by Maral Agnerian,

Yami no Matsuei (TV)

Descendant of Darkness

Yami no Matsuei
After death, the souls of the deceased must be judged in order to be sent to the appropriate place for punishment or reward. In Japan, the land of the dead is called Meifu and the organization that handles the processing of souls is JuOhCho, underwhich are ten separate governmental bureaus. The story mainly revolves around Tsuzuki Asato who has been working as a common employee of the EnmaCho's Shoka Division. This division is made up of eighteen people who are in charge of collecting dead people to bring to trial (judgement of their life's deeds). However, since they are often called upon to bring in people who haven't died yet, they're unofficially called "Shinigami", Gods of Death.

These Shinigami are assigned to one of nine sections of Japan and always work in pairs. This is a precautionary measure to keep them in line and on track with their duties. Those who become Shinigami do so because of their own selfish reasons for wanting to travel to the living world. Because of their special privilege of freely traveling between Meifu and the living world, they are the highest ranking employees of JuChoOh, answering directly to EnmaDaiOh, but also among the lowest paid. Even in the afterlife, bureaucracy reigns supreme...
Damn, there are a lot of bishounen angst shows these days! They're oozing out of the woodwork or something...wailing and moaning about their dark, painful, homoerotic lives...Alack alack alack.

Anyways, I was expecting something like Angel Sanctuary--dark, melodramatic, full of blood and roses and bishounen. There *are* a lot of bloody bishounen in Yami no Matsuei, but it thankfully doesn't take itself as seriously as so many shows in its rapidly growing genre. It seems to be a strange cross between FAKE and Angel Sanctuary; there's the dark, tortured bishounen with long flowing hair, but there's also a good dollop of yaoi-laced [yaoi: male same-sex love--Ed.] humour to lighten the mood and distract one from all that angst. Besides, the idea of *eternal* bureaucracy is pretty funny in itself. Yes, even the Gods of Death have to sit around in offices and make photocopies.

There's truckloads of eye candy, of course, and the art and music are quite nice. The real bonus for this show is that while it may have yangst (yaoi angst, for short), it's not *all* yangst. The story and characters are quite strong and draw you in, despite the cheese, and there's a really nice sense of atmosphere and supernatural drama. It's so refreshing to see a bishounen angst show with a good story *and* a sense of humour...^_^ Recommended.
Overall (sub) : B+
Animation : B+
Art : A-
Music : B+

+ Good story, nice art and music, angst nicely balanced with comedy
Not for those who don't like yaoi angst

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Production Info:
Director: Hiroko Tokita
Masaharu Amiya
Akiko Horii
Michio Fukuda
Yukina Hiiro
Hideki Okamoto
Rei Otaki
Hiroko Tokita
Kazuo Yamazaki
Episode Director:
Yukina Hiiro
Hiroyuki Ishido
Yoshikata Nitta
Hideki Okamoto
Kouichi Sugitani
Iku Suzuki
Music: Tsuneyoshi Saito
Original author: Yoko Matsushita
Character Design: Yumi Nakayama
Art Director: Junichi Higashi
Animation Director:
Masahiro Aizawa
Takashi Maruyama
Yumi Nakayama
Ryoichi Oki
Kyuta Sakai
Isao Sugimoto
Takashi Wada
Minoru Yamazawa
Yoshitaka Yasuda
Sound Director: Hideyuki Tanaka
Director of Photography: Toyomitsu Nakajo
Yuji Matsukura
Atsushi Moriyama
Toshimichi Ootsuki

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Descendants of Darkness (TV)

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