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Requiem from the Darkness (京極夏彦 巷説百物語 Kyogoku Natsuhiko Kosetsu Hyaku Monogatari?, lit. "Natsuhiko Kyogoku's Hundred Stories") is a series of novels by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. It was made into horror anime series, licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment, and into a series of live action TV specials directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi.

Plot

Taking place during the Bakumatsu age when the foundations of the Tokugawa government has began to sway, a young writer named Momosuke wishes to write a book of 100 ghost stories and his encounters with three spiritual beings.

While researching these old myths and legends he comes across a mysterious trio who call themselves the Ongyou. They are detectives who are investigating the legends to reveal their truths...and bring those in the wrong to justice. Each time Momosuke meets the Ongyou he must face horrible truths and battle with his morals, but he's seeing things he shouldn't be seeing...

Characters

  • Momosuke Yamaoka
Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (Japanese), Grant George (English)
The main protagonist of the series. A young writer who got bored writing a riddle book for kids. He now aspires to write a book of 100 ghost stories. During his adventure to gather them, he encounters the Ongyou and witnesses their methods of imposing justice upon wrongdoers. He wishes to be one of the Ongyou, but each time he asks to join them they talk him out of it. He is called "Author" by the Ongyou. At the end of the series, Momosuke finishes his 100 ghost stories.
  • Tsutaya
Voiced by: Hiroshi Otake (Japanese), Tom Wyner (English)
A small creature who is Momosuke's publisher.
  • Heihachi
Voiced by: Tom Fahn
Heihachi is a co-worker of Momosuke.
  • Kyogoku Tei
Voiced by: Natsuhiko Kyogoku (Japanese), Neil Kaplan (English)
The principal antagonist of the series. Kyogoku Tei is a being who serves as the superior to the Ongyou as he provides them their targets and even commissioned Momosuke's death at first to cover their existence until he saw him to be of use to his scheme. Assuming the alias of feudal lord Danjo Kitabayashi, Kyogoku Tei commits many inhuman acts as part of an overall plan to cover the world in darkness with the Flame Lance cannon. He was ultimately defeated by the Ongyou, devoured by the very darkness of everyone who he used and killed.
  • Hermits
Black Hermit Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese), Mona Marshall (English)
White Hermit Voiced by: Masako Nozawa (Japanese), Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
Two strange hermit ladies that work for Kyogoku Tei, serving as his messengers. On occasion they will change themselves into to young girls to trick the Ongyou into doing what they want them to. They are accidentally destroyed by Kyogoku Tei in the last episode.
  • Tatsuta
Voiced by: Keiko Toda (Japanese), Philece Sampler (English)
Burning her childhood friend Shiragaku to death in a jealous rage with her husband to be, Tatsuta assumes her friend's name and developed a reputation as a rumored Hinoenma as she kills anyone who "loves Shiragaku." Though the Ongyou attempt to deliver judgement, the Hermits intervene and take Tatsuta to serve under Kyogoku Tei. Unaware of the full plan, she helps him by orchestrating a massacre and forcing prisoners into becoming murderous sadists for a reenactment while the Flame Lance was being rebuilt. When Kyogoku Tei is destroyed, Tatsuta is consumed in the resulting inferno.

Ongyou

The three spiritual beings are recurring characters in the show who function as a team that punishes sinners who emit a dark aura about them, most frequently murderers. To that end, they use their talents to set their target up to face his crimes before being executed and committing them to the next world.

  • Mataichi
Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao (Japanese), Steve Kramer (English)
A small man wrapped in bandages who serves as the leader. He is a spiritualist who is also referred to as a trickster while posing as a simple monk. He would usually be the one to kill the target sinner with Retributive justice and leaves an Ofuda on the body so the departed can be "sent to the next world." Nagamimi commonly calls him "trickster". At the completion of his task, he uses the phrase "ongyō shitate matsuru (御行奉為、おんぎょうしたてまつる)." The beginning of every next episode preview, except the final episode when it's Momosuke's final line, he begins with the line, "Jyashin yashin wa yami ni chiri, nokoru wa chimata no ayashii uwasa (邪心野心は闇に散り、残るは巷の怪しい噂。)."
  • Ogin
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)
An attractive, voluptuous and large breasted female puppeteer. She often using a puppet in the form of a young girl with a white powdered face and red lipstick wearing a Japanese Kimono. Fifteen years prior, Ogin and her parents were murdered by Kinzo Sasamori, a corrupt official who posed as her father Giamon of Inarizika to force the homeless in work for him and created the rumor of Giamon as a Kowai to ensure it. As a spirit, she became a member of Ongyou to ensure no other child suffers a fate like her own, saving her childhood friend Yae from Kichibe's madness. She often calls Momosuke a pervert due to him accidentally walking into her in a bathing room when they first met. Though she saw Momosuke to be weak for being native, she eventually adapted his methods.
  • Nagamimi
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), Michael McConnohie (English)
A large shape shifter and bird caller who is also extremely good at controlling animals. As the anime states, he is over 200 years old and was versed in Kabuki.

