Anime Reviews

Descendants of Darkness DVD Collection


Descendants of Darkness DVD Collection


imageAsato Tsuzuki, a mysterious man who simply refused to die for many months, finally drew his last breath on the doctor’s table. Though his body was gone, his spirit was given a second chance on the Earth. He was welcomed to the unknown Ministry of Hades, a meta-worldly organization that keeps an eye on the happenings of the world, to ensure that the dead stay dead, and that the living stay on their side of this line of distinction.

There are different branches in the ministry, but Descendants of Darkness focuses on the investigative side of the work, specifically on the work of our hero, Tsuzuki. Asato Tsuzuki is a seasoned veteran in the field, and when he is sent to investigate a vampire, he meets his new partner, Hisoka Kurosaki, a young boy with an obscure past, and some wicked telepathy. They face off with an unlikely nemesis, a well dressed doctor with a school-girl crush on Tsuzuki, and a ravenous taste for blood. There are other threats in the world, however, and the doctor is but one of a series of enemies that the partners have to put down to ensure the safety of the world, and their own afterlives.

imageCentral Park Media and US Manga Corps bring us this beautifully composed story, with stunning visuals, impeccable sounds, and shocking plot twists. Although it has a few aspects of a kid’s show, it is generally more adult oriented. There are some sexual overtones, a LOT of blood and violence, and some of the episodes even freaked me out a little bit.

The characters as a whole absolutely made the series. The stories were excellent, but the characters themselves were unparalleled. The lead, Tsuzuki, blends childish innocence and paternal authority making him a partner nobody wants, but a friend and ally that no one can live without. His partner, Hisoka, although much younger, lacks Tsuzuki’s childish innocence. He does, however, have teen angst to spare, youthful rebellion, and serious issues from his past life that haunt him through the series. This adds a special dynamic, as the story unfolds revealing more and more of his story it becomes intertwined with the main plot, rather than forcing us down a separate arc. The supporting characters each had their own little quirks and specialties which played off of each other perfectly, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes violently angry, but always entertaining.

imageThe series was broken into 4 stories, Vampire’s Lure, Tarot Curse, Devil’s Song, and Demon’s Reckoning. In Vampire’s Lure, Tsuzuki was sent to investigate mysterious murders, where the victim showed signs of a vampire bite. This is the introduction story, where the characters are first developed. It is done very well, especially the introduction of Tsuzuki’s partner, Hisoka. Together they discover the secret of the vampire, and are able to put an end to the killing, at least for now. Tarot Curse brings our heroes onto a cruise ship, where a killer lurks, and with each victim leaves a cryptic hint in the form of a tarot card. Tsuzuki and Hisoka must work fast to unravel this case, before all of the passengers find themselves victims of the Tarot Curse. Devil’s Song is definitely the best of the four, in my opinion, due to the sheer creativity of the story. The basic story follows the old ‘deal with the devil’ routine, where a mediocre musician offers to sell his soul to become a renowned talent. Here the musician is a violinist who soon mastered the unconquerable piece, Devil’s Song. Now comes the twist, before the deal was complete, and the devil reaped his reward, the musician dies, but the pact lives on. I won’t spoil it for you, but if you only get to see one disc, this is the one to see. Finally, The Demon’s Reckoning, where a genetic scientist learns of Tsuzuki’s incredible resilience, at least back when he was alive. Working with the debonair doctor, this geneticist tracks down Tsuzuki, and the doctor knows just how to get him. Our duo must fight their way out of yet another seemingly impossible situation.

Technical/Extras: 9.0
The voice actors were great for the series, they were all well suited to the roles they played. The sound/music was fabulous. There was also a set of 8 mini Tarot cards included with the set.

Entertainment: 9.5
I can’t give it a 10 for one reason: it ended. The series is enthralling, it’s like that book you can’t put down, only better, because you don’t have to read it! In the span of 12 hours, I watched the entire collection, breaking only for food, and a brief nap at 8am. The action is intense, the plot is great, the characters are fun and exciting. The style of the series is another important factor in this, some styles lend themselves well to action scenes, while others do not. This definitely did, but it also had a very artistic touch to it, which is a combination I rarely see, and thoroughly enjoy.

Overall: 9.5

Episodes: Complete Set.

Extras: Art Galleries, Scripts, Character Profiles, Music Video, Fun Facts Video, Virtual Tarot Card Reading, Descendants of Darkness Trailers, Previews, English and Japanese Languages and Subtitles.

Pick up this set at Animenation!

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