Simon Wolfe from Capsule Computers writes:
"Shiki begins by establishing the key set piece, the “decent”-sized small town of Sotoba. Sotoba is a very isolated town, described by one of the characters as being surrounded by death, in reference to the momi fir tree forest that surrounds it whose wood is used to make coffins and grave markers. The town has a sizable population and the unique thing about the show is that, it makes a point to try and show a pretty good number of these residents. Now, that can become pretty confusing, so it’s a good thing that regularly characters will be accompanied by their name and relationship to others. This is a pretty awesome concept and really establishes the small-town vibe of the show and makes the story more personal."