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Cit tsukihime - chained arc

 "I'll show you. This is what it means to kill something."

Shiki Tohno was involved in a major accident in his childhood. Miraculously, he survived, albeit with a weakened body and no memory of the incident or much of the rest of his past. However, when he awoke in the hospital, crooked lines covered everything, from his own body to his bed to the other doctors. He quickly discovered that anything could be destroyed with ease, simply by cutting along those lines. It seemed like the world was in danger of crumbling around him... He would have gone insane had he not come across a mysterious self-styled sorceress, who gave him glasses that hid the "lines of death" and allowed him to live a normal life. Following the incident, Shiki was sent away from the main household to live with a branch family, while his sister was raised as the new heir.

Now a high school student, Shiki suddenly receives word from the Tohno estate. The family head, his father, has died, and he is to return at once to the main household. Meanwhile, strange murders have begun to occur in the city, the victims drained of their blood...

Originally a Visual Novel, with a fan-translation patch available from Mirror Moon. There is also a manga adaptation (released in English as "Lunar Legend Tsukihime"), an anime adaptation (Shingetsutan Tsukihime), a pseudo-sequel game of short stories (Kagetsu Tohya), and a series of fighting games (Melty Blood) that takes some liberties with the paths from the original game.

A remake was announced in April 2008, reportedly finally containing the Satsuki Yumizuka/Sacchin route, one of the running jokes of the franchise. Said remake has no current release date. The ending to the manga (and the DVD Commentary to the second episode of Carnival Phantasm) also add official secondary confirmation that the remake is in the works.

Takes place in the Nasuverse.


Tropes: Edit

  • Action Girlfriend: Arcueid.
    • Ciel on her route.
  • 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 Akiha is not a vampire but a half-demon who must consume "bodily fluids" (including blood) of a very specific person (Kohaku or her twin Hisui) in order maintain her sanity.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The manga eats Arc's route and shits out awesome. It also 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (see Adaptation Decay). Specific examples include Shiki's past, his link with Akiha, the nature of Roa's resurrections, and the other Dead Apostles. But then, 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! Then there's the manga adaptations, Fanon, and follow up games (fighting and visual novel) all with some degree of Alternate Continuity and uncertain qualifications as Canon.
    • Should be mentioned that one of the reasons is that in the visual novel people routinely stop the "action" (as it were) to give pages-long speeches on the nature of magic, vampirism and similar stuff. It's not as much "All There in the Manual" as every single character being a Mr. Exposition.
  • Alternate Continuity: The original game has five character routes that cannot all be possible in the same universe (see Cutting Off the Branches). The anime makes some deviations of its own. The 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.
    • Lampshaded in Kagetsu Tohya, 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.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Shiki's knife (the Nanatsu-Yoru)
  • Art Evolution: Event CGs in Kagetsu Tohya are noticeably better than those in the original game.
  • Artificial Human: Artificial non-human. Arcueid is unique even among her own kind.
  • 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 Atoner: One part of Ciel's motivation.
    • Akiha is also 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: You do NOT fuck with Shiki.
    • Hell, just name a character. Most likely that character does something incredibly badass at some point in the Tsukihime-Kagetsu Tohya-Melty Blood timeline. Not even Satsuki is immune. Hell, even Arihiko arguably manages this in Kagetsu Tohya.
    • Akira was ballsy enough to criticize potential serial killers in public, and Souka proved herself completely immune to the Tohno gland. That's gotta count for something.
  • Badass Abnormal 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 Evil Eye only allowed him to see the auras of people.)
  • Badass Normal: in Kagetsu Tohya with Nanaya Shiki (the Shiki who would have been had Tsukihime's events not occured), an incredibly badass knife fighter that Tohno Shiki cannot defeat even once, despite Nanaya not sharing Tohno Shiki's Mystic Eyes.
    • Tohno Shiki lacks the ability to perceive those lines during each of those fights, though.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: "Hisui-chan: Inversion Impulse."
    • Kohaku, the sweetest member of the Tohnoe household, turns out to have been the mastermind behind all the deaths that had occurred the last several years.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Among things Shiki has killed: Arcueid, Roa, SHIKI, Nrvnqsr, himself, vampiric infection (before it spread) a bed, a tree, a hallway, his sister, poison flowing through someone's veins, and Gaia or Nature itself.
  • Bishonen: Shiki; more the "manly" kind rather than the "girly" kind, espacially with his glasses off. One of the reasons why the ladies flock to his coc... I mean flock to him. Okay, just the abnormal ladies but he can't complain and I'm sure most other guys in his situation wouldn't either.
  • Big Bad: Michael Roa Valdamjong, or The "real" Shiki Tohno in the Far-Side Routes.
  • 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.
  • Big Fancy House: The Tohno mansion
  • Biggus Dickus: Shiki.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Most of the game endings are this to some extent, despite having multiple "Good Endings" (and even out of those, only two out of three are unambiguously happy). 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 seemingly[1] 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."

