Kinoko Nasu of TYPE-MOON/Notes fame, written before he became involved in the Visual Novel business. Though 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 are essentially the same person with different qualities. This dual consciousness combined with her upbringing has led her to avoid other human beings' company.One day at school, however, she encounters an empathetic classmate, Mikiya Kokutou, who tries to break her self-imposed isolation. Soon thereafter, gruesome murders begin occurring across the city, and one night, Mikiya stumbles upon Shiki standing over a headless corpse, knife in hand. Refusing to believe that she was the killer, Mikiya slowly creeps into Shiki's life... until he grows too close.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. The novel can also be read as a story of Shiki coming to terms with the death of her other self—the only soulmate she ever had or needed before. As one of the earliest works within the Nasuverse, it 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:
- Volume 1:
- Panorama: Thanatos
- The First Homicide Inquiry: ...and nothing heart
- Lingering Pain: ever cry, never life
- Volume 2:
- The Hollow: garan-no-dou
- "Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Kirie Fujou and Fujino Asagami.
- Spiral Paradox: Paradox Paradigm
- The Hollow: garan-no-dou
- Volume 3:
- Records of Oblivion: Fairy Tale
- "Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Lio Shirazumi.
- The Second Homicide Inquiry: ...not nothing heart
- Empty Boundaries: ...is nothing id, nothing cosmos (the original epilogue)
- Records of Oblivion: Fairy Tale
- Future Gospel: recalled out summer (an additional chapter and Distant Finale written ten years after the original series.)
The series as a whole provides examples of:
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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 are 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.
- Anticlimax: Shiki absolutely slaughters the suicide-ghosts the second time she encounters them. They literally do nothing but flee for their lives when she shows up.
- Audible Sharpness: Done to excess in the film adaptation.
- Babies Ever After: Shiki and Mikiya have a daughter named Mana in the distant future shown in "Mirai Fukuin".
- Book Ends: Chronologically speaking, Shiki and Mikiya's story begins and ends with a meeting and conversation in between the two in the snow. To be precise, it begins and ends with Mikiya speaking to Shiki's third personality.
- Chastity Couple: Shiki and Mikiya, to the point of one time sleeping in the same bed with their clothes on and not doing anything.
- Chiaroscuro: Kara no Kyoukai loves shading, and shading loves Kara no Kyoukai.
- Color Motif: More frequent in the first movies, but the colors red and/or green are often used when something bloody is about to happen. Even more noticeable in the third movie, where it turns out that Asagami Fujino's ability stems from her eyes, which can generate a red and green spiral to bend objects and people.
- 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.
- Cool Old Guy: Akitaka, the Ryougi manservant.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: A prayer is something overflowing with the good news of the future...
- Environmental Symbolism: See Color Motif. All fights also usually happen in the night.
- 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.
- Evil Plan: As perpetrated by Araya Souren.
- Expy: Oh boy, where to start? Quite a few TYPE-MOON characters have their origins (if only in appearance) in this series. It's probably easier to list the characters who aren't Expies of someone or other.
- 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.
- 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 a lot like Sakura Matou.
- Shiki Ryougi has a fair resemblance to Mitsuzuri Ayako, and Canaan looks like a younger version of her, albeit with an obvious palette swap. Also, Canaan's Mystical Eyes are not, well, of Death Perception.
- Functional Magic: Magecraft is defined as "artificial reenactment of Magic", requiring Equivalent Exchange, whereas Magic is "achieving the impossible" (e.g., Operation of Parallel Worlds).
- Genre-Busting: It's a mix of romance, horror, Urban Fantasy, murder mystery, and action.
- 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.
- Informed Attribute: The Ryougi are a Yakuza family, this is barely a part of the narrative, there are no further depths to it, no one chastises, recognizes, mentions, praises, gets shocked for Shiki being part of it, there are no gang rivals, no turf wars, no problems with the police; nothing to place value to this fact happens until the very last event in the very last Novel / Movie gives some weight to it.
- Invisible to Normals: Minor supernatural beings (e.g. 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.
- Leitmotif: In the movies, a specific tune (of which, Seventh Heaven, aptly the ED of the seventh film, is the vocal version) 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). Shiki's Leitmotif even finds its way into Melty Blood Actress Again as her stage's music.
