Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners ("The Edge of Emptiness"/"Empty Boundaries") is a novel by Kinoko Nasu of TYPE-MOON/Notes fame, written before he became involved in the Visual Novel business. While considered by many to be the prototype of Tsukihime, it is much, MUCH more complex, sometimes to the point of being Mind Screw. So much so that some people don't want to accept that they are related at all, other than the fact that they are made by the same people.Shiki Ryougi is a girl who grew up in a family imbued with supernatural powers. In particular, certain members possess something close to dual personalities; the "male" and "female" sides, who are aware of each other, are both conscious, and essentially the same person with different qualities. This dual consciousness combined with her upbringing has led her to reject other human beings.When she was in high school, she met a caring classmate, Mikiya Kokutou. During this time, murders are occurring throughout the city, and one night, Mikiya happens upon Shiki standing over a corpse, knife in hand. Despite this scene, Mikiya believes that Shiki couldn't have killed that person. Slowly, Mikiya creeps into Shiki's life, until Mikiya grows too close to her.I don't... want to die...A warm smile.I want to kill you.June 1998. Shiki Ryougi wakes up from a coma; her eyes are bandaged. In her mind, she feels only " "—utter void. Her memories are a blur, and she feels disconnected from them, as though they are not her own. Her doctor tells her that it was a car accident. She wants to be rid of those eyes; eyes that stare into the void. A woman stops her, saying that they are "too wasteful to destroy"; after all, they are the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.Kara no Kyoukai follows Shiki and the Garan-no-dou detective agency as they meet various, seemingly unconnected aberrations occurring within the city which seem to have something bigger behind them than it first appears. It is one of the earliest works within the Nasuverse, and as such also introduces most of The Verse's fundamental concepts, including souls, Akasha, Counter Force, Magic and Magecraft, and Origin.Consists of the following novels and stories:
The First Homicide Inquiry: ...and nothing heart
Lingering Pain: ever cry, never life
The Hollow: garan-no-dou
"Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Kirie Fujou and Fujino Asagami.
Spiral Paradox: Paradox Paradigm
Records of Oblivion: Fairy Tale
"Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Lio Shirazumi.
Adaptation Distillation - The author of the original novels had hoped to rewrite several of the stories to be less "clumsy". Then he read the script for the first movie, and concluded that there was no need- they'd already addressed his concerns by cutting out most of the excesses.
Adaptation Dye Job - Touko, who has blue short hair in the original novels and long red hair in the movies and more recent artwork, to make her look more like her sister.
Alternate Continuity - Word Of God states that there can only be one user of the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which means either Tohno Shiki has them, or this Ryougi Shiki. In addition, Aozaki Touko's goal contradicts with the existence of the True Ancestor Arcueid, also from Tsukihime. See the YMMV page for a different interpretation.
Ambiguously Gay - Touko, who blatantly flirts with Shiki the first time they meet.
Though she might have just been teasing or joking around; she agrees to go on a date with Kokutou's cousin Daisuke later on but shows little to no actual interest in it beyond having nothing better to do.
Anachronic Order - Chronologically, the story begins in 1995, but the first chapter is set in June 1998. The viewer is thrown abruptly into the story from the middle, without explanation of the powers, relationships, and backstory of the cast, which is elaborated upon later. Familiarity with the Nasuverse helps.
To make things simpler, the chronological order of the stories is 2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7.
Ancient Tradition - The Ryougi Family, as well as other members of the Demon Hunter's Association.
Ax Crazy - To an extent, Ryougi Shiki, although she's more knife crazy. Cornelius Alba is a whole lot of crazy, but with sorcery instead of an axe. Lio Shirazumi is around five thousand different kinds of crazy, Ax Crazy being one of them.
Babies Ever After - Shiki and Mikiya have a daughter named Mana in the distant future shown in "Mirai Fukuin".
Berserk Button - Touko is usually pretty calm, but if you call her a "dirty red," calmness turns to Tranquil Fury and you're dead. It's her policy. But that's not even her real Berserk Button. Calling her a rotten red is just a way of mocking her and saying she plays second fiddle to her little sister. Her realBerserk Button is her little sister. Lets just say their rivalry has gotten rather bad a good few times in the past.
It is also amusing to note that since the fifth movie came out, calling her a "dirty red" or simply mentioning that name on certain imageboards bears a similar result to saying Candlejack
Bifauxnen - Shiki is described as both "handsome" and "beautiful".
