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"I'll show you. This is what it means to kill something."
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After being involved in a major accident, the young heir of an affluent family named Shiki Tohno awakens in a hospital to find parts of his memory are missing and he can see glowing, pulsing red lines covering everything in his sight, from inanimate objects such as his bed to the living doctors and nurses treating him. Furthermore, he discovers that by tracing something along these lines, whatever they're on will fall apart with frightening ease. Growing increasingly unstable staring at a world that could literally fall to pieces with a mere touch, Shiki attempts to escape the hospital, only to come face to face with a self-styled "Sorceress", who teaches Shiki about his condition, tries to instill in him the beauty and value of life, and as a parting gift gives him a special pair of glasses that hide the lines from what the Sorceress calls his "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception". Finally able to somewhat recover, Shiki is soon sent away to live with a branch family of the Tohnos, while his sister is made the new heir in his place.

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Years later, Shiki is now a high-school student and living a normal life — that is, until he receives some devastating news: his father has died, and he must return to the main Tohno household at once. As Shiki settles into his new home and altered school life, and attempts to reconnect with his estranged family, he happens to cross paths with a strange blonde-haired girl with piercing red eyes on the street. Seized by an overwhelming, unknown desire, Shiki follows her into an alley, and by the time he has regained his senses finds he has cut her into 17 distinct pieces for no apparent reason before passing out in shock... only to then wake up in his bed at home. Was he dreaming? What force could possibly compel him to commit such a horrifying act? Is this somehow linked to his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, or his family's rumored occult past? And... hang on, did that red-eyed girl just show up again claiming he murdered her? Despite looking no worse for wear? And... does she have a crush on Shiki?!

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Tsukihime (lit. "Moon Princess") is the story that put Type-Moon and Kinoko Nasu on the map. One of the nascent company's first major projects (on initial release, it was still a doujin circle, not a company) and the original release debuted at Comiket in 2000. It set the foundations for Type-Moon's budding universe and helped lead to the massive franchise juggernaut we know today. The Visual Novel contains five major story routes, each associated with one of the female leads. The routes are subdivided into two branches, Near and Far Side of the Moon: the Near Side routes (The red-eyed girl, Arcueid, and Shiki's classmate Ciel) revolve around power struggles between various Nasuverse vampires and spend a lot of time on Worldbuilding; the Far Side routes (Shiki's sister Akiha, and the Tohno house's maids, Hisui and Kohaku), by contrast, are much more introverted and personal, focusing more on the dark secrets of the Tohno family. Each route except Kohaku's has two endings — usually labeled True and Good (except one, who only gets True and Normal) — and a secret epilogue, "Eclipse", is unlocked by clearing all nine endings.

A fan-translation patch of the original game is available from Mirror Moon. Also has a manga adaptation and an anime adaptation both released under the name Shingetsutan Tsukihime (lit. "Lunar Legend Moon Princess"), a pseudo-sequel game of short stories, Kagetsu Tohya (lit. "Ten Nights of the Poetic Moon"), and a series of sequel fighting games, Melty Blood, that take place after a Third-Option Adaptation version of the original story's various endings.

A remake of Arcueid and Ciel's Near Side routes (now called Moon Princess and Rainbow of the Night respectively), titled Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon-, was released on August 26th, 2021 for Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4. The remake features all new art, full voice acting, updates the time period from the 1990s to the 2010s, shifts to a more metropolitan setting, and expands both routes' stories, including adding a variety of new characters in both familar and all new roles. The Far Side routes (including a long-rumored route for the secondary character Satsuki "Sacchin" Yumizuka) are planned for later release as Tsukihime -The other side of red garden-.

A new Melty Blood fighting game set in an additional alternate version of the remake's story, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, was released on September 30th, 2021.

A number of official manga anthologies for A piece of blue glass moon have been released.

Takes place in the Nasuverse. Compare to The Garden of Sinners, Nasu's earlier novel series that Tsukihime recycles a lot of concepts from (including a Knife Nut protagonist named Shiki and the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception). See also Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, which serves as a prequel to Tsukihime and The Garden of Sinners, featuring a younger version of Shiki's Sorceress teacher, Aoko Aozaki, as the main character.


Tropes in the series:

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    In General 
  • Action Girlfriend: Both Arcueid and Ciel are no slouches in fighting as they become closer with Shiki in their respective routes.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Shiki misreads the engraving on his knife as "Nanatsu-Yoru". In fact, it is his family name, Nanaya (七夜).
  • Anime Catholicism: The Holy Church is the hidden side of the Roman Catholic Church. It is an organization for going against inhuman entities such as vampires which are a threat to humans.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The original visual novel's art is primitive compared to later works, but overall, Takashi Takeuchi's art skills have improved dramatically since the original version of Tsukihime — this can be seen if you look at, in order, Tsukihime, then Kagetsu Tohya, then Melty Blood, Fate/stay night, Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, and then finally the Tsukihime remake. Compare Ciel's original design (from Melty Blood, not the original VN, mind you) with the one used in the remake.
    • Event CGs in Kagetsu Tohya are noticeably better than those in the original game.
  • Ascended Extra: Neko-Arc first appeared as a Super-Deformed cat-eared Arcueid that served as Ciel-Sensei's chronic-annoyance/partner, and was seen again a couple of times in Kagetsu Tohya, still meant to be just Arcueid in chibi form. By Melty Blood, she was finally rewritten as a totally different (wholly uncanonical but still recurrent) character, and is now sort of a company mascot. The remake cements this by establishing her as a wholly different character in the Ciel-Sensei segments.
  • The Atoner:
    • One part of Ciel's motivation deals with her guilt over being forced to kill everyone in the town she came from. This is also alluded to in Kagetsu Tohya, where it becomes clear that she's still not really over this.
  • Badass Family: The Nanaya clan, whom specialize in assassinating demon-hybrids with nothing more than their physical strength and speed and minor psychic abilities. (Kiri's Magical Eye only allowed him to see the general emotions and intents of people.)
  • Big Fancy House: The Tohno mansion.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Tohno family. The branch families like the Arimas are pretty normal, but the main family, despite being rather small by the time the game begins, makes up for it in the "screwed up" department. Not to mention the small size is due to being so fucked up it has nearly killed itself off.
  • Bishōnen: Shiki, though more the "manly" kind rather than the "girly" kind, especially with his glasses off. It's just one of the reasons girls flock to him. Okay, just the abnormal ladies, but he can't complain.
  • Blessed with Suck: Shiki's ability to bypass most forms of invulnerability and easily destroy nearly anything with a pocketknife (or his finger, if he so desires) is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the ability saps his health and risks destroying his mind with every use, as the human mind was not meant to comprehend death in such a way. He would have gone insane from seeing the illusion that the world might crumble at a touch had he not been given indestructible glasses to block his power, and it is implied that his eyes will eventually grow too powerful for even these to contain.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking:
    • The anime inverts the trope. Shiki goes to his sister's bedroom unannounced and catches Akiha sucking Kohaku's blood: the maid effectively being her mistress' breakfast in bed.
    • Inverted when Shiki and Arcueid first meet: it's the human stalking the vampire. Without knowing Arcueid is a vampire (or, for that matter, anything else about her), Shiki follows her home, breaks into her apartment, and kills her. She gets better.
    • Gender-flipped when when Tohno Shiki is unable to meet with Arcueid one night, she breaks into his room and watches him sleeping while she waits for him to wake up. Arcueid's behavior is more playful than predatory, although she does have urges to feed she needs to fight, and Shiki's response is neither fear nor attraction, but rather "what the heck is wrong with you?"
  • Chick Magnet: Shiki. Eight or nine women can't all be wrong. Either way, you have to suspect that Shiki would rather that his love interests be somewhat less crazy.
  • Childhood Friends: Arihiko and Shiki. Arihiko is probably the person who understands Shiki better than everyone. And that even includes his love interests.
  • Church Militant: The Church has militant arms that hunt heretics and monsters. Ciel belongs to the Burial Agency, a particularly powerful and radical branch.
  • Dramatic Irony: The reveal of the Big Bad's identity and the implications this has on Shiki's own identity means that any routes after the first will contain a degree of this.
  • Dual Wielding: Ciel and her black keys. In her case, though, it's more Triple Wielding. Or occasionally Sextuple Wielding (three in each hand).
  • Dysfunction Junction: Not even a minor character like Arihiko is exempt. The Tohno family mansion is the dysfunction junction as a literal geographic location.
  • Eldritch Abomination: ORT is a spider-like creature from another world (thought to be Mercury, but that's in doubt) that crash-landed in South America thousands of years ago. It keeps to itself in a state of dormancy unless someone bothers it, but in the meantime its sheer presence warps the world around it into some bizarre crystal landscape. There are other creatures like it for the other planets, but Earth was never able to make one for itself, so it asked Crimson Moon for help and eventually made the True Ancestors in its image. Crimson Moon itself is more of a Humanoid Abomination in that it's the same kind of being as ORT, but is actually capable of things like speaking.
  • Enemy Within: Shiki loses control of himself to his assassin's instincts more than once until he learns to keep it under control, though this isn't really a distinct personality. In Ciel's route, he becomes possessed by Roa, who most certainly is.
  • Expy:
    • Shiki is pretty much an amalgam of Ryougi Shiki and Mikiya Kokutou, the female and male leads of The Garden of Sinners.
    • Akiha is an expy of Kokutou's little sister Azaka. The only big difference between them is the nature of their otherwise similar powers and that Azaka is Kokutou's real blood-related sister.
    • Kohaku is an expy of Asagami Fujino.
  • Fights Like a Normal: While the Nanaya clan were all 'psychics'note  for the most part their abilities were no more than the ability to sense non humans. Shiki's father Kiri, for example, was an amazing assassin, but his ability to see thoughts manifested as simple Aura Vision.
  • I Have the High Ground: Ciel, all the time, always in the exact same lamp post pose. It's iconic enough that the remake deliberately riffs on it by having Noel appear in this pose as well.
  • Immortality: One of the key themes is that death is an inescapable inevitability for everything, even things with some variety of practical immortality. It has been revealed in related works that even beings like the "deathless" Arcueid, Gaia (the planet), and everything/anything else will eventually die - they just exist with different concepts of death.
  • Info Dump: Constant narration and exposition is par for the course in visual novels, particularly the lore-heavy TYPE-MOON games.
  • Magical Eye: A large variety of these exist with the strongest ones being naturally occurring and impossible to reproduce artificially. Not all powers are impossible to reproduce, but those that are are always much weaker and of limited variety. While abilities other than the below exist in the Nasuverse, they do not appear in the main Tsukihime storyline or character material.
    Eyes that do unusual things are Mystic Eyes, whereas ones that see unusual things are Pure Eyes (unless they also affect things, like the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception).
    • Shiki has the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which are so incredibly rare that they are a legend even to those of Arcueid's stature. They allow him to cut along any lines of death that he sees and if he pierces a point of death, whatever he has stabbed dies or is destroyed. Things that have been cut will not heal.
    • Ciel has the Mystic Eyes of Whisper. Probably. These are an artificial type that any magus of sufficient skill can give themselves. They allow her to put someone into a mild hypnotic state where they will rationalize whatever information she gives them, though this is far from perfect.
    • Arcueid and Satsuki, like most vampires, possess the Mystic Eyes of Enchantment which allow them to dominate the wills of the weak minded.
    • Akira Seo possesses eyes that allow her to see possible futures, which is seen as more valuable than someone who can see what will definitely happen as it allows her to do something about it. Sometimes, however, she will foresee something that never occurs.
    • The serial killer from the Plus Disc allows him to see into the past, though he lacks context.
    • Roa, due to his multiple reincarnations, gained some sort of Mystic Eye ability that allows him to see the lines of life on living beings in the same place Shiki can see lines of death. This allows him to harvest said life.
    • The Nanaya clan was known for Pure Eyes that allowed them to see things that were otherwise invisible. Nanaya Kiri could see thoughts in the form of auras. Shiki started out with Pure Eyes of an unknown variety, which were forcibly converted into Mystic Eyes of Death Perception
    • Finally, Crimson Moon Brunestud has an unknown variety of Mystic Eyes classified as Rainbownote  which have an unclear effect.
  • Madness Mantra: "This chair is an eyesore. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair."
  • Mood Whiplash: Plenty in the entire franchise.
  • Named Weapons: Shiki's knife, the Nanatsu-Yoru (Seven Nights) is actually not a named weapon at all. It's just his family name (Nanaya) being misread.
  • Ojou: Akiha Tohno.
  • One-Hit Kill: This ability is the only thing that Shiki has going for him against the ridiculously overpowered enemies he fights.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. It's a major plot point that Tohno Shiki and the real Tohno SHIKI have the same name when pronounced.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Used to provide the pagequote. Hey, at least he's completely human.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Like Blade, there's the natural species of vampires and the "infected humans" vampires. Arcueid's status as a True Ancestor (the former) exempts her from the rules that constrict the Dead Apostles (the latter) such as weakness to sunlight and the need to feed on humans to survive. She really does hate garlic though, but it seems to just be because she hates it. While Arcueid is the vampire we see most often, the other vampires we see aren't much like the classic image either. Arcueid herself complains in a couple of bad ends about Satsuki being the only "proper" vampire in the game. Side material indicates there are some really bizarre vampires out there.
  • Outdated Outfit: Kohaku's kimono and apron are very old-fashioned by Japanese standards. Paired with her bamboo broom, she could just as easily be placed in a Meiji-era work.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Hisui and Kohaku, up to and including their respective jobs. Hisui's a diligent housekeeper whose skill doesn't hold up with food. Kohaku's a master chef and gardener, but cleans house like a hurricane.
  • Posthumous Character: Shiki's father Makihisa Tohno.
  • Reincarnation: The Big Bad Roa became a reincarnator as his own style of obtaining immortality with his mind/powers surfacing in one host after the other. His appearance/gender change freely with each appearance. Though it turns out that Roa is already mostly dead.
  • Royal Inbreeding: The Nanayas often encourage this to preserve their innate "anything-killer" ability.
  • Supernatural Elite: The True Ancestors don't exactly have a proper hierarchy, but the highest-ranking of the True Ancestors are the ones closest to manifesting the Crimson Moon — Arcueid and Altrouge Brunestud are considered the princesses of the True Ancestors, though the latter can't actually do it and has her title for other strengths she possesses.
  • Sweater Girl: Arcueid. Because not all vampires have to wear black leather or skimpy clothing to be sexy.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Kohaku and Hisui, which mean amber and jade respectively, which are their eye colors.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Not present in every route, but Shiki's hold on sanity gets pretty strained at times, to say the least, and the story is written from his perspective.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Ciel's black keys are magic swords which are designed more for throwing than melee combat.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shiki and Arihiko have this relationship.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: A major theme of the story is that death is inevitable, even for the many immortal characters of the story. Shiki's ability to see the predetermined destruction of everything makes him well aware of this, and helps emphasize this subject.

    Original continuity 
Tropes pertaining to the continuity derived from the original 2000 Visual Novel.

