Reasons why I love "Shiki"
...aka a "small" fangirl's rant on her favourite series :)
If you ever have a doubtful pleasure to talk to me, you can probably notice that if we start discussing anime, I just can't avoid talking about "Shiki". It doesn't even depend on me anymore; it's just that I've spent too much time thinking about it that I can't stop it anymore. I really love Sotoba and even though I know "Shiki" has flaws (and some are pretty serious), I don't really care. And why is that?
- The music. Seriously, I do consider Yuki Kajiura a genius and I really love anything she composes, but even she can't beat the masterpiece "Shiki" soundtrack is. It perfectly fits the anime and makes it even gloomier. You won't find happy or upbeat tracks here... probably since there's no happiness in "Shiki".
Of course I can't forget the amazing openings and endings, too. To be honest, at first I didn't really appreciate them. The first opening, "Kuchizuke" by BUCK-TICK, is cool. Really, just cool - I don't know any better words to describe this song. When I first heard it, I thought it didn't fit "Shiki" - but after some time passed, I got used to it, and - even later - I started loving it. I still haven't forgotten about it - even now, I often put this song on repeat and I can listen to it for long hours. The first ending, "Walk no Yakusoku" by nangi, isn't my favourite though. I just can't get myself to like it, but I've heard people say it's a good song, so maybe it's just a thing of gusto.
Later in the series we can hear a next set of songs. The first opening, "Calendula Requiem" by kanon x kanon, is just flawless. This is probably the most cheerful song you're going to hear in "Shiki". The vocals are rather unique - you can like them or not - but I'm really loving the hint of melancholy in Kanon's singing. The last song we have here is "Gekka Reijin", an another creation by BUCK-TICK. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but BUCK-TICK is one of my favourite bands. When I first heard them in "Shiki", I wasn't too keen on them, but their songns grown on me and now I'm a big fan. I think that most of their pieces fit this anime perfectly (especially the darker ones)... and so does "Gekka Reijin". It's a rather toned-down, mournful songs. If you care enough to check out the meaning of the lyrics, you can see that some of them could have been relating to the story of Shiki - the first verse is a perfect description of our undead ones. Also, the part about "never ending dream"... do you really need any explanation?
- The characters. You could have liked them or you could have not, but you can't deny they were an fascinating bunch. We have Megumi, who complains about the villagers not being sophisticated enough, yet she herself dreams of something completely unreachable and impossible. We have Natsuno, who may seem like an angsty teacher, but in the end - wasn't he right? Wouldn't have it been better if his family didn't move to Sotoba? We also have an another pair of complete opposites - Toshio Ozaki, who sees everything in black and white and prefers acting to thinking, and Seishin Muroi, who'd rather wait and think everything over... because you can't just label people and decide whether they're good or not.
The creation of the bad guys, aka the Shiki, is rather entertaining too. Fuyumi Ono wasn't trying to make them look less scary; they're simply demons, walking corpses who must kill people to keep on living, there's no shallowing.
- The art - and especially the character's designs - is rather... let's say... unusual. I just couldn't have stop wondering if Toshio's ever brushed his hair. His wife wasn't better, too... how the hell did she make that thing on her head? If you prefer series where all of the characters look the same, then you probably won't appreciate the art in "Shiki"-- but if you're open to new experiences, there's always a possibility you may enjoy it.
- The character and plot development. Seriously, I don't want to spoil any possible readers who haven't seen "Shiki" yet, but you really can't complain about it. In the beginning, we see the bad, inhuman creatures who kill their whole families, just because they long for food - but after some time passes, people themselves don't mind murdering someone who used to be their child, father, sister... just because they have to protect themselves. We experience amazing psychological changes in their minds, and in the end we just can't help but wonder... is it just the Shiki that were bloodthirsty?
I really doubt anyone's read my rant, but if you did - please don't leave now! Feel free to share your opinions on "Shiki", no matter if they're negative or positive :) I've held a discussion panel on "Shiki" on an anime convention already once, but I'm still thirsty... for opinions of course! In the end, I have to stay on the "good" side in order not to mess with Toshio :)
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