Big Bad - Araya Souren, who is pretty much responsible for everything bad that happens to Shiki after meeting Mikiya in high school; Lio Shirazumi, the true culprit behind all of the grisly murders in the city.
Character Filibuster - The epilogue is basically just a half-hour straight of Shiki's third, archetypal personality talking at length about the nature of the self and of Shiki's split personality with very occasional interruptions from Kokutou.
Chastity Couple - Shiki and Mikiya, to the point of one time sleeping in the same bed with their clothes on and not doing anything.
Chekhov's Gun(And Accompanying Skill) - It is mentioned in the second chapter that Ryougi Shiki possesses a sword and is trained in its use by her father; it is later used in the fifth chapter, though it is broken in the end.
Also, in the first chapter, it mentions the Fujino case. Guess what chapter three is centric to?
Chiaroscuro - Kara no Kyoukai loves shading, and shading loves Kara no Kyoukai.
Compilation Movie - Kara no Kyoukai Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven. Totally incomprehensible if you haven't watched the full movies already, but at least they rectified Satsuki's complete lack of backstory in the sixth movie. It also adds in the first meeting of Mikiya and "Void" Shiki.
Convenient Coma - A big part of the overarching story; what led to and what happens during the coma, and the repercussions after the awakening.
Crossdresser / Villainous Crossdresser - In the 7th chapter, Lio Shirazumi styles his hair like Ryogi's, and wears a dress to resemble her. It also doesn't help the fact that he's batshit insane. The fact that he looks downright frightening in a rather silly looking skirt says a lot.
Cute and Psycho - In reference to the anime fandom term yangire, Shiki actually has been labeled by Nasu as tsungire, which seems to fit particularly well. For the non-Japanese speakers out there, that's tsun (cold, aloof) and gire (cut), which is indeed quite appropriate.
Everyone Is Bi - Several concepts tackled in the series present the idea that a person's gender in correlation with their sexual orientation is never truly fixed, and that every person has a dual mentality within themselves.
Expy - Oh boy, where to start? Quite a few Type-Moon characters have their origins (if only in appearance) in this series.
Mikiya is borderline indistinguishable to Shiki Tohno.
Tomoe Enjou looks rather a lot like Shirou Emiya.
For that matter, Mikiya's cousin Daisuke Akimi is the inspiration for Kiritsugu Emiya.
Azaka bears a resemblance to Akiha from Tsukihime. In addition, when we see her as a child in the sixth movie, she looks a lot like Rin Tohsaka. She has shades of Satsuki Yumizuka as well.
Lio Shirazumi is probably the inspiration for Arcueid (in appearance only, though: blonde hair, red eyes, claws, skirt/dress) and also a precursor to both SHIKI (being a sort of 'mirror image' of the protagonist Shiki as well) and to an extent, Nero Chaos's ability, what with the whole 'beast' thing he's got going on.
Nero Chaos is also evidently inspired by Araya Souren, going by their rather similar outfits and the weird lines they have on their faces. Hell, they even have the same VA in the movies/Melty Blood.
And in Fate/stay night we have Kotomine Kirei, who shares color scheme, similar outfits and Joji Nakata's voice with both of them.
Fujino Asagami. Purple-haired character who suffers sexual abuse? Sounds like Sakura to me.
Ryougi Shiki has a fair resemblance to Ayako Mitsuzuri while Canaan looks like a younger version of her albeit with an obvious palette swap. And Canaan's Mystical Eyes are not, well, of Death Perception.
It's probably easier to list the characters who aren't Expies of someone or other.
Glowing Eyes of Doom - The mystic eyes in the movies. Shiki's eyes glow once blue in the novels, when she's considering killing Enjou Tomoe because she's restless. She decides against it.
Gray Eyes - Shiki again. Interestingly, in Melty Blood she is one of the few characters whose eyes don't glow red (Demon) or blue (not demon) in the opening "Versus" screen of each battle.
The Grim Reaper - Shiki is likened as one, thanks to her ability to kill anything she cuts coupled with her ability to cut anything.
She's even explicitly called a "Death God" by Touko during Book/Episode 5, "Paradox Spiral."
"Anything" literally means anything. This gets taken to its logical conclusion in Future Gospel, where she cuts the future. A precognitive, Meruka Kuramitsu, had set up a perfect and inescapable trap that would definately kill Shiki—so she kills that possibility and, by extension, Meruka's foresight.
In the Blood - Many characters in the story belong to families who are listed under the Demon Hunter's Association detailed in Tsukihime. Families in this group tend to partially have monstrous blood, which is partially the reason for their supernatural abilities.
