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Weskalia's Corpse Demon Tv Review

Corpse Demon

Corpse Demon tv Review

Story & Characters

Just when you think there haven't been any good horror anime lately then what Noitamina brings you, a fantasy tale takes place in a remote village where the fear of an epidemic have terrorized this isolated backwater countryside.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Here's the plot so far: Sotoba is a village with about 1300 residents, don't take it as your typical out-of-nowhere village, its old custom along with extremely stubborn townspeople can really tick you off if you lived there. These folks are so stubborn that even when a few outlying citizens start dying, no one really pays it much mind; not until the death rates become higher after an odd family moved into the European-styled castle on the hill above town. Only a few people take this epidemic theory seriously, among them are Yuuki Natsuno, a cold and aloof teenage boy, and the local doctor Ozaki Toshio. These two men begin investigating, eventually find out these incidents are the works of an undead species called Shiki, who have been stalking the villagers at night and turning Sotoba into their breeding-ground.

Okay, now it's getting a little silly...

First of all, anyone could recognize this is a vampire show, but not until much later that the vampire characters make their appearances. Shiki's vampires are a silent plague: deadly and indiscriminate but also invisible. For the show's first half there's nothing more than a series of unexplained deaths and investigation into the cause of the incident (think of it as the narrative equivalent of Bram Stoker's Dracula). Starting from episode eighteen onwards it got very satisfying because IT'S MONSTER EXTERMINATING TIME! However, it's because of this type of storytelling, the last episodes ended like a rush with no proper ending.

For a series takes place in a small town, Shiki has a large cast, but not very memorable, most of them only appear once and die anyway. The vast was far too big, leading many characters to only have one distinctive personality trait. Natsuno is a smug kid who is close to one of the first victims (sort of) and takes part in the investigation only for survival. Ozaki is obviously the "Van Helsing" of the series, a doctor trying to get to the bottom of things without getting himself and his closed ones killed. The main antagonist Sunako, on the other hand, may look like a dangerous, bossy individual at first then what the hell have they turned her into: a typical "God has forsaken me" crybaby who helplessly watches as death comes near. They are both vampire progenitor, but Dracula can put much more of a fight than this oujo-chan.

While I'm here I might as mention the other characters. The villagers don't play much of a part until the extermination, they've thrown away their stupidity, stubbornness and selfishness to participate in creating more bloodbaths. However, Shiki are poorly-portrayed vampires. Tatsumi is probably the only intelligent fighter here, while the rest only depend on their blood-sucking and hypnotizing abilities. Seriously, THEY ARE VAMPIRES, at least give them some bit of their folklore counterparts supernatural abilities like super-strength or the ability to shapeshift. The characters of Shiki can be derived from the "survival of the fittest" theory with the vampires are the monsters in the show's first half, the humans are the monsters in its second.

Rating: 6

Art

Ultimately, Shiki's visual can seem a little messy. Its character designs and costumes are frankly bizarre, many of these have hairdos that resemble brain-sucking extraterrestrial organisms (and don't forget the beard). Among the villagers, Megumi seems to be the only one with modern look, while the rest are plain-looking farmers to increase their stubbornness. The undead are not much appealing but well-visualized, anyone can recognize who's among the living by the pale skins, deadly eyes and spooky appearance unless you're as ignorant as the Sotoba's residents. Notably, only Sunako and Chizuru's eyes are pitch black. The animation is less than clean and far from perfection, but still enough to give the audience a feel of damnation, dangers lurking around.

Rating: 7

Sound

With its large cast, Shiki requires the same thing to the seiyuus. Too many that it's unfocused to see who's good. Notably, Ozaki's seiyuu did a good job performing a determined, strict doctor; rookie Yuuki Aoi once again took the role of another vampire loli, bringing the character back to life as both a bossy rich girl and a weak-willed crybaby.

