屍鬼 (Shiki):Introduction To A Meditative Anime Masterpiece Through Music

in The City of Neoxian3 months ago (edited)

There is a small story about the writing of this post. It all began with a YouTube recommendation. I was browsing and I came across a compilation of music from 屍鬼 which is one of those 10/10 masterpieces for me. I saw it dew years after its release and I became easily mesmerized by it. The music as phenomenal and coveys what the story feels like extremely well. I thought I would make this into my first anime recommendation done through sharing some of the music. Here is that music collection:

  • Music was composed by Yasuharu Takanashi
  • Anime series was directed by Tetsurō Amino
  • Produced by Ai Abe, Takamitsu Inoue, Noriko Ozaki, Hideo Isono
  • Writen by Kenji Sugihara
  • The novel series was written by Fuyumi Ono and manga was ilustrated by Ryu Fujisaki
  • The author is married to Yukito Ayatsuji who is another phenomenal author (He wrote "Another")

The Final Anime Series of Studio Daume

Daume Co.,Ltd. was founded in 1986. They mad many anime. But in 2010 they made their last work which is Shiki which is a masterpiece. The anime was 22 episodes. An year later two more episodes came out (episode 20.5 and episode 21.5) which further expanded what happened in the later parts of the story. If you worked on Studio Daume or know someone who did, please let it be known that Daume went out with a bang that is unique and still without a rel imitator to this date as far as I know.

Few YouTube Reviews/Comments/Discussions (Heavy Spoilers Included)



Legatus Sedricillius

the way I see it, the Shiki are cursed to have a second chance at life but must stab their own humanity in the back in order to exist. a clash, paradox of human nature. the animal sense to survive, clashing with the human ethics and morality that make up such a vast element of what it means to be human. the humans, meanwhile face the same, living in a world where they must turn on those they loved in order to prevent further pain and suffering. they become brutal, a wolf and her cubs cornered by what the wolf used to think was her mate, they fight, their desire for survival driving them to vanquish the other, but once doing so, can only grieve as they realize that their souls have been shredded in the process.

the special cruelty of it is that a Shiki seems to need about 1/8 of a human's total blood quantity to survive on a mere daily basis. therefore, it is impossible for a Shiki and a human to coexist peacefully, (as seen by Tohru and poor natsuno) as the Shiki can only look on in despair as it's fellow human is slowly drained and ultimately dies. it also seem that this is also the minimum. we see at the start of the show that a single woman cannot live with two men, imagine forcing yourself to starve merely so those around you remain barely alive.

but as to my conclusion, the Shiki MUST be exterminated. it's cruel, it's obvious to see how much they suffer and how one feels compassion, but what it boils down to, is a prey vs predator scenario. the prey can live fine without the predator, but the predator needs to kill its prey in order to live. Humanity has clawed it's way to the top of the Homo family, it's clawed it's way to the top of the food chain, and we have developed societies and civilizations to protect ourselves. the moment a force of nature in the form of another species rises to contend with us, and cannot peacefully co-exist, then humanity must eliminate the threat, or in other words, the wolf must strike down the hyena or it will live in a system where the hyena takes more and more of her cubs, before the wolf's family is doomed. It's cruel, it's harsh, especially since the Shiki used to be human. if it weren't the case, then humanity would curse itself to eons of mental torture as they struggle in a world where loved ones rise and strike down former family. the threat must be eliminated, the pain must be endured so that this demonic situation can never plague humanity again. the dead remain dead and do not die prematurely, and no one is forced to live through the mental hell of being a Shiki. The humans were right in eliminating the Shiki, as the doctor realized. it was tearful, heinous work, but it ensured their own survival over an enemy that should never have been, it ensured that the threat did not spread, and it ensured the following generations and the survivors would be able to return to a peaceful society.

but why humanity and not the Shiki?
simple. a world of humans is able to exist, a world of rotting corpses and Shiki could not. unless the Shiki started farming humans and forcing them to reproduce at excessive rates, and considering how multitudes of the food would become Shiki, and therefore demand a greater amount of human livestock, it's a naturally self-destructive system. inevitably, the Shiki will die off, surrounded by corpses dried of blood. humanity at least has a chance. even more so, you'd be turning hundreds of millions of years of family mentality wrought about by evolution on its head. imagine a world were you were born on a human farm, raised for your blood, and are ultimately served up to your parents, grandparents, strangers who look exactly like you, who your very DNA is told to recognize as friendly, as an ally. imagine a world where you have to look at every elder in the same way as a crocodile, a lion, a shark, hungry for your flesh. it screams of insanity. a mothers love would be tested at every meal, social, community ties would be snapped every day.

but, I also cannot disregard some elements. ultimately, all the Shiki must be exterminated, but I see the Shiki split into two categories. the ones who adapt, detach themselves from humanity and become hunters, losing their humanity (although plagued by it) like Sunako, Nao, Tatsumi and the traitorous Seishin monk. and those who remain steadfast to their humanity, refuse to become an enemy of those they love and starve to death/take out the other category with them. like Tohru (eventually), Ritsuko and Natsuno. those trios have my respect and my allegiance. Tohru was a really interesting case, a broken boy torn between his humanity and his corrupted primal instinct. he killed, he took down Natsuno, but ultimately, the humanity won out and he finally got that eternal date with Ritsuko he always wanted. he is seen in my books as an enemy that has dealt pain but took himself out before he could do further harm.

the Villagers, also, dealt appropriately. they extracted revenge and eliminated the cause of what had robbed them of their family, and then had to put down the rest. in a truly horrific situation of father killing son, father killing daughter, sister killing brother that's why the doctor and the tanky grandfather have my respect. they had to go through mental torture in order to save the remaining ones they loved. the doctor killed his wife to find out how to kill the enemy, and the father had to kill his own son, and other villagers so that they could never harm any others. in some cases, I felt the death some characters deserved was just. others, like the collateral damage of Seishin's family, was against my moral compass, but in this case, it's understandable to see why what was done was done. they had to eliminate the threat, and if even one got away, then everything could start over again, they couldn't afford to take chances. Thus, they were under pressure, and although regrettable, the misjudged actions of killing wounded humans and the monks family were understandable and were outweighed by the situation at hand. both sides had to tear their humanity to shreds, and humanity had to do what it had to do, and the Shiki suffered and were eliminated in order to ensure their unwilling reign of horror was brought to an end.

