Shikigami (式身), commonly referred to as Shiki for short, are paper dolls that follow the commands of their creator. They are commonly used as clones, messengers, and workers, especially by Kekkaishi, but other ability users have been known to use them as well.
Unactivated Shikigami usually appear as simple slips of paper with an identifying mark of the creator on them. In the case of Kekkaishi, the Houin Mark appears on their paper and basic paper dolls. A Shikigami is activated once its creator applies a certain amount of power to its paper and provides a desired shape. It is possible (but rare) to create a Shikigami without an identifying mark (or at least a design that provides little or no clue as to the creator). A Shikigami returns to its paper form if one or more of the following conditions is met: 1) the Shikigami's intended purpose is accomplished, 2) the Shikigami uses up its allotted power, 3) the Shikigami takes too much damage or is destroyed (in which case a portion of its paper will be damaged), 4) the Shikigami is captured, and either cuts off its own power to avoid questioning, or reverts to paper form on command.
The simplest form of a Shikigami is that of a featureless, humanoid doll. Their main purpose is manual labor, and in large enough numbers, they can accomplish a great deal of work in a short period (overnight in the case of Kekkaishi). The paper doll's overall size and shape largely seems to indicate the user's experience level: the more advanced the user, the more human the doll appears. Both Yoshimori and Tokine use dolls that are extremely short and pudgy. Yoshimori has proven capable of creating a single, slightly larger doll, indicating it may be easier for a Kekkaishi to spread their power among fewer, simpler dolls than it is with several larger, more human dolls.
Shikigami birds are used mainly for delivering messages (either physically carrying notes or verbally informing the intended recipient), and also for overhead observation. Among Kekkaishi, merely seeing a Shikigami bird is usually enough to identify the sender. Sumimura birds take the form of black crows with a white Houin on their chest, while Yukimura birds take the form of white doves with a black Houin.
The preference of most ability users are Shikigami clones, which can take the shape of simple white figures, the creator, or other people. Most clones are simply temporary distractions with no more power than is necessary, but advanced clones can be capable of entering combat and using some, if not all of their creator's techniques. Yoshimori uses clones on a near-daily basis to take his place in class while he sleeps on the school roof. Though this much "practice" might suggest that he is very adept at using clones, instead many of his clones display glaring flaws, such as physical defects, odd personality quirks, or the inability to follow his orders.
Known Shikigami Users & Skill Levels
- Tokiko Yukimura - Clones & Birds: Expert
- Shigemori Sumimura - Paper Dolls, Birds, Clones: Expert
- Sumiko Sumimura - Birds & Clones: Expert
- Masamori Sumimura - Paper Dolls & Clones: Advanced
- Tokine Yukimura - Paper Dolls & Birds: Above Average
- Yoshimori Sumimura - Paper Dolls, Birds, Clones: Average
- Toshimori Sumimura - Birds: Below Average
- Kokuboro - Birds: Advanced
- Okuni's Majinaishi - Flying Dolls: Advanced
- Juho - Clones: Advanced
- Saikaku Enjouji - Clones: Advanced
- Okuni - Clones: Advanced
Most Shikigami are intended for temporary use only, and are therefore given just enough power to accomplish their assigned task and dispel, making them fairly vulnerable overall and largely unsuited for extended use. However, Kekkaishi provide notable exceptions throughout the series.
Yoshimori's Handsome Shikigami
- (Latin Version: Young Noble Style)
Special Skill: Tornado of Passion: A rapidly spinning roundhouse kick of extreme power.
Tokiko's Clone Shikigami
Whenever Tokiko Yukimura left Karasumori for extended periods, she typically deployed a Shikigami clone at the Yukimura Home, with its main tasking being the protection of Shizue. While patterned after its creator, the clone was notably more courteous and helpful around the house than Tokiko is generally seen being; Shizue considers it well-made because of this, but Tokine finds it odd when her actual grandmother behaves in a similarly polite manner. The clone was capable of producing a Kekkai during the Kokuboro Invasion of Karasumori. It had a visible Houin mark on its neck, and was both very aware of its status as Tokiko's servant and completely confident in her abilities, likely an indication of Tokiko's skill and experience.
Masamori's Clone Shikigami
During his battle against Ichirou Ougi, Masamori is nearly overwhelmed by the wind user's powerful tornado. As a last resort, Masamori creates a Shikigami clone to use as a distraction. In order to make the Shikigami more convincing as his double, Masamori gives it enough power to produce both Kekkai and Zekkai, and it had no visible Houin mark. Believing the clone to be Masamori, Ichirou destroys it, giving Masamori time to slip behind him and score the final blow. Masamori admitted that making such a powerful Shikigami was extremely costly, but he wanted to destroy Ichirou no matter what.
Sumiko's Clone Shikigami
Sumiko's Shikigami clone was most notable for the fact that even Sumiko's own family thought the clone was genuinely Sumiko (with the exception of Yoshimori, and only then after using Musou). There was, however, good reason for this: the clone contained a seventh of Sumiko's power and memories, and thought of itself as her alter ego. The clone repeatedly displays vast knowledge and enormous power (which is very typical of Sumiko), and later admits that if Yoshimori had not accompanied her willingly, Sumiko had authorized it to take him by force (which implies that Sumiko is at least seven times more powerful than Yoshimori).
Shigemori's Clone Shikigami
In order to cover for Masamori and Yoshimori when they missed school due to Kekkaishi-related issues, Shigemori sent Shikigami clones of his grandsons to attend their classes instead. However, many of Shigemori's clones share his facial features, and while these did not, they still possessed so much of his personality that they earned his grandsons embarrassing nicknames ("Senior" and "Old Man Mura").
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 2
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 15
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 21
- ↑ Kekkaishi anime, Episode 6
- ↑ Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 7, pages 7-17
- ↑ Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 98, pages 1-3
- ↑ Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 190, pages 9-17
- ↑ Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 291, pages 18-20
- ↑ Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 344, page 7