Works in this Continuity: the 2000 Visual Novel, the 2003-10 manga, the 2003 anime (yes it counts), Kagetsu Touya, Melty Bloodnote 
  • Actually Not a Vampire: After encountering a bunch of actual, honest-to-gods vampires, Shiki begins suspecting that his own little sister Akiha is one too, especially after witnessing her feeding on Kohaku's blood. It turns out that instead, Akiha is a demon hybrid who must consume "bodily fluids" (including blood) of a very specific person (Kohaku or her twin Hisui) in order to maintain her sanity.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The manga follows the True End to Arcueid's route, but adds in a bonus scene where with the help of Ciel, Shiki tracks down the Castle Brunestud where Arcueid is intending to lock herself up and reunites with her. This is probably a combination of the fact that the True End is kind of depressing and also does not fit into established canon where Arcueid is still around and seemingly Shiki's canon love interest.
  • Adaptational Badass: Everyone in the manga gets more chances to show off compared to the Visual Novel.
    • Shiki goes from being in peak physical condition to being able to pull off superhuman stunts like using falling blocks as jumping platforms and successfully killing magic.
    • This is something he wouldn't have had the chance to do in the Visual Novel since Roa didn't use any magic there beyond his watered-down version of Shiki's own powers.
    • The manga's art style helps emphasize Arcueid's sheer viciousness and brutality while in battle, and we get to see her dominating the first half of her fight with the Big Bad before her exhaustion catches up with her.
    • Ciel demonstrates how to pull off a Storm of Blades using Black Keys, and her fight with Akiha shows her tactical acumen and ability to analyze an opponent's strength and weaknesses on the fly.
    • For her part, when Ciel tries to hide from Akiha, Akiha takes the straightforward option of simply torching the entire forest around her, and later melts Ciel's hand down to the bone with a simple glance.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The manga trims down on some superfluous events from the original Arcueid route.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The manga incorporates elements from other routes and increases the threat level of the Big Bad, which is a very welcome change. There are also differences in the resolution to make it fit into canon more effectively — especially the ending, which expands upon Arcueid's True Ending to make Shiki track Arcueid down after she decides to go to eternal sleep.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A great deal of information from the game is left out in the anime, such as backstories, motivations, how various powers work, and so on. For example, we don't learn much about Shiki's past, his link with Akiha, the nature of Roa's resurrections, and the other Dead Apostles.
    • However, the game leaves out a lot of information, too — this is the Nasuverse, after all, which is filled with a confusing jumble of extensive explanations of magic, vampires, history, and much much more! To pick up on this, you need to read some of the character material and play the follow up games (fighting and visual novel), all with some degree of Alternate Continuity and uncertain qualifications as to what is actually going on.
  • Alternate Continuity: The game has five character routes that cannot all be possible in the same universe (see Cutting Off the Branches). The anime and manga make some deviations of their own. The original Melty Blood series is apparently based on a planned-but-never-released route (with Satsuki as the heroine). Stories in Kagetsu Tohya also follow different continuities from each other, following up game routes or making up bizarro scenarios. It's also lampshaded when Shiki tries to remember which year it is in relation to the original story and notices his memories don't make any sense.
  • Animal Motifs: Tsukihime overflows with cat motifs. Arcueid, the eponymous lunar princess and primary heroine, is the one this can be seen in most frequently. There's also Len, plus the whole obsession with cat-alter-egos spawned by Neko-Arc as of Carnival Phantasm. In Kagetsu Tohya, Akiha dresses up as a cat at one point and Ciel is shown as a Tiger in a Tiger Versus Dragon moment with Akiha.
  • Artificial Human: Non-human Arcueid was not born through the normal process that True Ancestors are, which is the world deciding it needs more of them and making one. Rather, the other True Ancestors decided they needed someone stronger and purer around to deal with all the corrupted True Ancestors and somehow brought Arcueid into being as the closest thing to a perfect True Ancestor there can be.
  • Artistic Age: Kohaku and Hisui don't really have a defined age or grade level, Arcueid was active in the 12th century, and Ciel is about 25 but looks much younger. Len's age is confirmed as being in the Arcueid tier. The aversions here are Shiki, Akiha and others who are usually 17 (well, Akiha is 16) and do look the part.
  • The Atoner:
    • Akiha is attempting to Atone for what her father did to Kohaku. This is only made completely obvious, however, in Kohaku's route when Akiha completely inverts due to absorbing Roa's vampiric nature and possibly soul, and as a result STOPS trying to atone and instead just tries to kill Kohaku.
  • Badass Normal: Nanaya Shiki, our Shiki's delusion of what his inner self is, is an incredibly badass knife fighter that Shiki cannot defeat even once (though this is also because he had been made to forget about his ability to see death, which he knows is what levels the playing field.)
  • Baleful Polymorph: In Kagetsu Tohya, after hearing some ghost stories involving cat demons from Kohaku, Shiki encounters Arcueid wearing a giant cat costume. After forcibly removing it from her, he ends up falling asleep with the costume in his bed. The next morning, Shiki finds he's turned into a cat. Hilarity Ensues as the other inhabitants of the Tohno mansion show why none of them should ever have pets. Doing so is actually required to reach 100% Completion.
  • Battle Harem: Shiki's harem includes an ancient vampire who can summon the moon itself, an Executioner from the church, a half-demon hybrid, a succubus, an alchemist, and an exceptionally powerful classmate-turned-vampire.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: During the Kagetsu Tohya main storyline, Shiki may muse to himself that a Twin Threesome Fantasy with Hisui and Kohaku sounds appealing, but knows that it's impossible. It could only happen in a world with no one else in it to get in the way. That night, he falls into a deep sleep and has a Fate Worse than Death nightmare where he's stuck in a world with literally no one and nothing outside the mansion or even Akiha around. He goes insane.
  • Becoming the Mask: Near Side: Ciel's decision to remain with Shiki. Far Side: Kohaku's True Ending.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: One of the first signs Hisui isn't as stern as she seems is that when she refuses to wake Shiki up earlier due to the impossibility of such a task, she admits it's partially because she doesn't want to with how peaceful Shiki looks while sleeping. Akiha and Shiki are both stunned to hear her say such a thing.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kohaku, the sweetest member of the Tohno household, turns out to have been the mastermind behind all the deaths that had occurred the last several years.
  • Big Bad: Depending on the route, Roa or SHIKI (whichever is dominant at the time) and Kohaku.
    • In the Near Side Routes, the Dead Apostle Nrvnsqr/Nero Chaos initially appears to be this, but it is actually his master Michael Roa Valdamjong, an ancient Fallen Hero, who is the vampire Serial Killer terrorizing the city.
    • In the Far Side Routes, Yumizuka Satsuki/Sacchin was turned into a vampire by SHIKI/the real Shiki Tohno, but as it turns out, Kohaku, Akiha’s maid and the final Love Interest, is the real mastermind of the Far Side routes. The central focus of Far Side is Kohaku's plans to get revenge on the Tohno family for the abuse they heaped on her for years. Roa is killed rather quickly in these routes and it turns out SHIKI was largely controlled by Kohaku the entire time.
    • The sequel Kagetsu Tohya has Shiki Nanaya, Shiki Tohno’s Superpowered Evil Side that attempts to take over in his dream. He is eventually killed by Shiki’s concept of death, who manifests as Kouma Kishima, the one who massacred Shiki’s family, who takes over as main villain until the end.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Subverted during Hisui's route, with Shiki and Hisui rushing to Akiha and Kohaku's rescue, only to find that they're already fighting SHIKI, and dominating.
    • Played straight in the "Mystic Eyes Alliance" story on the PLUS+DISC where Shiki and Ciel save Akira from the killer just as he has his knife to her chest.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In the True Ending for Arcueid's route, Arcueid technically survives, but after saying one last goodbye to Shiki, she leaves to sleep, presumably forever now that Roa is Deader Than Dead. However, the manga ending has him track her down and they reunite, perhaps to keep it consistent with sequels.
    • Arcueid's is easily matched, bordering into Downer Ending, by the True Ending for Hisui's route, with Akiha killed by SHIKI, Kohaku committing suicide, and Shiki and Hisui leaving the mansion.
    • Likewise, both of Akiha's "good" endings are bittersweet. In one, Shiki saves Akiha's life by seeminglynote  killing himself so that the lifeforce she lent him will return to her. In the other, Shiki can't kill himself, so Akiha lives out her life as an insane beast that feeds on his blood.
    • Ciel's good ending is unambiguously happy, on the other hand, unless you're Ciel herself. Why? Because Arcueid cheerfully sticks around and decides to go for a threesome ending of sorts. Ciel is not happy about having to share in her good end. Shiki himself also spends much of his time figuring out how to keep Arcueid and Ciel from killing each other.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In Arcueid Route, Shiki threatens to rape Ciel. Her reaction is rather unexpected.
    Shiki: If you don't listen to me, I'll rape you right there.
    Ciel: *Death Glare* Your proposition is intriguing, but I'll pass.
  • Blank Slate: Kohaku, though mostly according to her. She was never very expressive and Makihisa's actions made her kill off her own personality even more, leaving her with no idea of who she is or what she wants. Eventually, she just ends up just copying Hisui's cheerfulness. Even after Redemption Equals Sex, she fears that her allegedly 'redeemed' persona might just be her showing Shiki what he wants to see. In Hisui's good ending, where Kohaku's almost totally lost her memory and even takes on a new name. While not ideal, this at least allows her to be what she was before everything went so wrong.
