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|“||This is my justice! Where's yours!?||„|
|~ Toshio Ozaki's views on his actions.|
|“||You think there was a better option? I hade to make a decision quickly. I can't allow their contamination to spread unchecked. So I'll hunt the shiki! That's my justice!||„|
|~ Toshio Ozaki to Seishin Muroi|
Toshio Ozaki is one of the main protagonists of the anime/manga Shiki. Despite being one of the show's main protagonists (and being seen as justified by many), he commits various morally ambiguous acts during the second half of the series that could be considered villainous. The series itself is purposely written this way, to make it's audience think about morality, and so whether or not Ozaki is a villain is left up to the viewer.
He is voiced by Tōru Ōkawa in the Japanese version of the anime, and by David Wald in the English version of the anime.
Moral Event Horizon
At the start of the show Toshio is a hard working and strong willed doctor of the Ozaki Clinic. As mysterious deaths begin plaguing the town he works hard with his good friend Seishin to discover the cause of them. After a series of traumatic events Ozaki comes to discover that the village has been invaded by undead creatures that feed off of humans called the Shiki. Ozaki is helpless as the Shiki take over the village, and eventually even his wife falls victim to them. Ozaki does not tell anyone that his wife died, and instead keeps her body in his private lab. Due to everything he experienced from the Shiki, Ozaki comes to see them as monsters and has no empathy for them. When his wife comes back from the dead: Ozaki commits an act that can be considered his Moral Event Horizon. With his wife tied to a table, he begins doing painful experiments on her to discover the weakness of a Shiki. The woman screams in pain and refers to him by name (showing that his wife is still the same person), but Ozaki continues his experiment without hesitation. It all ends with Toshio driving a stake through her heart and killing her. Covered in her blood Ozaki, Seishin walks through the door, and Ozaki asks him to help him clean up. Seishin is appalled, and leaves the hospital in horror. It is at this moment that the friendship between the two is severed and Ozaki begins down the path of vengeance.
Ozaki's attempts to tell the villagers about the Shiki invasion fail at first, but eventually he gets the upper hand and the truth about the Shiki ends up being revealed to the entire village. This begins the hunt to kill every last Shiki in the Sotoba. Despite the Shiki's need for human blood to survive, and villainous acts they commit, the creatures still have the emotions and mental abilities of normal people. Though some of them (such as Tatsumi) are malicious, the Shiki are not all evil, and feed simply to survive. Despite this: Ozaki orders them to be inhumanely executed with no mercy, and treats them as if they were complete monsters. Though these things are done to protect the villagers: they are so horrifying, and Ozaki shows such little remorse, that some view him as if he had become a monster himself. When the villagers do things that Ozaki is against (such as killing people being controlled by the Shiki): Toshio does not do much to prevent it. When he sees Seishin trying to escape he allows some of the hunters to go after his friend, as he knows that he is now working with the Shiki. After the entire village is soaked in blood from the hunt: a fire breaks out, and Ozaki tries to stop it from spreading. This does not work, and in the end Ozaki and the surviving humans flee the village. As he leaves: Ozaki ponders whether or not he was successful (due to the village's destruction regardless of the Shiki's defeat). Little does he know: Sunako and Seishin escaped, and so whether or not Ozaki truly won is becomes even more debatable, and is entirely left up to the viewer.
- Though it is never made certain: Toshio seems to show signs of remorse at times (especially when Seishin is involved). Ozaki's true feelings are most likely left up to interpretation.
- His fate after the Shiki hunt is unknown: since he is last seen escaping the village, and is not in the post credits scene from the show, or the epilogue chapter from the manga.