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File:Shikitvtropes 7585.jpg

Shiki (lit., Corpse Demon) is a horror manga that is based on Fuyumi Ono's novel by the same name and illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki, it ran in Jump SQ. The story takes place in a small village called Sotoba where, after a mysterious family moves in, a wave of unnatural deaths begins to occur. It soon becomes obvious to a select few, that these deaths are the work of vampires (or Shiki as they're referred to in-series). Can they stop the ranks of The Undead, or will they join them?

The series is rather interesting as it presents the view from both the human and monster sides. On one hand, the Shiki are simply trying to find a place to call their own. But their murderous instincts make peaceful cohabitation difficult. The humans (those who are in the know) are, of course, simply defending themselves, although some characters cross lines that make them no better than the Shiki. This does leave it ambiguous which side the audience is supposed to root for.

Not to be confused with the Nasuverse characters, Ryougi and Tohno Shiki, nor with Shiki Misaki.

The anime is licensed by FUNimation and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in May 2012.

A character sheet is now available.

Tropes used in Shiki include:


  • Adults Are Useless: Yuuki parents especially his father, in one go he managed to let a vampire into the house, agreed to allow her brother in, disposed of all the charms and crosses Yuuki put in his room (because he hated supperstition) and made sure to unlock the door (because the village is safe and doing so show the trust in others) - all of which he managed to do out of his own will without anyone hypnotizing or manipulating him.
  • Alternate Continuity: Both manga and anime borders over this, for the simple fact that Natsuno is one of the biggest threats against the Shiki after he gets turned into one of them himself and begins working along with Ozaki. In the novels? Natsuno never rises as a Shiki thus staying dead, the little he did against the Shiki as a human is completly overshadowed by Ozaki who does almost all the planning by himself originally.
    • The same thing can be said for the manga. Yoshie doesn't die when she gets shot by Seishirou and when the hypnotized humans attack Toshio and his group Ragebeard doesn't kill any of them, even after taking three knifes to the back.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Natsuno Yuuki. He shows no interest in Megumi's advances except disdain and is quite close with his best friend Tohru, even calling him Tohru-chan. Later, Megumi kills Tohru from jealousy.
    • He shows no interest in Megumi's advances because she is selfish, insane and obsessively stalking him. Most people find that sort of thing to be a turn-off.
  • Anime Hair: Taken to new heights.
  • Anti-Villain: Sunako's actions in targeting the village have nothing to do with malice or a lust for pain; she just wants to build a place where the shiki can live in peace. She's also one of the few vamps who treats the feeding process with respect and doesn't see the humans as simply livestock.
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Ate His Gun: Senshirou in chapter 35 of the manga.
  • Badass: Natsuno definitely qualifies for bashing a vampire over the head with a shovel.
    • Also Ookawa qualifies as he is the first villager to go hunting shiki with Toshio and he can stop a moving car with his raw strength.
    • Toshio for his Batman Gambit to prove the existence of shiki to the villagers.
    • Seishin decides to protect Sunako from the villagers hunting the last of the shiki and carry her to safety while bleeding from a knife wound and suffering anemia caused by feeding Sunako and Tatsumi earlier.
  • Badass Beard: Ookawa, the bottle shop owner. Just look at this beard.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The manga, anime AND novel art all showcase this slightly with Natsuno in some way.
  • Battle Butler: Tatsumi for the Kirishiki family.
  • Batman Gambit: Dr. Ozaki and Natsuno pull one by letting Mrs. Kirishiki bite Ozaki and force him to obey her orders so that Natsuno can bite him and break the mind control so Ozaki can lead Mrs. Kirishiki into a trap that reveals the okiagari's existence to the rest of the village.
    • Actually, Natsuno bit Ozaki beforehand so that no Shiki who bites Ozaki after that (in this case, Chizuru) can control him. It's explicitly mentioned in the manga that the orders of the first Shiki to feed on a person has the highest priority compared to the orders of any Shiki who feeds on that person later.
  • Bishounen: Yuuki is the best example, Tohru and Tatsumi also qualify.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: A good deal of the Shiki, Sunako being the most prominent for it.
  • Book Ends: The first episode, and several chapters.
    • The first episode begins with villagers with flashlights searching in the forest. So does the last episode.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Chapter 33 Sunako specifically addresses the reader as to why she's sharing the story of Cain and Abel.
  • Break the Cutie: Kaori goes Ax Crazy in Chapter 32 when her undead father tries to kill her. She applies a baseball bat to his head multiple times, and when that doesn't kill him, she gets out a pickaxe to finish him off. She then proceeds to shove his unrecognizable corpse into a closet for good measure.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: You'd think a man who juggles candy bars and wears a hot pink suit would be the last shiki to be put in charge of running funeral services.
