Shiki (Japanese: 屍鬼, lit. "Corpse Demon" or "Death Spirit") is a horror novel by Japanese novelist Fuyumi Ono. It was originally published in two parts by Shinchosha in 1998, it was then reprinted into five parts in 2002. A manga series adapting the story, drawn by Ryu Fujisaki was serialized in the Japanese monthly magazine Jump SQ. from December 2007 to June 2011. An anime adaptation of the manga by Daume began broadcasting on July 8, 2010 on Fuji Television and concluded later that year on December 30, 2010. North American anime distributor Funimation Entertainment simulcasted the series on their online video portal and released the series on DVD & Blu-ray on May 29, 2012.
The story takes place in a particularly hot summer in the 1990s, in a small quiet Japanese village called Sotoba. A series of mysterious deaths begin to spread in the village, at the same time when a strange family moves into the long-abandoned Kanemasa mansion. Doctor Toshio Ozaki, director of Sotoba's only hospital, initially suspects an epidemic; however, as investigations continue and the deaths begin to pile up, he learns—and becomes convinced—that they are the work of the "shiki", vampire-like creatures, plaguing the village. A young man named Natsuno Yuuki, who hates living in the village, begins to be pursued and becomes surrounded by death.
- Natsuno Yuuki/Koide (結城/小出 夏野 Yuuki/Koide Natsuno)
- Voiced by: Kōki Uchiyama (Japanese); Jerry Jewell (English)
- A 15-year-old boy who lives and attends school in Sotoba. Though he prefers living in the city than in the country, Natsuno reluctantly moved to Sotoba with his parents when they wanted a change of environment. He has an estranged relationship with his father, since his parents reject social norms and aren't married, causing him to have his mother's surname. He often exhibits a cold exterior, especially disliking Megumi Shimizu, who has a one-sided crush on him. He is kind and friendly toward those whom he considers his friends (Toru, Toru's younger siblings, and the Tanaka children). During the series, Natsuno dies after surviving an attack from the Shiki. He becomes a Jinrou, a special kind of shiki that retains their human traits (going out during the day, eating normal food, etc).
- Toshio Ozaki (尾崎 敏夫 Ozaki Toshio)
- Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (Japanese); David Wald (English)
- The director of the hospital in Sotoba, Toshio resigned from university hospital, returning to take up his father's position when he died. He is fondly given a nickname, "Waka-sensei" (young doctor), by his colleagues as well as the residents. Toshio dislikes both his mother and his late father, as both of them often put the reputation of the Ozaki family before anything else. He is childhood friends with Seishin Muroi and Mikiyasu Yasumori. He is 32 years old; is married to a woman, Kyoko, whom he rarely sees; and he is a chain smoker. He is baffled by the mysterious deaths and swears to solve the case and protect his home village. During the series, his wife becomes a Shiki and Toshio uses her as an experiment to find out how the Shikis' weakness. Later, he exposes the truth about Kirishikis and the victims of the "epidemic" becoming Shikis to the entire village (by murdering Chizuru). This causes a war between the human villagers and Shikis; resulting in setting the village on fire and leaving it to ruins. In the conclusion, he escapes the destroyed village, but wonders if all of his hard work to protect the village was all for nothing.
- Sunako Kirishiki (桐敷 沙子 Kirishiki Sunako)
- Voiced by: Aoi Yūki (Japanese); Cherami Leigh (English)
- A 13-year-old girl who moves into the Kanemasa mansion atop the hill with her family. She is a very wise girl since she is the oldest of the Shiki, being over 100 years old. How she became a Shiki is vague, having been locked in a storage closet and fed a stream of victims for several years before escaping. After escaping from the storage closet, she searched for her long lost family, only to give up and start a new "family". She claims to have a rare genetic disorder known as SLE, which forces her to stay inside her home during the day and only come out at night. She and her family are fans of the essays and novels written by Seishin Muroi, and is the reason they moved to Sotoba. She dislikes it when people call her name with the honorific "chan". At the conclusion of the series, Sunako is chased down into the abandon church but is saved by Seishin (who's now a Jinrou). She states that she is "forsaken by God" and wishes to die, but Seishin convinces her to escape with him, saying that even though she's no longer under God's jurisdiction, Sunako never lost her faith in Him.
- Seishin Muroi (室井 静信 Muroi Seishin)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese); John Burgmeier (English)
- Seishin is the local priest in Sotoba, as well as an author of several novels. His current work is called Shiki (Corpse Demon in English), a story about Cain and Abel and how Cain killed his beloved younger brother out of jealousy. He has a sense of the supernatural and detects the presence of the real "Shiki" long before anybody else. He is childhood friends with Toshio Ozaki and Mikiyasu Yasumori. He is 32 years old, single, and once attempted to commit suicide in a drunken state during his university days. During the series, he finds out Toshio killed his Shiki-transformed wife and walks away from Toshio with disdain, ending their friendship and becoming enemies. When the battle between the village and Shikis began, Seishin decides to help Sunako. He lets Tatsumi feed off of him, slowly becoming weak. Attempting to escape the village with Sunako, Seishin is severely wounded by a villager and knocked unconscious. He later awakens, having become a Jinrou, saving Sunako from being staked. Seishin convinces her to escape with him and begin a new life.
