Yami No Matsuei biography
Descendants of Darkness, known in Japan as Yami no Matsuei (闇の末裔), is a manga and anime series created by Yoko Matsushita. The anime is broadcast by WOWOW in Japan and is produced in North America by Central Park Media. The manga was serialized in Hakusensha's Hana to Yume, and is published in English by VIZ Media. It has been collected in 11 tankoubon or volumes.
The series was first published in 1995, and continued fairly regularly until 2003, when Matsushita decided to go on hiatus. With the exception of a few sidestories, it remains on hiatus through today. However, Matsushita has announced plans to continue with the series some time in 2006.
Descendants of Darkness has both aspects of comedy and horror to it, with many violent scenes interspersed with more light-hearted ones.
Descendants of Darkness is a story about Shinigami, the Shinto Gods of Death; in English, it is translated to Guardians of Death. The Shinigami reside in Meifu, or purgatory. They are the servants of Enma Dai-ō, the king of the dead, and work in the department of JuOhCho. In YnM, Shinigami are spiritual detectives who sort out the descrepancies between souls who have arrived and the kiseki, a list of those who still need to arrive to Meifu.
Tsuzuki Asato is a Shinigami with 70 years' worth of experience. He has the power to call upon twelve Shikigami, mythical creatures that aid him in battle. The Shikigami reflect actual historic religious beliefs—such as Suzaku and Byakko. The manga portrays Tsuzuki's relationship with the Shikigami in much more detail. Tsuzuki is the senior partner of the Second Division, which watches over the region of Kyushu.
In the anime, the story begins when Chief Konoe, the boss, and the other supporting characters begin talking about murders happening in Nagasaki. The victims all have bite marks and a shortage of blood, which leads to the case being dubbed "the Vampire Case."
After some food troubles, Tsuzuki travels to Nagasaki with GuShoShin, a magical, flying Turkin who can speak, and together they do a bit of investigating. The rule is that Shinigami are supposed to work in pairs, and until Tsuzuki meets up with his new partner, he needs someone to watch him. However, GuShoShin gets held back by groceries, and Tsuzuki is on his own again.
While exploring Nagasaki, Tsuzuki hears a scream and has a literal run-in with a strange woman, who leaves blood on his collar. Coming to the conclusion that this is a sign that the woman might be a vampire, Tsuzuki tries to follow her, coming into a church. The church scene is the first encounter between Tsuzuki and the antagonist of the story, Muraki.
Doctor Kazutaka Muraki is painted as a pure figure in his first scene, with much religious and color symbolism. He meets Tsuzuki with tears in his eyes, and Tsuzuki, a bit thrown off by this, manages only to ask if Muraki has seen a woman go by. Tsuzuki leaves when Muraki says no one has been in the church.
From there, Tsuzuki continues through Nagasaki, into a sort of park area, where he is held at gunpoint from behind and told not to move. His attacker tells him to turn around, and when he does, he discovers a young man glaring at him. Tsuzuki calls him a kid and is nearly shot, saved only by his magical chicken friend, GuShoShin. From there, Tsuzuki learns that the boy is Hisoka Kurosaki, his new partner, and the rest of the story is heavily based on character development and the relationships between characters.
Later in the Nagasaki Arc [the first fourth of the anime series, and the first collection of the manga], Hisoka gets kidnapped by Muraki, and the truth about his death is revealed to him. Tsuzuki rescues him after his "date" with Muraki, and the entire series begins following the relationship between these three characters, supported and embellished by the rest of the cast.
(Note: Tsuzuki's hair was changed from black in the original manga to brown for the TV anime.)