|Shiki (Corpse Demon/Spirit)|
Their life means your death.
Shiki (屍鬼) are supernatural, reanimated corpses inhabited by deceased spirits. They feed and survive on the blood of humans. Shiki are corpses that have risen up after dying from having their blood drained by another shiki. It is unknown how the race came into existence.
It is unknown how shiki came into existence, though they can turn humans into shiki by draining the victim's blood. The biggest possibility is that the Shiki simply came into existance by magic that makes more of them, one Shiki had to start it somehow.
It is presumed that the bite of a shiki infects humans with a venom that slowly changes the victim with each subsequent bite. Once the human has been bitten several times, they eventually die through hemorrhaging. Toshio Ozaki saw that bitten patients display anemia, extreme fatigue, and drowsiness. During Kyouko's transition, Toshio observed that the process of dying and rising up as a shiki takes around one week.
Not all bitten humans rise up as shiki. None of Nao's family reanimated, despite having their blood drained. This indicates that the bitten human must have a quality about them that corresponds to reanimation. It seems that overall passion towards life is a key factor in rising up, as Megumi Shimizu, fed up with village life and obsessed with city life, rose again as a shiki.
Humans with extraordinary or powerful personality traits can transform into jinrou, a superior subspecies of shiki. Jinrou are almost indistinguishable from ordinary humans.
Shiki are reanimated corpses. They are magically protected from decomposition, and their physical appearance remains eternally the same, except that their skin is much paler. Like corpses, shiki lack body heat and feel icy to the touch. Shiki lack a pulse and can no longer breathe, requiring a new form of speech. Almost all recently risen shiki make choking noises when they first began talking because they are unused to the new vocal patterns. Although shiki keep their previous hair color, it is possible that they can no longer grow any hair since they lack a metabolism. It is also possible that their eyes get less dark and skin less pale as they age in their new reanimated body.
Because a shiki's heart does not pump blood through the body, poisons, toxins, and chemicals do not affect them. Toshio tested this by pouring hydrochloric acid down his wife's throat, along with injecting numerous medical chemicals directly into the veins. This produced no effect.
After rising up, the shiki's eyes change color. The irises change to crimson red and the sclera eventually darkens to black, thus giving the appearance that their eye sockets are hollow. Their canines turn into long fangs. During moments of extreme hunger or anger, the fangs and the shiki's crimson irises appear.
Despite being dead, shiki show subtle vital signs. From sight alone, the villagers were unable to detect signs of life in Chizuru, while Toshio used machines to monitor Kyouko's corpse and detected slight vital signs. During the transition from human to shiki, the body appears the same as an ordinary corpse: going through stages of decomposition, such as rigor mortis. When the body begins the transition to a shiki, bodily functions are not restored, although the body's pliability is returned and healing is magically amplified.
Due to their heightened healing factor as a by-product of their immortality, shiki have accelerated cellular regeneration that leaves no scars on their bodies with the exception of fatal wounds (severe burns from the sun or a stake to the heart). It is possible that all preexisting scars heal after rising as shiki, since the bite wounds inflicted before death disappear. It is unknown if this applies to tattoos or other forms of body modification.
Despite their supernatural healing, shiki will not recover from health conditions that permanently alter the body, as seen in the case of Shinmei Muroi, who remained immobile after rising. Although he is free of pain, he is unable to move because of a severe fall in old age. It can be assumed that these cases are limited to diseases or injuries affecting the bones and muscles, as individuals lose major bodily functions upon rising as shiki (diseases like diabetes would no longer affect them).
Human inhibitions are removed upon transitioning into a shiki, and so they often act carefree and without remorse. Shiki are undead and immortal, and they feel that they are no longer bound to normal human conventions. Some shiki fall into madness because their minds distort upon rising. Their attributes and personalities are shown to be magnified, and so many shiki behave childishly despite having lived for a long period of time. These heightened emotions and attitudes may be designed to protect the shiki's psyche from deterioration over time.