The music doesn't support the show so much as haunt it, while the first two themes are chilly enough to create a fitting atmosphere, the other two seem uneven to support the all the bloodbaths, the killings in the second half. They would work well in psychological, sci-fi anime. And this show HAS Gackt, the producers could have let him composed the music. A better fit for the series is hard to imagine.

Rating: 7

Presentation

What makes Shiki a good but not sufficient series is the execution, literally the time jump. There's nothing wrong with that but it IS because of this method that by the epilogue, it's overloaded with plot holes: we all know what happened to the exorcist hag, but we like to see her last moments or why no one cares about her missing; according to Tatsumi, there are four jinrou, so what happened to the fourth?; the poor Tanaka family, but the epilogue never addressed how Akira survived; etc. The ending SERIOUSLY lacks a sense of closure, but since Shiki was based on the light novel and manga, I suppose those two are more detailed.

Another problem is the horror. At one point, I was hoping Shiki wouldn't make the same stumble like Higurashi that is both series were pretty creepy at first then after we knew the truth behind the mysteries, it's not scary at all. Every horror scene became a predictably vivid image. The "horror" of Shiki is probably those geysers of blood they shown near the end. I have to agree with Ringu's author quote about this part, "I don't like blood because it kills imagination." and Shiki technically did.

Shiki could have been great if it wasn't for because of its poor execution and lack of details. In my case, the series gradually made me lost interest. Unless if you've ran out of horrors to watch, then this will work just fine.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 6
Characters: 6
Art: 7
Animation: 8
Voice: 7
Music: 6
Overall: 6.25

Good:
+Atmospheric, inventive and deeply creepy; manages to make vampires frightening again.
Bad:
+End of a good series that still has plenty left to tell.
+Story telling, lack of horror, not everyone is going to enjoy these things.
+Uneven music score.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.33 (average)

Reviewed by Weskalia, Feb 09, 2011

Comments

  1. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Feb 25, 2011

    It sounds like I should of stuck around a bit longer. I had stopped watching the series roughly half way through despite really enjoying the artistic style and the way the story was told because simply speaking, I got bored of it. Perhaps I'll have to consider finishing it up sometime.

    Yet again, another stellar review, Weskalia!

  2. SchRita Mar 20, 2011

    Thanks for the compact review! Honestly, I couldn't really finish it either.

  3. charmchester Sep 06, 2013

    Honestly, I don't agree. Then again, it has been three years since you wrote this review.
    Shiki is in my opinion a purely psychological anime framed within a horror theme.

    Vampires in Shiki are in essence not good-willed supernatural creatures, willingly to cooperate and peacefully live with their preys.
    Looking back at previously vampire animes such as Vampire Knight, Rosario+Vampire etc, Shiki was fundamentally different during that time.
    I mean, they needed to be invited in order to enter someone house and are frightened by religious stuff. How is that not taking the folklore concept to the roots? As you said, vampirism is in this case a disease, NONE of them are pureblooded not even Sunako. So WHY would that make them more powerfull except their fangs and hypnotism? I do have to mention that they have increased movement and speed (jinrou apart) shown in the last or second last episode (I don't quite remember which one).

    As for the plotholes; I believe some of them are quite suggestable.
    Akira was saved by Natsuno and he brought him and Kaori to the hospital next town. Natsuno just acted indifferent to Tatsumi when asked about it.
    That old hag Ikumi was lured by one of the vampires by saying "I believe you Ikumi-san! Please help my family" and killed thereafter. Seeming there were a lot of deaths during that time, her absence went unnoticed.

    I have to admit the ending didn't please me, especially because no side has won. But that is perhaps the sad truth of war.
    The lack of closure did leave quite a few people guessing for a second season. It never came, but I'm sure it wouldn't be as interesting as the first.

    But yet again, this is my opinion and I wanted to share it for those who, like me, stumbled across this review and are willing to take a second look on Shiki. There is just more behind the horror and blood-gushing scenes.

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