|Shiki (Corpse Demon/Spirit)|
Shiki (屍鬼) are supernaturally reanimated corpses inhabited by the spirit of the deceased who feed and survive on the blood of Humans. It is an undead similar to, but different than, a vampire. Shiki are corpses of humans that have risen up after dying from having their blood drained by another shiki. It's because of this factor in their reproduction that it's unknown how the race came into existence to begin with. Though due to the mystic qualities of their powers and weaknesses it can be speculated that they are a creation of magic.
It's unknown how shiki came into existence at the beginning though they can turn humans into their own through draining the blood of their victims. It's also unknown exactly how the process for a human to become a shiki is but from what is seen by the villagers becoming shiki it's presumed that the bite also infects their human bodies with a venom of sorts that slowly changes them with each subsequent bite. Once the bitten humans had been bitten enough times, they eventually die through hemorrhage as Toshio Ozaki saw that the bitten patients display symptoms of anemia and for some reason before any one becomes a shiki they feel extreme fatigue and drowsiness. During Kyouko's transition, her husband Toshio observed that the process of dying and rising up as a shiki takes at most a week. If the human fulfills the requirements then they rise up and become shiki. It has been proven that not all bitten humans rise up as none of Nao's family rose up as shiki despite having their blood drained by her. This indicates the bitten needs to have a quality about them that makes them want to rise up. It seems that overall passion towards life is a key factor in rising up as Megumi Shimizu, fed up with village life obsessed over living in the city and Ristuko, being a nurse does all she can to preserve life even as a shiki. Also those who display traits that would make them stand out from the rest of humans like Natsuno's aloofness but hidden heroism and Tatsumi's dark attitude but caring side towards Sunako would cause them to transform into Jinrou (a superior subspecies of Shiki), a process much faster than the rise of shiki while appearing almost completely human.
As shiki are human bodies that have risen up from death, they're no different than corpses except that since they're undead they're magically protected from decomposition and their physical appearance upon mortal death stays the same no matter how many years pass because their bodies no longer metabolize. Because they're risen corpses, their skin is absolutely pale no matter what pigmentation they had during life. Shiki also lack their own body heat and as such they feel icy cold on contact due to the fact that their blood longer flows within their blood vessels and suspends all other activities. Because of this the hearts of shiki don't beat and thus without a heart rate, they lack a pulse and they also no longer breathe like a human probably because their lungs no longer take in oxygen which means they can't drown or suffocate. Also, because the blood suspends all forms of activities, chemicals (harmful or beneficial) no longer affect them as Toshio poured hydrochloric acid down his wife's throat along with injecting numerous medical chemicals into her with no effect with presumably toxins being the same case. Due to no longer breathing the shiki requires a new form of speech that almost all recently risen shiki sound like they're choking on their breath when they first began talking before getting used to their new vocal patterns. These features are the tell-tale traits to identify a shiki from a mass of humans.
Though they keep whatever individual hair color they have during life it's possible that they can no longer grow any hair or other bodily appendages like nails since they lack a metabolism process. For the first moments after rising up as a shiki, their sclera remains the same though their irises change to crimson red because they lose the colors of their eyes and the blood behind shows through. Though after some time their sclera darkens to a pitch-black color thus giving the appearance that their eye sockets are hollow until they reveal their new red irises during moments of emotional outbursts and hunger. The canines of their teeth turn into fangs as well when they experience these bouts like their eyes. Despite being technically dead, their bodies do have very subtle vitality that aren't normally located as the villagers weren't able to sense any life signs in Chizuru after her exposure while the medical machine that Toshio used to monitor Kyouko's corpse detected small vital signs just after she fully transitioned into a shiki. During the transition phase from human to Shiki, their bodies aren't any different from ordinary corpses as when Kyouko died her body went through the stages of becoming a corpse such as rigor mortis however after she became a shiki, Toshio discovered that her body regained its normal state as if she were alive albeit without her major bodily functions.