  • Campbell Country: A strange inversion, where despite the setting, the danger comes to the villagers from the new arrivals, not the way round.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: No villager looks the same if stood side by side each other. The entire village consists of people of different ages, and a wide variety too.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Natsuno, episode 4.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember the guy on the tractor that Megumi sees in the first episode? She'll be seeing him and his tractor again.
    • And many, many more. To name a few, the offhand comments in the first episode, such as the destruction of the Jizou statues (The Shiki are weak against religious icons) and the time discrepancies between deaths in Yamairi (Indicates the Shiki's plans for the area and hypnotic abilities).
    • Maeda Motoko. A character who got a chapter dedicated to her story who also tells the villagers about the daughter who is taking care of her Shiki mother and starts the fire that burns the village down.
  • Cool Shades: Tatsumi's glasses.
  • Creepy Child: Sunako, pulling double duty as an Undead Child.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Tatsumi, with a hint of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Megumi getting her head run over by a tractor. Natsuno and Tatsumi exploding in dynamite (in the midst of a wildfire, at that).
    • While her head isn't crushed in the manga, Megumi does get hit by a truck. Though she's able to get up and run away a bit before getting five stakes shoved into her chest. Though her final thoughts are of her being in the city. With a smile on her corpses face.
    • Toshio binds his wife Kyoko at the hospital before she rises. Once she does Toshio videotapes himself conducting painful experiments on her to discover the okiagari's weaknesses. It was bad enough to hear Kyoko crying with fear and pain, begging her husband to stop while Toshio ignores her...but then he brings out the stake. What follows after...
      • Later chapters of the manga indicate that no, she had absolutely no idea. Another woman that rises without another shiki around stumbles home to her daughter, only to be confused that she cannot stomach normal foodstuffs anymore. So Kyoko, from her perspective, basically woke up to her husband torturing and murdering her out of the blue for no reason at all.
    • In 20.5 the villagers leave the last batch of Shiki from the tunnels alive just so they can tie them up and let them burn to death in the sun. The only sane male villager from the episode is the one who ends up killing them to spare them from completely burning to death.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Tatsumi vs anyone. The villagers war against the Shiki from episode 18 onwards is pretty much this trope, with thirty percent of the latter exterminated in a single night and the rest taken down with little effort.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Megumi
  • Cycle of Revenge
  • A Day in the Limelight: One chapter is shown through Masao's point of view.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Mr. Yuuki crosses it when Natsuno seems to die going pretty much bonkers.
    • Toshio as well. His repeated failures in saving the villagers from the Shiki eventually lead him to experiment on his newly turned Shiki wife when she rises. Also doubles as a Moral Event Horizon.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: The villagers managed to save their village! Until a giant fire burned their entire village down. It's not even mentioned how the fire even started.
    • Actually, Chapter 34 mentions that the weather's "overly dry" and to be careful with fire, foreshadowing the end. The anime also made mention that it may have been the shiki, but that was just speculated. Odds are, it was just a (un)timely brushfire.
    • The manga reveals that Maeda Motoko -- the villager with a paranoid and unhinged fear of outsiders who went crazy after all her family members died -- is responsible for the fire in the manga. Even setting herself on fire.
    • For the anime, the second OAV also reveals the aforementioned.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Natsuno Yuuki. He prefers people not to call him by his first name because he thinks it's too girlish.[1]
    • Sunako does not like to be addressed as "Sunako-chan." Anyone who attaches that honourific with her name risks her wrath.
  • The Dragon: Tatsumi is this to the Kirishiki family, he does all the work when they just sit in their mansion looking fabulous.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Natsuno. The second time.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: In the manga Sunako's clothing is sometimes inspired by lolita fashion. Megumi's clothing comes close once in a while, but bears more resemblance to Japanese punk and gothic fashion. Here's an example for both of them.
  • Eureka Moment: Doctor Ozaki has one when talking with Natsuno.
  • Evil Detecting Dogs: Love turns highly aggressive towards Kaori's shiki-fied father.
    • Taro attempts to warn Ritsuko of an approaching group of shiki in episode 17.
  • Expy: The Kirishiki parents' mannerisms noticeably resemble those of Isaac and Miria.
    • Going further on this, J. Michael Tatum even voices Seishiro. No such luck for Chizuru.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Megumi gets her head run over by a tractor. Then her heart impaled after her legs still wiggle about after her head is crushed. And this is shonen, not seinen.
    • Kyoko is first traumatized by Toshio experimenting on her, then is crudely staked to death. See Cruel and Unusual Death above.
  • Fan Nickname: Because of Mrs. Kirishiki's fabulous and outrageous sense of fashion, she has earned the title Lady Gaga by the fandom. The resemblance is uncanny
    • Some fans even call Toshio and Seishin, Dr. House and Monk.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Yuuki's dad, who didn't marry Yuuki's mother because he questioned the principles of marriage and hates religion and holy icons. It comes back to bite him in the ass in the end by discarding the religious icons that could have saved Natsuno from the Shiki.
