a human, she was quite happy living with her husband and new family, but after turning into a Shiki, she cared more for herself. Thus we can conclude that she was extremely selfish from the beginning and valued her own needs before anything else. She even tried to save her life by sacrificing her own companions and that is somewhat acceptable. The only thing I like about her is that she was atleast guilty of what she did and wanted to repent for it till the bitter end. But in the end, I hate her.


Chizuru Kirishiki




Before jumping onto the main characters, I want to talk a little about this beauty. Believe it or not, she was actually my favorite character in the series. Now Chizuru doesn’t give two shits about other people or the world. She hunts for fun and likes to live an exciting life. The episode where she goes on a date with the Doc was a good stage to present her character. And it was that episode that actually made her my favorite character in the series. I feel sorry for her brutal death but I think she would have been killed either way.
Now I like her because of her carefree personality, but the actual reason why I admire her is because she actually wanted to mingle and make friends with the villagers, she just wanted to live a normal life where she could gossip like a normal lady and walk on the streets without the fear of being rejected. She missed her old human days when she could roam freely in crowds and could enjoy festivals so the date was a perfect opportunity for her to actually enjoy herself after a very long time. She acted like a normal excited lady and even went as far as to enter a sacred place. Too bad she had to die.


Toshio Ozaki


toshio ozaki
Source: Hero Wikia


Now we come on to the main characters. Toshio or as I call him “Wannabe Helsing” was a character that I actually liked in the beginning but hated to the core by the end of the series. Now a lot of people out there consider him to a hero because he wiped out the Shiki, but to me he is nothing more than an overly obsessed scientist with a twisted personality who didn’t want to lose even if many Shiki and normal people had to loose their lives. He used some questionable methods to get things done and didn’t seem much guilty of doing so. I totally understand that he had to do so because he was driven into a corner. But I think he would have done better if he could put his ego aside and at least listen to what others had to say.
Toshio is just an arrogant self centered dude who looses his mind every time failures come to his doorstep. People say that he was a true doctor because he regretted not saving his patients as evident from first 10 episodes or so, but I fail to see how. Even after Megumi died, he wanted to find the real cause by conducting an autopsy to selfishly assure himself that it was actually not his fault to begin with and was just because the disease was very difficult to diagnose.
The real turning point where I actually grew to hate him has to be the episode where he ruthlessly tortured his wife who had turned into a Shiki by injecting her with stuff like pesticide and Hydrochloric acid while conducting surgical cuts on her body to study about the healing process. He went as far as to hammer a stake in her chest to confirm if it was the proper way to kill the Shiki all while the poor soul cried for mercy.
But even that wasn’t enough and to convince all the villagers, he tricked Chizuru which resulted in her being stoned and staked to death. He then devised plans with the villagers to hunt and kill the Shiki while concealing everything from the outer world.
Now people might argue that the Shiki were the one to start everything and that the poor doctor was just trying to save the village. But as long as I remember he even begged for his life so he could see how all the ignorant villagers die, but one can argue that it was all a part of his plan to trick Chizuru, but I am 100% convinced that his actions were to satisfy his own ego as the ‘poor doctor’ was afraid of losing. For him, the village was nothing more than a bait and the Shiki were his targets, all to bring down the Kirishiki’s and defeat them.
He was merciless, he cared little about people who worked with him for so long, and he only wanted to satisfy himself by eliminating the Shiki. I fail to see how such a person could be termed a hero. He even didn’t care when his mother was brutally murdered.


Natsuno Koide


natsuno koide
Source: fanpop

We finally arrive to the main character of the series. A arrogant wannabe here cool guy scumbag Steve who has a weird fetish for people who are close to him especially if they are blonde young men of his own age. I have never seen a more useless and irritating main character in an anime, he is somewhat a fail MC who would star in a fail Shojou, even Shinji from NGE was 100 times better. Before I go on to present my though about him (I think I already did), let me first list down his basic character traits. Now Natsuno is someone who likes to live alone, he is smart but he hates the village and the people inside it. He was the first person who learnt about the Shiki and wanted to kill them to avenge the death of his close friend or as I see his secret crush-Tooru Mutou. He treated a girl who liked him like she didn’t exist and even treated her like trash after her death, he hated his parents for no reason, and he hated the village just because he had a hard-on for city life. Now he and Ozaki worked together to hunt down the Shiki even if he himself was one of them. He turned his own father into his personal lunatic slave just for convenience. Although he also did some good stuff like saving Akira and Kaomi and taking them away from all the danger. In the last episode, he uses a dynamite stick to kill himself and Tatsumi.