(beat)

Ciel: "Your proposition is intriguing, but I'll pass."

  • Blank Slate: Kohaku. Makihisa's actions make her kill off her own personality, so she 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.
    • Taken to an extreme in Hisui's good ending, where Kohaku's almost totally lost her memory and even takes on a new name. While not ideal, this is still an improvement considering how massively screwed up Kohaku was before.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Also arguably his ability to attract all kinds of ladys...even if they are the among the strongest beings on the face of this part of the Nasuverse who might not like rejection.
    • And then there's the Dead Apostles, though they aren't, with a few exceptions, sympathetic.
  • 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.
      • Then again, Chaos seems to have had a more prolonged death for Arc in mind. Doesn't explain why he didn't kill Shiki, though.
  • Book Ends: In both the prologue and epilogue Shinji 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 Arcuied's good end Arcuied 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.
  • Bonus Material: Once you've cleared all the routes (and "Eclipse") in the game, it seems like there's nothing more to do... but click the topmost Kanji for the Mirror Moon Staff Room, the thin bar for a series of gags, and the words "TYPE-MOON" along the bottom for more gags.
    • Kagetsu Tohya also has 10 short stories, which are unlockable through doing certain actions during the game.
  • Bottle Fairy: Akiha shows many of the characteristics under certain circumstances (i.e. when there's alcohol available), shows a marked fondness for whiskey, and, to top it all off, holds her liquor surprisingly well.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kagetsu Tohya does a lot of this.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: (game) 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: That Ribbon, that damned 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.
  • Chick Magnet: Shiki. Eight or nine women can't all be wrong...it could be The Tohno Gland...
    • It can still be quite wrong considering how many of them go Yandere or try to kill him for unrelated reasons...
      • But not when they all hold off on killing him specifically because they want to jump his bones.
  • 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 "Burial Agency"; like Alexander Anderson, only sane.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: 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 does not help either.
    • Arcueid during Ciel's route. Boy is she freaking scary. The Tohno gland is a mixed blessing eh?
  • Close-Call Haircut: (Manga) Ciel gives one to Akiha when they fight.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Arcueid's thought process is... odd.
  • 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 one of his eyes blinded by Kiri when he was younger during one of his missions, and Makihisa is implied to have been the client for that hit, who Kiri tried and failed to kill out of impulse.
  • 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.
  • Cursed with Awesome: See the Blessed with Suck entry. The Mystic Eyes of Death Perception tend to be seen as both tropes simultaneously, for obvious reasons...
  • 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.
  • 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 existance, 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 realises precisely what it is Shiki can do. In response, Shiki kills a freakin' corridor to crush him as it implodes.
    • Basically, the theory is that everything has the potential to be destroyed inherent within it. Most of the time, destruction is something happening to realise that potential. Shiki's eyes allow him to reverse the order - the object is destroyed, then the world around him alters to accomodate this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Isn't it sad, Sacchin?
  • 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.
  • Deus Sex Machina: The only way to help with those pesky supernatural afflictions on the Ciel, Hisui, and Kohaku routes.
  • Different As Night and Day: 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.
  • 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 unstoppable urge to kill her. 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" disbelieving his claim that it was his first time, in light of his considerable skill.
    • Very deliberate as a point of foreshadowing. The sexualized tone of this scene is a hint that SHIKI has a mindlink with Shiki, instead of it being the Nanaya personality taking over.
  • 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." She apparently passed the message to Kohaku (or she was somehow eavesdropping), who honors Shiki's request, but Hisui continues referring to him as "Shiki-sama" even after their relationship becomes more intimate.
  • 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."
  • 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 in particular is practically this trope as a literal geographic location.
  • 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, two very special guests.
  • Emotionless Girl: (game) Subverted with Hisui. 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 (embarrassment, anger, ...), while her sister never seemed to deviate from that broad smile...
    • You can catch some rather subtle Foreshadowing even on a first playthrough - watch TV with Kohaku and observe Kohaku's comments to the murders ("thats almost a baseball team!") etc.
      • Lampshaded by Shiki: He notes himself how oddly nonchalant Kohaku is about the murders, and just dismisses it offhand.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Seventh Holy Scripture (a.k.a. Nanako).
