This week, in Episode 8 of Kemono Jihen, we see the conclusion of a trip to Shiki’s past. After last week’s revelations about Shiki’s mom and uncle, Shiki was furious and planning to make his uncle, Tademaru, pay dearly for what he did. I considered this week’s episode to be very satisfying, so let’s take a look at what happened. Spoilers below!
Last week’s episode left off with Shiki trapping Tademaru in a noose of webbing as he threatened to kill him for what he did. After the scene is, somewhat comically, interrupted by a tired and lost Akira, a horde of Kemono surrounds the group. The creatures cut Tademaru loose and he explains who these Kemono are. These are the failed results of his “experiments” with Shiki’s mother, Kumi; that is, these are Shiki’s half-siblings.
What happens next was highly disturbing. All these abominations start speaking in Kumi’s voice, all repeating the same phrases: “Shiki”, “I love you”, and other words of comfort. At this moment, we see Shiki break. Shiki collapses and begins crying, all the strength and determination he had mustered over the past few episodes fading away in the face of a sudden realization. It’s at this moment that Shiki realizes that killing Tademaru won’t bring back his family, nothing will.
Nobimaru even points out Shiki’s loss of a will to fight to Kabane. The fact that he does this is worth some consideration. He seems to be trying to get Kabane riled up. My theory is that Nobimaru wants to get Kabane addicted to the power he gets from his Kemono form in the hope that he will part with his Lifestone. Kabane seems to take the bait. He is angry and ready to fight, but only if Shiki wants his help.
Once Kabane and Nobimaru have cleared out all the Kemono, they throw Tademaru on the ground for Shiki to do with as he pleases. It’s at this moment that a little girl (who looks a whole lot like Kumi), arrives and demands Tademaru tell her where the ‘cocoon’ is. Here, Shiki pieces together some information. The golden thread, his Uncle’s research, this girl, a “cocoon”, it’s all related.
Beyond that, Shiki considers Tademaru’s expressions. He was sad, not scared. When this girl arrived, he started to panic. This conjured up a memory from Shiki’s time spent living with him. Tademaru said he was going to have a legacy. He was going to leave something grand behind. The fact that he showed no fear of death means he must have something he can call his legacy.
Without spoiling too much more, Shiki realizes tearing away Tademaru’s research, leaving him with nothing, would be a fate far worse than death for him. So he does just that. The Kemonoists leave Tademaru, a broken man with nothing to serve as a legacy, in the woods. This on its own is a pretty satisfying fate for the man, but at the very last moment of the episode, we see Nobimaru had one last thing to leave him with.
Episode 8 seems to have concluded this journey for Shiki’s growth in this season of Kemono Jihen, but the development of relationships between our main characters is still only just beginning.
Catch up on Kemono Jihen on Funimation before next Sunday’s episode!