  • Bleached Underpants: The game contained several sex scenes, both of which (for the specific path in the game) are alluded to in the anime. Also the de-emphasis on one of the two 'bodily fluids' that can supply mana. The manga shows more of this while still keeping it relatively worksafe. Even the Mirror Moon English-translation patch has an option that edits out the nudity and lengthy descriptions.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • (anime) After knocking about most of the cast with ease, the Big Bad inexplicably declares "We Will Meet Again" and falls backwards off a bridge while laughing madly. This isn't the only instance, but it is by far the most entertaining.
    • The most blatant example in the game is when Nrvnsqr Chaos slaughters his way through 103 people in a hotel and has fought Shiki and Arceuid to within an inch of their lives... and then just strolls away. Arc later explains it's because his power was waning as dawn approached, but you'd think Chaos could have taken the extra three seconds necessary to kill his opponents. However, Chaos seems to have had a more prolonged death for Arc in mind and doesn't even notice Shiki.
      • This scene is actually improved in the manga; Instead of retreating, Nrvnsqr goes in for the kill and Arcueid grabs Shiki and bails out the window. He's about to follow, but is distracted by Ciel trying to ambush him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kagetsu Tohya does a lot of this.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Akiha has a very strong Big Brother Attraction (and can be scarily possessive), more or less obvious depending on the route. Granted, Shiki is adopted, surprise! ...Not. In her own route, after she and Shiki sleep together, her jealous blood-related big brother SHIKI decides he wants to take over that relationship... and apparently changes the unconscious Akiha's clothes offscreen.
  • But Now I Must Go: Arcueid's ending. She leaves for Castle Brunestud to sleep forever, no longer able to control her bloodlust. However, in the manga, Shiki pursues her and finds her.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The White Ribbon.
    • Also, the game where Shiki and Akiha wrote their names on things in the mansion to "claim" them. It's unlikely many people thought Shiki and SHIKI would mean two different people.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Ciel gives one to Akiha when they fight in the manga.
  • Comically Inept Healing: Self-inflicted by Arcueid in the manga. She doesn't quite finish regenerating through the night Shiki attacked her, so she sort-of finishes the job with staples and packing tape, since her much higher pain threshold barely registers the difference. An annoyed Shiki cleans her wounds and properly dresses her with actual medical supplies.
  • Continuity Snarl: Both the original Tsukihime and Mahou Tsukai no Yoru take place in Misaki City. In fact, the Tohno Mansion and the Kuonji Mansion have the exact same physical address!
  • Contract on the Hitman: After Kiri Nanaya, the head of the Nanaya clan of demon/demon-hybrid assassins, retires and leaves the protection of the organization he belonged to, Makihisa Tohno and Kouma Kishima lead an attack on them. After a prolonged battle, Kiri is killed by Kouma, who goes on to slaughter everyone else except Shiki. Both were motivated by personal vendetta: Kouma was attacked and had most of his remaining family killed and one of his eyes blinded by Kiri when he was younger during one of the assassin's earlier missions, and Makihisa is implied to have been the client for that hit, who Kiri injured while in a rampage.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Pretty much the entirety of Kohaku's route (and the other Far Side routes for that matter) could have been prevented if Shiki recognized her as the girl in the window and returned the ribbon to her when they first reunite. Even Shiki realizes this in hindsight, berating himself for not realizing it the moment she said "Welcome home."
  • Cringe Comedy: Almost every optional funny scene. In some cases, you get the opportunity to play Shiki like a complete dumbass. Telling the truth about your outing with Arcueid is pretty much pure Refuge in Audacity, as Akiha thinks Shiki is joking. The aftermath of Arcueid's erotic dream, when you meet her in the park, is also hilarious and painful.
  • Cue the Sun: The very final shot of the manga is of Shiki and Arcueid standing on top of the a castle tower, holding on to each other and watching the sunrise.
  • Cutting Off the Branches:
    • The anime and manga adaptations follow Arcueid's path (with small additions from other paths). Melty Blood follows the (unseen) Satsuki Normal path. The opening of Kagetsu Tohya implies that it follows either Arcueid's or Ciel's good endings, but 90% of Kagtesu Tohya is a messed up dream that throws continuity for a loop.
    • This is used for a joke in a KT side story. All five main heroines appear in "Hisui-chan: Inversion Impulse", which follows Hisui's good ending...but since Arcueid never appears in that route, no one but Ciel recognizes her.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Many of the Ten Nights of Dream side stories in Kagetsu Tohya are from the perspective of somebody else besides Shiki.
  • Deus Sex Machina: The only way to help with those pesky supernatural afflictions on the Ciel, Hisui, and Kohaku routes.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Kohaku tends to take any news of extreme violence or even injuries to herself completely nonchalantly, which Shiki finds a little weird.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: After an initial grudge, Shiki quickly gets over the dream Arcueid sends him that involves him more or less being raped by some girl he knows, since it turns out Arcueid didn't know since the particulars of the dream weren't under Arc's control and she was trying to give him a reward for helping her.
  • Downer Ending: Some of the Dead Ends aren't fatal to Shiki, they're just incredibly sad. Akiha doesn't even get a "Good Ending" alternative to her True Ending; she gets a terribly depressing "Normal Ending."
  • Dream Within a Dream: Kagetsu Tohya takes place inside a dream. Flowers of Thanatos is a nightmare Shiki has inside it presumably as a result of an ill thought out wish granted by Len. Inside that dream, he still sleeps at night.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: There's an unlockable illustration of Sion in Kagetsu Tohya. Melty Blood was released about a year afterwards.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Mechanics-wise. The player has to complete Arcueid's and Hisui's True Endings in order to unlock their Good Endings.
  • Easter Egg: Play the game on Christmas Day for a funny little skit with Ciel-sensei, Neko-Arc, and two very special guests.
  • The Electric Slide: Ciel does this in the anime.
  • Emotionless Girl: Hisui is rather perpetually blank faced and it isn't until late in one of the Far Side routes that Shiki realizes that Hisui has actually shown a wide variety of emotions such as embarrassment and anger, while her sister never seemed to deviate from that broad smile...
  • Erotic Dream: In the game Arcueid sends her succubus dream familiar to cause this, as a 'reward' (who's in the dream is up to Shiki, though). The anime turns it into a brief nightmare instead.
  • Establishing Character Moment
    • Our first real hint of the kind of person Arcueid is comes after she's managed to recover from being killed by Shiki. She waits at the intersection until she spots him again, chases him, corners him... and then demands to know if he's sorry for what he did, and that she can only forgive him if he is.
    • Nero Chaos' on the other hand is him casually strolling into a hotel and simply eating everyone there via a horde of monstrous animals. Man, woman and child are all eaten alive without a scrap left.
  • Evil Plan: You learn in the Far Side route that Kohaku manipulated everyone in the Tohno mansion towards their deaths for eight years, ever since Shiki took a knife to the chest for Akiha. And the most horrible part is that she did it to give her life a purpose.
  • Evil Redhead: What Akiha fears she'll become. It's in the blood, after all, and With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Eye Scream: Ciel in the manga puts one of her swords in Akiha's hand and stabs herself in the eye. Akiha's horrified reaction proves to Ciel that Akiha isn't a killer.
  • Fan Disservice: During one of the later routes, Shiki has a dream involving Kohaku or Hisui being raped. It is not arousing. On a more comedic note, the actual sex scenes are no better due to Takeuchi's questionable usage of metaphors. Let's just say he has a strange fondness for seafood.
  • Flanderization: Anything outside of the original game is notorious for doing this, though most of them are only in joke scenarios. Arc's airheadedness and general silliness tend to dominate the serious aspects of her character and Ciel obsesses over curry with little mention of her actual work. Akiha's jealousy and self-consciousness over her small bust size both tend to get exaggeration while Kohaku's mischievousness, connivingness, and energy have more or less supplanted all other aspects of her character. Since Hisui is the quiet type, there's not much to exaggerate. The solution? Just add a bunch of ridiculous things relating to her character: Mech-Hisui, Dark Hisui Fist, Brainwashing, and that chair.note 
  • Forgot About His Powers: Shiki tends to forget that he can kill anything at all in Kagetsu Tohya. While some of it is justified due to the sheer strain that using his Mystic Eyes puts on him, there are a few situations where not using them immediately leads to a worse scenario. This is actually a plot point and a piece of foreshadowing. Shiki doesn't have his Mystic Eyes here because almost everything in Kagetsu Tohya happens in a dream. The one time he tries to use them early in the story, the near realization of the contradiction almost wakes him up.
    • That said, it's played straight at the final battle in Kagetsu Tohya. Shiki forgets that his eyes allow him to kill whatever he wants until he's beaten to near death.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Shiki doesn't remember either of the twins at first. Can be traced back to Makihisa more or less stripping those memories from his brain. After completing the first set of routes, we learn that Shiki does have some very vague memories of the maids, but he can't remember their names or appearances very well, which is shown by having flashbacks leaving them nameless and in black and white, which helps hide which twin was which.
  • Future Badass: The official side stories released have Shiki somehow becoming even more badass. His eyes have gone out of control, so he has to keep them bandaged and his previous physical limitations have been surpassed. He's taken on the name Satsujinki and spends his time hunting down and assassinating the Dead Apostle Ancestors. It gets even better.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In Ciel's route, she uses her connections with the Holy Church to get her hands on the Black Barrel in hopes that it can seal Arcueid away. As explained in Angel Notes, the Black Barrel is a weapon that can kill Ultimate Ones. Fortunately Shiki stops the two from fighting so it never gets used.
  • Guide Dang It!: Kagetsu Tohya. So, so, so much.