Seriously speaking, if I were him I would be so glad to become a werewolf, I mean I can live like a normal human but would have superhuman strength, exceptionally long lifespan, night vision, ability to control and command people and whatnot. But our here decided to f*ck all that and instead kill all Shiki including his best friend and finally himself just because he thought they don’t deserve to live. I don’t know what he was fighting for, because nobody won in the end, most of the likable characters died and a lot of unlikable got to live.
I don’t remember if it was actually shown in the anime or not but Natsuno also bit Seishirou Kirishiki and ordered him to kill his family members. At first, I was a bit mad but once I though about it, I think it was a clever move by him. Now we the audience get to see both the Shiki and the humans so we end up sympathizing with both of them but Natsuno  only know a few Shiki and for him they were monsters who destroyed his life. He didn’t know either Chizuru or Seishirou and was not aware of their respective pasts so it was easy for him to order Seishirou to do something that some viewers found really disturbing.


Seishin Muroi


seishin muroi


Another character that is hated by about 99% of the people who watched Shiki. He might not be one of my favorites but I still respect what he did and why he did it. Unlike some other people that I mentioned, he didn’t kill or hurt anybody until the last episode, but was bestowed with tremendous hate even before that. Now Seishin was a priest who long ago once tried to kill himself for unknown reasons and later in the show he got himself bit and joined the Shiki and helped Sunako escape by first risking his life and then taking the life of a very popular character,Tomio Ookawa. Before jumping into the last episode, lets first take a look at his actions before the finale.
Now I think the Seishin is the best example of studying how people with suppressed emotions can behave. I think he was was someone who had killed his real self to please others until he met Sunako, who helped him figure out what he really wanted to do in his life. He believed that even the Shiki had the right to live and the villagers hunting and brutally killing them was not the best idea in itself. Considering that the show did a good job in showing that both sides are equally brutal and both of them feel that whatever they are doing is the right thing to do, it makes sense as their individual survival was at stake. I had a feeling that Seishin would somehow end up becoming a Shiki on his own accord, as soon as I saw his first meeting with Sunako.
For Seishin it was an act of freedom, for once he was free to do something that he has decided for himself, it was an act of rebellion to break free from chains that tied him to a world he couldn’t fit in comfortably. Now most people would not agree with my opinion but I still think that Seishin’s decision is the only thing that made him an interesting character.


Tatsumi


tatsumi (shiki)


Tatsumi is the character that I hated at first but grew to like him as the series progressed, just like how I liked Ozaki at first but hated him later. I hope the graph below will help you understand how it all went.

graph

When interacting with others, Tatsumi usually keeps a calm smiling face and always talks with energy, and the best part about his character is that he seldom looses his cool. His initial impression was not all that good, he did all the dirty work and used clever techniques to manipulate the people around him. He also seems like a smart guy as he tends to plan ahead and come up with solutions. But it is later revealed that he deeply cares about Sunako and will do anything to protect her. He quickly became one of my favorites during the later half of the story but I am a bit disappointed that he wasn’t given enough screen time and his character was rushed during the final episodes until his death.


Megumi Shimizu


megumi shimizu


Finally we arrive to the character that half the Shiki fans hate and rest half love. To put it simply, Megumi is arrogant, bitches constantly, is a Yandere, short tempered, irritating girl who thinks very highly of herself and of city people. She dreamt of leaving the village and go to the city to live a new life away from the everyday boredom she encountered in the village. Now the main reason people hate her because she killed her friend’s father just because she though that she was getting closer to Megumi’s wet dream i.e. Natsuno. Now one thing the everyone agrees on is that her hotness level increased by 200% after she became a shiki.
Keeping my perverted thoughts aside, the reason why I included Megumi here is just because of one scene, and that one scene happens to be the scene of her death. I have seen around 130 anime (hentai excluded or it would be around 200) and from all those shows, Megumi’s death was the scene that left a lasting impression on me. Her death was brutal, she was caught escaping the city and was hit and crushed under tractors, until finally her skull was also crushed under a tractor and a stake was smashed through her chest by the people who knew her. The words she said before her death were on same level as that from Holy Text Hakomari. The words she said reached my heart, I mean I was about to drop a tear or two.
In the end, Megumi was the one who wanted to live the most, and I bet that she would have lived a prosperous life of her dreams. But sadly, she was executed by the villagers, but her words will remain immortal. One of the saddest anime deaths for me.
So these are my opinions on some of the characters, I could have included more, but I am a lazy fuck who takes months to write one article.Sorry Winking smile.
Lemme know what you think about em in the comments section.

Original Review>>

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