Invisible to Normals - Minor supernatural beings (eg. ghosts, fairies) generally can't be seen as they are not powerful enough to manifest.
It Gets Easier - Presumably why the Ryougis insist that a person can only commit one murder—no murder will be as difficult or as totally warping to the mind as the first.
Japanese Pronouns - Shiki notably uses the aggressive-masculine pronoun of "Ore" to refer to herself in spite of being the portrait of a classical dignified Japanese Lady. This is due to her male SHIKI personality dying, and attempting to take on traits of him to compensate for its death.
Knife Nut - Shiki, very much so. Not that she has anything against swords though, as shown in her fight against Souren. Lio Shirazumi, although he isn't limited to just a knife nut per se.
Last Of Their Kind - Both Asagami Fujino and Fujou Kirie are implied to be the last supernatural member of their respective families, and Kurokiri Satsuki is the last person on Earth that can use the Unified Language.
Leitmotif - In the movies, a specific tune (heard with lyrics here is usually associated with Shiki (see also Theme Music Power-Up). The villains in part 5 also get Leitmotifs representative to their personalities (that Alba's sounds vaguely like "Hall of the Mountain King" may be a reference to M).
The Lifestream - Akasha, the Root of everything and nothing, the beginning and the end, the Swirl of Origin, etc. The Nothing After Death would be more appropriate a description,though you're still sort-of conscious in it.
Loss of Identity - A major theme in the series. Shiki wakes up after a two year coma and is only able to feel " " - literally nothing, emptiness. She is unable to connect herself to the "her" from her memories, and no longer has the "split personality" that she had been born with to keep her company. Her finding something to continue living for is a major issue for the rest of the series.
Also done on a lesser scale with Touko, who at one point created an exact duplicate of her body, down to the last detail, which made her realize that her own individuality was completely meaningless, as that body could exist as her on its own. She links it to her consciousness and sets it to wake up the instant her current body dies, so it quite literally is her, complete with memories and everything.
Meaningful Name - Several characters, but in particular, Ryougi means "two equal sides of opposites", and Shiki, "method" or "equation".
Mundane Utility - The theater PSA for the fifth movie has Araya use his bound field to deny Neco-Arc cell phone service.
Nigh Invulnerability - Aozaki Touko is a genius dollmaker who can create perfect copies of her own body which awaken when her current "container" is destroyed. Araya Souren is also close to indestructible, due to his origin of "Stillness" and having a Buddha's remains grafted onto his left arm - combined, these even blocked the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. For a little while, at least.
Not only that, but in the original novels, he still had a considerable lifespan left after Shiki pierces him in his death dot. That's typical Nasu Verse logic - the longer something has existed and the more magically powerful, the longer it will take to "die" completely when killed. There's some Dead Apostle Ancestors who have been dead for millennia and still exist.
Split Personality - Or rather, "United Independent Personalities." The Ryougi Family has the supernatural ability of dual personalities, which resulted in Shiki having both a (dominant) female side and a male side. Shiki's male side dies, which gives her a connection to death while she's still alive. What's left is the hole that is her so-called "Third Personality."
The Stoic - Araya Souren, and Shiki; her disinterest in other human beings started it, but it's her connection to the Root that made her empty.
Story Breaker Power - Ryougi Shiki discusses the full extent of her powers in the original epilogue to the novels. To be honest, Story Breaker Power is an understatement. Basically, because she's connected to the void/origin, she is considered a part of it, and thus has power over anything in the void/origin - which is everything. She claims to be able to do everything from rewriting natural laws to creating an entire new world to replace the current one.
Super-Deformed - The hilariously cute opening stop motion "don't smoke" warnings to each movie.
Super Speed and Required Secondary Powers - Done to extremes. Araya Souren can dodge a bullet after it has been fired. Ryougi Shiki can move faster than Araya's eyes can track, not to mention attacking so fast that he didn't even realize his arm was cut until it fell off. They even added something like a sonic boom in the film adaptation.
Theme Music Power-Up - Partially played straight - whenever Shiki begins doing something particularly epic, a suitably epic background track starts up; the music used in these scenes changes from movie to movie, if not from scene to scene, but manages to stay relatively similar overall (the tracks from her showdown with Araya Souren and her fight with Asagami Fujino are great examples).
Title Drop - The epilogue, which also explains what "The Boundary of Emptiness" is. It is Shiki's third, but original personality, the Void, Akasha, the root of everything itself.