    • Getting some of the Bad Endings in the orginal can be convoluted. The most infamous being the second Shakes and Shivers Animal Land bad end, which even the staff needed a flow chart to get.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Akiha loves whiskey, and, in Kohaku's route, chastises Shiki for "not even finishing an entire bottle."
  • Hidden Eyes: Shiki, in every image he appears in after the prologue of the original Tsukihime. His "Sensei," the magician Aoko Aozaki, has the Hidden Eyes whenever she appears until the game's final image. It's used for a plot twist in the Plus+Disk story "Mystic Eyes Alliance" that introduces Seo Akira and shows Shiki's character model for the first time.A killer posing as Shiki tricks Akira and the reader into thinking he is the real one, as Shiki's character model was still unknown at that point. At the end, we finally see the real sprite for Shiki and while they look similar, they're obviously quite different people.
  • Informed Ability: Arc is supposed to be nigh-on to a Physical God, designed to be the greatest and most feared of all True Ancestors, four times as powerful as a Servant... according to backstory, anyway. Thanks to having to constantly suppress her Unstoppable Rage and suffering the Drama-Preserving Handicap of being killed torn to bits at the beginning of the story, however, for the majority of the story she's very weak. In Ciel's route, she manages to regain some strength due to spending less than she did in her own route meaning she fights, beats and 'kills' Ciel in about twenty seconds.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: The climax of Kohaku's route has Shiki desperately trying to break through to Akiha.
  • In-Joke: Combined with Title Drop, one of Akiha's friends who appears in Kagetsu Tohya is named Tsukihime Souka. Her name would make her seem important, but she's completely mundane and only appears twice.
  • Interface Spoiler: Carefully Averted in the original game; until you complete Hisui's route (which reveals the nature of their Twin Switch), she and Kohaku both share the same image gallery so you don't necessarily know which girl is being portrayed in each CG. After you complete Hisui's route (which also unlocks Kohaku's route for subsequent playthroughs) their galleries are split into individual ones.
  • Intimate Healing: Synchronizers have the ability to share life force and power up others through "fluid exchange" typically via horizontal tango, though this is just the most powerful way. Notably, this is how Hisui and Kohaku save Shiki's life in their respective routes. More disturbingly, Makihisa and likely SHIKI took advantage of this ability by raping Kohaku repeatedly, for ''years'', in order to avoid inverting. Ciel also gets a sort of similar idea going on in her sex scene. Apparently, Roa's best way to get revenge on Shiki is to give him priapism until his dick falls off. Riiiiiight.
  • Inverted Portrait: Arcueid in the OP of Shingetsutan, for quite a while even.
  • I Taste Delicious: In a gag manga by Takeuchi Takeshi, a vampire that likes to eat curry and is an old friend of Ciel, while thanking her, offers to one day use his magic to make Shiki curry-flavoured. Shiki is outraged, while Ciel swallows her saliva with a dark expression, then whistles innocently after Shiki notices.
  • The Killer in Me: In the "Far Side" routes, Shiki thinks that he is the killer. In Akiha and Hisui's route, he's wrong. In Kohaku's, she drugs him into going out and committing murders, but he doesn't remember this.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
  • Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb: In the past, Arcueid was created from scratch as a living weapon directed at the demon lords and frequently had her memories erased. It was intended to allow her to develop normally after she was gone, but then things went wrong.
  • Love Triangle: Almost Ciel's entire route. In her Good Ending she's unable to score a complete 'victory' and gets pissed off at having to share her better ending.
    • Played straight in the Kohaku route, with Akiha's being in love with Shiki, who only has his eyes set on Kohaku. Ends up being a real issue since it helps further along Akiha's deteriorating sanity in that route.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: During Ciel's path. Specifically, his near-death coma dream in Ciel's True ending. Also, the Kagetsu Tohya side story "Flower of Thanatos" though Shiki realizes he's trapped. And he's not happy. It also becomes clear early on in the main story that Kagetsu Tohya is one of these though it turns out that Len is actually doing it for herself as a chance to live for once.
  • Male Gaze: Even when Shiki's 'on-camera,' he's usually far removed from the center of the screen, or is even behind the girl.
  • Man Behind the Man: During Hisui's route, Kohaku at the end is revealed to have been behind SHIKI.
  • Marry Them All: Ciel's good end has Arcueid trying for a three way relationship. That or just plain stealing/seducing him away from her. Ciel is not amused. Shiki does not want to die.
  • May–December Romance: Despite being quite young, the "Eclipse" scene at the end implies that Shiki will probably die young due to his eyes.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Implied in Arcueid's good ending. Arcueid chooses to stay awake so she can be with Shiki, but Fridge Logic reduces the goodness of this ending, as Shiki is very mortal whereas Arcueid is a deathless vampire. Arcueid can't fix this through the obvious means, as it would make Shiki into a Dead Apostle.
  • Meaningful Name: Surprisingly averted; Akiha's friend Souka Tsukihime doesn't have anything special about her at all and her name is just a joke by the game creators.
  • Mind Rape: A Psychic Link with SHIKI causes him to either see SHIKI's actions or those of the vampire possessing him. Both are largely torturous and make Shiki think he's a psychotic killer.
  • Mind Screw: Hisui's route. About half of it is Shiki sick in bed, generally going completely insane.
    "Melting wall. Solvable meaning. Self who can explain. Smoothness of changeable permeability. Transitioning time. Observation life and execution function. A pinky-less hand. Headless eyes. Rolling carpet. Once. Twice. Three times. 777 cages. Burst balloon. Unfulfillable promise. Unprotectable law. Death contract. Poison and honey. Red and afterbirth. Mercury lamp and bug light. Light refracting from countless dimensions. Swimming fish, singing at the ocean bottom. Tools, tools, tools. Towards endlessly reproducing stars without meaning, without will. Better than wishes. Another only me. Unraveling deep sea. Contradictory that appears from microscopic organisms. Detailed view of a quark. Rejection of everything. Formless form. An embryo within a hearse. I curse and celebrate their existence."
  • Monster Threat Expiration: In the last fight of Kagetsu Tohya. In fact, it lowers specifically during the fight, as Shiki realizes he's survived Kouma's attacks beyond what he expected...or rather, because Shiki realizes it, and realizes that his growing confidence means his nightmare is becoming weaker.
  • Multiple Endings: Arcueid, Ciel, Akiha, and Hisui each have two endings while Kohaku has one. There are also numerous "Dead Ends" for when you screw up a decision. Some routes have more pitfalls than others.
  • My Greatest Failure: Shiki is constantly pained by the fact he was unable to keep his promise with Satsuki, which caused her to be turned into a vampire that he had to kill.
  • Non Standard Game Over: In Akiha's route, you can reach a fake Normal Ending if you choose to not follow Akiha outside. In the following Ciel-sensei sequence (the 25th one in the game total), she will inform you that this isn't Akiha's real Normal Ending and that you'll have to go back and find it since this won't register in the game as you having completed her Normal Ending, in spite of this being identical to the real ending including the end credits.
  • Noodle Incident: In Kagetsu Tohya, Shiki occasionally refers to the haunted house his class did last year, in which he and his friend were responsible for something that resulted in their student government making an amendment that strictly prohibits tea kettle monsters, mushroom monsters, and any pot that uses the aforementioned things. The specifics are left up to the imagination.
    Shiki: Yes, we did a haunted house my freshman year, too. Well, Arihiko did his part so ardently that we were forced to stop in the morning.
    (To himself): The Inuidake Children Kidnapping. It's an event that will forever remain in the annals of the student government.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging:
    • Kohaku gets a big one in her route, when she gives Shiki hallucinogenic drugs claiming it's just something to help him sleep/relax, he takes them without second thought while saying things like how trustworthy she is or how he will now be able to sleep better - and she loses her perpetual smile for a moment.
  • Oh, Crap!: "My name is Nrvnqsr. I am Chaos, almighty even among the strongest vampires! I overcame death long ago! But what are you? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?!" *stab*
  • Or Was It a Dream?
    • Major plot point for most of the routes, if not all; rather chilling in Kohaku's when you realize that for once it wasn't any form of a dream, he really did go and kill people and even had a philosophical conversation with SHIKI while in a drug-induced quasi-Nanaya state.
    • Also in the Kagetsu Tohya story "Drinking, Dreaming Moon" which passively mentions Kohaku cleaning up the cups and sake bottle Shiki and SHIKI were drinking from during the dream...
  • Pixellation: Per the Japanese standard for porn scenes.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: In the game, Tohno Akiha's hair changes to a bright red when she begins using her abilities.
  • Protectorate: Hisui is Kohaku's protectorate. Even without the mask breaking when Kohaku thinks Shiki might have done something to her she does not respond well, even if Shiki doesn't notice. Just imagine if he actually had done something.
  • Raging Stiffie: There's the stock Played for Laughs example as Shiki tries to hide his 'morning wood' from an oblivious Hisui, but later it's played for horror. And an excuse for porn.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Straight: Noticing that Satsuki suddenly (though inconsistently) has red eyes is the first indicator that something is seriously wrong. On the other hand, Arcueid is pretty harmless to non-vampires; it's when her eyes turn gold you're in trouble. Red eyes are generally a sign of something being not quite human.
  • Right Behind Me: Shiki has shown active curiosity about girls' rooms on three separate occasions.
    • Akiha catches him off-guard in her room and glares him away. Though Shiki silently notices she's uncharacteristically amused by his mischief.
    • In Kagetsu Tohya, Shiki invokes the trope while going through Ciel's clothes, and barely escapes. In a subversion, however, trying this with Arcueid's underwear drawer gets Shiki killed by a talking jaguar. Yes, really.
    • Also in Kagetsu Tohya, Akira definitely wants to keep her friendship with Shiki secret from his jealous sister, her upperclassman. After he suggests they meet up with Akiha at the school festival, she confesses this desire to him in stark terror. Irony, as it turns out, is a bitch.
