Subtitle: Shiki and the Horror of Happy Homes.
Part 1: Driving Out the Darkness:
Shiki is a show I’m reviewing for the Reverse Thieves Secret Santa project, and fittingly, there’s a celebration within the show that makes for a good place to start this piece, a holiday, which also ties in to the winter holidays of two Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity.
Let’s begin with Judaism’s holiday for the winter, Channukah, which like Passover is a celebration and remembrance for having triumphed over the enemies of the Judaic people, the Romans in this case. Here’s a translation of a children Channukah song, translated and transliterated roughly by me. It’s titled, quite fittingly, “We’re Here to Banish the Darkness“:
We came to drive away the darkness, (Banu choshech le’garesh,)
In our hands (we carry) light and flame, (Be’yadeinu or va’esh,)
Each of us is a small light, (Kol echad hu or katan,)
And all of us (together) are a great light. (Ve’kulanu or eitan.)
Move aside darkness, onward blackness! (Soora choshech, hal’a sh’chor!)
Flee from the light! (Soora mi’pnei ha’or!)
Channukah comes at the height of Winter, and one of the miracles it celebrates is that a small container of oil held for 8 days. Holidays held at Winter’s darkest which call forth the Spring are not rare, and the Christmas custom of cutting a sprig of mistletoe is believed to be a remnant of such a pagan holiday. Furthermore, the birth of a “God” as Christianity holds Christmas to be, in the Winter, when it seems the year and the world have died, fit into the same sort of pattern. Although it is held during an especially harsh summer in Sotoba village, Shiki’s end-of-series “jubilee” fits quite nicely.
(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire show.)