Due to the heightened healing factor as a by-product of their immortality, they have accelerated cellular regeneration that leaves no scars on their bodies no matter what wounds they suffer from with the exception being fatal wounds that could kill them (i.e., severe burns from the sun and being staked). It's also because of this accelerated cellular regeneration that possibly all preexisting scars they have beforehand as humans disappear since after rising as shiki, their bite wounds that were inflicted by the shiki that bit them were gone. Though it's unknown if this perhaps also applies to tattoos since they like scars marked up the body as well. Despite this improved healing factor, shiki will not recover from health conditions sustained in human life that permanently alter the body, as seen in the case of Shinmei Muroi, who remained immobile after rising (albeit now free of pain), originally due to a severe fall in his old age. It can be assumed that such irrecoverable health conditions are limited to those effecting the bones and muscles, as individuals lose most of their major bodily functions upon rising as shiki.
As humans are creatures that often hide and conceal their true thoughts and desires while in the presence of others, the inhibitions are removed upon transitioning into a shiki and as such the shiki often act in manners that are carefree and remorseless as being undead and immortal they feel that they can do whatever they want due to no longer being bound to normal human norms and conventions. Most shiki also seem to fall into madness because their minds distort upon rising though not all are the case. Their attributes and personalities are shown to be magnified upon rising up and thus most shiki are childish in overall attitudes despite some having live a long period of time. This heightened level of emotions and attitudes are probably made to protect their psyches from the ravages of time due to being immortal as a living person slowly loses their mind in old age and near death. However, some shiki have learned to adapt their persona with time while maintaining their overall natures such as Sunako displaying maturity beyond what her appearance would suggest while at the same time displaying moments of childlike innocence of the age in which she died and became a shiki. Some shiki still retain a sense of humanity, like Ritsuko displaying great moral strength because of her passion in saving lives as a nurse. She refused to drink blood even if it was save herself from a second death. However, almost all shiki in general have been dehumanized in some way as most that rose up display no human morals and will do whatever suits them without any regard to the consequences.
Their attitudes towards the living especially humans varies between individuals as some display callous disregard to most human life other than their own families and others may feel compassion towards any human due to remembering their time as human or because of their strong morality. Though shiki in general view humans as either food source or a tool they can make use of. This is because of the vital difference between the two races as humans are mortal and will eventually die in time while shiki can potentially live forever. Thus the death of a human that has no connections to them is typically considered an insignificant event because the endless amount of deaths they would bare witness to if they live long enough that such an occurrence became an everyday thing to them.
Another factor is that many shiki have the attitudes that their victims may rise up like them, thus going on to have 'better' existences due to being immortal, as seen when Megumi Shimizu convinced Yoshikazu Tanaka to target his own family so that they might come back to life, ending his loneliness. However, they will finally show remorse if their loved ones do not come back to life, as seen when Nao Yasumori (who killed all of her family members in hopes of them returning from the dead), broke down emotionally when she realized that not a single one of them would become shiki because they lacked the selfishness she had.
Blood is the main component of a shiki's diet. If a shiki doesn't drink blood they can die of starvation. Due to no longer metabolizing, their bodies can't digest human food and thus they can't consume it at all; if they attempt to eat regular food, they will regurgitate it after a short amount of time. They do seem to be able to consume liquids without any problems, as the Kirishikis were all seen being served and drinking wine while discussing their final steps in taking over the village.
Powers & Abilities
Immortality: As they have already died as humans, the moment they rise up they become unaging and thus their bodies' appearance remain the same for eternity and become immune to all conventional viruses, diseases, and illnesses.
Healing Factor: Shiki have the ability to heal from injuries and wounds at superhuman speed with no lasting scars on their bodies, which makes it virtually impossible to leave lasting damage on them unless the damage is potentially fatal.