      (Akiha starts dragging Akira away for (implied) torture)
      Akira: "Hiiiiing! Tohno-senpai is horrible! A devil! Not even human!"
      The extreme fear must have gotten into her head and messed up her mind completely.
      Akiha: "Oh? That's unexpected. You only just now notice it after having been at my side for two years?"
  • Right Through His Pants: With the exception of Akiha's H-scene, Shiki has an odd aversion to taking off his pants. Also, a rare gender inversion: Kohaku proves that it is possible to have sex while wearing a kimono.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: The appearance, motivation, and personality of the Big Bad changes completely depending on whether you're on a Near Side or Far Side route even though they're the same person. Sort of.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • In the manga, Ciel tests whether Akiha has it in her to be a murderer by threatening her and her brother and then fighting her to the death. What Akiha doesn't know is that Ciel cannot be (permanently) killed/injured, so Ciel is free to test Akiha's power with impunity and make Akiha stab her in the face. Akiha's horror showed that she wasn't a killer.
    • Ciel also tries this in the original Visual Novel with Shiki, who is afraid that he is the murderer who has been stalking the streets in his dreams. However, Ciel's testing of Shiki was a bit... flawed. The idea was to prove that he was not the Ax-Crazy bloodthirsty killer responsible for all the serial murders, which was correct, except the way she went about it and the wrong assumptions she made about him ensured that things would be very likely to Go Horribly Wrong. Mostly, the charade relies on the fact that he is not a born killernote , he wouldn't randomly kill people while motivated by base bloodlustnote  and he wouldn't kill someone, least of all a classmate, even when put in a do-or-die situationnote . Oh, and that she is unkillable anyhow, so even if she were wrong about him, he couldn't kill hernote .
  • Shout-Out: There are several references to Gunparade March note  and to Hajime no Ippo in the comedy fight between Ciel and Arcueid in Kagetsu Tohya.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shiki in Akiha's route. SHIKI gives a Hannibal Lecture and Shiki responds by slicing his arm off.
  • Single-Minded Twins: In the Flower of Thanatos sidestory, Hisui and Kohaku synchronize together to the point that they are no longer themselves and their personalities fuse into one.
  • The Slow Walk:
    • Once per route. In Arcueid's and Ciel's paths, Shiki does it against Nrvnqsr Chaos; in Akiha's path, he does it against SHIKI. In Hisui's and Kohaku's paths, however, Akiha of all people pulls off the Walk (once against SHIKI, and once against Shiki). Also, Arcueid introduces herself to Shiki this way after he kills her.
    • In the manga, Shiki pulls it off once more against Roa. That, alongside the fact that Shiki is successfully killing Roa's magic, utterly terrifies Roa.
  • Staking the Loved One: Shiki staking his sister Akiha is narrowly averted in both Akiha's and Kohaku's routes. Akiha had to do this to good old SHIKI in Kohaku and Hisui's routes. Shiki also stakes Satsuki, though he doesn't love her and she barely qualifies as a friend.
  • Subordinate Excuse:
    • Much of the reason Akiha has Kohaku attend to her as her maid is to try and treat her well and show her friendship, so as to atone for her father's abuse. She's rather rude to her sometimes in spite of that, but Akiha's short tempered with everybody. This trope also comes into play more explicitly in Kohaku's route, when Kohaku and Hisui switch places so that Kohaku is Shiki's maid due to their growing relationship.
    • Hisui also has some elements of this with Shiki due to the fact that she often helps Shiki more than is strictly necessary, and has a crush on him that's more or less obvious depending on the route. In Kagetsu Tohya, she mentions how she'd really like to follow him outside the mansion when he moves out and continue serving him there.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Nanaya, the amoral super-assassin who really enjoys what he does. Luckily he only targets monsters. Shiki's own perception of this side is much harsher, however, turning him into a sadistic murderer.
  • Supporting the Monster Loved One: One of Akiha's endings sees her degenerate into a mindless monster. Shiki keeps her in an empty room and feeds her his blood every day in the feeble hope that she will one day return to normal.
  • Take Our Word for It: Whatever Hisui did to Kohaku in "Hisui-chan - Inversion Impulse!"
  • Tarot Motifs: The opening video included as an extra in Kagetsu Tohya's disc assigns tarot cards to the characters: Arcueid is The Moon, Ciel is The Chariot, Akiha is The Empress, Hisui is the Wheel of Fortune, Kohaku is The Sun, Nrvnqsr is The Emperor, Nrvnqsr's beasts are The Devil and Roa/SHIKI are Death.
  • Three-Way Sex: In Kagetsu Tohya is the unlockable side story 'Flower of Thanatos', where Shiki can have a passionate sex with Hisui and Kohaku. Shiki is really not enjoying it, though, since the only way this could ever possibly happen would be in a hellish world of seclusion.
  • Title Drop: Arc's True End is titled "Tsukihime." There is also one in Melty Blood, also relating to Arc, but that goes on the Melty Blood page.
  • Tragic Monster: There are multiple examples of this going on.
    • First Satsuki is killed by the monster Arcueid is chasing, but since she had such staggering latent magical potential she quickly revived into a full vampire where her new condition is putting her through horrible agony and forcing her to drink blood to stave it off. She's still semi aware and accepting of her previous life, meaning she's quite mentally twisted as well.
    • We also find out as time goes on that even SHIKI is another case of this. Due to Roa possessing him and his nature already being quite prone to going berserk he went insane at a young age and killed his best friend. Akiha was able to undo this, but she couldn't salvage her brother. He gets some emotional resolution in a Kagetsu Tohya sidestory and it's clear that if it weren't for circumstances completely outside his control he'd be a really nice guy.
    • In Kagetsu Tohya's non canon short story "Dawn" Nero Chaos seems to have revived but it's just the girl that he ate at the park right before being killed by Shiki. She just wants to see her sister one last time and is dying anyway.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Altrouge did this to Arcueid a long time ago, as shown in one of the stories on Tsukihime Plus Disk. Merem Solomon and Gransurg Blackmore intend to get her back for this during the ritual in The Dark Six. Ironically, Arc herself doesn't seem to care.
  • Truer to the Text: The anime version left many fans quite bitter over how much it deviated from the source material. The manga, however, retold the original story quite faithfully.
  • 12-Episode Anime
  • Two-Teacher School: Though Shiki frequently mentions that there are teachers at his school and that they're doing things in his narration, the original features only three teachers who ever actually speak and interact with Shiki in the entire game, his homeroom and Math teacher, Kunifuji, an unnamed Classics teacher, and an unnamed English teacher all of whom only have one scene where that happens.
  • Twin Switch: A couple variations:
    • Kohaku disguises herself as Hisui at least once, depending on the route. Pay attention to the eyes and the way she speaks of others and you'll catch on.
    • In the eight-year period Shiki's been away, Hisui and Kohaku have switched their cheerful and emotionless personas, respectively, with the result that Shiki doesn't remember which is which.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Though she doesn't seem to be at first, the maid Kohaku is in fact a deeply disturbed individual. She doesn't seem entirely aware of all she needs to hide, however, resulting in scenes like cutting her hand open and not reacting to it at all.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Shiki, in a Kagetsu Tohya side-story that's a direct follow-up to Akiha's True Ending. All we know is that Ciel was involved.
  • Wham Episode: Hisui's True Ending, especially if you're playing through the routes in the preferred order of Arcueid -> Ciel -> Akiha -> Hisui -> Kohaku, will put a new spin on much of the plot in every other route up to that point.
    • Also, there's the sequence during which Shiki is paralyzed in Hisui's route, a sequence that includes the Wham Line and Wham Shot mentioned below. Even if the player doesn't realize what's going on - especially if the player doesn't realize what' going on - it's a hell of a whammy.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Yes. Let's talk about your beloved childhood, Shiki-sama."
    • "I'm Tohno Shiki."
  • Wham Shot: Shortly after that first Wham Line, Shiki - and the player - sees Kohaku's true smile for the first time, and it is chilling.
  • White Hair, Black Heart In the Far Side of the Moon routes, the villain's one of these and wears a kimono; surprisingly different from his more Western Near Side of the Moon appearance.
  • The Worf Effect: In Kagetsu Tohya, Nanaya manifests as Shiki's nightmare of himself becoming a true murderer. Shiki never wins a fight against Nanaya in the game, though as he realizes this is because he's not fighting with all his true ability. Turns out Shiki has an even worse nightmare, of Kishima Kouma, the man who killed his father.
  • Worth Living For: For instance Shiki when dealing with vampire Yumizuka; only his love for Akiha causes him to save himself.
  • Worthy Opponent: In his last moments, Nrvnqsr seems to recognize Shiki as this in the manga.
  • Yandere:
    • Satsuki Yumizuka. Shiki's rejection/acceptance/noncommittal answer doesn't cause her craziness, but really helps to cement it given her situation. It's not really her fault though.
    • Akiha has minor bouts of jealousy on occasion, but it's not until Kohaku's route (when she's psychotic due to absorbing SHIKI's power) that she starts getting dangerous about it. The drugs that Kohaku had been secretly feeding her do not help either.
    • Joked with during Ciel's route, with a casual smile on her face.
      "Please don't run off with some floozy while I'm gone. I get really jealous."
    • Surprisingly, Arcueid doesn't really qualify in Ciel's Route. She does get very angry in True End (but eventually accepts defeat with dignity), but in Good End she has a surprisingly fair-play attitude. She just doesn't care that Shiki dates Ciel, since she will get him in the end anyway. And it works, given that Shiki lets her have her way more often than not. To Ciel's anger and incredulity, as she (unsuccessfully) gets all clingy and jealous in response, much to Arcueid's amusement.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Most of Arcueid's power is put towards containing this. In Ciel's route, Arcueid loses control, with terrifying results.
    • In some of the far side routes due to his connection with SHIKI Shiki finds his temper flaring and becoming uncontrollable.
  • Utsuge: Most of the "True Ends" are rather sad. Akiha's Normal End is even worse.

