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Descendants of Darkness
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 09/09/2003

When people die, their names are registered at the Ministry of Hades a short while after. A delay would usually mean that there's something not quite right with the death in question, and it's up to the Guardians of Death, or Shinigami, to find out what exactly is amiss. Shinigami look like regular human beings, but in fact they are already dead. As a result, Shinigami can heal and regenerate instantly after sustaining injuries. A handsome young man named Tsuzuki is one of the best Guardians there is, and he is soon joined by a younger but equally beautiful boy named Hisoka. Together Tsuzuki and Hisoka take on various cases which all lead to a mysterious doctor called Muraki...
Descendants of Darkness is an anime fangirl's dream come true. There's always a pretty boy in sight, and although it's not my nature to gush about how handsome male characters are, I too was awed by the breathtakingly beautiful male cast.
Descendants of Darkness spans thirteen episodes divided into four main story arcs. The first arc serves to introduce us to the Ministry of Hades and the seemingly awkward partnership between Tsuzuki and Hisoka, all against the backdrop of a vampire hunt. The second arc covers the story of a demon-possessed violin that is passed on to a talented young student. The third arc takes place in a cruise ship that is supposedly being haunted by the spirit of a murdered girl. All of the previously mentioned cases somehow relate to a mysterious silver-haired doctor named Muraki, and it all culminates in the last arc. A string of serial murders is being connected to a mad scientist neck-deep in clone research, with Muraki supporting him all the way. Muraki convinces the scientist that Tsuzuki is the perfect experimental subject and shows him proof of Tsuzuki's immortality. They scheme to capture Tsuzuki, while Tsuzuki's dark past surfaces to torment him. As Tsuzuki loses his will to fight and live on, Hisoka becomes determined to save his partner even at the risk of his own existence.
I liked Descendants of Darkness. Each arc worked independently, providing ample background and story elements that would enable even a casual viewer to understand what was going on even if he only sees one arc. Amidst incessant flirting between beautiful men, I found that what it had to offer was substantial and paced well enough to hold one's interest till the end. Of course, it would have been a lot better had they actually concentrated more on plot development rather than what seemed to be pointless teasing between the characters. I mean, despite all sweet words and physical advances, nobody develops a romantic relationship with anybody.
The art and animation are nothing short of exquisite. Character designs are very attractive, and it's not just the men. What few female supporting characters that appear are just as beautiful. Scenes come off as crisp, polished, and well-composed. Watching everyone move, fight, talk, and just do their thing was already a pleasure in itself.
While Descendants of Darkness' yaoi-ish touches are somewhat overdone, it's all in all a good series. It's not for everyone though. Those who are uncomfortable with manly love and affection best steer clear.
Descendants of Darkness is thirteen episodes long and spans four DVDs. Each DVD contains one story arc.

Descendants of Darkness
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Review Title:
Descendants of Darkness
Alternative Titles:
Yami no Matsuei
325 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy,
Horror, Magic, Vampires
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