In Episode 7 of Kemono Jihen, we get to see more of Shiki’s background. After last week’s episode, I was incredibly excited to find out more about Kabane’s web-slinging friend. There were some major reveals in this episode, so we will be examining some later episode content, rather than just the first half. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, consider yourself warned!
This week’s episode opens with the Kemonoists on their way to a mountain town to see Shiki’s uncle, Tademaru. After arriving in town, the group spends a bit of time looking at shops. In one of them, Kabane reads a local legend about a spider that could spin Golden Silk. As a viewer, we can immediately tell that, even if that story is just a legend, it is at least inspired in some way by Shiki’s Arachne mother.
After this, the group meets up with Tademaru. After a brief conversation with the others, he and Shiki have a conversation alone about his parents. Tademaru informs him that his parents have both passed away. Shiki’s father died before he was born, and his mother, Kumi, passed away due to illness when he was 5. Tademaru also says Shiki’s trauma stems from seeing his mother’s dead body up close at such a young age. As we can expect from his reactions last episode, Shiki absorbs the news and does his best to maintain a brave face.
At the end of the day, the group decides to go out at night along the river to see the fireflies. While Akira marvels at the lights, Shiki feels drawn towards something. He begins to move through the forest nearby, guided by his memories to a cabin. Here, the truth of his past comes crushing down from behind his years of trauma-created blockers.
Shiki’s uncle, Tademaru, had been exploiting Kumi to try and create the Golden Silk from the legend. He experimented on her and forced her to mate with various local forest Kemono in hopes of producing the right mutant hybrid. Shiki discovered this disturbing experimental facility by accident years ago, and Tademaru did everything in his power to make the boy forget.
When Tademaru explains his side of the story, he reveals that he actually saved Shiki from a bout of influenza at a young age. As a result of that, Kumi decided she wanted Shiki to be raised as a human, not a Kemono. She turns to Tademaru for guidance, and he uses the opportunity to further his theory on the Golden silk.
At the end of the episode, Shiki’s rage is brutally evident. He claims he plans to kill Tademaru for what he has done. However, only next week’s episode will reveal what he will truly do.
Episode 7 of Kemono Jihen has been an intense one. Everything we have learned about Shiki in the past episodes has further established the richness of the characters and the word they live in.
Catch up on Kemono Jihen on Funimation before next Sunday’s episode!