    Remake continuity 
Tropes from the 2021 Remake.

Works in this Continuity: the 2021 visual novel Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon-, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, the yet-to-be released Tsukihime -The other side of red garden- visual novel.
  • Adaptational Location Change: The Remake takes place in Souya in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Japan. This is emphasized from the start by Shiki taking the subway to school instead of walking there straight from his house as he did in the original.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Calling the Remake an expansion is an understatement.
    • Even with only the two Near Side routes, A piece of blue glass moon is about 45 hours long with voices, as long as the entirety of the original game, and its OST has over 90 tracks, nine times bigger than the original version's OST.
    • The other side of red garden adds the long-awaited Satsuki route.
  • Alternate Continuity: The remake is functionally considered a new continuity in itself due to the new characters added to the plot and the Setting Update to the 2010s, and keeps with the original's tradition by having Melty Blood: Type Lumina diverge ten days before it begins.
  • Artistic Age:
    • In the material book for A piece of blue glass moon, Kohaku and Hisui's age is estimated to be 16; Arc is 800-900 years old, appears to be 16-17, proclaims she's 17, and has spent less than a year active; and Ciel is about 25 but looks 16-18.
    • There is also Arach, who's clearly an adult woman, and is old enough to have met Makihisa at university, but gives her age as "Who cares?".
  • Bleached Underpants: The remake has removed the sex scenes and explicit discussion of sexual content, but does imply that sex happens at certain points where they used to in the VN. Notably in Arcueid's route, where the two get on the bed and undress, before the scene Fade to Black.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: As per the game's website, the remake has officially been rated CERO Z (18 years old and up; which can be considered equivalent to ESRB M), with heavy warnings for explicit depictions of crime and violence. Scenes like Arcueid being sliced into 17 pieces are now shown in fully explicit gruesome detail.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Melty Blood: Type Lumina follows a What If? that takes place an entire ten days before the Tsukihime remake begins.
  • Divided for Adaptation: The remake is denser in content, so the Near Side and Far Side routes are being released separately instead of being all together. As of August 26, 2021 Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon-, which consists of the Near Side routes, has been released, while Tsukihime -The other side of red garden-, the remake of the Far Side routes, is slated to come out in the future.
  • Downer Ending: Ciel's Normal End is somewhere between this and bittersweet. Shiki gives up his own life to kill Roa, leading to Ciel giving up her life to bring Shiki back. Shiki is left heartbroken and joins the church under Mario in the hope of bringing her back, regardless of how impossible it seems, made worse by the fact that by Mario's estimate he only has about ten years left to live. Though he regrets his decision that led to Ciel's death, by the end he is also determined to make the most of what remains of his life so that Ciel's sacrifice would not be in vain.
  • For the Evulz: In the Noel storyline of Tsukihime -a piece of blue glass moon-, the storyline's titular character becomes a Dead Apostle, regains her 14 year old appearance, and challenges Shiki to a cage match. While briefly taking a break to talk, Noel reveals that she wanted to kill Shiki and Ciel not because she wanted to kill Roa, but all just for the sheer fun of it.
  • I Want Grandkids: It's mentioned that Lord Rozay-en was turned into a Dead Apostle alongside his children and his greatest lament is that since the undead cannot procreate, none of them will ever provide him with a biological grandchild.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: During Ciel's route. Specifically, his near-death coma dream in both the Normal and True ending.
  • Multiple Endings: This time around, only Ciel has two, while Arcueid only has one. There are also numerous "Dead Ends" for when you screw up a decision.
  • Musical Nod: The end of the remake's first opening for Arcueid, "Seimeisen", plays opening notes of the Tsukihime theme but on piano and a lower scale. Likewise, the second opening for Ciel, "Juvenile", does the same thing except on harpsichord.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Among the Dead Apostle rankings, ghouls are in-between outright Dead and Undead, being living corpses that can act on their own but with their insides and brain decayed, all that they can do is seek blood instinctively. Some notable ghouls are the Krake that appear in the France incident, who look like spider-headed humanoids with tentacles sprouting from their backs, and Metastatis who confronts Ciel in both of the routes, looking like a giant misshapen spider monster.
  • Setting Update: The remake is set during The New '10s, 2014 to be precise, rather than the original Tsukihime's Turn of the Millennium.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: In the remake, in lieu of a sex scene during Arcueid's route, Shiki and Arcueid kiss on her bed, then start to undress, and the game fades to black with Shiki mentioning that they made love until morning afterwards.
  • Title Drop:
    • Arcueid's True End is titled "The Lunar Princess," or "Tsukihime."
    • Ciel's route, Rainbow of the Night, is dropped during a conversation between Ciel and Shiki, as Ciel believes that having a normal life again is like a rainbow appearing at night, something she could wish for but it would never happen. In the Normal End, in the wake of Ciel's death, Shiki looks at the sky and concludes that "you cannot see rainbows at night".
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The 4th trailer released several months after the game had come out spoils notable lategame moments like Dead Apostle Noel and the rampaging Arcueid in Ciel's route.
  • Two-Teacher School: The remake adds the Sociology teacher Mamiya for a throwaway joke scene, and major teacher character, Noel, to replace the unnamed English teacher, giving her a much more substantial role in the plot because of how oddly small the school staff appeared to be in the original, but still plays it straight as the only other teacher relevant to the plot is Toyama, who is dead by the time the story starts.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Most of Arcueid's power is put towards containing this. In Ciel's route, Arcueid loses control, with terrifying results.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The remake emphasizes how much more powerful the Dead Apostle Ancestors are in this timeline by revealing in Ciel's route that Rita Rozay-en, Vlov Arkhangel, and other Ancestors took over a French town to help Roa's ritual and unleashed hell on the human inhabitants by converting many of them into their rampaging undead minions, with further sadistic modifications like giving them insect and arachnid features or wrapping them in thorns, which went on for several days until Arcueid killed Elesia.