Episodes

# English Title
Japanese Title
Original air date English air date
1 Azuki Bean Washer
"Azukiarai" (小豆洗い)
October 4, 2003 October 20, 2007 (CAN)
July 12, 2010 (USA)
A writer of riddle books for children, Momosuke Yamaoka's ambition is to compile a book of 100 ghost stories. While traveling on business he is caught in a rain storm and seeks shelter at a local inn on the advice of a spiritualist named Mataichi. At the inn, Momosuke encounters Ogin and Enkai (a former apprentice who apparently suffers delusions in which he hears the sound of azuki beans being washed). Mataichi arrives at the inn during the evening. The innkeeper, who is Nagamimi in disguise, shares the story of an apprentice boy of his who was murdered. He tells how the boy's spirit haunts the inn as an Azukiarai. The tale provokes a strong reaction from Enkai, and together Mataichi, Ogin, and Nagamimi stoke Enkai's emotions provoking a breakdown. Enkai confesses to murdering the apprentice boy several years earlier in a fit of rage because the owner intended to make the boy his heir rather than himself. He dies soon after and his body ending up in the nearby river as Mataichi commits Enkai's soul to the next world.
2 Willow Woman
"Yanagi Onna" (柳女)
October 11, 2003 October 27, 2007 (CAN)
July 12, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke arrives at Kichibe's Willow Inn, hoping to learn about the fabled Willow Woman who is said to haunt the inn. It is claimed that she possessively desires Kichibe, who is soon to be married, and in her jealousy was responsible for the deaths of the innkeeper's previous wives and children. At the inn Momosuke encounters the Ongyo: Mataichi, Ogin, and Nagamimi. The wedding ceremony for Kichibe and his new wife Yae goes ahead as planned, but afterwards the spiritual trio use their talents to force Kichibe to confront the Willow Woman. It transpires that she is in fact a second persona of Kichibe's, created in response to the burden of his family responsibilities and the worrisome prospect of being discarded once he produces an heir to take over the family business. Kichibe is killed soon after, and Yae gives birth to a son.
3 Enchanted White Fox
"Hakuzōsu" (白蔵主)
October 18, 2003 November 3, 2007 (CAN)
July 19, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke encounters a man named Yasaku while investigating the tale of Hakuzōsu, a legendary fox who posed as a monk to tempt a hunter away from killing foxes. It is revealed that the legend is based on Yasaku's love for killing both animals and people. Despite Momosuke's attempts to save the murderer, almost getting killed himself in the process, Yasaku suffers a slow and agonizing death at the hands of the Ongyo.
4 Dancing Head
"Maikubi" (舞首)
October 25, 2003 November 10, 2007 (CAN)
July 19, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke arrives at a town where a woman named Oyoshi is engaged in an incestuous relationship with her father, a ronin named Matajuro Ishikawa. To enable their relationship to continue, Matajuro murdered his wife and Oyoshi her younger sister. However, Matajuro is executed by the authorities after another murder and Mataichi, Ogin, and Nagamimi make Oyoshi face up to the magnitude of her crimes. At Momosuke's request, Mataichi help Oyoshi's spirit to pass on to the other world with a quick and painless death.
5 Salty Choji
"Shio no Chouji" (塩の長司)
November 1, 2003 November 17, 2007 (CAN)
July 26, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke and the Ongyo are traveling in the mountains when Momosuke becomes separated from the group and reaches the mansion of a wealthy lord named Chojiro. On the verge of death, Momosuke is given horse meat to help regain his strength. This results in some memory loss and Momosuke being cursed by Hayate, the deceased spirit of the horse he ate. After inquiring of its caretaker, Momosuke learns that the lord of the castle is also a victim of the same "Salty Choji" curse. After Chojiro's daughter Osan (whom was Ogin's puppet in disguise) appears, Mataichi arrives and offers to exorcise the curse if everyone afflicted will confess everything evil that they have done. When Momosuke is unable to admit anything due to his memory loss, the horse kills him. the alarmed Chojiro then confesses that he is in fact a fraud. Several years earlier he was Hyakimaru, a member of a bandit gang called the Mashima Night Riders and an identical twin to the real Chojiro. Chojiro betrayed the Mashima Night Riders after marrying into the wealthy family they were suppose to rob. When the two fell from a cliff during a fight, Hyakimaru murdered his brother, cannibalised his body to survive, and assumed the real lord's identity. During that time, Osan fell off a cliff into a river and was missing. He then spent the next 11 years trying to find a meat as delicious as human flesh. With the fraud revealed, the Hyakimaru dies of fright as he is brought face to face with the conjured spirits of those he consumed. It is revealed that Momosuke is unharmed and played along in the Ongyo's performance and the Ongyo tells everyone present that the real Osan has been living in a nearby village with amnesia. She assumes the position of head of the household.
