|“||SHUT THE GODDAMNED DOOR!!||”|
—Souichiro Shimoda, Corpse Party (CHAPTER 1)
Souichiro Shimoda (下田 宗一郎 Shimoda Sōichirō ), or Takaomi Shimoda (下田 鷹臣 Shimoda Takaomi ), also known as the Gentleman Spirit (謎の紳士 Nazo no Shinshi , lit. "Mysterious Gentleman"), is a ghost trapped inside Heavenly Host Elementary School. He resides in one of the stalls in the boys' lavatory on the third floor.
Shimoda is a handsome young man with slicked-back dark hair of mid-length. He wears a gray single-breasted tuxedo with a black bowtie and white undershirt, and has a pair of narrow glasses and a felt hat, both of which he treasures deeply. As a ghost, he has a glowing body that is colored with a bluish hue. He also has the ability to take the form of a blue flame, reflecting his overall benevolent nature.
Shimoda is, for the most part, a gentleman whose courteous behavior doesn't betray his refined appearance. He is also somewhat eccentric, spouting phrases such as, "I love you!" in English. He claims to have been very protective of his subordinates in life, which carries over in the afterlife as he shows genuine concern for the unfortunate humans trapped inside Heavenly Host.
The only occasion in which he ever breaks this personality is whenever someone opens the door to his residential toilet stall without his permission, to which he furiously roars at the person to shut the door. However, he claims this is so because he is actually easily frightened by his surroundings, and only feels secure inside the stall. Upon meeting him in person, students Nana Ogasawara, Nari Amatoya, and Chihaya Yamase note how friendly he is despite him clearly being a ghost.
When Shimoda was alive, he and his family lived on the land where Heavenly Host Elementary School would eventually be built. He had a lover who died of an illness while waiting for him to return from a voyage overseas. He died of unknown causes at the age of 28. His ghost came to haunt Heavenly Host, residing inside the boys' lavatory on the third floor of the building and rebuking anyone who would open the door to his residential stall, eventually becoming the basis of one of the school's "seven mysteries." He remained trapped in the school after it was demolished and recreated by Sachiko Shinozaki, leaving him unable to pass on to the afterlife.
CHAPTER 1 & 2
Shimoda is first encountered by Chihaya who gets startled and runs away, dropping her pouch. Nana walks in to retrieve the pouch, and as she chose to ignore his stall, he decided to speak with her. Nana encourages Chihaya and Nari to speak to him, who explains that another spirit had stolen his prized glasses and hat. The three manage to return Shimoda's possessions and he thanks them, before going back into his stall.
After Nana becomes separated from Nari and Chihaya, she heads back to the boys' lavatories, having nowhere else to go. She opens Shimoda's door, and gets the usual response of him shouting at her to close the door. Nana reminds him of Aya, prompting the spirit to come out of the stall to greet her. He then requests that she stop calling him "Mr. Blue Ghost", before formally introducing himself as Souichiro Shimoda.
He explains that he once belonged to a noble family that lived on the eventual grounds of Heavenly Host, which is why his soul is bound to the spiritual plane the school is in. After Nana introduces herself, he asks about her friends, and expresses concern when he finds out they were separated after Nari and Chihaya had a fight over what the group should do. Shimoda tells Nana about the phenomenon that alters space and time in Heavenly Host, and suggests this may have happened to the girls. Distraught, Nana begs him to deny what he said, a request he grimly refuses, much to her dismay, as she begins lamenting over how weak she is. Shimoda tells her that everyone, no matter how strong they are, has weaknesses, and that laying her true self bare is nothing to be ashamed of in a situation like this.
After she calms down, Nana tells Shimoda that her mother always tells her to be a big sister to her little brother, Yuusei, giving her a habit of holding back her feelings. She states she needs to make it out alive, and thanks Shimoda for helping her get her feelings off her chest. She then asks him if he ever loved someone.
Slightly confused, Shimoda reminisces of a woman named Aya, whom he fell for at first sight. Shimoda, like many young men, went overseas to make his fortune in the western world, though he was hesitant to leave the frail Aya behind. After making a decent earning, he wrote her a letter, but received a reply from her mother, informing Shimoda that Aya died from a heart illness, something he wasn't even aware she had. Ashamed he couldn't be at her side, he tried denying her death, but then was told of her dying words of wanting to live. He then shows Nana the necklace Aya was wearing when she died, one Shimoda sent her. Upon recovering the necklace, he vowed to keep living for her sake. After dying peacefully, his spirit returned to the grounds of his home.
Crying at his story, Nana notes how easy it is to talk to him, something that initially confuses him, before accepting it after being told it's a compliment. Nana then tells the spirit that it was inappropriate of him to say "I LOVE YOU!" to her the last time they spoke since the two are only friends. Shimoda proposes he say that he "likes" her instead, making Nana giggle. Her spirits up, Nana vows to continue searching, no matter how small her voice may be. Shimoda encourages her to believe in herself, and the two part ways again, with Shimoda proclaiming, "I LIKE YOU!" as he returns to the comfort of his stall once more.
Corpse Party -THE ANTHOLOGY- Sachiko no Ren'ai Yūgi ♥ Hysteric Birthday 2U
#1; The Shame on The River Kwai
Shimoda appears and yells at Nana, Nari and Chihaya after they knock on his stall. He does the same thing in Chapter #4 "The Phantom of Tenjin (Part One) of the manga.
- Shimoda is the only character in the series whose voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita (the same VA for Yuuya Kizami), reprises his role from the PC version to the PlayStation Portable remake.
- Shimoda is the only character in the series that has two different first names.
- In his profile in Corpse Party (PC), his name is shown to be Takaomi (鷹臣 Takaomi ), but in the 3DS version his name was changed to Souichiro (宗一郎 Sōichirō ).
- Aya, Shimoda's lover, died of an illness while waiting for him to return while he was overseas.