Requiem from the Darkness Volume 1
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 Mataichi.

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.