Took a Level in Badass - Shiki does this twice against Araya Souren. What's more badass than regular Shiki? That would be Shiki with a sword. And what's even more badass than that? Shiki's third personality.
The first chapter abruptly focuses on a mysterious series of apparent suicides, as schoolgirls begin throwing themselves off of a certain abandoned building without reason. Ghosts are seen flying floating in the area.
Continuity Nod - Kind of backwards, but there's a scene in which the events of the third movie are reported on by the news on TV. Novel readers and people rewatching the movies will catch it, but otherwise it'll pass by without notice.
When Touko is fixing Shiki's artificial arm she makes a nod to the third movie's antagonist.
Evil Hand - Shiki's artificial arm gets remotely possessed by a ghost and tries to choke and throw her off a building.
Leave the Camera Running - There is a very long scene of Shiki (with one arm) eating ice cream that takes about a minute and a half. It's supposed to be symbolic and a Pet the Dog scene about Shiki and Mikiya's relationship, but to some viewers comes off as a little silly.
Product Placement - Said ice cream is prominently stated to be Haagen-Dazs in both the movies and the original novel.
And Shiki's fridge is shown as being empty except for the ice cream and several bottles of Volvic water.
#2: "Murder Speculation (Part 1)"/"The First Homicide Inquiry" (March 1995 - February 1996)
This chronologically-first chapter shows the initial meeting of high school classmates Ryougi Shiki and Kokutou Mikiya. As he gets closer to Shiki, Mikiya finds out about her dual personalities. Meanwhile, Mikiya's cousin, police detective Akimi Daisuke, warns him of a serial killer who stalks the town at night, leaving behind gruesome corpses. Only one piece of evidence has been left behind: the badge of attendance for their school.
Dramatic Pause - Several minutes worth at the end. And good Lord, they were gripping.
Shout Out - Two plushie cat dolls, one black and one white, both with ribbons, are won by Kokutou in a UFO Catcher game to give to Shiki; these are Len and White Len from Melty Blood in cat form. Appropriately, this is when Shiki tells him about her multiple personalities.
Only in the OVAs, though. The cameo didn't happen in the original novels... probably because the original novels predate Tsuki Hime, and thus, Melty Blood.
Time Skip - The end moves the story back to July 1998.
#3: "Lingering Sense of Pain"/"Lingering Pain" (July 1998)
Ryougi Shiki's first case after her awakening from the coma. The unassuming Asagami Fujino, a girl unable to feel pain, experiences life for the first time in the passion of killing. As Aozaki Touko and Kokutou Mikiya investigates the truth behind this murderer, Ryougi Shiki hunts her down, leading to a confrontation between the two very different kinds of Mystic Eyes.
Cry Cute - Asagami Fujino yet again. Even when discounting the fact she is voiced by Noto Mamiko she is so adorable in this scene you would still wanna reach into the screen and hug her.
Drives Like Crazy - When Touko gets behind the wheel Mikiya's reactions tell us that she's like this. We find out in the 5th movie that she never went to driving school, which explains a lot.
Fan Disservice - The scenes of Fujino being abused and raped by the delinquents.
Feel No Pain - Asagami Fujino, both physically and emotionally, though she keeps this a secret from everyone else so they don't think she's abnormal. She was even repeatedly raped by a gang because of her passivity and this unwillingness to tell anyone about her 'pain'. She starts getting her sensation back in fits after one of the gang hits her with a baseball bat. The pain makes her feel more alive... and murderous. They die messily. It turns out that the lack of pain was the result of her father medicating her as a child to seal her psychic powers before they got out of hand.
Pet the Dog - In an odd way; Shiki lets Fujino live by killing her appendicitis, which by her standards is petting the dog.
Scary Shiny Glasses - Kokutou, of all people. Granted, he's being told how one of his former friends and his buddies abused Fujino, so he's disgusted.
Tearjerker - "I... don't want to die... I want to live more... I want to feel more... I want to talk with him more... I want to love him more... I want to be here longer... I don't want... to die... Oh it hurts... It Hurts so bad I want to cry... Can I cry?"
#4: "Hollow Shrine"/"The Hollow" (June 1998)
Ryougi Shiki awakens from her coma, and is immediately restrained after attempting to gouge out her own eyes. For two years, she has been staring into " " - not just "emptiness", but a complete void without meanings, forms, or concepts. And she is alone - SHIKI has disappeared. Chronologically the second chapter, this chapter covers Shiki's recovery, the consequences of her coma, and her struggle to survive while submersed in death.
