To break Shiki in its Part of Story Animation , Sound and Characters is doing diservice to the entity as a whole, it is like missing the forest for the trees .
So I would avoid the redundant exercise and goive you my analysis about the show in a personal way and wuould try to connect with you so you can atleast empathize if not understand my appreciationfor the property.
The Uniqueness that is Shiki
Shiki is a show in a medium which is filled with horrible horror animatio, as horror as a medium strongly relies of resmebling and yet seeming something off and for that you require a series to be as close to human experience as possible, HIgurashi being a rare examnple of doing this right by creating a fluffy atmosphere with the help of fluffy charcters and fooling you into comfort zone of Slice of life and then beating you with a bludgeoned(iterally) , but even that series was not able to carry its horror for a whole season as it had to divide the series in a many loop manner to tackle with the problem, so Shiki as an anime is unique; it pulls of this feat of carying the weight of narrative strong and long while also maintaing an errie stmosphere.
The Series of Exestential Crisis
Now how this series pulls it off ? Obviosly a strong idea of existential crisis, It throws the classic vampires into a real society . As we know vamipre is a creature fan favourite of many writers, what the writer does is putting those vamipre in a isolated ienvironment as opposed to environment where people are in on it , they infest the society like an idea or habit, which at first seems harmless ,but at times becomes compulsive enough that it is bound to destroy you llike an addiction and either you who was originally there die or the addiction die, So in essense they present sHIKI as society which is slowly dying the charcters are living just for the sake of living, but when an invasive species slowly invest it is rank so much so that that the society or order as it is original is about to collapse if the invasive species is not klilled off .It is show which makes us empathesize with humanity of monsters and scare us with monstrosity of humans and not of a single character of empathizing like in modern or classic fiction troupe of monster with a golden heart but this show talks about humanity as a whole , in one of the most haunting scenes is of the ovas whose writing was diturbing enough that they needed to be edited out of the masin telecast sereies but are truly part of a the series and makes it whole.
Flawed Charcter but a Musical Master piece
These are inturn the weakest and strongest link of shiki. As I discused the story is bigger than its charcters and that is why all the characters are flawed even the most morally strong character doctor turns a psycopath with a single minded goal and the depression addict sidekick of priest turns into a morally conflictinng being horrified by human potential of horror in name of saving humanity turns into opposite camp. This inturn is the biggest draw for aversion towrds the series , even a series like Dexter, tries us to view Dexter in an emapthizing way , we are invited to judge this morally complex charcters, that is why for any series the charcters are the SERIES but here it is the opposite . Here charcters (all the main cast) ranges from reprehensible to horrifying there is not a single fully reddeming creature and by the end humans behave like humans and that is horrfying . What you realize by the end is there is nothing worse than a paranoid and complacent humnan , and it is often the later that leads to prior.
What series does to complement the lack is charcter is by reting a equally intresting character design and music , the music of which is simpoly breath taking . I am not a critique of music but the chorous of Epitaph is both haunting and soothing at the sma etime , so much so that it is a clear stand out ,m, but while watching the series you almost forget that it was there. It is till now one of the best OST of an anime and that is something coming from a guy who is comparing this seires music with that of Lost My pieces of Toradora.
The reason I gave this series a lower score is because of many unecessary charcters , that is ruch coming from sombody who just defended it but aas I said I justhatted some charcters not because they were annoying and human , and may be they rubbed me off in some wriong way, which is compliment , but downer for my biased mind .My other gripe topwards the series is the simplicity of its overall narrative , this story is a very interesting as closed village experiment , but I would have liked if there was an additional dimension to it making the show with more layers . By making the whole village isolated , the additional dimension of outer world is eliminated , taing away outer world interaction and more realness to the series . I would have liked this series more had it explored the idea in a more realistic setting.
Shiki is a flawed series for flawed people who want to discover human psyche and mass paranoia in a slow burning setting,but it is not for everyone, I have seen many reviewer say they could have cut the episodes , or focus on one charcter for POV , instead of Multiple POV but as I see it that was never the creator's intents and as I say it is like missing the trees for the Forest. When you realize it is an intellectual piece rather than than an entertainment piece, it is then the beauty of the series shines. Overall this series is a great watch and definitely a unique experience.