Studio TMS | Distributor MVM | Certificate 18 | Price £20
On a cold, dark night in feudal Japan, a
traveller is caught unprepared by a torrential downpour. He begins to see
strange things in the shadows and soon finds himself pelting along clifftops at
a dangerously breakneck pace.
So begins this awesome supernatural anime
series. Requiem from the Darkness Volume 1: Turmoil of the Flesh starts well,
and from this impressively atmospheric beginning, it continues to build. With
truly great animation, sharply observed characters and unfalteringly
intelligent storylines, this series is simply anime gold.
However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise
because the team behind it already has an impressive CV. Directed by Hideki
Tonokatsu (Hellsing) with scripting from the likes of Hiroshi Takahashi (The
Ring) and Sadayuki Murai (Steamboy), this was always going to be an important
project. It’s rare for something to actually live up to that kind of pedigree
but without doubt Requiem certainly does.
The show’s animation style is exceptional.
It’s common for TV series to suffer from something known as ‘static shot
syndrome’ – a symptom of tight budgets and some grueling production schedules.
Not only does Requiem have a fluid animation style, its
images are bold and original, keeping your
imagination firmly locked on the unfolding stories.
Those stories centre around the wandering
Momosuke, a would-be author of ghost stories and his alarmingly frequent
encounters with a trio of karma-enforcing spirits, who
go around calling themselves the Ongyo
Topping things off, the English soundtrack
does a sterling job of maintaining the original’s atmosphere. An adult-oriented
series that delivers the goods at every level, Requiem from the Darkness is not
to be missed.