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Descendants of Darkness #4: Demon's Reckoning PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 14 March 2005 12:25
Descendants of Darkness - Volume 4 (Cover Art)The final arc of Decendants of Darkness is a strange beast - in some ways it's more of the same, while at the same time the series has developed a while aspect that wasn't even hinted at before.  While Dr Muraki is still around and just as evil as ever, it seems that Tsuzuki isn't quite what you may have assumed...

10-13 - The Kyoto File (Parts I-IV)
A serial murderer is on the loose in Kyoto, and the only common thread to go on is that all the victims have had clumps of their hair cut off.  Tsuzuki and Hisoka are dispatched to help out Kyoto's resident Shinigami, Wataru, who had uncovered some useful evidence at one of the crime scenes - some of what appears to be Muraki's hair, and DNA matching confirms it.  Muraki's too smart to get caught through careless actions, so just what is he up to?  It seems he postively wants Tsuzuki and Hisoka to catch up to him...  Meanwhile, a Kyoto scientist is using the hair that Muraki has been gathering as part of his latest project - to create a human clone - but does he realise what he's getting himself into by working with Muraki?

Descendants of Darkness - Muraki strikes a poseDescendants of Darkness - Muraki knows just how to rile Tsuzuki

Descendants of Darkness - Tsuzuki, pissed offDescendants of Darkness - All shows need cannon-fodder

So at the end of the day, almost the entire series has come down to Muraki's decades-long obsession with Tsuzuki, dating back to when Tsuzuki first died.  Talk about your unhealthy fixation - if you'd focussed on just one aim for most of your life, you'd be decidedly wacko as well.  The real surprise is what's revealed about Tsuzui's past, most of which hadn't even been hinted at previously - I always feel a bit cheated when revelations are pulled out of the hat without any sort of prior warning, and for them to become as large a part of the story as they did here is definitely annoying.  While a lot of the previous episodes had seemed to show that Muraki's interest was with Hisoka - very believable, given their past history - that's thrown out in favour of the new, Tsuzuki-based obsession.

Descendants of Darkness - Tsuzuki and HisokaDescendants of Darkness - Tstuzki's powers run out-of-control

I don't mind wild swings in a storyline, so long as they don't come completely out of the blue, but it seems to me that almost no effort was made to foreshadow or hint at Tsuzuki's realy nature.  While these episodes, for the most part, are engaging and enjoyable, watching the last two while thinking 'what the hell just happened here?' definitely puts a spoiler on things.  Poor Hisoka also very much gets the short straw from the changes, too, as he's barely featured at all here.

Descendants of Darkness - help from the enemy?Descendants of Darkness - Hisoka tries to save Tsuzuki

The series as a whole has been well worth watching - Descendants of Darkness is one of the more under-rated series in the past few years.  Mutterings about its yaoi side seemed to put some people off, but in the anime at least that aspect doesn't really get dwelt on.  The ending may well throw you a bit, but not enough to spoil the series.  If the supernatural is your thing, this is worth checking out.

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