I’ve had my share of vampire stories. I didn’t know this anime was about those overrated creatures when I started it, and if I had, I had probably not given this series a chance. But in the end I’m happy I did, because finally someone realized that it was time to give the vampires back their original form, i.e. scary and thirsty for blood.

Plot:
In a remote village in Japan mysterious events occur. The suspicious deaths of a lot of people draw the attention of a young doctor, who wants to know what exactly is going on. At the same time, a young boy named Natsuno discovers the real cause of these deaths, but knowing the cause doesn’t ultimately mean that those deaths can be avoided…

22 episodes
Drama, horror

The story is far from original (yes, admit it, as soon as you hear vampires, you think ‘Twilight’….), but it’s executed in an unconventional way. As a matter of fact, I get the feeling that this anime goes back to the roots of the vampire stories. We get to see how the village slowly changes, and how the main characters deal with the fact that more and more people are dying. Although some elements were very predictable (already from the beginning you know, or at least have a clue of, what’s going on), I liked the suspense in this show. I was watching one episode after another in order to know more about what was going on.

You definitely have to get used to the art. This anime gets the first prize in the category ‘largest number of weird hairstyles in one anime’. And I’m not exaggerating: tons of characters has a hair style that no one would be able to have in real life (unless you have a wig or use lots and lots of hair gel, that is). Also, green or pink hair is not seen as something abnormal. But apart from that it’s not too bad: after a while even the hair of most characters didn’t seem so strange anymore. The pastel colours that were used sometimes seemed out of place, as a darker and more neutral colour scheme might have been better for an anime like this one, but once you have gotten used to it, the colours gave the anime an original touch and looks that you won’t easily find among other anime of this genre.

I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by the characters. Usually they can be defined by means of stereotypes (which isn’t a good thing, really…). Also, I got the feeling that some of the characters were merely introduced so that they could die later on, often even in the same episode that they were introduced. Nothing was told about them but their name. The main characters are given more background, though; these characters also develop throughout the show. But even these characters could have used some more depth. I found the doctor to be the most interesting character, because he struggles a lot with moral issues and personal conflicts.

The music blends in very nicely. The background music often reflects the eeriness of the anime; the high voice of a woman singing immediately makes you feel that something bad is going to happen. The main theme is very recognizable. Nice to know: the composer of the Shiki soundtrack is also the composer of the Fairy Tail soundtrack. I only found out for sure after having looked it up, but I knew I had heard that woman’s singing in Fairy Tail before somewhere!

I enjoyed watching it, especially because it strays away from the ‘horror genre’ with vampires that seems to be popular now. An important warning is that you have to be able to stand blood and gore. There is also a lot of violence in this series (what do you want – the only way to kill a vampire is to put a stack through their hearts). If you are looking for something unusual and creative (mainly in terms of art, that is), then you might like this anime.

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