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Descendants of Darkness

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Written by  Yoko Matsushita
English publisher  Viz Media
Volumes  12
Magazine  Hana to Yume
Published by  Hakusensha
Demographic  Shōjo
Studio  J.C.Staff
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Original run  June 20, 1996 – present
Adaptations  Descendants of Darkness (2000)
Genres  Occult detective fiction, Horror fiction, Mystery, Supernatural
Publishers  Viz Media (NA), Hakusensha
Similar  Gravitation, Loveless, Tokyo Babylon, Legal Drug, The Candidate for Godde

Descendants of Darkness (Japanese: 闇の末裔, Hepburn: Yami no Matsuei) is a fantasy manga series created by Yoko Matsushita. The story revolves around shinigami. These Guardians of Death work for Enma Daiō, the king of the dead, sorting out the expected and unexpected arrivals to the Underworld.


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Asato Tsuzuki is a 'Guardian of Death' for over 70 years. He has the power to call upon twelve shikigami, mythical creatures that aid him in battle. The manga portrays Tsuzuki's relationship with the shinigami in much more detail. Tsuzuki is the senior partner of the Second Division, which watches over the region of Kyūshū.

In the anime, the story begins when Chief Konoe, the boss, and the other main 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 known as "The Vampire Case".

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After some food troubles, Tsuzuki travels to Nagasaki with Gushoshin, a flying creature/helper who can speak, and together they do a bit of investigating. The rule is that Guardian of Death 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.

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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 the vampire, Tsuzuki tries to follow her, coming into a church called Oura Cathedral. 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 body has been in the church.

From there, Tsuzuki continues through Nagasaki, into the area of the city known as Glover Garden, 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 supected that he is the vampire. Tsuzuki calls him a kid, saved only by his helper, 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.


The manga was serialized in Hakusensha's semi-monthly shōjo manga magazine, Hana to Yume from the 14th issue of 1996 until the author decided to put the story on hiatus in the 2nd issue of 2003. The published chapters have been collected in 12 volumes with the 12th volume published on January 19, 2010 with revisions that differ from the chapters originally serialized in the magazine. The series resumed serialization in Hana to Yume magazine in the September 2011 issue. The English-language version is published by Viz Media that originally released the first volume on September 14, 2004, and the eleventh on May 2, 2006. Viz started to re-publish the series on September 14, 2014.


An anime adaptation of the manga aired on WOWOW beginning on October 10, 2000 to June 24, 2001. The anime was directed by Hiroko Tokita and was animated by J.C. Staff. The series was divided by four story arcs. Central Park Media had licensed the series and released them on DVD in 2003. The series initially aired on AZN Television in 2004. In 2008, the series, along with a few other CPM titles, was aired on Sci-Fi Channel's Ani-Monday block in 2008 and then on their sister network Chiller in 2009. In Canada, the anime series was shown on Super Channel 2 beginning on December 8, 2008. Discotek Media has since licensed the anime and will re-release the series in 2015.


Vampire's Lure

Devil's Song

Tarot Curse

Demon's Reckoning


Descendants of Darkness has been called "a gateway drug into shōnen-ai and yaoi" despite it not really being as such. Anime News Network praised the TV series' humor. Descendants of Darkness sold 10,000 copies in its first few months on the English-language market. Volume 5 of the series ranked 6th in the week ending of May 22, 2005, according to BookScan's Graphic Novel List.


Descendants of Darkness Wikipedia