Shinobu Oshino (忍野 忍, Oshino Shinobu) is a mysterious vampire girl who acts as Meme Oshino's companion in the ruins of Eikou Cram School. Later in the series, she resides in Koyomi Araragi's shadow during the day.
She was formerly a human child princess named Rola (likely meant to be Lola or Laura in English) who was cursed into causing anyone in proximity to her to commit suicide. She then then took the name of Acerola before meeting a purebred vampire that turned her into a powerful vampire named Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (キスショット・アセロラオリオン・ハートアンダーブレード). She now takes the form of an eight-year-old girl with another new name after losing most of her powers. She refers to herself using "washi" (ワシ), which is often used in fictional settings to represent characters of old age.
Shinobu is a young female with yellow eyes, pointy ears, sharp fangs, and long blond hair whose ends curl outward at the end. During the course of the series, she takes on several changes in appearance depending on how much of her vampire powers she possesses. Through most of the series, she assumes a younger form as an 8 year old. She wears a loose dress and a pair of sandals, with an aviator cap as an accessory in Bakemonogatari.
As demonstrated in Nisemonogatari, she can suck blood to become older; she appears as a girl in her adolescent years, tying her hair into a ponytail and wearing a black camisole inside a purple jacket, a black skirt and black hosiery. In Kizumonogatari, obtaining her stolen body parts causes her to age. Her true form as Kiss-Shot depicts a woman in her 30's wearing a large, red and black dress.
After losing most of her vampire powers, Shinobu falls into a long period of stupor. She is frequently seen in Oshino's place with her hands tucking her knees in, her face always in an emotionless state; she often spends most of the day in one spot, doing mostly nothing. Shinobu also does not talk to anyone, but she is familiar with Koyomi Araragi and Oshino, and she would follow requests from either of them without hesitation.
Later she reverts back to her brighter personality after "reconciling" with Koyomi. She is rather talkative, and often asserts her superiority through her archaic speech. She mostly plays with Koyomi's tendency to act as the follower between the two. During sometime after Koyomi Vamp, she appears to find a liking to donuts and they become her obsession.
Shinobu's past from before she became a vampire is revealed in "Princess Beauty" (うつくし姫 Utsukushihime), published in Anime Monogatari Series Heroine Book 3: Shinobu. It was later included in Wazamonogatari.
She was named Rola (possibly meant to be Lola in English) and was the only daughter of a noble family in an unspecified kingdom. Her beauty was famous throughout the entire kingdom. Countless people would line up outside her palace everyday just to see her. Anyone who sees her for the first time is shocked that her beauty exceeds any expectations, and they would bring her countless gifts everyday. Despite everyone's love for her, Lola was never happy, and she never smiled. She wished people would see what's inside her, instead of just her exterior. One day an elderly witch came to grant her wish. The witch turned her physical appearance invisible, and people could only see her inside.
However, her interior turned out to be far more beautiful than her exterior. Her inner beauty manifested itself as a bright light that enveloped the entire kingdom. After seeing her inner beauty, her father felt extreme guilt for not being able to understand her and see her true self, and killed himself out of this guilt. Her mother was so satisfied by giving birth to such a perfect child, that she felt she had nothing left to do in this world. Thus, she also committed suicide. People were so astounded by her pure heart that instead of giving her material gifts they gave her their most valuable possessions: their lives. If they had things more important to them than their lives, they would give her those instead. (e.g. a musician gave her his ears, a poet gave her his tongue, a sculptor gave her his eyes, and some gave her their children's lives, their grandchildren's lives, etc.). Corpses of those who committed suicide for princess beauty piled up outside her palace. Before long, the pile of corpses grew higher than the palace.
Lola was devastated at the result. The witch couldn't turn her back because she gave Lola her knowledge-filled head (the witch beheaded herself). However, Lola's tear was able to revive the witch for a small moment, and the witch told her to go on a journey. The witch told her to avoid people, and to never stay in one place for too long. Otherwise, people will get drawn to her heart, and start taking their own lives again.