Hypnotism: Shiki have ability to control and manipulate the body, mind, and soul of an animal or person. The humans that are hypnotized are shown to be in a trance, as shown by Toshio identifying a villager to be under hypnosis. The shiki have to first bite the humans in order to hypnotize them but once they do they can issue any commands that the humans have to follow through. Their control over the human victims in question though can be cancelled out if another shiki bites the human and hypnotizes the human themselves though it's unknown if this can be done by both normal shiki and jinrou.Super Senses: The senses of a shiki are heightened upon rising up where they can see, hear, and smell far better than humans with the ability to see in total darkness.
Levitation: Some shiki can levitate off the ground for short time which seems to be accompanied by mist-like vapor surrounding the ground they're levitating off of.
Voice-induced Manipulation: This supernatural ability allows them to speak in high distances, which aids in them convincing victims to leave their houses and/or inviting them inside.
Enhanced Strength: Shiki are said to be somewhat stronger than humans. This strength probably comes from the fact since they died before becoming shiki, the inhibition their brains place on their bodies to preserve them are removed thus giving them full access to their potential strength. As such most humans are unable to escape their grasps once they have them in it. Though it seems that the amount of strength they had during life and how much blood they had recently consumed determines how strong they are. This is shown where Tomio Ookawa (a human) was able to easily subdue Chizuru and Sunako (both shiki) due to having greater physical strength in life while Kyouko was unable to escape the special bindings her husband, Toshio, placed her in for his experimentation because she didn't drink any blood prior to it.
Enhanced Speed: Shiki are much faster than humans as a couple managed to pin down a few human villagers during the war before the humans could react.
Enhanced Durability: Shiki can endure more damage into their bodies than humans and as such only fatal blows can affect them.
Fangs: Shiki have retractable fangs behind their canine teeth that come out when they want to consume blood or to use as a natural weapon as Sunako tried against Tomio Ookawa. However, it seems that the fangs are rather delicate as Tomio was able to break or perhaps damage them by headbutting her jaw.
WeaknessesSunlight and Fire: Shiki cannot enter direct sunlight without it causing harm to their health; they will begin to burn/turn inside-out. It will result in slow and painful but permanent death. Also it seems that during the daytime in general their strength depletes as most of the human villagers were able to overpower them during the day. Presumably fire can also destroy their bodies as well as the fire that destroyed Sotoba burned away the corpses of Shiki.
Circulatory System Destruction: Toshio discovers in his experimentation with his shiki wife that shiki can only be killed by destroying their blood stream and circulatory system as blood is what makes them undead after rising up.
- Decapitation: The act of dismembering or removing the head of a shiki will result in permanent death as their bodies can't circulate blood without their brain.
- Heart Destruction: The act of destroying the heart which is the core of their circulatory system will result in permanent death as it cuts off the blood circulation. This can be done if the shiki is staked in the heart by wooden stakes or possibly extracting their hearts from their bodies. While driving a wooden stake is the most commonly used means to do this, axes and sharpened metal pipes have also been used.
Invitation: Shiki must be invited into a human's home; if they are not invited in then a force field forms around the house keeping them out. However, if one shiki is invited in then all of them are invited in.
Starvation: Shiki require blood to survive and will become incredibly weak and even die without it. The craving of blood is shown to be unbearable, and the urge to feed becomes increasingly difficult to fight the longer a Shiki goes without blood.
Sacred Objects: Crosses, crucifix, totems, icons, temples, churches, holy water, idols, the sound of bells, and statues seem to scare and deter Shiki. Toshio noted in his experiment of his wife that such fear is practically hard-wired into her mind then as before she didn't display any adversion to such objects.
Explosions: The detonation of explosives in close proximity to a Shiki will destroy it.
Blunt Traumas: While shiki can't die from physical traumas, strong and powerful physical blows to their bodies can otherwise incapacitate them for a while which leaves them vulnerable for some time.
|None||Part of imagination|