    • What Arcueid was more or less meant to be until Shiki screwed up her head when he "killed" her. It is hinted in Melty Blood: Actress Again that she will revert back to this once she fully recovers, or so she claims. Despite claiming to be above lingering affections of attachments, she gives Shiki very special treatment compare to the other characters and this is considering that Melty Blood does not follow her route and therefore they do not have nearly an intimate a relationship. Guess the Nanaya gland is just that powerful.
  • Enemy Within: (game) Nanaya and Roa. The lack of the former in the anime is Adaptation Decay, while the latter happens in an alternate route.
  • 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.
  • Evil Eye: Shiki's "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception". Several other characters, like Arcueid, possess mystic eyes, as well, though nothing like his.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Expy: Shiki is pretty much an amalgam of Ryougi Shiki and Mikiya Kokutou, the female and male led of Kara no Kyoukai.
    • 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.
  • Fan Disservice: (game) A scene where Shiki dreams about raping Kohaku, who's more or less lifeless, and it is not played to be arousing.
  • 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. Ciel obsession with curry. Akiha's temperment, scariness, jealousy and self-consciousness over her small bust size (her actions during Kohaku's route are not really her fault and certainly are not part of her normal personality). Kohaku's mischievousness, connivingness, and extremely elaborate plans to take over the Tohno househould easily takes the cake. 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.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Kishima Kouma, as revealed in Kagetsu Tohya.
  • Foreshadowing: Shiki's inner monologue on his date with Arcueid might as well be about the upcoming Bittersweet Ending.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Tohno, although he's rather worse when The Glasses Come Off.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Shiki doesn't remember either of the twins at first. Or SHIKI.
    • Justified in SHIKI's case as Makihisa brainwashed Shiki into forgetting him
      • Shiki does remember Kohaku and Hisui. After you finish the first set of routes you get the option to think about them in your next game, including the fact that it was the memories of the twin he thinks is Kohaku that helped Shiki for all those years.
  • Future Badass: The official side stories released have Shiki somehow becoming even more badass - with his eyes having gone out of control (making him put bandages over them) and his previous physical limitations surpassed, he's taken on the name Satsujinki and spends his time hunting down and assassinating the Dead Apostle Ancestors. It gets even better.
  • 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.
    • The harem feeling is, for the most part, absent in the orignal game.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Shiki's managed to seriously alarm both Hisui and Arcueid with how hard he is to wake. This could be due to drugs in his system...
  • The Hecate Sisters: Arcueid as the maiden[2], Ciel as the mother[3] and Akiha as the crone[4].
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The Hisui and Kohaku routes. And after a time, Akiha's.
  • Hidden Eyes: Shiki, in every image he appears in after the prologue (this aspect dropped in later games). His "Sensei" the sorceress (Aoko Aozaki) has the Hidden Eyes whenever she appears, until the game's final image.
    • This is used for a very nice plot twist in the Plus+Disk story "Mystic Eyes Alliance" (which introduces the character Seo Akira and shows Shiki's character model for the first time), where 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. In the climax, we finally get to see the real Shiki.
  • H-Game POV Character: Shiki is generally a Type II B, though he initially comes off as a Type II A
  • Ho Yay: Even noticed in-story: Neither Shiki nor Arihiko use Honorifics when talking to each other, but it's Shiki's habit of also referring to Arihiko by his first name (a habit usually attributed to girls) that makes Akiha do a double take.
    • Some Les Yay with Kohaku and Akiha was only made worse(or rather, better) in the anime. Kohaku's back being turned means the scene with Akiha sucking Kohaku's blood looks a helluva lot more questionable.
      • ...that's pretty much impossible, since the game's CG rather clearly shows Akiha sucking on one of Kohaku's naked breasts. It was actually less explicit in the anime.
      • That CG also shows specifically that Akiha is sucking Kohaku's blood. The anime being less explicit means it looks more like she's suckling.
  • I Have the High Ground: Ciel, all the time, always in the exact same lamppost pose (as pictured on the trope page).
  • I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight: The climax of Kohaku's route.
  • 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
  • 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 Deader Than Dead (but Not Quite Dead enough) at the beginning of the story, however, for the majority of the story she's very weak.
    • The low point of this would be her Near-Rape Experience where Shiki easily overpowers her and pins her down.
    • She gets one mostly-offscreen moment to show just how powerful she can be in the Ciel route, freed from the self-imposed restraints, when she fights, defeats, and "kills" Ciel in the span of maybe twenty seconds.
  • 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...
    • ...though her background and history are greatly expanded in one of the "Ten Nights of Dream" sidestories.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The scene where Shiki sees Arcueid for the first time and is seized with an incredible urge to **** her (as the game puts it) which takes the ambiguity over what four letter word Shiki wants to do to her to the further possible extreme before he finally kills her.

