In the realm of darkness

Vampires, ghosts and things that go bump in the night remain a staple of anime since there’s always an audience for shows about the supernatural.

One that’s readily available on DVD is “Requiem from the Darkness.” Set in the end of the Edo period, Momosuke is a young man who wants to be a writer and travels collecting ghostly tales he hopes to include in a book called “100 Stories”.

He meets Mataichi the Karmic Enforcer, Ogin the Puppeteer and Nagamimi the Bird Caller Mataichi is a short man sporting bandages, Ogin is a beautiful woman and Nagamimi is a huge man who towers over his companions. But there is more to this group than meets the eye. The trio actually rout out those who commit crimes and thought they got away with it. Judgement is pronounced on the sinner.

Momosuke becomes entangled with the trio and sometimes get in their way to his cost.

The show’s look is unusual, almost stylized. Other characters are crudely rendered as if they don’t matter. The settings and the backgounds get the same treatment too during the series giving the impression that Momosuke is in a nightmare world. And perhaps he is.

It’s not meant to make you scream or shiver. And not all of the episodes are good but the series works for the most part. I don’t think the opening and closing songs fit the show but that’s just minor quibbling on my part.

The show deals with themes like incest, prostitution and torture. Definitely not for kids.

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