Chekhov's Gun - The corpse being carried in one scene. It becomes the zombie that will attack Shiki later.
Continuity Nod - Fujou Kirie (from the first movie) can be seen in the background in one scene.
The nurses comment that Tohko is replacing Araya as a counselor at the hospital.
There's also the post-credits scene, showing how Araya Souren is connected to the first three parts.
Soundtrack Dissonance - There's a rather eerie scene in which a recovering Shiki is being attacked by a zombie in her hospital room, overlayed by Mikiya (elsewhere) singing "Singing in the Rain" (possibly a Shout Out to A Clockwork Orange).
#5: "Paradox Spiral" (October-November 1998)
Enjou Tomoe flees his apartment after killing his parents and unexpectedly finds sanctuary at Shiki's place. Tomoe then finds that his parents have apparently failed to stay dead, and that's only the first sign of the abnormalities surrounding the building. Things get bloody messy, and Touko meets some old acquaintances. This movie is notable in that Shiki kills off the Big Bad of the series here, while the following two movies explore the loose and still-unused plot threads.
All There in the Manual - The concepts in this movie are a lot clearer after reading the novels. The movie is also more passive over the fact that Tomoe escaping and Shiki and Tohko getting involved (most of the plot, really) were caused by the Counter Force manipulating them to have the situation resolved.
Anachronic Order - Deserves separate mention here. The movie plays out in three "arcs"—one from Shiki's perspective, then one from Mikiya's, and lastly a finale tying the two together—divided by title cards with a hand-sketched appearance. Several short scenes are repeated verbatim, such as Mikiya's surprise at Shiki's locked apartment door, with others shown from different perspectives. The long flashback as Shiki breaks out of Araya's confinement fills in some gaps towards the end.
And Show It To You - Araya rips outTouko's heart, which is still beating, and yet, being the Nasuverse, they still manage to have a philosophical conversation. Touko gets better.
Bloodless Carnage - Despite the large amount of blood elsewhere in the movie, the scene near the beginning of Tomoe killing his mother is oddly lacking. This lack of blood is actually a critical clue to what's really going on. This also works as an effective Mind Screw.
Brain in a Jar - Everyone in Tomoe's apartment is just a puppet, with their brains actually kept alive in a pile of jars in the basement.
Continuity Nod - Done very literally in-story with a completely different (and important) meaning: while Shiki is basically in Akasha and viewing all the moments the Counter Force had an influence on the situation, she sees the moment she first met Mikiya — and "that her" stops talking, looks up at the screen where Shiki is watching from Akasha, and smiles at her. This is a huge plot detail.
Expy - Cornelius Alba is basically the most disgusting parts of Willy Wonka and Alexander De-Large rolled into one humanoid mass; combining the arrogance and bad-fashion sense of both. He even goes as far as to gleefully sing Bethoven's 9th Symphony 4th Movement, the favourite tune of Alex from A Clock Work Orange, when he tried to murder Mikiya in a chillingly sadistic torture scene.
Maybe not so coincidentally, Mikiya himself has sung Singin' In The Rain, the song that Alex sung while raping a writer's helpless wife, twice in the film series.
Free Fall Fight - During the climax, when Shiki fights against Souren he jumps off the building with the intention of destroying it with Shiki inside, but Shiki follows him and lands the final blow in the middle of the air.
Meteor Move - After fighting with Shiki and realizing that she is stronger physically, Araya teleports from the tenth floor (where they both are) down to the the grounds outside. Shiki goes to the nearest opening, jumps down—from the tenth floor, I remind you—and lands sword-first right on top of him. Though the impact breaks the usually invincible Japanese Sword and knocks Shiki out in process.
And even then she was only saved by the Big Bad's Mobile Bounded Field (kind of like a shield) taking most of the landing impact (it's slightly implied he activated it on purpose for that reason).
Mind Screw - Of truly epic proportions. Without reading the novels, you really need to see this film at least twice to even get a rough idea about what the blazes is going on. A great case of All There in the Manual (listed above). Half the reason for the mind screw is not just because of the mind screw nature, but because the movie left out parts that are necessary to put everything together, leaving you with a general sense of "wtf" as you try to put together the gaps.
Off Model - Shiki's fight against the zombie puppets.
Pet the Dog - Shiki goes somewhere between this and Tsundere (but not quite - she is very hard to categorize) when she starts stabbing her pillow in frustration while griping about Mikiya's absence to Tomoe.
