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Sotoba is an old-fashioned Japanese village nestled deep in the mountains. It has a small population of about 1300, and the villagers strictly follow age-old traditions and customs. One sweltering summer, a mysterious and deadly disease begins to spread rapidly among the villagers, affecting young and old alike. In the midst of this spate of puzzling deaths, a family of beautiful and elegant individuals moves into the abandoned 'Kanemasa' mansion on the hill-side over-looking Sotoba.
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The manga's plot took a while to get going imo. (In the first couple volumes) people just kept dying and that was about it. And it was a little hard to get into/follow with like 90 characters introduced in the first couple chapters. Makes you dizzy. I just kind ignored all the old people (they are usually not important) and just focused on remembering Natsuno and his "friends", the doctor, and the monk and the people directly involved with them (parents, nurses etc).
The art style is kinda new to me, and it might take a little getting used to for some people, but it grows on you. It goes nicely with the plot. (I think it's cool btw)
It got better plot-wise (and less confusing) as the story goes on and Shiki is one of those rare manga that actually delivers on the eerie/creepy atmosphere. That is one of the reasons why I continued reading it. It kinda reminds you of the good ol' zombie movies or something. Classic. It also delivers on the mystery level as well. Something like Edgar Allen Poe+Sherlock Holmes+Dawn of the Dead. Nice.
I'm docking a point only because in the "doctor" chapters it gets a little slow (and this is usually when all the non-important characters are thrown at you by the dozens). Well, at least until Volume 6 or so. He rules Volume 8.
Anyway, stick with it until at least Volume 4. Things get good then
I just gotta put this in too: The anime is awesome! It's the same as the manga so far, but it's much more easy to get into. Love the opening as well
... Last updated on August 7th, 2010, 12:17am
It was totally awesome. At first I just try it because I love Houshin Engi and I love Fujisaki Ryu's works. I was slightly disappointed and confused about the first few chapters, due to the slow pace and perhaps the number of names mentioned. But it starts to get really good after the revelation of 'shiki'. The plot is actually intriguing, given that it's based on a novel. The theme is dark and there's little comedy, which is totally different from Houshin Engi, but I still love it
Anyway, the plot is tight and the art is superb. I'm really looking forward to next chapter.
This is the artist of Hoshin Engi... The first thing I want to say is that I didn't like hoshin engi, so I've already had bad experience with this artist... just saying.
Anyways, the art is a bit between good and bad; this is a shonen manga, with accompanying art, but it's a bit different... Some of the characters, such as the (I think) main character, yuuki, are made pretty sharp and crisp, which I notice from those eyes and that chin. It's not bad... but it feels maybe a bit odd at times. The scans aren't the best, but so far the art feels pretty okay mostly, B+ or A-, but generally, that's it. Nothing too special about the art, which leads to plot and story...
Which really turned me off. Something about the way that it is a slow paced story is really annoying. I mean, I've read some slow paced ones before, but the thing about this one is that it starts to build, get some rising action... and then it's gone, back to slowness. What the hell is up with that? The storytelling feels off because of this, jumping from one place to another, and focuses on things that aren't particularly interesting, meaning the more itneresting things(the supernatural stuff, characters with a sharp design, etc.) are not shown as much as we want. IT took me three days to get to chapter four... I know of one or two scenes where it was pretty exxagerated as well.
But strangely enough by then, it was somewhat interesting. The rising action and tension and stuff hanged on longer, like those last couple pages of chapter 3... and then sharply dropped off to half boredom with chapter 4's starting. The dying over and over thing, where more and more characters are continually introduced(the profile count thing) is sort of very annoying. I mean, we get it, they're dying, right! There are some cool pictures and good lines every now and then, it's just the rising action and then suddenly falling is sorta annoying.
Characters are okay. Yuuki's a bit of a jerk, but so far it's fitting him just fine. Others characters are just your average town people, so you'll probably like them or at least not dislike them too much. And of course, some characters are just so much cooler when they're dead and make scary appearences in the main character's mind...
This is up to c03 - So far this manga does very well in pacing and development.
It doesn't go for "shock" horror as commonly seen in other late horror mangas, but instead works with a sense of building, development, and some degree of suspense.
So far, it's very well done.