However, some shiki adapt their persona with time while maintaining their overall nature, such as Sunako displaying maturity beyond her appearance (compared to her childlike innocence at reanimation). Some shiki retain a sense of humanity, like Ritsuko's moral strength and her passion in saving lives as a nurse. Ritsuko refuses to drink blood, despite it meaning certain death. Aside from these cases, most shiki display a lack of human morals and will do whatever suits them, regardless of consequences.
In general, shiki view humans as either a food source or a tool. Humans are mortal, while shiki can potentially live forever, highlighting the difference in opinion towards life. The death of a human is insignificant because death is normalized to a shiki each time they feed.
Shiki also know that their victims may rise up, and thus shiki may feel that they are bettering other's existence. For example, Megumi Shimizu convinced Yoshikazu Tanaka to target his own family so that they might come back to life, ending his loneliness. Shiki will show remorse if this does not go accordingly, as seen when Nao Yasumori broke down upon realizing that none of her family would reanimate after she killed them.
Shiki live off of drinking human blood. If they do not drink blood, they will die of starvation. Shiki can no longer digest human food, and if they attempt to eat it, they will regurgitate it.
Shiki are able to consume liquids (other than blood), as the Kirishiki family was seen drinking wine.
Powers & Abilities
Immortality: Shiki retain their body's appearance and become immune to all viruses, diseases, and illnesses. They will not die unless they do not drink blood, or they are killed. Shiki are also faster than humans but also get exhausted faster.
Healing: Shiki have the ability to heal from injuries and wounds at superhuman speed.
Hypnotism: Shiki have the ability to control and manipulate the body, mind, and soul of an animal or person. Hypnotized humans appear to be in a trance. Shiki must bite a human in order to hypnotize them and can issue any command to the human. Their control over victims can be changed if another shiki bites the human, but the human's main objective is to follow the command of the shiki who but him first. Shiki can also speak across distances, aiding them in convincing victims to leave their houses.
Physical Prowess: The senses of a shiki are heightened upon reanimation. Their increased abilities of sight allows them to navigate in total darkness. Shiki are physically stronger than most humans, as people are unable to escape their grasp. Drinking blood corresponds to this strength, although it also matters how large the shiki is. Tomio Ookawa was able to subdue Chizuru and Sunako. Kyouko was unable to escape the special bindings during experimentation because she didn't drink any blood.
Levitation: Some shiki can levitate for short time. This is accompanied by mist-like vapor.
Fangs: Shiki have retractable fangs for consuming blood or to use as a weapon. Upon a bite they infect the prey with venom. However, it seems that the fangs are rather delicate as it is possible to damage them with force.
WeaknessesSunlight and Fire: Shiki cannot enter direct sunlight; they will begin to burn. This results in a slow, painful, permanent death. Presumably, fire can also destroy their bodies, as the fire that destroyed Sotoba burned away the corpses of shiki. Explosions can also destroy shiki. It is also very important to mention that animals can distinguish Shiki from humans and will attack them.
Circulatory System Destruction: Toshio discovers in his experimentation that shiki can only be killed by destroying the circulatory system.
- Decapitation: Removing the head of a shiki will result in permanent death.
- Heart Destruction: The act of destroying the heart, which is the core of their circulatory system, will result in permanent death. This can be done if the shiki is staked in the heart or by extracting the hearts from the body.
Invitation: Shiki must be invited into a human's home. If they are not invited in, then a force field blocks them from entering the home. However, if one shiki is invited in, then all of them can come in.
Starvation: Shiki require blood to survive and will die without it. If the shiki goes without blood, the cravings are shown to be unbearable, and the urge to feed becomes increasingly difficult to fight.
Sacred Objects: Crosses, crucifix, totems, icons, temples, churches, holy water, idols, the sound of bells, and statues deter shiki. Toshio noted that this is practically hard-wired into the mind, as these aversions were not apparent before.
Blunt Trauma: Strong and powerful physical blows to the shiki can otherwise incapacitate them, leaving the shiki vulnerable.
|None||Part of imagination|