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Shiki: Part Two Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Run Time: 300 Mins.
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • List Price: $64.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

Part Two of Shiki (屍鬼, Corpse Demon) the latest anime series from Daume Co.,Ltd. (株式会社童夢 Kabushiki Gaisha Dōmu) based the horror novel by novelist Fuyumi Ono continues the gothic/loli-goth story left off in part one. The small town being overtaken by vampires or okiagari, now calling themselves shiki, is more overrun than ever. The two main characters fighting this sudden take over of the undead, the town’s doctor, Toshio Ozaki and newly arrived teenager Natsuno Yuuki/Koide are outnumbered, overpowered, and facing more challenges. Notsuno has been killed and risen as a vampire himself leaving Ozaki to fight on his own. Ozaki’s childhood friend and Buddhist priest Seishin Muroi, has turned from him, condemning the violent practices he has resorted to to fight and kill the shiki.

As the story broadens, so does the intensity and the drama, but the quality of the series remains clear and focused as does the high level of animation. The character designs are brilliant and meticulous while backgrounds are beautiful and colorful.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Not surprisingly, there are no changes in the transfer between part one and this release. Shiki looks wonderful in this 1080p AVC encodement from Funimation. A true high definition transfer, there are no telltale signs of upscaling like aliasing around the line art or video noise in fills and backgrounds. The colors are absolutely vibrant, which is vital in this series that relies on a bold palette of colors.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The strong audio also continues for this release. Purists once again are given a strong Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack with English subtitles. It has clean dialogue, a good sense of stereo separation, and rather extended low frequencies given the absence of an LFE channel. Even if closer scrutiny under my admittedly limited understanding of Japanese has me questioning how close the subtitles match up to the original dialogue, I’d still choose this as my reference. The English dub, provided as a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track would be an excellent choice for primary listening for non-purists. The mix is atmospheric, full of dynamics with lots of headroom to spare, and with a much wider sense of spatial depth. The sound effects that create the gloomy sense of doom throughout the series are used really well in this 5.1 mix which forgoes the in-your-face, discrete and aggressive route for a more subtle, lush soundscape.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

So far none of the releases in this series have been a boon in supplements, coming with only the usual clean animations, promotional materials and additional trailers. They have, however, provided a couple of audio commentaries from the English voice cast & crew for each release, so far. This one includes commentaries for episodes 18 and 22.

The supplements:

  • Episode 18 Audio Commentary
  • Episode 22 Audio Commentary
  • Preview Featurettes Vols. 05-09
  • Textless Opening Song – Calendula Requiem
  • Textless Closing Song – Gekka-Reijin
  • U.S. Trailer
  • Funimation Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Part two of Shiki continues this enjoyable, high quality series in another reference quality release from Funimation. If gothic vampire horror is your thing, then this series may just be the thing for you.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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