Hmm, not too bad for a manga that doesn't resort to the cliche that "every person who's an outsider/who's moved in recently is the cause of the problems".
Spoiler (highlight to view)
If you didn't realise it, some of the villagers are outsiders who just moved in a few months ago(if I'm not wrong) to over a year. So just 'cos the new and rich family is at fault, doesn't mean that all outsiders are to blame.
Also, I really enjoyed that the manga took its' time slowly establishing the facts and cases rather than jumping to immediate conclusions. I mean, how many times have we read manga/story where said person is established as a vampire but the "whys" and "hows" are never explained thorougly? Instead, we get a jumbled version of random "vampire" facts cobbled together. So yes, Shiki is a good change over the stereotypical vampire stories where everything both logical and illogical is shoved down your throat.
As for the supposed "vampire" thing, I can't wait to see what they'll be established upon and how things will work.
It's getting really interesting and I enjoyed the medical, scientific, religious and literature aspects of the story. Furthermore, everything has been carefully set up and it seems as if we're in for a fun ride. And yeah... I don't think this is really horror but more like a slightly morbid story with certain psychological undertones. And if it's going to develop into horror, who knows what might come up in the future?
Yeah I was into it at first, but after the millionth mysterious death I fail to see how NO ONE has mentioned the rich family that freakishly moved in in the dead of night. And yet all are focused on our hero, who, from what I can tell, moved in and has behaved normally throughout his time in the town... I guess the catch is you have to invite the vamps into your home? i think, I don't know that for sure, just a guess. Anyway, I was interested but I've lost it over the course of a million deaths and not a single breakthrough... in a town like they describe it, come one, who wouldn't wonder about that family?!
The manga started out really well and I had high hopes for this series considering the story is coming from Ono Fuyumi (12 Kingdoms) and the art is by Fujisaki Ryu (Houshin Engi, one of my all-time favourites).
Unfortunately, after 5 chapters the story isn't all that scary even though it's supposed to be horror, and the vast number of characters just makes the story confusing and hard to keep up with. It felt like I was reading the White Pages at times when all of a sudden 20 new characters were introduced! Not to mention the main characters all remain underdeveloped. Also the 50-60 pages per chapter format doesn't help when the story isn't very exciting. I found myself forcing myself to get through some chapters.
I am quite disappointed with this manga. I don't know, maybe later down the track I'll come back to the this manga when the story has actually progressed but as of now I'm putting this manga on hold.
... Last updated on August 31st, 2008, 9:32pm
I was uninterested with the first couple chapters as well. But now, after 6 chapters, I like it a lot. The best way I can describe it is to say that it contains elements of Biohazard, Higurashi, Monster, and The Hour of the Mice.
The plot intrigue and character quality are very intellectually compelling and solid story-wise. And the mysteries don't stay mysteries for unreasonable amounts of time. There's already been a major revelation which starts to connect things together. I just hope the story doesn't end too quickly. (My favorite character, the goth loli who's introduced a couple chapters in, has hardly been developed yet.)
Each chapter is 50-60 pages, so I understand how people can become bored when all they have are the first couple chapters to read, but once you get familiar with things you end up reading it far more quickly. If you decide to read this, then I strongly believe you should commit yourself to read up through chapter 4 or 5 to obtain a real taste of what it's like.
Ah, by the way, the art's fantastic. Especially the color art of course.
Starts slow, but a different kind of manga
I think what I really like about this series is how normal the characters are. Manga and anime have been getting ridiculous lately with the moe and catergorizing personalities: the megane chick, the traditional chick, the quiet one, etc. This series shows that characters can still be realistic. I really don't see how the characters are "stereotyped" but to each his own.
The plot starts off slowly at first which is a big turn-off to people usually. If you keep with it a few chapters, hopefully you won't regret it. Spooky things start to happen and keep the reader guessing a bit.
The art is awesome. I don't know how people aren't "able to tell characters apart" since they all look unique to me (and since Fujiryu did Houshin Engi he has experience with having to work with a LOT of characters and having to make them unique). It might be partly the crappy quality of the magazine scans. The HQ scans will hopefully make up for any confusion.
The art are great and stylish but still the protagonist are too much stereotyped in this manga...the story is ALOT confusing sometimes, you need to re-reading some pages to understand the scramble scenario.