- Megumi Shimizu (清水 恵 Shimizu Megumi)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese); Tia Ballard (English)
- A 15 year old girl attending the same school as Natsuno, Megumi also hates living in the village and longs for city life. She has a one-sided crush on Natsuno and often daydreams of a relationship with him. Megumi encounters the Kirishiki family in the beginning of the series, and disappears without a trace until the residents find her lying in the middle of the forest. She is thought to die from a complicated case of anemia and is later revived as a Shiki. After she was revived, she became much more malicious, using her new powers to stalk Natsuno and target any friends of his and old ones of hers (Such as 'killing' Toru out of jealousy and turning Kaori and Akira's father into a shiki). At the end of the original novels and manga, she is hit by a truck and then staked through the heart by a group of villagers with multiple stakes while she is down. In the conclusion of the anime, a pair of tractors crush her arm, then her head; as she continues to move, the villagers then stake her heart.
- Toru Muto (武藤 徹 Muto Tōru)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Japanese); Chris Burnett (English)
- He is the eighteen-year-old son of the director, Yuta Muto, of the Ozaki Clinic. He is the older brother of Aoi and Tamotsu, and Natsuno's best friend. He likes games and has a kind of happy-go-lucky personality. He has a crush of one of the nurses, Kunihiro Ritsuko, who teaches him how to drive. He is killed by Megumi, as she was jealous of his closeness with Natsuno, but he then revives as a Shiki. He is a reluctant killer, consumed by the grief of killing his best friend. He is very subdued and seems more 'human' than many of the Shiki. Near the end of the series, he tries to force Ritsuko to kill her co-worker, Yasuyo but refuses, stating it's against her nature. Not wanting to see Ritsuko in pain, he releases Yasuyo and spends his final moments holding Ritsuko. When the village is set on ablaze, Natsuno sees their bodies, noting both Toru and Ritsuko were staked.
- Kaori Tanaka (田中 かおり Tanaka Kaori)
- Voiced by: Haruka Nagashima (Japanese); Alexis Tipton (English)
- Kaori is Megumi's childhood friend. She is 15 years old, and is a friendly, kind girl who doesn't realize the fact that her best friend Megumi has grown to dislike her. She and her younger brother Akira start spying on the Kirishikis when Akira notices one of the villagers who was supposed to be dead alive near the Kanemasa mansion. During the series, Kaori is deranged when her brother goes missing and her mother has died. When her father (who has become a shiki) intrudes into the house, she kills him with a baseball bat. She later awakens in the hospital, reunited with Akira. They watch as their home village is destroyed by the fire.
- Akira Tanaka (田中 昭 Tanaka Akira)
- Voiced by: Keiko Kawakami (Japanese); Luci Christian (English)
- He is Kaori's younger brother and he is in 7th grade. He is childish but very brave. When he sees one of the villagers who was supposed to be dead near the Kanemasa mansion, he and his sister start spying on the Kirishikis, which is when they meet Natsuno, who also believes that those who died are behind the murders in Sotoba. During the series, Akira went to inspect a house, discovering a sleeping shiki. When he is about to stake him, Tatsumi stops him. Akira later awakens, bound and gagged in front of the shiki he tried to kill. Natsuno saves him from the shiki and unites him with Kaori at the hospital. The Tanaka siblings watches as the fire destroys the village.
- Tatsumi (辰巳 Tatsumi)
- Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- One of the main servants to the Kirishiki family, Tatsumi is a special kind of vampire called the "jinrou", who can withstand the sunlight unlike Shiki and cannot be easily killed. He is a sadistic individual and enjoys tormenting his victims. But he is also quite calm, hardly showing any signs of panic during a fight or even in the face of death. He also acts as the commander of the Shiki-turned villagers. He has a great respect for Sunako, risking his life for her near the end of the series. He is killed in Natsuno's suicide attack at the end of the series.
- Vol. 1: ISBN 4-10-124023-X, January 20, 2002
- Vol. 2: ISBN 4-10-124024-8, January 30, 2002
- Vol. 3: ISBN 4-10-124025-6, February 28, 2002
- Vol. 4: ISBN 4-10-124026-4, February 28, 2002
- Vol. 5: ISBN 4-10-124027-2, February 28, 2002
The manga series adapting the story, drawn by Ryu Fujisaki was serialized in the Japanese monthly magazine Jump SQ. from December 2007 to June 2011.
An anime adaptation of the manga version of Shiki was first announced in Japan on December 2009, with the official website unveiled. Although Aniplex was listed as handling production for the anime, the website stated that the company will be in charge of distribution duties while Daume is responsible for the animation production. Japanese celebrity Gackt made his first regular cast debut on Shiki, as revealed during Noitamina's late-night timeslot lineup.
22 episodes were aired in 2010. Two bonus episodes were released in OVA format on DVD the following summer, bringing the episode total to 24. The OVAs are additions to episodes 20 and 21, that are numbered 20.5 and 21.5 and share the same episode titles, except with "and Malice" added to the end.