  • Gonk: Masao.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The shiki killed humans to survive. The humans massacred the shiki to survive. Neither side is wrong for wanting to survive, but they're all still murderers.
    • That's not exactly true. The Shiki had no problems surviving on their own. You see that Sunako managed to live for a very long time after her flashback. What the Shiki wanted was their own society, so they wouldn't have to live in fear anymore. Which is why they attack Sotoba. This makes them a bit less sympathetic when you realize that some of the bite victims die instead of coming back.
      • Even more so because it is established early on by Dr. Toshio that shiki physically cannot drain a person to death in one sitting and do not need to either. It takes at least three successive shiki attacks to get to the point of death, so there is really no reason for the shiki to kill anyone at all ever. The newly turned inhabitants of the village only do so because they are either forced to by Sunako, who considers herself a natural predator of humanity and thus killing us as well within her rights, or out of personal malevolence (like Megumi).
  • The Hero Dies: Natsuno. Though he gets better, sort of...
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Ozaki has a much closer relationship with his old friend Muroi than with his wife.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: After the villagers find out about the shiki, it slowly begins to fade between the line of who are the real monsters -- the shiki or the humans? Especially Toshio Ozaki, who tortures and kills his own wife (She was a Shiki, but still...).
    • Doesn't matter if she was a Shiki or not. She had done nothing wrong upon turning into one. She even had no idea what was going on and watched as her own husband experimented and killed her.
  • Hot Parents: Natsuno's parents. They are only in their early thirties (they had Natsuno when they were in college).
  • Horned Hairdo: Akira.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: As pointed out by this review.
  • Hypocrite: Ookawa telling Sunako that there are consequences to committing murder. After murdering a bunch of innocent humans in the previous two episodes. Karma ends up stabbing him in the neck, though.
    • With the way things are going in the manga, he might not be this. He didn't kill any of the hypnotized humans even though he got stabbed by them.
      • In the manga, he ends up killing the people at the shrine with the aid of the other villagers after coming to the conclusion that because Seishin was helping the Shiki. Then obviously the rest of the people at the temple are helping them as well. Ozaki even agrees with him.
    • In the manga, he enjoyed killing his Shiki son far too much. To the point that one of the other villagers was scared of him. He even smiled after killing him.
  • It Got Worse: And HOW. Things go completely bonkers around episode 18, when the villagers discover the existence of the Shiki.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Tatsumi, in the manga.
  • Impossibly Low Neckline: Practically all of Chizuru's outfits feature this, some more than others.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Ikumi gets one flashback, looking quite stunning compared to her present appearance.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Natsuno, who is aloof towards others and resents his parents for moving with him to a small town, doesn't hesitate to protect others and take a stand against the undead.
    • Tatsumi,who has kicked a lot of dogs during the series, doesn't mind using cruel punishment on the shiki who disobey him, and is more than willing to kill other people or even shiki, also really cares for and respects the head Shiki, Sunako, and doesn't hesitate to act as a decoy so she and Seishin can escape the horde of furious villagers.
  • Jerkass: Masao can be a real asshole towards his cousin.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The villagers. Especially Ookawa.
  • Karma Houdini: Sunako.
  • Kick the Dog: Megumi killing Kaori's dad and than taunting her about it.
    • Tatsumi does this on a regular basis, mostly by tormenting the new Shiki and threatening their still living families.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Sort of. At least the first few bites seem fairly harmless since they don't take much blood per bite (it takes several bites over several days to be fatal), and the bite marks themselves are so minor that the doctor initially mistakes them for insect bites.
  • Likes Older Women: May apply to Tohru, who had a crush on the slightly older Ritsuko.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Unfortunately, it's very hard to keep count on every single villager introduced and remember their names, aside from the main characters. It got so bad that even Fujisaki, the mangaka, lost track of the number of villagers, and ended up incorrectly numbering them halfway through.
  • Mercy Kill: To some humans turned shiki this is a blessing.
    • The only male villager from 20.5 who never killed any of the Shiki does this at the end instead of letting the last group of Shiki from the tunnels burn to death.
  • Mind Control Eyes: The shiki have a variation of it they use on humans.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The shiki vary from symphatetic to complete monsters, some of them even resisting their hunger, others killing for fun. On the humans side we have Toshio, who has crossed the Moral Event Horizon, but most of them just want to protect themselves from the shiki. Things have become even more complicated when humans have started an uprising against the shiki and kill them without remorse.