    Aside from that rather well-known scene, first-person descriptions of characters committing murder tend to include mention of getting sexually excited and even ejaculating upon doing the deed. On the other side of the coin, Shiki is rather notorious among the fandom for not being the most gentle lover.
  • Intimate Healing: Synchronizers have the ability to share life force and power up others through "fluid exchange" (typically via horizontal tango). 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.
    • Other, minor examples: Ciel's route with her "healing" Shiki (when, due to Roa's influence, he...er...can't come down). Also, reversed in Kohaku's route, with Shiki as the "healer" (though in a metaphorical sense). Oh, and Len (the less said, the better).
  • Inverted Portrait: Arcueid in the OP.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: This being an Eroge, there are many Bad Ends, and some of them can become very elaborate and memorable. Two in particular are worth seeing intentionally because they are Tear Jerkers: 1. The one where Ciel and Shiki kill each other in Ciel's route. 2. The one where Shiki kills Akiha in Kohaku's route. Although the one everyone remembers is being eaten in the hotel by the shark.
    • Though mercifully, even related to that last one, there's a twist that's never directly mentioned.
  • 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.
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: Akiha always refers to Shiki as "Nii-san" to refer to Shiki and Hisui always refers to Kohaku as "Nee-san." When either of them use another term, it means Akiha's talking about her real older brother and It's actually Kohaku impersonating Hisui.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Shiki's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception can perceive the nature of death itself. He can kill anything once he understands the concept of its existence; he will most likely drop dead from the strain of it before that happens, though.
    • One memorable doujin, also mentioned on the Crowning Moment of Awesome page, has Shiki seeing a star that nobody else can see. It turns out it's actually the point of death for the entire universe.
  • Karma: With one exception, any plot choice that leads to rape will also lead to Shiki's death.
  • Kick the Dog: Makihisa Tohno, in a more literal example than most, was said to have walked about the mansion grounds killing any animals he would run into. Kagetsu Tohya takes it even further and says he brought small animals to the mansion specifically to kill them. Nice guy.
  • The Killer in Me: In the "Far Side" routes, Shiki thinks that he is the killer but it is later revealed that he is not.
    • Arguably played straight in the other routes as well, as Shiki may be partially responsible - the killer instincts of his Nanaya blood may have corrupted the actual killer, since they are linked. This is hinted as a possibility by Shiki's adopted father. The fact that the killer was a vampire and needed human blood didn't help either.
  • Kill It with Fire: Played straight with Kishima Kouma (though it's more obvious in Melty Blood). Subverted, of all things, with Akiha, who's power is actually to leech heat from things...the process of which, however, causes the air to ignite and leaves victims charred.
  • Lampshade Hanging: 'Ordinary high school students sure are something!'
  • Laser Guided Tykebomb: In Backstory, Arcueid was created from scratch as a mindless vampire-killer. Then things went horribly wrong.
  • Last of Their Kind: Arc is the last True Ancestor vampire, now avenging the slaughter of the others she accidentally enabled. And 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.
  • Living Battery: the Synchronizers are living magical batteries that can accumulate and transfer life energy to other people
  • Love At First Punch: Pretty much how Arcueid and Shiki romance started, Driven up to "Love at First Murder".
  • Love Triangle: Almost Ciel's entire route. It gets turned Up to Eleven, and Tastes Like Diabetes, in her Good Ending.
  • Lethal Chef: (game) Hisui cooks so badly it's considered poison. One doujin has Shiki trying to use his eyes to "destroy the badness".
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Shiki. Arcueid's about the most honest person he knows.
    • And given how much Arcuied is keeping from him...
    • Shiki's not exactly forthcoming about his own secrets, either, though. In an example of Poor Communication Kills, one bad end occurs when a character with Nigh Invulnerability attacks Shiki, having no clue about his Mystic Eyes getting around any form of protection like that. Not to mention all his late night adventures he hides from Akiha.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: 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.
  • 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.
    • Really, all of the main game of Kagetsu Tohya to some extent.
  • Madness Mantra: "This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair. This chair."
  • 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.
  • Marry Them All: Ciel's good end has Arcueid trying for a type 7 love triangle. Ciel is not amused. Shiki does not want to die.
  • 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, which essentially amounts to making him into another Nrvnqsr.
    • All but flat-out stated in the end-of-game scene "Eclipse." Regardless of who Shiki might end up with, the Eyes of Death Perception getting worse means he's unlikely to live very long in any case.
  • 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.
  • Meido: Kohaku and Hisui (twins). Hisui calls Shiki "Shiki-sama" despite his efforts to convince her to be less formal.
  • Mind Rape: Let's count the number of different effects that are simultaneously causing Shiki to go horribly insane, shall we? There's:
  • Mind Screw: Oh god. Arcueid's route, at the very least, is pure concentrated what-the-fuck from the moment you meet SHIKI to the final fight against the villain.
    • Ciel's route (Especially her "True Ending") is twice the mind screw of Arcueid's route.
    • Hisui's route alone, which about half of it is Shiki sick in bed, generally going completely insane tops Arc's in that level.