On Sunako's quote: "I think death is equally terrible for everyone. Young people, old people, the good, the bad; it's always the same. It's rather fair in its treatment. There's no such thing as a particularly terrible death, that's why it's frightening. Your behavior and age, your personality, your wealth, beauty, your personal beliefs; all the things that add up to make us who we are, they only matter while we're alive. Death makes every last one of them null and void. So any death is terrible."
-yeah duh,
but, the way you die is also very important. the last moments of your life, that conclusion to your finite presence on this world, is critical. a child born into a world of pain and suffering for months before death is way worse then a 92-year-old man passing peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. the baby was blessed with life, and the cruel lottery of life dealt her with a sickening one. in the grand scheme of thing, Sunako is right, but when drawn into the context of humanity, and human life, it becomes crucial how and when we die. death is the ultimate leveler, it comes to us all. (until someone invents either biological or digital nervous system replication so the consciousness can be transferred to another state. {a bit like plugging in a USB and transferring (not backing up, to avioid that whole "is it the same ship if you replace every pla....) your hard drive to another computer [don't get your hopes up, might never happen]}).
a bit boggoling, sorry :)
have a merry long life everyone!

it's such a facinating story, and anime has truly bestowed us a philisophical delight in this one.
god i love this show.

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Naphthylamin

if you think it another way humans are for shikis like animals to humans: they hunt humans like humans hunted animals before. If you dont wanna die then you have to adapt fast and be able to live as a shiki. Those, who were able to leave their past as a human-being behind had great chances for survival best example Megumi Shimizu: I liked her, just because for her adaptability for her unusual situation, unlike a lot of other shikis, who couldnt do that. (if she wouldnt have been killed the most dumb way possible ... Natsuno ruined her indirectly even though he had not much to do with her besides starting the witchhunt with the doctor so its just ... love for the wrong guy? you could philosophize about that too if you want) Now if you think about it the Shikis had their own little society, rules, hierarchy etc. Would you think them as animals just because they drink blood to survive? If yes then what about humans? They breed animals just to eat them because he needs to eat to survive, there is almost no diffrence between human-animal relationship and a shiki-human relationship. If you humans can take the right to be above other lifeforms, then why not the shiki? (if they werent been exterminated beforehand) Humans are still animals deep within everything else is just a lie, a facade for the proud little weak being himself because he doesnt want to be compared to lower lifeforms. (Im Sorry english isnt exactly my thing)



AkritiRajput

This anime is so philosophical it has such deep meaning to it. It irritated me in the beginning as it was slow but when the story built up I started questioning my own thinking honestly made me question morality. Even now when I listen to the soundtrack I can track back to those emotions and no doubt i have tears in my eyes. This is one of the very few animes that have an outstanding soundtrack which will engross u more into the show and if you are a fan of instrumentals and anime osts believe me you will save these tracks in your heart even before your mp3! So if you are a kind of person who likes thinking and questioning and who likes mystery I would recommend this anime strongly. it is sadly not looked very well upon by the anime community but such shows rarely come.

Reply by ThoughtfulLuis: +akritithegreat I clicked on this video then decided to pause it and watch the anime. So I did just that and not one tear was shed, then I came back to this video and I felt a rush of emotion and my eyes became teary. I agree with your opinion and how powerful this soundtrack is. In the end I didn't really cry because you reminded me that we aren't really sure where we stand(morality), so I realized that there was no need to become upset over something I don't know.

Above is Why This Post Exist

This are but a small preview of the community of 屍鬼 lovers. All these comments are from a single a music compilation. I feel the same passion about the series. The latter parts of the story deals with the aftermath of the revelation of the mystery, horror aspect. I will present you the personal story from a fan to illustrate the beauty of Shiki.



Seijatachi

I was talking to my friend because she loves anime like this, but she didn't know whether or not to watch it because of its art style. So I said:
"If your friend became a monster and you was allowed to, would you kill her?"
With a confused look she replied "I don't know."
I then said "Once you watch this anime you will know the answer."
She watched it. And her answer?
"What if we was both monsters?"

One More Quote

“Death is terrible for anyone. Young or old, good or evil, it’s all the same. Death is impartial. There is no especially terrible death. That’s why death is so fearsome. Your deeds, your age, your personality, your wealth, your beauty: they are all meaningless in the face of death.” - Sunako Kirishiki

Shiki isn't exactly horror. It's not about vampires or demons. Shiki is a meditation. Shiki is an invitation. Shiki will take you to place; places worth visiting. It's not fun. It's not disturbing. It's not just beyond black & white; it's not even grey. What you feel listing to the music might as well be what Shiki is about. It's a lonely place you can visit alone or with friend. 屍鬼 si an anime to transform you.

Posted via neoxian.city | The City of Neoxian

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There is an anime community I created here on Hive called 'The Anime Realm', and I would love to see you over there. It's not to big right now, Anime Community here on Hive is a bit small, but I'd like to see you over there all the same, this was enjoyable to read.

PeakD Front-End: https://peakd.com/c/hive-158489/created
hive.blog Front-End: https://hive.blog/trending/hive-158489