Acerola Bon Appétite
Princess Beauty, at that point taking the name of Acerola, continued her journey to find someone to cure her curse that caused all around her to kill themselves at the sight of her beautiful heart. She met a purebred vampire named Deathtopia Virtuoso Suicide-Master who allowed her to stay inside her castle in order to find a solution to her problem, as she, due to her immortality, was the only person able to communicate with Acerola.
After she overstayed her welcome to him, Suicide-Master's servant, Tropicalesque Home-A-Wave Dog-Strings, attempted to kill her, brutally killing himself past the point of regeneration in the process. Devastated at causing yet another death, she requested Suicide-Master to turn her into a vampire so that even if she can't lift her curse, she can at least eat the corpses she leaves so that their deaths won't be in vain.
Suicide-Master renamed her Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, the Kiss-shot portion referencing the fact that kissing a prince might be the only way to lift her curse. After becoming Suicide-Master's servant, she left to continue wandering the world and eventually, the curse seemed to have lifted. It's not clear if becoming a barbaric vampire was the direct cause of the curse being lifted, or whether or not she actually found a prince to save her, but Suicide-Master seems to suggest that the former could be the case.
Kiss shot arrived in the Japan, the place she met the person who would eventually become her first minion, for the second time in her life, looking for a place to die. Sometime after arrival, she was attacked by three vampire hunters at once and decided to let them kill her. After she got her limbs stolen and was left for dead, she had second thoughts and feared death at the last moment. Koyomi Araragi finds her limbless and is terrified. After demanding him to give his life in order to let her live, he runs away as she cries for her life. After contemplating, he changes his mind and gives his life to her, ready to die.
He awakes in Eikou Cram School as a vampire and finds Kiss shot had now taken the form of a 10 year old girl. She tells him that he can turn back into a human if he can get all of her missing limbs back from the vampire hunters. Once he succeeds, she claims her limbs back and returns to her original form and eats Guillotine Cutter. Shocked and outraged, Koyomi contemplates suicide for reviving a monster that eats people. Hanekawa reveals that in order to become a human again, he must kill his master.
Kiss shot planned on having Koyomi kill her so she could finally find a proper way to die and allow her minion to turn back into a human. Instead, after having her plan revealed, Koyomi rejects it as he doesn't want to kill her. With the help of Meme Oshino, he finds a compromise that leaves no ones wishes granted. Instead of killing her completely, he would get her to the brink of death, weakening her power, making him as close to human as possible. In return, she'd be so weak that she wouldn't even be able to take the same name anymore. To keep her alive, Koyomi would occasionally feed her his blood. This plan goes through. The now unnamed vampire holds a grudge and refuses to speak.
During the Golden Week following Koyomi's encounter with Kiss-shot, she continues to stay inside the abandoned Eikou Cram School Building, where she appears to have developed a more childlike personality and physical appearance, reminiscent of an eight-year-old. In one visit, Koyomi brings some donuts for Oshino, but they ended up in the vampire girl's hands after she stubbornly demanded some.
Koyomi later pleaded for her to lend him the Kokorowatari for him to use against Tsubasa Hanekawa in an attempt to separate the sawarineko from Tsubasa herself. She gave him the sword after days of Koyomi's incessant pleas to her, but she ends up using the oddity killer herself when Koyomi exposes his incapability of using the sword properly. After swallowing the sword whole and biting Tsubasa, Black Hanekawa was suppressed.
During Hitagi Crab, she spends most of her time inside Eikou Cram School, sitting still in a corner and continuing not to talk to anyone. Oshino revealed a new name for her, suggesting her name be Shinobu (忍), as "heart" (心) under "blade" (刃) matches with her original personality and name.
To prepare Koyomi for his fight against the Rainy Devil, Shinobu sucks some of Koyomi's blood upon Oshino's request, allowing him to make more use of his vampire powers within a limited period of time. Her contribution barely helped Koyomi in subduing the Rainy Devil, but it was enough for him to survive for the entire ordeal before Hitagi Senjougahara's intervention.
Mayoi Hachikuji claims she saw Shinobu running away from home. As Koyomi searches for her, he contacts the other girls to help him. While everyone searches by themselves, Koyomi ends up searching with the help of Black Hanekawa. After it gets dark and they arrive at an area full of street lamps, Black Hanekawa threatens to kill him if she doesn't go out with Hanekawa. As she chokes him, Shinobu reveals herself by jumping out of a shadow and suppressing her once again by sucking her blood. Afterwards, without saying a word she submerges into Koyomi's shadow, where she commonly resides for the rest of the series.
