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Descendant of the Dark

 

a.k.a. Descendants of Darkness

a.k.a. Yami no Matsueia

descdark-1
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: J.C. Staff
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 10/2/2000 to 6/24/2001

Those who work at Juohcho all have one thing in common: they’re deceased. The EnmaCho Shokan has been given the duty of tracking down lost souls and investigating mysterious deaths. The Shinigami who work there have many unusual abilities that suit them for their often dangerous and complicated tasks. One of the agency’s best operatives, Tsuzuki, and his newly acquired partner, Hisoka, have just set out on their first case together. While investigating a string of deaths, they stumble onto something far more sinister: the equally deranged and dangerous Dr. Muraki. Hisoka in particular has a score to settle with the good doctor, but revenge is never as easy as it seems… especially when it’s from beyond the grave.

summary by Mugs

 

Reviewed: 12/13/2002 by
Grade: 84% av-Mugs

Highs: Nicely tense moments; interesting character psyches

Lows: A little too open-ended

This show is composed of four separate arcs, divided into three/three/three/four episodes, respectively. The first nine episodes serve as an entertaining way to get the characters backgrounds explored and their psyches fully fleshed out.

This, of course, all leads into the last section of the show which delves into both the protagonist’s and antagonists’ checkered histories. However, the ending is one of the show’s sore points; it’s basically the same as any of the other arcs, and nothing is resolved with any finality. It almost seems as if this was intended for a twenty-six-episode run and just got pulled halfway through.

One thing that’s really nice about the show is it has a definite dark, noir detective component to it. Three of the episodes play out like a whodunit on a cruise ship; it’s reminiscent of a Hitchcock film, and plays out extremely well. Another thing the show has going for it is a decidedly wicked antagonist. For starters, the show’s evil character, Dr. Muraki, is sick, twisted and demented in all the right ways. He’s scary because he could almost exist in the real world, like the devil hiding in an angelic exterior. Like any good villain, he has a rationale for his actions that one can see as almost being logical.

Ultimately, this show is a bit of a letdown as things end too abruptly and without any resolution. Though not quite as bad as Berserk since it ends on a somewhat clean break, this anime should really have been longer. If you can stand four well done stories that don’t lead to any major resolution, than give this one a try.

 

Descendants of Darkness can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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