Yami no Matsuei

(Descendant of Darkness)

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 1-6 of ? Tsuzuki

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 privilige 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. o.o; Even in the afterlife, bureaucracy reigns supreme...

I'm a little tied up right now... Review:
Herself the Elf sez: 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 struck me as 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 humour to lighten the mood and distract you from all that angst. Plus I just find the idea of eternal (and I do mean ETERNAL) bureaucracy hilarious. Yes, even the Gods of Death have to sit around in offices and make photocopies.

There's tons 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), but 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. I definitely want to see more of this show. It's so refreshing to see a bishounen angst show with a good story *and* a sense of humour...^_^ Recommended.

Only available fansubbed at the moment.