  "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."

    • Actually, just about every route has a Mind Screw moment. In Akiha's route, right after she and Shiki have sex, SHIKI crashes the party - by the time Shiki finds them again, SHIKI states that he's going to be taking back Shiki's place and is implied to have stripped and redressed Akiha. It's hard to say what's more Squick; the fact that she willingly had sex with her own "brother" or the fact that her REAL brother is more than happy to do that with her anyway. And of course, in the Kohaku route, you learn that virtually all of her humanity was stripped away due to SHIKI and Makihisa raping her day in, day out to keep their humanity.
  • Multiple Endings: (game) 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).
  • Mood Whiplash: Plenty in entire franchise.
  • 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.
  • 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 and he had to kill her (In the Far-Side routes).
  • Named Weapons: Shiki's knife, the Nanatsu-Yoru[5] ... subverted. It's actually his family name (Nanaya) being misread.
    • Ciel's Seventh Holy Scripture
  • Near-Rape Experience: An unavoidable creepy scene on Arcueid's route.
  • Nigh Invulnerability: In a variety of ways, including regeneration, resurrection, and locally reversing time.
  • 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.

    • Later on, Arihiko resurrects his old mushroom costume at their school's festival, resulting in the students going on an anti-mushroom costume witch hunt. Chaos Hilarity Ensues.
  • No One Should Survive That: For a Ordinary High School Student with glasses, anemia, and (we later discover) 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.
  • 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.
    • Kohaku gets big one in her route, when she gives Shiki hallucinogenic drugs claiming its 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, and appears to feel really remorseful - note that she is still the supposedly emotionless doll-like Kohaku.
  • 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*
  • 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 hard. This is the major plot point that Tohno Shiki and the real Tohno SHIKI have the same name (or more technically, their names are homonyms). The kanji for the similar sounding name are different, so it's not really a problem in the original Japanese.
  • Ordinary High School Student: Provides the pagequote. Hey, at least he's completely human.
  • 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. Maybe.
    • 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...
  • Our Friendly Neighborhood Japanese 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.
    • Ironically, Arcueid does hate garlic... but not because it'll harm her - it's because she actually hates it. In the entire Nasuverse, no other vampire, whether True Ancestor or Dead Apostle, shows any aversion to garlic whatsoever.
    • This point both heavily lampshaded and occasionally justified throughout the game. Arcueid's race is closer to what would be called an elemental spirit that can also suck blood and turn humans into bloodsuckers, the word "vampire" being used as a sort of a blanket term used for both classes to give Shiki a broad idea of the situation. Shiki, on his part, repeatedly pokes fun at her failure to behave like a folkloric vampire, and Arcueid herself complains in a couple of bad ends about Satsuki being the only "proper" vampire in the game. The actual vampires fluctuate between slightly different but within the acceptable spectrum, and nightmare-inducing eldritch abominations, both types decidedly not of the amicable kind.
  • Outdated Outfit: Kohaku's kimono and apron is very old-fashioned by Japanese standards. Paired with her bamboo broom, she could just as easily be placed in a Meiji-era work.
  • Pixellation: Per the Japanese standard for porn scenes.
  • Posthumous Character: Shiki's father Makihisa Tohno.
  • Power Born of Madness: Most of Arcueid's considerable power goes towards suppressing her inherent bloodlust. When she snaps and doesn't bother restraining herself, all that power comes to the forefront...
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: In the game, Tohno Akiha's hair changes to a bright red when her Super-Powered Evil Side comes out.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: The final line of Shiki's World of Cardboard Speech. "I'll show you. This is what it means to kill something."
  • Prisoner of Zenda Exit: (anime) See Bond Villain Stupidity example above.
  • 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 absolute horror (and an excuse for porn).
  • Rape Is Love: Starting with Shiki's Erotic Dream, when it's female-on-male; then in the actual, initially consensual sex scenes, Shiki does not understand the word 'no.'
    • The situation is not helped by Japanese idea that a proper or good girl always says no.
      • ...meaning Ciel and Hisui don't count as good?
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Straight: Noticing that Satsuki suddenly (though... inconsistently) has red eyes is the first indicator that something is seriously wrong (i.e. vampirism). Inverted: Arcueid is pretty harmless to non-vampires; it's when her eyes turn gold you're in trouble.
    • There is a brief moment where Arcueid plays it straight in a Bad End, if Shiki rapes her. Though it's more a case of Bloodshot Eyes Take Warning.
  • Red Herring: (anime) Using material from a different route in the game.
  • Reincarnation: The Big Bad Roa became a reincarnator as his own style of obtaining immortality, his mind/powers surfacing in one host after the other. His appearance/gender change freely with each appearance.
  • Retirony: In the game, After walking home with Shiki, when Shiki promised that he'll save her if she's ever in trouble, Satsuki gets turned into a homicidal vampire that very night while looking for Shiki. Subverted in the anime: Shiki finds out the next day on the news that she had been staying at the hotel where he and Arcueid fled from Nrvnqsr (who ate all the occupants). Turns out she didn't go after all because she had a cold.
  • Revised 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.
  • 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. In Kagetsu Tohya, Shiki invokes the trope while going through Ciel's clothes (yes), and barely escapes. In a subversion, however, trying this with Arcueid gets Shiki killed by a talking jaguar (seriously).
    • 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 too, by her own admission:

