In memory of 2010 part 10: Is there even a Line between Humans and Shiki?

Were I to consider the anime on its own, Shiki should really have gone into the previous post too, because it was at least 2 episodes short of seriously challenging the best anime of 2010. That’s including the two filler episodes we’re going to get in the summer. However, I ended up spoiling myself with regards to what happened in the manga and the novel, and the differences in all three mediums forced me to consider what Ono Fuyumi and Fujisaki Ryu may have wanted their readers to consider.


Shiki is, at its core, a story that examines human nature. Without going into details, watching and discussing Shiki each week really made me think about about what we do to individuals and to groups of people. It made me ponder the blessing and curses of both the old and the new, of spirituality and secularism. It had me reflecting on what it means to be human, on what humans desire and need, and how these influence the choices they make.


Which side the right? Which side is wrong? To be honest, I don’t think the show (or Ono Fuyumi-sensei for that matter) really answers that question. With details from the manga and novels in consideration, I was never surprised by the decisions that the various characters made. Maybe you’d disagree, but I feel both Fujisaki-sensei and the anime writers have kept character personalities and motivations as similar as they could to the novels – even the ones who underwent the greatest change in terms of ‘fate’ were, in essence, the same people. And based on who they were, they acted and reacted to the situations they found themselves in.

I’ll go into greater depth when I review the series (and the manga, once that’s done), and probably once I get to read the novels in their entirety. But, whilst Saraiya Goyou was probably my favourite overall, to me, Shiki was definitely the most interesting and thought-provoking series that aired entirely in 2010.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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