During Koyomi's predicament with his sister Karen Araragi's condition, while bathing Shinobu jumps out of his shadow and properly talks to him for the first time since he refused to kill her. She tries to convince him to kill her to become a real human once more, but he rejects her, never wanting to talk about it again. He decides he'll only let her die if he dies with her, even though his vampire life span causes him to witness all his friends and family dying before him. Although she admits that she does not like him, Shinobu agrees to reconcile with Koyomi.
She helps out in curing Karen's oddity-induced fever, claiming that hanging around Oshino for so long gave her a huge wealth of knowledge about oddities. The next day, Shinobu helps out in tracking down Karen, who after recovering left the house in an attempt to get back on her defeat against Deishuu Kaiki.
Shinobu asked Koyomi to take her to Mister Donuts for the 100 yen sale. Koyomi agrees as he wants Shinobu to tell him about Yotsugi Ononoki and Yozuru Kagenui. She does, and Koyomi learns about Yotsugi, but Shinobu refuses to share information about Yozuru, stating she is "not going to share information about a respectable person" and tells him to ask Kaiki.
Later after powering up into a similar form of her former self she helps Koyomi fight for his sister by fighting Yotsugi. She also learns Tsukihi Araragi's the "tsuki" part of Tsukihi's name, as it means moon and she likes the moon, the sun is her enemy. During the fight with Ononoki and Kagenui, Shinobu was powered up into her teenage form and easily beat Ononoki in battle off screen.
In Mayoi Jiangshi, Shinobu and Koyomi travel to an alternate timeline where Shinobu went berserk after they failed to find her and Koyomi was killed by Black Hanekawa. When she originally ran away, she had sworn to destroy the world out of frustration of not being able to die the way she wanted. When Koyomi died, her original powers returned to her and she turned everyone in the world into zombie like vampires. Afterwards, she failed an attempted suicide.
As Shinobu and Koyomi prepare to fight the alternate Shinobu in hopes to get her to send them back to their original time, she instead weeps at the sight of her being able to come to an understanding with Koyomi in an alternate timeline, as now she feels nothing but despair for what she'd done. She allows real Shinobu to suck her blood and turn her into ghastly energy, allowing them to travel back to their original time.
Shinobu tells Koyomi the full story of her first minion, as well as the anti-existence known as "The Darkness." When she first arrived in Japan as Kiss-shot, she jumped from Antarctica. In doing this, she accidentally saved a locale village from a drought when she made it "rain" after splashing into a nearby lake. The villagers praised her for committing a miracle, and claimed her to be a god. She took the role of a god from then on, hiding her true identity as a vampire.
An oddity specialist now referred to by her as the original oddity slayer eventually came to check up on things in the town. Sometimes, Kiss-shot and this man would slay oddities together, implying a bond of sort was made. But eventually, everyone in the village mysteriously vanished until they were the only two left. It turns out an anti-existence known as "the Darkness" and swallowed them in it's pursuit for Kiss-shot. The Darkness swallows oddities that stray away from their original purpose, and it was after her for pretending to be a god. The Darkness swallowed all of the original oddity slayer except for his hand which Kiss-shot held on to as she jumped back to Antarctica. Feeling lonely after what she'd done, she bit into his disembodied hand, reviving him and turning him into her first minion. Outraged upon figuring out the truth and at the fact that he had become a vampire, the man jumped into the sun as an act of suicide and turned to ash.
After telling this story, the darkness appears again, this time in pursuit for Mayoi Hachikuji. It temporarily severs her connection to Koyomi while in his shadow. Ononoki Yotsugi used Unlimited Rulebook to teleport her along with Koyomi and Hachikuji away, incidentally leaving Shinobu behind. After they left, it's implied that the Darkness was gone and Shinobu was safe. She went home and waited in Koyomi's room until her appearance in Tsubasa Tiger.