  • Nice Guy: Tohru. Even the resident Jerkass Masao likes him.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Tohru, who suffers from the guilt some new shiki face of murdering humans for sustenance and still maintains his gentle demeanor.
  • Noodle People: Some of the characters are like this, especially Megumi. What on earth does she eat?
  • Not So Different: The shiki may be considered monsters, but take a look at what the villagers have done in order to protect themselves, it seems they are more closely related in nature than you would think.
  • Not So Invincible After All: After the shiki were outed, they didn't stand a chance against the villagers.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: "Pendulum", the song that made the ending of Episode 4 ten times more frightening than it already was.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Jinrou, given name by Sunako, are a rare subspecies of shiki. Tatsumi compares jinrou to the werewolves that accompany vampires in movies. Different from regular shiki, jinrou breathe, have a pulse, are able to walk in the sunlight, can survive off of regular food, and they never actually died. Their blood just changed to that similar of a Shiki.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They can only drink around a cup of blood a day before they get full, for one. Also in addition to the traditional symbols like crosses, Japanese religious symbols seem to hurt them.
    • This trope is lampshaded when Natsuno advises Kaori and Akira not to assume that every weakness fiction assigns to them will necessarily apply.
    • This, however, matches exactly with patterns of vampire attacks in older myths up through to Dracula, where it took multiple visits for Lucy to die as well. Vampires killing over several days is a classic trope, not an example of a deviation from the classic.
  • Pet the Dog: Sunako does this when she decides to spare Muroi.
  • Put on a Bus: Subverted. Natsuno tries to do this to Kaori and Akira, but they come back.
  • Pyrrhic Victory
  • Rasputinian Death: Megumi and Tatsumi.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As if the Black Eyes of Evil mentioned above weren't enough, the Shiki tend to get this when feeding or about to feed.
  • Sanity Slippage: The penultimate episode features the villagers hard at work, chatting happily to one another and eventually tucking in to rice balls and boxed lunches...Whilst covered from head to toe in blood from the previous night's Shiki extermination hunts, and the hard work in question being digging mass graves and shifting a huge number of corpses around. Nobody seems even slightly disturbed at what they are doing.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: The villagers risk their lives and their sanity to kill the shiki and save their village, and after a four episode battle, end up victorious. Oh, and then their entire village burns down. And the main antagonist ends up getting away. The End.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 6, Natsuno checks out a couple of horror flicks, one of them titled Texas Chainsaw Mackerel.
  • Slasher Smile: Vampires pull this off on a regular basis.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Differs between characters.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Natsuno was Killed Off for Real in the original novel.
  • Spoiler Opening: It's official, everyone who was skullified in the OP ended up turning into a Shiki. And all but one ended up dying, to boot.
    • There are two exceptions though. Tohrus brother and sister are the only ones who thankfully didn't become Shiki
  • Stalker with a Crush: Megumi she goes to full Yandere territory after being turned in to a vampire, stalking her crush, Natsuno and murdering his best friend who she perceived as a threat.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Seishin.
  • Taking You with Me: Natsuno corners Tatsumi and himself in a large fissure, the latter finally finishing the fight with a large bundle of dynamite.
    • Done by Natsuno and the female Werewolf Yoshie in the manga. With Yoshie doing it with dynamite against the villagers and Natsuno dragging Tatsumi into the fissure filled with Shiki corpses where Tatsumi is staked though it's hard to tell if it happened to Natsuno as well. Even with him covered in blood.
  • Techno Babble: in this case, Medical Babble.
  • The Vamp: Chizuru.
  • Together in Death: Tohru and Ritsuko.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Too many instances to count.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The next episode previews do this on a handful of occasions.
  • The Undead
  • Unexplained Recovery: Natsuno.
    • Only in the anime and manga, the novels in the other hand...
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The Anime Hair is so crazy in this series that this trope arguably applies. Hell, Tatsumi's hair looks like cat ears.
    • The blood, anyone? You'd think that they were playing paintball or something.
  • Values Dissonance: It's noted several times that Sotoba is odd in that they bury their dead rather than cremate them, which is what is done with a majority of dead bodes in Japan. This is no doubt why the Shiki chose Sotoba to live in.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: At least in Yuuki's case.
  • Vampire Invitation: One of the key limitations of the Shiki is their inability to cross thresholds unless invited in. They get around it by biting people outside, then hypnotising them to let them in whenever they ask.
  • Verbal Tic: Tatsumi and his "Ya".
  • With Us or Against Us: Basically boils down to are you going to help us kill the shiki, or we kill you just in case you might be helping them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair

Notes

  1. The Kanji in "Natsuno" is "summer field".
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