- 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.
- Magi Babble: Almost a given with any Nasuverse work.
- Magical Eye: Several characters possess Mystic Eyes, with abilities ranging from "Suggestion" to the famous "Eyes of Death Perception." By extension, this also includes Hellish Pupils. Most are quite colorful when activated. [Insert Dune reference here].
- Multi-Gendered Split Personalities: Shiki Ryougi—at least, until a car accident kills off her male personality. Also, her entire bloodline is apparently afflicted by this disorder.
- Mundane Utility: The theater PSA for the fifth movie has Araya use his bound field to deny Neco-Arc cell phone service.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The parts that just follow one character walking alone in decaying/highly industrial urban environments, by night, in almost complete darkness.
- Official Couple: Shiki and Mikiya.
- Old School Building: The sixth book/movie's climax takes place in the abandoned school building in the Reien Girls' Academy.
- One Steve Limit: You have Ryougi Shiki, and then you have her alternate personality, also named Shiki.
- Paranormal Investigation: Touko's agency, Garan no Dou/The Hollow Temple, is doing this.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The film cut out a good number of things from the novel, and yet manages to garner a generally positive reception.
- Psychic Powers: Several types. It is fundamentally different from Magecraft in that it is not a learned ability, but a one-time mutation.
- Rousseau Was Right: Subverted. The series plays around with the idea of fate vs. will (mainly through the concept of the Origin) in correlation with each of the villains' respective back-stories.
- Scenery Porn: There are some very nice landscapes shown, even though they tend to be of decrepit buildings and city areas.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted; the Big Bad and the mastermind behind most of the story has only one proper appearance in the fifth chapter.
- Super-Deformed: The hilariously cute opening stop motion "don't smoke" warnings to each movie.
- Super Weight: Let's rank 'em.
- Muggle Weight: Kokuto Mikiya (Unfazed Everyman), Enjou Tomoe (Ordinary High-School Student), Mitsuru Kamekura (Brought Down to Normal)
- Iron Weight: Ouji Misaya (can cause Laser-Guided Amnesia via her fairy Familiars), Shizune Seo (Seer)
- Abnormal Weight: Shirazumi Lio (less of a Charles Atlas Superpower and more like Transhuman caused by Magic Enhancement), Meruka Kuramitsu (Also a Seer, but combined with Because Destiny Says So)
- Super Weight: Fujou Kirie (Mind Control), Kurogiri Satsuki (Mind Control), Kokuto Azaka (Kill It with Fire)
- Hyper Weight: Asagami Fujino (Super Telekinesis, clairvoyance), Cornelius Alba (high-speed spellcasting, powerful puppets), Aozaki Touko (Immortality, superpowered puppets, rune magic), Ryougi Shiki (mystic eyes superpower, highest-ranking Super Speed)
- Deus Weight: Araya Souren (Implacable Man, Immortality, Nigh Invulnerable, Force Field, Super Speed, crushing space-time attack, Reality Warper inside the temple)
- Author Weight: Ryougi Shiki's Third Personality
- Supporting Harem: Mikiya only has eyes for Shiki. Even though several other girls such as Kirie Fujou, Fujino Asagami and even his own sister Azaka are also in love with him, they can't compete with Shiki.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Did you know the Ryougi are a Yakuza family? You wouldn’t be the first not to know since they aren’t seen doing anything of sorts beyond a very specific scene, and the Anime adaptation barely touches upon this, in fact only the very last Movie hammer this fact with Ryougi’s foot soldiers accosting Mitsuru over a debt of his.
- 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.
- Unfazed Everyman: Kokutou Mikiya, completely normal guy working for a magus.
#1: "Overlooking View"/"Panorama" (September 1998)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
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 1
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Go on, guess what insect is in the opening a lot. You'll never guess.
- 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.
- Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Shiki first appears to have two functional arms — right until a ghost manages to possess one of them, which is revealed to be a magically-animated prosthetic, forcing Shiki to cut it off and "kill" it. The circumstances under which she lost her own arm are shown in chapter three.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Mikiya drops this:"She is either an eminent virtuoso, or just a big weirdo."