Black Hanekawa finds Shinobu in Koyomi's room after she disappeared in Shinobu Time. The two come to an agreement to help each other, and arrive at the now burned down Eikou Cram School. Off screen, they end up fighting a monkey-crab oddity together when Ononoki Yotsugi comes to finish the fight with Unlimited Rulebook. She then is stays at Namishiro Park until Koyomi and Suruga Kanbaru find her in Shinobu Mail.
After finding Shinobu, the monkey-crab oddity returned. Koyomi used the kokorowatari to slay it, but then Jagirinawa jumped out from it's fading corpse. Shinobu defeated the snake and ate the rest of the corpse.
The oddity was sent from Seishirou Shishirui, the original oddity slayer who had returned to claim his kokorowatari back and make up with Shinobu after he had attempted to kill himself after he found out she turned him into a vampire and tried to kill himself. Shinobu was bitter about the situation and refused to see him as she had made a new minion and expected to never meet him again.
After Koyomi beats Seishirou in a duel by planting a tailsmen on him, Shinobu apologizes to him for refusing to see him and cries as she eats the remains of his body, allowing him to finally die.
It seems that she does not like Nadeko Sengoku very much. When she slept over in Nadeko Medusa, Shinobu manages to prevent Nadeko and Koyomi from sleeping on the same bed, in which Shinobu tells Nadeko that she's lucky that she's cute enough to be able to stir up protective feelings from Koyomi.
As Koyomi and Shinobu spot Nadeko about to swallow the tailsmen in his room, she tries to eat her before it's too late but fails and Nadeko turns into her Medusa form. She and Koyomi later meet Nadeko at North Shirahebi Shrine to fight. She nearly kills both of them before Senjougahara calls Nadeko on the phone to convince her to wait until Koyomi graduates from high school.
After discussing the predicament they're in with Nadeko wanting to kill them both, Shinobu and Koyomi play a game of donut hide and seek.
Shinobu and Koyomi discover that he's turning back into a full vampire after finding he has no reflection in the mirror. They contact Yotsugi Ononoki and Yozuru Kagenui to help them. Tensions between Shinobu and the pairing still seem to be in mostly bad terms, as she still threatens them and bluffs about being able to win a fight. They tell the two that they have to stop relying on vampire powers in order to keep Koyomi alive, otherwise he'll turn into a full one and not be able to live life as a human anymore.
Later when Koyomi and Ononoki are about to initiate their plan to take Kanbaru and his sisters back from Tadatsuru Teori, Shinobu explains that she doesn't necessarily mind if he were to become a full vampire herself, so if he's in a dangerous situation, she'd risk making him use vampire powers in order to survive.
Catchphrases / Running Gags
- Shinobu always labels herself as around 500 years old; her actual age is 598.
- In the first trailer of the Kizumonogatari movie, the name of the voice actor who will play as Shinobu is shown only as "××××". Although Shinobu's voice actress in the Bakemonogatari drama CD is Aya Hirano, Maaya Sakamoto took the role of Shinobu in the Nisemonogatari anime series.
- Her current voice actress, Maaya Sakamoto, refuses to sing character songs. This is why Shinobu Time and Shinobu Mail have unique themes with opera style singing.
Characters of the Monogatari Series
|Araragi Family||Koyomi Araragi • Karen Araragi • Tsukihi Araragi • Araragi Matriarch|
|Heroines||Hitagi Senjougahara • Mayoi Hachikuji • Suruga Kanbaru • Nadeko Sengoku • Tsubasa Hanekawa/Black Hanekawa • Shinobu Oshino • Sodachi Oikura • Ougi Oshino|
|Exorcists||Meme Oshino • Deishuu Kaiki • Yozuru Kagenui • Yotsugi Ononoki • Izuko Gaen • Tadatsuru Teori • Seishirou Shishirui|
|Vampire Hunters||Dramaturgy • Episode • Guillotine Cutter|
|Other Characters||Rouka Numachi • Tooe Kanbaru • Deathtopia Virtuoso Suicide-Master • Tropicalesque Home-A-Wave Dog-Strings • Hitagi's Father • Hitagi's Mother • Tsunade • Mayoi's Father • Suruga's Father • Suruga's Grandmother • Nadeko's Parents • Tsubasa's Parents • Mizudori • Rousokuzawa • Higasa • Sasayabu • Komichi Tetsujou|