Start of Darkness - A flashback/dream of Araya's shows him standing in the aftermath of a bloody conflict 200 years ago, looking at the corpse of a little boy who got caught up in it. He resolves that since he cannot save anybody, he will at least collect and record the deaths of people and reach the origin so he can end this world so there can be no more meaningless deaths.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? - Subverted. Araya mercilessly destroysTohko, but keeps her head alive on purpose - she's created an exact duplicate of her own body and linked them to herself. Whenever she is "killed" the other body awakens, allowing her to come back - when Alba crushes her head, she comes back. With a vengeance.
#6: "Oblivion Recorder"/"Records of Oblivion" (January 1999)
Azaka and Shiki go to the Reien Girl's Academy to find the culprit behind a rash of disappearing memories caused by "fairies".
Anachronism Stew - Satsuki Kurogiri's computer has a flat screen monitor expect they weren't invented yet in 1999.
Badass Adorable - Sure, Shiki may be charming and beautiful, but Azaka-chan fits this trope better as she acts in a more cutesy fashion.
Betty and Veronica - In Azaka's mind, she is the Betty while Shiki is the Veronica who is trying to take Mikiya away from her.
Bowdlerization - The child prostitution and teen pregnancy subplot between Tachibana Kaori and Hayama Hideo in the novel is reduced to drug addiction in the movie. Which is somewhat glaring seeing as they left in Asagami Fujino's rather graphic rape scenes in the third movie.
They also left Kurogiri-sensei's fate unclear: we never see Ouji kill him in the ending. It actually looked like Shiki simply cut him as he restored her memories, before the scene cut out, which seemed to imply that he died in that encounter.
Breather Episode - Cute and light-hearted, almost as if preparing you for a soul-shatteringly traumatic finale.
The film adaptation only, mainly due to the focus on Azaka.
Brother-Sister Incest - Azaka openly states that she's in love with Mikiya, her blood-related brother - during her self-intro narration, no less. She even left home and enrolled at Reien in hopes that their time apart would lead Mikiya to view her as a woman rather than his little sister.
Shout Out - Azaka mentions she's dogsitting for her roommate Seo. Keen Nasuverse fans will assume she means Seo Akira, Akiha's friend in Kagetsu Tohya. When we get to see her at the end of the film, she does indeed appear to be a tously-haired Expy, although she's evidently not the same one - the DOG'S name is Akira.
Vitriolic Best Buds - Azaka actually respects Shiki, and is quite fond of her; the feeling is mutual on Shiki's part. The girls understand each other enough to laugh at and finish the punch line of each-other's jokes, and marvelously complementing each together in abilities on the battlefield. The one thing, however, that prevents them from actually openly admitting their friendship to one another is their mutual love for Mikiya.
#7: "Murder Speculation (Part 2)"/"The Second Homicide Inquiry" (February 1999)
The murders from before Shiki's coma resume, and both Shiki and Mikiya are trying to find the killer.
Book Ends - A number of themes from Overlooking View (as well as the other five movies) get a reprise here.
Cry Cute - Is that actually Shiki? My God she's adorable.
Curb-Stomp Battle - Averted, contrary to popular belief. While it seemed as if Shiki was able to take out Lio quite easily in the final battle, she was actually experiencing extreme difficulty in keeping up with him. The novel actually elaborates on this outlining how Shiki was still experiencing the lingering effects of the drugs thus being unable to fight as well as she did before. It goes on how Lio was effectively weakening Shiki's limbs one by one like a predator slowly taking down its prey, with the final blow being directed at her neck (Shiki basically took full advantage of the amount of space between them and took him out in one fell swoop resulting in the fight to come across as a Curb-Stomp Battle)
Earn Your Happy Ending - A few minutes from the end of the movie, Mikiya is apparently dead from a stab to the face, and Shiki's resigned herself to melancholy after killing Lio. The situation eventually improves.
Even Evil Has Standards - Mikiya obtains info on the drug-related serial killings by the only drug dealer around who's not selling that particular new cocktail because she thinks it's too damaging for the human body.
Possibly she's being pragmatic - you can't really get money from a corpse.
Eye Scream - Mikiya loses his left eye towards the end of the movie. Considering Lio was trying to kill him, he may have gotten off lucky.
Fan Disservice - Anything Lio does to Shiki, especially the drooling all over her part after ripping open her kimono with his teeth. That he's modelled himself after her doesn't make it better. Yuck.