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"Requiem from the Darkness Vol. 3": No Rest for This Damned Show

by on July 12, 2005

Poor Momosuke. Apparently the Harry Potter series and all those books by Bill O’ Reilly have convinced the young writer that the horror genre is the final frontier. Traveling around and compiling tales for his book The 100 Stories, he runs afoul of sexy women, ghosts, monsters, demons, and Toon Zone critics.

For better or worse, a show like Requiem doesn’t come along all that often. The premise is certainly interesting and brings to mind other anthology series about the supernatural, such as Tales from the Crypt and Twilight Zone. I’m not a fan of anthology series in most cases, but Requiem suffers because it seems like its episodes should be a bit more independent of each other. While each of the three stories presented on this disc is its own tale, they also tie into each other, and that actually hampers the individual enjoyment of each episode.

The story also moves along at a plodding pace. Of the three stories, only the third one, involving the mysteries surrounding two former best friends, really involved me. Not helping the series is Momosuke, who’s just an all-around uninteresting protagonist. With no real motivation aside from his quest for stories, it’s hard to get behind someone who relies on his companions to resolve each situation. Requiem still isn’t very clear on where it’s actually going, and with only one disc left, it will certainly have to move fast.

The series is somewhat redeemed by its animation. Despite somewhat generic character designs, the overall visual style is incredibly lively. The background is heavily inked and suggests a cel-shaded video game or even a children’s storybook come to life. It’s also quite clever: the third episode on the disc uses silhouettes during its flashbacks, a trick that also serves to disguise a major plot twist. Characters move well, and there are never any flickering motions. The background music is often well-suited to the story, but the opening and ending theme songs are unimpressive, though the jazzy style may be to the taste of a few viewers. Voice acting is certainly competent, but nothing spectacular in either language.

As for extras, there aren’t really any to speak of, aside from the textless opening and Geneon previews. After all is said and done, Requiem from the Darkness, a series that had such promise and which I was greatly looking forward to, just left me feeling flat. Perhaps the conclusion to the story will be more exciting than this third volume, but unless you’re a fan of intentionally slow-paced horror stories that don’t really seem horrific, I’d say you’re better off skipping this series.

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