With the fall season starting, the wife and I decided to re-watch the anime series Shiki.

It’s one of my favorite shows, and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes vampires.

The story is based off a Japanese novel by Fuyumi Ono, and if you’ve read Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot, the premise is similar. A strange family moves into a small country village, and mysterious deaths begin to pile up.

The plot is a little slow in the beginning, but it does a good job of helping you understand the characters—their pasts, their personalities, their desires. It’s this slow start that makes events later on so emotionally powerful.

The vampires are very creepy (their eyes, their movements, the sounds they make), and overall the horror elements are surprisingly effective for an animated series. However, the main feeling I get from the show is sadness. Considering the large cast, the character development is excellent, and every death carries impact. The emotional aspect of the story is further enhanced by the music, which is perhaps my favorite part of Shiki. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a T.V. series where the theme so perfectly captured the essence of the show.

The Noctrium