- Spoiler Opening: Who was the girl on the ceiling that commits suicide at the end of the opening credits? Kirie Fujou, the current antagonist.
- Suicide Is Painless: Basically the entire story has to do with this concept.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The schoolgirls throw themselves off the building because of this.
- Weird Moon: The first film does this both times in the background when Fujou Kirie is seen.
#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.
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 2
- Dramatic Pause: Several minutes worth at the end. And good Lord, they were gripping.
- Cliffhanger: The chapter ends with Shiki about to kill Mikiya with a smile on her face. See Time Skip.
- Enemy Within: Shiki herself doesn't care, but her male side is essentially a Blood Knight.
- Gaussian Girl: Shiki when she and Mikiya first meet.
- Hidden Eyes: Shiki when she goes partially Ax-Crazy.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Done straight and serious.
- 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 films, though. The cameo didn't happen in the original novels... probably because the original novels predate Tsukihime, and thus, Melty Blood.
- Snow Means Love: The Official Couple Shiki and Mikiya first meet in a snowy night.
- Time Skip: The end moves the story back to July 1998. Not to mention within the story it jumps from March-April to August to September to December to January and then finally February.
#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.
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 3
- Asshole Victim: The punks who raped Fujino.
- Battle in the Rain: Shiki's final fight against Fujino.
- Fan Disservice: The scenes of Fujino being abused and raped by the delinquents.
- Pet the Dog: In an odd way; Shiki lets Fujino live by killing her appendicitis, which by her standards is petting the dog.
- Product Placement:If you look at the shoes of one of the punks during the rape scene in the alley, you'll see the familiar sight of the Converse logo.
- 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.
#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.
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 4
- 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 Touko 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.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: When Shiki first wakes up the fact that her hair is now past shoulder-length lets us know she's been asleep for a long time. Add an Important Haircut later and you know she's serious.
- Eye Scream: One of the first things Shiki does upon waking up is try to claw her own eyes out, as the result of a Freak-Out upon realizing what her eyes can see.
- She's Back: Shiki regains her will to live when a ghoul tries to kill her. She then leaps out of a multi-story hospital and finally uncovers her eyes, using her new Mystic Eyes of Death Perception to damage the ghoul. Then Touko tosses a knife to Shiki, which then proceeds to use to cut her hair back to its familiar length and kill the ghoul and the spirit that was possessing it.
- 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.
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 5
- Alas, Poor Yorick: Touko Aozaki gets this treatment.
- 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 Touko 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 out Touko'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, since when blood starts appearing again it has a jarring effect.
- 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.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Enjou didn't have a chance against Araya. But damn did he tell him off.
- Eldritch Abomination: The thing in Touko's briefcase. Sometimes it just resembles a traditional bakeneko. Others....
- 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 Clockwork 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.
- Former Friends Photo: An old photograph◊ of Touko, Cornelius Alba, and Souren Araya from back when they were working together at the Clock Tower shows the three of them seem quite friendly for people who take the first opportunity to murder each other in the story proper.
- 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.
- If It's You, It's Okay: After thinking for a minute, Kokutou decides that he'd probably like Shiki the same regardless of her gender. Though he does add that he's pretty happy that she's a girl.
- Inn Between the Worlds: The Cafe Of Impossible Meetings, Cafe Ahnenerbe. Used in this series between Life and Death.
- Innocuously Important Episode: Sure, the plot seems weak and confusing now, but it'll all make sense once the seventh movie actually shows you what the heck was going on!
- Malevolent Architecture: Araya's apartment building is made this way on purpose, to drive people crazy.
- Matricide: The movie starts with Tomoe killing his mother in self defence, after she murdered his father. Treated oddly sympathetically, despite the rather... strange circumstances that turn out to be surrounding it.
- 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.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Shiki vs. zombie. Zombie explodes in half.
- Snow Means Death: When Araya dies
- 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.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Touko chatters on about her meaning of life for a while after Araya rips her heart out and only seems to actually die when he crushes it in his hand.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The Tomoe who interacts with Shiki is a fake, as he himself confirms when he finds the Brain in a Jar with his name on it.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Subverted. Araya mercilessly destroys Touko, 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".