 (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 one H-scene (Akiha's), 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.
  • Running Gag: A rather minor one in Arcueid's route - Shiki will say (or want to say) something, 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.
  • Schrodinger'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.
  • 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
  • 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. She 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. Ciel fails to take into account Shiki's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. Depending on your decision, things don't go quite as planned.
    • Ciel 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 killer (Yes he is), he wouldn't randomly kill people while motivated by base bloodlust (That's how the other major scenario starts) and he wouldn't kill someone, least of all a classmate, even when put in a do-or-die situation (He did just that a couple of days ago). Oh, and that she is unkillable anyhow, so even if she were wrong about him, he couldn't kill her (Oh yes he can).
  • Shadow Pin: Ciel can use her Black Keys to do this.
  • Shout-Out: Nrvnqsr greatly resembles one of the early Mooks in Parasyte. Shiki's fight against Nrvnqsr and Shinichi's fight against the mook are very similar; the good guy gets beaten on for a bit due to being un-acquainted with the killing potential of his powers, then a Let's Get Dangerous moment occurs and the good guy stomps the bad guy flat in record time.
    • The term True Ancestor (shinso) is itself a Castlevania joke; endboss-Drac in Symphony of the Night is, in Japanese, called True Ancestor Dracula.
      • Melty Blood, the offshoot fighting game of the Tsukihime series, features Night of Wallachia, who is at least a triple shout-out - Castlevania's Alucard, the version of Dracula who appears in Super Castlevania IV, and - in his maniacally-cackling-backbend victory pose - the great Dio 'WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY' Brando himself.
        • Oh if only Castlenote Justasplanned had a Dracula who played like Wallachia does. That is how a Draclike character SHOULD work.
    • More explicitly stated are the references to Gunparade March (the heroine of that anime is mentioned in one of the concept arts for Sacchin in the Plus Disc) and to Hajime no Ippo (The comedy fight between Ciel and Neko-Arc in Kagetsu Tohya, you know what I'm talking about if you've play through that part and, of course, watch Hajime no Ippo).
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Shiki in Akiha's route. SHIKI gives a Hannibal Lecture of epic proportions. Shiki responds by slicing his goddamn arm off.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Shiki acts like a male Tsundere around Arcueid. (Just like with Arihiko.)
  • The Slow Walk: Once per route. In Arcueid's and Ciel's paths, Shiki Nanaya 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).
    • (Manga) Shiki pulls it off once more against Roa. That, alongside the fact that Shiki is successfully killing Roa's magic, utterly terrifies Roa.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Ciel with the Seventh Holy Scripture.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Most of the soundtrack is atmospheric and mood-setting, and many of the game's endings have at least a small element of tragedy. Cue out-of-Nowhere Guilty Gear-esque ending theme...
    • Some argue that there a lot of tragedy in the slow pulsing riffs of Nowhere. It's just hard to hear at *first because it's done with a bitching guitar.
      • That song got replaced in the Tsukibako Box Set version of the game with a totally different song, which is called "ever after (ED size)." Unfortunately, this one is NOT on Youtube Listen here. - but it is a lot more fitting.
  • Staking the Loved One: Shiki staking 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 friend.
    • Whether he loves her or not is a choice the player makes. Regardless of the choice, he still feels guilty about what happens.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Satsuki has shades of this. Before the game ever started she was watching him so closely that she was apparently the only one who noticed hints of his Super-Powered Evil Side before even Shiki realized it existed. At the time she didn't realize what she was seeing, but she was paying close enough attention that as soon as she became a vampire she was able to recognize that they were signs he was a natural-born killer just like she'd become. Before he'd ever even killed anyone. Though she might have confused Shiki and SHIKI...
  • Stepford Smiler: Kohaku, just... Kohaku...
  • 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.
