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SHI KI #1 -- Watch & Learn

A show with a pink-haired sprite shouldn't be this boring.

Maybe I was just in too sour a mood to fully appreciate the simple appeal of SHIKI, but I was so very close to invoking Wolpaw’s Law while watching this. There are a few hints of this maybe doing something provocative and TWIN PEAKS-like within in our beloved anime milieu. (The creepy opening with townsfolk searching for a dead body in the woods and the “time lapse” subtitles being the two hints that seemed the most promising.)

Then, nothing much happens… or, at least, things do happen, but in a terribly disinteresting way. You’ve got to figure that the state of being boring has got to be the worst offense an anime staring a pink haired free spirit could ever commit.

That free spirit gets killed, and her body’s lost in the woods, and the scruffy guy in the promo image is a prime suspect and… and…

And I honestly can’t bring myself to finish describing the rest of what happens. I’d likely fall asleep at the keyboard and leave you lunatics with a long string of nonsensical letters as my nose and eyebrows pressed on random keys.

Listen, you’ve all stuck with me through the highest valleys and the deepest depths of this column. You know I’m not somebody who’ll give up too easily when it comes to discussing an anime here. You know this for a fact. So you know that it’s no glib statement for me to say that I didn't find anything worthwhile to comment upon here.

Somebody watch this episode and write their own review in their blog. Call me a dismissive jerk for not giving a shot, if it makes you happy.

I’m out.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

eldiaxon May 12, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.

It's actually a pretty interesting anime, but it does have a slow start so I don't blame you for being bored by the pilot episode. It does get much better though!

Bigheart711on May 12, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.

The start is slow, but it gets better as you progress, so don't sleep on it just yet (or vampires will devour you).

/attempt at humor

Also, please get rid of the spacing error in the article's title since "Shiki's" name actually doesn't have one.

YotaruVegetaon May 12, 2012 at 8:29 p.m.
Yeah, Shiki is not two words.
 
This will not end well, your experience with Shiki. If you do continue watching this, I have faith that you will be as disappointed as I was with the last third of the series. I slogged through the last of it. It lost me once it got to a certain point.
Supreme Marvelon May 12, 2012 at 10:22 p.m.

has just got me into this. I watched the first episode yesterday. Plan on watching more when I return home today.

sickVisionz moderator on May 12, 2012 at 10:43 p.m.

You love the crappy Rock Lee show but then write off Shiki in a single episode. Your tastes in anime are pretty god awful at the moment.

Superevil225on May 12, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.

I thought this was yaoi.... Apparently not.

Honestly I've heard terrible things about this anime, so I'm probably never going to watch it.

Sonata moderator on May 12, 2012 at 10:56 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: For shame, Tom :P
zaldaron May 13, 2012 at 12:36 a.m.

@sickVisionz: you forget he has a softspot for rather crappy shonen stuff (see his reviews of that ghost show). Can't comment on this one except to say a lot of anime shows start slow and some of those are the best ones. Hanabi Renmei for example starts INCREDIBLY slow and meandering but then goes to some very interesting places that wouldn't have worked without the slow character driven start (much like that other sci-fi show you didn't give a chance actually...)

Still this may very well be bad...not having seen it I can't say. Sickvision giving it a good review though is interesting....

Oh and for an anime with a twin peaks level of crazy...check out when they cry...now that is one fucked up crazy anime..that was also great.

takashichea moderator on May 13, 2012 at 1:37 a.m.

Hey

Looky here, Tom did a Watch and Learn on your favorite series.

Edit:

Nevermind! Don't read this article!!

CrazyCanuckon May 13, 2012 at 4:42 a.m.

I watched the first half of shiki when it first came out but I stopped for reasons I wont get into hear. That said, I'll be re watching it when the dub comes out because I find that shiki gets bogged down by the amount of characters, plot, and exposition in the first couple of episode and not having to read it all I find is much easier.

sotyfan16on May 13, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.

I was disappointed in the first couple episodes of this series as well. But once I went back for a few more episodes (I only made to about ep 10) it got better. Still need to finish. Story is strange but the animation is interesting.

YotaruVegetaon May 13, 2012 at 9:56 a.m.
@CrazyCanuck: The amount of characters and how they are used is definitely what sunk this show in its last act. Just terribly uninteresting. Too long for when I think this show could have ended. 
 
I don't think that I would give up on this show after just one episode, because it's not often I come across a small town story like this, but that's just me.
Rxanaduon May 13, 2012 at 11:32 a.m.
This will be the second show I've watched where a pink-haired pixie is stalking someone (named "Yuuki" in both instances) and may or may not be effective at killing tons of people.
 
I can't tell if I want this to be a trend or not.
tristenkw5on May 14, 2012 at 5:54 p.m.

I can see where Tom is coming from here, though not in regards to this specific anime, but slow-starters in general. I don't blame anyone for quitting an anime that doesn't catch on quick enough, because very rarely does it pay off in a way that makes those episodes appropriate. Most slow starters probably either have a plot that's too convoluted, or the writing has too slow of a pace. There are exceptions of course, like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia had a rather slow start to me that paid off magnificently by episode 3. Another example would be BECK, which I almost gave up on after the first 3 or 4 episodes, but it somehow hooked me until the end, and I'm better for it.

Point is....man. The internet has taken it's toll on Tom judging from the end of this article. It's cool Tom. Your opinion needs not be defended.

Rxanaduon May 14, 2012 at 7:53 p.m.
I just marathoned through this series, and I have to wholeheartedly agree with what Tom originally had to say about this show: not much to write home about.  The first half is mostly meandering around, while the second half is the "Shit just got real" part.
 
It felt as if the plot was dragging itself along to get more viewers. Most strikingly, it made me wonder what would happen in Twin Peaks if they never called for government help.  I did like the new outlook of the weakness of the enemies of the story, though.   
 
Overall, I do not recommend watching this series.
Supreme Marvelon May 23, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.

@Tom_Pinchuk: Okay, I just watched 2 and 4. 4 was creepy and awesome. They're still slow as hell so far. But 4 was such an improvement. I implore you to watch it and not get a tingle down your spine when the main guy is trying to sleep during the night.

I'm liking it, especially the recent creepy effect.

EDIT: Episodes 2 - 4 I watched.

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