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 6
- Anachronism Stew: Satsuki Kurogiri's desktop computer has a flat screen monitor, which were very expensive for the time and rather uncommon compared to CRT monitors. Given it appears larger than available LCD monitors at that time, this seems like a genuine mistake.
- 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 odd, considering Asagami Fujino's rather graphic rape scenes in the third movie were preserved. 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, but then the scene ends, which might imply that he died in that encounter.
- Breather Episode: The film adaptation turned this chapter into one by shifting the focus onto Azaka. The sixth novel is just as grim as the rest of them, but the movies give you a breather before a soul-shatteringly traumatic finale.
- Dartboard of Hate: Azaka uses a plush doll of Shiki for her magical targeting practice.
- Driven to Suicide: Tachibana Kaori. In the novel, she intended her suicide to be atonement for her and her classmates' sins; see Enjo Kosai below.
- Elaborate University High: Reien Academy.
- Enjo Kosai: What Tachibana Kaori's class ended up doing, with their teacher Hayama Hideo as the pimp. Kaori herself was the last to hold out due to her Christian convictions, and was raped and impregnated by the said teacher as a result. Both aspects were cut out of the movie.
- Everyone Can See It: Azaka's crush on Mikiya is pretty obvious. Shiki knows about it and says she isn't the only one who has noticed it, but Mikiya doesn't know.
- The Fair Folk: And we're not talking about the packaged-for-kids Christmas version. Oh no. These are the child-kidnapping, terrifyingly alien kind all over.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Azaka performs one of these against the big demon flower controlling Ouji. She even finishes it off with her best approximation of a Super Inazuma Kick.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The random giant flower thing in the movie.
- Lighter and Softer: The least violent and disturbing entry in the saga, at least the movie adaptation.
- Rivals Team Up: Shiki and Azaka.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Implied of Ouji and Tachibana, what with the persistent white lily motif.
- 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. In addition, the headmistress of the Reien Girls' Academy is mentioned to be one Mother Riesbyfe, who has a large stringed instrument case in her office.
- Sneezing: Touko does this when Shiki and Azaka find her picture in the yearbook.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Tachibana dies in the novel and but survives and awakens from coma in the movie.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Shiki and Azaka.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Shiki and Azaka.
- 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 marvellously complementing each together in abilities on the battlefield. The one thing 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.
Tropes in Chapter/Movie # 7
- Book Ends: A number of themes from Overlooking View (as well as the other five movies) get a reprise here.
- Cherry Blossoms: The post-credits scene has Shiki and Mikiya walking together while Holding Hands under cherry blossom trees.
- Cry Cute: Is that actually Shiki? My God she's adorable.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Averted, contrary to popular belief. While it looks as if Shiki was able to take out Lio easily in the final battle, her earlier confrontation proved he was more than a match for her. The novel elaborates, outlining how Shiki was still experiencing the lingering paralysing effects of the drugs, and Lio was weakening Shiki's limbs one by one like a predator slowly taking down its prey, with the final blow directed at her neck. Had she waited a second longer, she would have died. When she chose to fight back, Shiki basically took full advantage of the amount of space between them and struck as effectively as she could at precisely the right moment to ensure he went down before he could injure her further. The result was a Single-Stroke 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 death after killing Lio. The situation 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 - dead customers aren't repeat customers.
- 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 after ripping open her kimono with his teeth. That he's modelled himself after her doesn't make it better. Yuck. Also anything he does to Mikiya, including Eye Scream.
- Fingore: Shiki breaks free of the bindings holding her hands by gnawing her thumb off! Of course, that was off her artificial hand.
- Indirect Kiss: Shiki refuses a canned sweet drink when Mikiya offers her one, but says she changed her mind and drinks it after Mikiya drinks a bit of the can.
- Ironic Echo: Lio's diary starts with one. "April 1995. I met her."
- Irony: Mikiya ended up becoming Shiki's reason for being a murderer.
- Once More, with Clarity!: The audience finally gets to see the event that led to Shiki's coma from where the second movie cuts off, but it cuts out some of the dialogue, so while the audience understands what happened, they don't understand, among other things, why it happened. Latter, the segment with the cut dialogue is revisited, only now the dialogue is present, explaining why Shiki tried to kill Mikiya and why she tried to commit suicide afterwards.
- Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: The night train passes by as Kokutou learns the drug dealer's name, Lio Shirazumi.
- Snow Means Death: Shiki kills Lio when it's snowing.
- Snow Means Love: As it's snowing outside, Mikiya embraces Shiki and swears to never let her go.
- Stalker Shrine: Featured in the opening credits, and it's hella creepy. Shows up again when Mikiya investigates Lio's apartment. More detail is given and the camera pans around to truly show all the pictures.
- They Were Holding You Back: Lio believes this about Mikiya and Shiki, and tries to murder Mikiya to prove that he and Shiki are Not So Different.
Epilogue: "Boundary of Emptiness" (March 1999)The original epilogue of the series, where Mikiya meets Ryougi Shiki—Shiki's "third" personality, a.k.a. her archetype/Origin, a.k.a. the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Void/Nothingness itself—under circumstances very similar to his first meeting with Shiki.
Tropes in the Epilogue
- The Reveal: Shiki's Origin and nature is finally spelled out.
- Talking Heads: There is literally nothing happening in the epilogue except Mikiya and Shiki discussing the secrets of the universe.
- Walk and Talk: At some point, Shiki starts walking up the road and, for a bit, their dialogue continues on the move.
"Future Gospel" (August 1998 & 2008)Consists of two parts. "Möbius Ring" takes place between "Lingering Sense of Pain" and "Overlooking View" and concerns a psychic bomb-maker's attempts to assassinate Shiki to prevent her from revealing his identity to the police. "Möbius Link" takes place ten years later. The overarching topic of this chapter is precognition and clairvoyance.
Tropes in "Möbius Ring"
- Anachronic Order: The anime adaptation jumps back and forth in the timeline, in a way similar to, though easier to follow than "Paradox Spiral".
- Four Lines, All Waiting: The story basically consists of two plots related only by their overarching theme and occurring at the same time.
- How We Got Here: The anime adaptation opens with a graphic scene of Shiki walking into a Death Trap and being shredded to pieces by shrapnel. The rest of the movie shows how she ended up in that predicament.
- Rube Goldberg Device: Basically, how Meruka Kuramitsu's precognitive powers work. By doing specific but often unrelated things in a specific sequence, he is somehow able to bring about a very specific future he foresaw.
- Seers: Touko gets to exposition two types of precognitive talents in Nasuverse: one extrapolates the most likely future scenario from the available data (kinda like a mystic weather forecast), while the other allows the wielder to set up a specific future they desire.
- Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: Both Shizune and Meruka come to believe that their futures are predetermined Because Destiny Says So, but Shizune is proven wrong when Mikiya simply acts on her prediction and saves the life of a man whose death she foresaw, while Meruka learns his lesson in a much more violent and traumatic fashion from Shiki, who literally destroys the future he set up for her, taking his precognitive ability as collateral damage.
Tropes in "Möbius Link"
- Knight in Sour Armor: Mitsuru, kinda. Having experienced a time where everything he started was automatically 100% successful, he perceives his current life, full of uncertainty, as one long string of failures. Still, he ultimately finds this alternative much better than being effectively doomed to win at all times.
- The Stinger: In the grand tradition of the Rakkyo anime adaptations, this one has a hidden scene after the credits, in which Mother of Mifune reads SHIKI's fortune shortly before his suicide and realizes that there is literally no future timeline in which he survives the next few weeks. He is OK with it, though, since she also reads that his dream will live on and eventually be realized.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: This chapter is basically this to the protagonists and the antagonist of "Möbius Ring": Shiki and Mikiya are married and have a daughter, Mana; Shiki is also the new head of the Ryougi family enterprise (a.k.a. yakuza); and Mitsuru has become a moderately successful children book writer and was hired by Shiki has her organization's on-staff PI.
"Extra Chorus"A compilation of short stories occurring in-between the original chapters: "Feline" after "Lingering Sense of Pain", "Daylight" after "Overlooking View", and "Say Grace" after "Paradox Spiral".
Tropes in "Feline"
- Burning with Anger: Played with. Mikiya tells Shiki that he has to go out of town for a two days. He returns a week later to find a very pissed Shiki with a boiling teapot.
Tropes in "Daylight"
Tropes in "Say Grace"