  • Suspiciously Vague Age: So close to an aversion you almost want to hand it to them, but you can't. Kohaku and Hisui don't really have a defined age or grade level, Arcueid is hundreds of years old, Ciel is about 25 but looks younger. Len's age is confirmed at being in the Arcueid tier... but then you get to Shiki himself and Akiha, and the aversion falls flat.
  • Sweater Girl: Arcueid. Because not all vampires have to wear black leather to be sexy.
  • 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.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: (game) Nanaya, the amoral super-assassin who really enjoys what he does, but to be fair, he only targets demons...
    • Not the TATARI-spawned Nightmare Nanaya, who pretty much makes it his goal to kill anyone he comes across, human or demon. He even describes himself as something that exists only to kill whoever summoned him (Or Kishima Kouma.) Of course, Nightmare Nanaya is the worst possibility on purpose, he's the feared perception that Shiki has of his other self; which wasn't helped by a telepathic link with SHIKI or Kohaku's drugs.
  • Take Our Word for It: Whatever Hisui did to Kohaku (technically Nanaya, since this takes place after Hisui's Good ending) in "Hisui-chan - Inversion Impulse!"
  • The Electric Slide: Ciel does this in the anime.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Kohaku and Hisui, which mean amber and jade respectively, which are their eye colors.
  • The Other Darrin: The anime's voice cast is entirely replaced by that of Melty Blood for succeeding appearances.
  • 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: Justified with Ciel's black keys, magic swords which are explicitly mentioned to be designed for throwing or melee combat.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Everyone in the manga, at least in comparison to their Visual Novel counterparts. 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. 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 analyse 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.
    • Special mention, however, goes to Roa. In the Visual Novel he was Anticlimax Boss who never did much in his appearances. In the manga, he's been upgraded to a credible threat, with his mastery of magic allowing him to defeat Ciel, Shiki and (an admittedly badly-wounded) Arcueid in their battles against him.
  • Tragic Dream
  • Tragic Monster: Most obviously, poor vampiric Satsuki. Less obviously, Poor, insane SHIKI. Also Kohaku, who orchestrates everyone murdering each other simply because she didn't understand Shiki's happiness, or his Heroic Sacrifice for Akiha.
    • SHIKI's tragedy becomes really tragic in the manga, where SHIKI is shown--as hinted at in the game-- to be quite a friendly guy before his demon blood overcomes him.
      • In the game as well - Kagetsu Tohya's final, hidden story "Drinking, Dreaming Moon" has Shiki and SHIKI meeting on friendly terms to talk inside of a dream, and he's really quite a decent guy when sane.
        • In Kagetsu Tohya's short story "Dawn" The villain turns out to be the young girl that Nero Chaos killed during his battle with Shiki and Arcuied.
    • Makihisa Tonho might have a bit of Alternate Character Interpretation as this, at least in the game. Everyone agrees that he was a very kind man eight years ago (when not flying into bouts of genetic bipolar madness). Even Kohaku says that he hated himself for the abuse he inflicted on her (thus granting her request to leave Hisui alone), and his journals reveal a man who loved his children, ableit in a rather distant manner.
  • 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 Haircut: Altrouge did this to Arcrueid 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.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Shiki gains his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception as a result of his near death experience as a child.
  • Truer to the Text: The anime version left many fans quite bitter over how much it deviated from the source material. There was, however, a manga that retold the original story quite faithfully.
  • Tsundere: Akiha. Being a strict Ojou, she's much more 'tsun' in the game. And far more 'dere' too.
    • She's less "tsun" and more "constantly worried". There's also shades of Defrosting Ice Queen since she spends the early game getting used to Shiki's less proper behavior.
    • Also Shiki as a male Tsundere in reference to Arcueid. Only with her, though, presumably due to being the canon couple.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime
  • Twin Switch: A couple variations:
    • Kohaku disguises herself as Hisui at least once, depending on the route.
      • Watch the eyes for a giveaway.
    • 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.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: (anime) There goes the mysterious backstory...
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: You've already been through a couple of hours of really rather disturbing Mind Screw Nightmare Fuel gaming by the time Kohaku disguises herself as Hisui at Shiki's bedside. And then you see her smile. Note that here the trope is being invoked intentionally and successfully.