    Unsorted 
  • Bookends:
    • In both the prologue and epilogue Shiki and Aoko meet in the same field, with Aoko nearly stepping on him. To make it even more blatant, their repeat their initial conversation word for word.
    • In Arcueid's good end Arcueid is sitting and waiting Shiki at the intersection at the exact same place she was sitting and waiting for him the first time they actually met, after Shiki had killed her.
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • Arcueid's ending. She leaves for Castle Brunestud to sleep forever, no longer able to control her bloodlust. However, in the manga, Shiki pursues her and finds her.
    • Also at the end of Arcueid's route, Ciel leaves now that her job is done, leaving no trace of her behind (including memories) with the exception of Shiki, who still remembers her.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: Apparently, it makes vampires weak when they attempt to cross water, even if it's stationary. Arcueid gets around this one by simply teleporting around the planet, which is actually portrayed as being something of a hassle and not really a great way to move around. Sumire is an exception, but living underwater has instead made her weaker on land.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the first two character arcs, Satsuki plays pretty much no role, saying a handful of lines and then completely disappearing from the story. She then reappears in the Far Side arcs, in which you find out exactly WHY.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Arcueid's thought process is... odd.
  • Deader Than Dead: Doing this to people is Shiki's whole shtick by 'cutting their lines'. He doesn't just kill people's bodies, or kill their souls; he kills the very meaning of their existence, which means he can bring death even to things which aren't alive. It's a power so horrible that it drives him a little bit more mad every time he sees the 'lines', and even the Big Bad calls him a monster when he finally realizes precisely what it is Shiki can do. In response, Shiki kills a freakin' corridor to crush him as it implodes.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Conceptual Weapons, the Church's heavy artillery against supernatural threats. Ciel's Seventh Holy Scripture is an example. Shiki's knife is mistaken for one by both Arcueid and Ciel, until they find out that its lethal efficiency is due to Shiki's own power.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: On his way home from school, Shiki stops to catch his breath and watches the crowds of passerby. One beautiful woman in the crowd catches his attention, and he can't take his eyes off her, his pulse races, and he stalks her all the way to her home, seized with an uncontrollable urge to kill her. (That word is even blanked out in the game itself). Excitement building within him until he's ready to burst, he manages to force his way into her room and does the deed. The next day, she, understandably upset, tracks him down and forces him to "take responsibility," and flatly refuses to believe that it was his first time, in light of his considerable skill.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Shiki asks Hisui to stop calling him "Shiki-sama" and be less formal. Her response? "As you wish, Shiki-sama." Kohaku does honor Shiki's request, but Hisui continues referring to him as "Shiki-sama" even after their relationship becomes more intimate.
  • Dramatic Sit-Down: Shiki does this in the videogame when Arcueid disappears. Throughout the day, he is merely going through the motions at school. It was easier for him to go to school than deal with Akiha. He only gets better when after he sits alone waiting for a teacher. He waits for several hours, then Roa and Arcueid show up and start fighting to the death.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Seventh Holy Scripture (a.k.a. Nanako).
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Heavily implied between Ciel and Arcueid. At one point Ciel blushes and licks her lips in anticipation when about to get into a fight with Arcueid. Arcueid, on the other hand, does things like fondling Ciel's butt when drunk, and generally teases and annoys her in a similar way she does with Shiki.
  • Foreshadowing: Shiki's inner monologue on his date with Arcueid might as well be about the upcoming Bittersweet Ending.
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: SHIKI to Shiki. Like with the twins, it can be traced back to Makihisa more or less stripping those memories from his brain.
  • Harem Genre: Eight girls confirmed, and maybe Len considering by preference she wants to sleep with him rather than get his blood, either of which work. Lampshaded by Arihiko who is frustrated at how suddenly no girls are interested in him yet Shiki has about... well, eight or nine hanging around him all the time. In the original game, however, this never really comes up. At most, Akiha gets jealous.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Shiki's managed to seriously alarm both Hisui and Arcueid with how deeply he sleeps. It occasionally looks like he's outright dead.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Arcueid as the beautiful and ditzy maiden, Ciel as the eccentric mother fighting off weight gain and Akiha as the bitter and sharp tongued crone.
  • H Game POV Character: Shiki is generally a Troubled, but Cute Nice Guy whose Nanaya instincts push him toward Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Holy Ground: Ciel is able to consecrate certain areas, turning them into Hallowed Grounds. She does it, for instance, at her home, allowing Shiki to easily fend off Demonic Possession while he stays there.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Neither Shiki nor Arihiko use Honorifics when talking to each other, but it's Shiki's habit of also referring to Arihiko by his given name that makes Akiha do a double take. In Japanese, this can be a sign of intimacy (although it is not unusual for good friends to address each other thus).
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The scene where Shiki sees Arcueid for the first time and is seized with an incredible urge to "***" her. The ambiguity over what four-letter word Shiki had in mind is pushed to the limit before he finally kills her. Also, many violent scenes are couched in sexual terms, and some of them have people actually getting aroused.
  • Ironic Echo: Arcueid likes to talk about what-ifs, Shiki doesn't. They reverse that little exchange when Shiki tries to give a dying Arcueid hope near the end of her route.
  • Last of Their Kind: Arc is the last True Ancestor vampire, now avenging the slaughter of the others she accidentally enabled. And Tohno Shiki is the sole-surviving member of the Nanaya clan, a family of elite assassins who specialized in killing demons and demon-hybrids. Both are only hinted at in the anime.
  • Lethal Chef: Hisui cooks so badly it's considered poison. One doujin has Shiki trying to use his eyes to "destroy the badness".
  • Living Battery: The Synchronizers are living magical batteries that can accumulate and transfer life energy to other people
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Shiki. Arcueid's about the most honest person he knows, though while she doesn't lie to him she doesn't want to talk about herself much.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • In Japanese, Nanaya Shiki and Tohno SHIKI's given names are written with different characters that have the same pronunciation. With no way to properly convey this in English, fan translators chose to capitalize the entirety of the latter's name.
    • When Shiki mentions the mansion lobby as in the present, he uses ロビー (literally "lobby"). The one as in his childhood memories is worded as 廊下 (rōka, which was translated by mirrormoon as "hallway"). In the Vietnamese translation, this nuance is lost since there is no other synonym in Vietnamese.
    • Shiki uses 女の子 (onna no ko, literally "female child") to refer to his red-haired childhood playmate. The girl usually stood next to the window is mentioned as 少女 (shoujo, "young girl") instead. This nuance was completely lost in the English translation, which used "young girl" for both cases.
    • 空蝉 is literally "cicada shell"; however, in Buddhism (Journey to the West), it also means "your earthly body". In the scene when Shiki was nearly killed by SHIKI eight years ago, he constantly referred to cicada shells, because his body would be left empty without a soul just like an empty shell.
  • Love at First Punch: More like "Love at First Murder" between Arcueid and Shiki. He slices her to pieces, she spends the night reviving herself and the next day she tracks him down and introduces herself.
  • Meido: Kohaku and Hisui. Hisui calls Shiki "Shiki-sama" despite his efforts to convince her to be less formal.
  • Mundane Utility: Shiki uses his Mystic Eyes to "kill" locks. Which is actually pretty cool, but also pretty mundane compared to killing vampires, entire hallways, and chunks of the Earth itself.
  • Near-Rape Experience: In order to suppress his Nanaya side in Arcueid's route, Shiki manages to bury his desire to kill her, but doesn't gain real control of himself and almost rapes her instead. The player's choice determines whether or not he actually goes through with it.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: In a variety of ways, including regeneration, resurrection, and locally reversing time. Arcueid alludes to basically being able to simply tank most attacks.
  • No One Should Survive That: For a Ordinary High-School Student with glasses, anemia, and only half the life force people are supposed to have, Shiki certainly manages to weather tremendous quantities of physical abuse from all manner of abominable super-strong opponents. If Ragdoll Physics can ever be said to apply to a Visual Novel, Shiki is right up there getting tossed around like a football.
  • No Saving Throw: If someone bearing the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception hits you in your point of death, you die. It doesn't matter if you can reincarnate. It doesn't matter if you are a gestalt entity of 666 different beasts that ordinarily have to all be killed at the same moment. It doesn't matter if you can locally reverse time to instantly repair any damage done to you. It doesn't matter if the world itself actively works to sustain your continued existence. It doesn't even matter if you aren't even alive to begin with. If you're hit in your point of death, you die. Period. At best, you can hold on for about thirty seconds if you've lived for a really long time before it was hit, but that's about it.
    • The only known case of something surviving the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception is Arcueid at the start of Tsukihime. Technically speaking, her body did die: she got around it by creating an entirely new body and transplanting her soul into that one before she died, which took somewhere around eighty percent of her Story-Breaker Power to do, leaving her Depowered for the rest of the story. According to Word of God, this was only possible because Arcueid was cut apart along her "lines of death"... had Shiki stabbed her in her "point of death", she would have died no matter what.invoked
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging:
    • If Shiki chooses to run away from Arcueid while she's sleeping in the hotel room, and then later returns, she unknowingly heaps further guilt on him by her dialogue revealing she'd never for a moment thought he'd abandoned her - she was just angry that he would do something so reckless as to move around town by himself.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The final line of Shiki's Badass Boast. "I'll show you. This is what it means to kill something."
  • Running Gag: A rather minor one in Arcueid's route - Shiki will say or want to say something and Arcueid will complain that she can't hear him and so lean in closer, only for him to yell what he wants to say into her ears as loud as possible.
  • Science Destroys Magic: While Tsukihime doesn't focus on magic very much, it establishes the idea that where magic and fantasy was once powerful, it now has to hide from society at large or risk destruction.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Shiki is 17ish. Ciel can be his sempai and when Akiha transfers in, she can be a first year.
  • Shadow Pin: Ciel can use her Black Keys to do this.
  • Shatterpoint Tap: The Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, as the name implies, allow Shiki to perceive the "points of death" on anything, and if he stabs it right there, it ceases to be. He uses this to pick locks, depower vampires, and cure poison.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Shiki acts like a Tsundere around Arcueid.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Ciel with the Seventh Holy Scripture.
  • Stealth Pun: A Bilingual Bonus stealth pun, no less. Why does Shiki become obsessed with killing Arcueid from the moment he sees her? Because he only has eyes for her, of course.
  • Tranquil Fury: Shiki radiates this during his confrontation with Roa after Arcueid's death. Or rather, his eyes do, which Roa finds off-putting.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Shiki gains his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception as a result of his near death experience as a child.
  • Tsundere:
    • Akiha, though a portion of her tsun behavior is based in worrying about Shiki and another bit is trying to get used to how freely he lives.
    • Shiki himself is quite the Tsundere in reference to Arcueid. Only with her, though, presumably due to being the canon couple.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Ciel tries to invoke this with Shiki, since getting him to to hate her enough to kill her is the only way she can die. He refuses to do so and instead sees their time together as both being meaningful to him and Ciel honestly acting out her desire to live a normal life.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Arcueid's true power is her Marble Phantasm, the ability to alter probability.
    • The in-game description cites the power's name from a hypothetical jar with one hundred marbles, one white, the rest black. A Marble Phantasm is the ability to always pick the white one despite only having a 1% chance normally. A Reality Marble (shown in Fate/stay night) would change all the marbles in the jar to white.
    • Demonstrated once in the original game. By altering probability in ways that would make a chaos theorist weep, causing blades of wind to form in Roa's exact location, utterly destroying him down to the ankles. This was using the bare minimum of her power since it was all she actually had at the moment. Unfortunately, it didn't kill him.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
    • Akiha, and everyone else with inhuman Tohno blood lives in fear of one day losing control and undergoing "inversion impulse."
    • Shiki only narrowly averted this trope himself - if he hadn't met Aoko and received his glasses, Shiki probably would have gone insane from seeing death everywhere.
  • You Are Not Alone: Shiki delivers this to Arcueid near the climax of the storyline, which segues into his Anguished Declaration of Love.

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