    • Also notable in that it only happens once in Kohaku's route, signaling a genuine difference in her character.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Shiki, in a Kagetsu Tohya side-story that's a direct follow-up to Akiha's True Ending.
    • Arceuid pulls off one of these after being sliced into 17 pieces, much to Shiki's incredulity and terror.
      • In Arceuid's Good Ending Arceuid comes back to life again.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: So unlucky she didn't even get a scenario. Isn't it sad, Sacchin?~ ;_;
    • The new remake is rumored to have a scenario for her, though. Isn't it great, Sacchin?~ ^_^
  • Unstoppable Rage: (game) Most of Arcueid's power is put towards containing this. In Ciel's route, Arcueid loses control, with terrifying results.
    • You also probably shouldn't put This Chair in Shiki's way.
  • Utsuge: Most of the "True Ends" are rather sad.
    • Two words: Normal End. Akiha is the only one with this, though - making BOTH of her endings Utsuge.
  • Vaporware: Tsukihime 2: The Dark Six. It got a No Fourth Wall trailer in Kagetsu Tohya and three prologue chapters have floated around the internet forever. Not a single other thing is known about it, never mind a release date.
    • The Enhanced Remake of Tsukihime. Announced years ago with no further details since. C'mon Type-Moon, give us something!
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: All Far Side routes.
    • Technically, Kohaku isn't a childhood friend, so much as a girl from Shiki's childhood he saw from afar and only directly interacted with once that nonetheless had a large emotional impact on him.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shiki and Arihiko have a definite type 2 relationship.
  • 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.
  • Wham! Episode: Hisui's True Ending, especially if you're playing through the routes in the preferred order [6], will put a new spin on much of the plot in every other route up to that point.
    • Wham! Line: "Yes. Let's talk about your beloved childhood, Shiki-sama."
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: 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.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Ciel's motivation
  • 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 (all she actually had at the moment), which unfortunately didn't kill him.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: (game) Akiha, and everyone else with inhuman Tohno blood lives in fear of one day losing control and undergoing "inversion impulse."
    • And 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.
  • Wolverine Claws: Arcueid's vampiric claws.
  • 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. Turns out Shiki has an even worse nightmare, of Kishima Kouma, the man who killed his father. Guess who's head that guy's holding here.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Shiki in Arcueid's Route during the Final Battle. Also one of his (many) Crowning Moments of Awesome.
  • 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.
    • Also, in the game, Arceuid thinks Shiki is this after he chops her into 17 pieces (she gets better), which is why she makes him An Offer You Can't Refuse to help her eliminate Nrvnsqr. Shiki spends most of his time complaining that he's just an ordinary high-schooler right until the point where he goes Tranquil Fury and kills 560 of Nrvnsqr's lives all at once.
  • Yandere: The Blood Splattered (not-so-)Innocent, Satsuki Yumizuka. Shiki's rejection/acceptance/noncommittal answer doesn't cause her craziness, but really help to cement it (given her situation). And if that wasn't sad enough, later you discover the Stepford Smiler, Kohaku, is one as well.
  • You Are Not Alone: Shiki delivers this to Arcueid near the climax of the storyline, which segues into his Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Younger Than They Look: Tohno Shiki, or at least his current personality. He's seventeen years old, chronologically, but only has memories of the last eight years due to trauma and mindscrewing by Makihisa. At one point, he meets the child version of Nanaya Shiki from the prologue in his mindscape who points out that he's actually a year older than Tohno Shiki.
    • Could also apply, to an extent, to his physical appearence, since Akiha is using half of her own life to sustain his, which is why he has attacks of anemia and fainting spells.

Notes

  1. Kagetsu Tohya has a sidestory that continues from this ending which confirms that he lived
  2. blonde, beautiful and ditzy
  3. Kagetsu Tohya shows she has to fight off the pounds and her eccentricity is obvious
  4. Bitter and sharp tongued
  5. Seven Nights
  6. (Arcueid -> Ciel -> Akiha -> Hisui -> Kohaku)

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