6 The Shibaemon Racoon Dog
"Shibaemon Tanuki" (芝右衛門狸)
November 8, 2003 November 24, 2007 (CAN)
July 26, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke and the Ongyou encounter a traveling performance troupe which includes a samurai who claims to be a Tanuki, a racoon dog that assumes human form. Momosuke speaks with the man and learns that he was originally intended to be the stand in for the Shogun in the vent of his death due to his perpetually poor health and lack of heir. However, this plan abruptly collapsed when a son was born to the Shogunate who could serve as a rightful heir. Thus to save her own life, the mother tried to poisoned Shibaemon. However, the boy switched out the drinks and the mother consumed the poison, cursing her son as it caused Shibaemon to snap and kill his mother. When he joined the troupe, the troupe leader knew of his past deeds but kept him anyway out of sense of sympathy, unaware that Shibaemon killed his granddaughter soon time after as the samurai was driven mad to the point of attacking anything that he sees as an threat to him. During a performance, Momosuke and the Ongyoui force Shibaemon to come to terms with his past as he dies upon being mauled by dogs unleashed by Momosuke, becoming the very animal he pretended to be.
7 Katabira Crossroads
"Katabiragatsuji" (帷子)
November 14, 2003 December 1, 2007 (CAN)
August 2, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke hears the legend of the Katabira Crossroads where some women have died there. However, it would turn out that Genba Sasayama (the husband of the woman who first started the rumor) was driven to murder the other women to commit acts of Necrophilia. Though the Ongyo attempted to punish Genba Sasayama by summoning the spirits of his victims, the defiant nobleman refused to accept of doing anything wrong as took his own life. Before the group departs, Nagamimi places the corpse of the actual murderer near Genba's corpse to make it look like that he avenged his wife's death at the cost of his own life.
8 Field Gun
"Nodeppou" (野鉄砲)
November 21, 2003 December 8, 2007 (CAN)
August 2, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke responds to a supposed letter from his brother sent to him while at Katabira Crossroads. Gunhachiro (Momosuke's brother) calls him over when one of his friends named Kijirou Hamada was found dead after being killed by a stone. Momosuke says it to be a flying squirrel spirit known as a Nobosuma and a badger spirit known as a Nodebo. They later learn from Matashiro that he use to be in a gang called The Bats. Tagami was the boss and they raided Shimaso's house for a gun called the Nodebo that shoots rocks with deadly precision. When Shimaso refuses to give it to them they kill his granddaughter Otami. After telling the story, Matashiro is prosued by the Ongyou. While running from them, he falls off a cliff and impales himself on a tree. Tagami (Shimaso) takes Gunhachiro and the rest of the troop out into the forest unaware that a possessed Gehai is killing everyone in sight. Momosuke arrives to watch the internal battle between the Nodebo's hatred and Shimaso's spirit. Afterwards, Mataichi sends the spirits dwelling within the Nodebo to rest. Momosuke then takes Tagami home.
9 Kowai, the Unkillable
"Kowai" (孤者異)
November 29, 2003 December 15, 2007 (CAN)
August 9, 2010 (USA)
Hearing about the murderous cutthroat Giamon of Inarizika, rumored to be a Kowai (a ghoul that can survive any fatality), Momosuke learns of the man's relation to Ogin as she personally confronts the one who murdered her family fifteen years ago.
10 Hi-No-Enma, Flames of Desire
"Hinoenma" (飛縁魔)
December 6, 2003 December 22, 2007 (CAN)
August 9, 2010 (USA)
After arriving in town Momosuke runs into a man and learns of a missing bride, Sirugeiku. On his way to find out more he learns from a wayward priest named Ryojin about a tragic friendship a girl named Tatsuta and strange fires. Now while on the search for answers about the strange fires and the missing Shiragiku, Momosuke gets tangled up in a bizarre tale of jealously and stolen identity and the only answer lies on a missing pinky. When Momosuke notices that the culprit has both her pinkies, he interferes in Mataichi's judgement allowing Shiragiku to get away with the Hermits. Mataichi figures out that Kyogoku Tei was behind this and the Ongyou take their leave from Momosuke.
11 Marine Spirits
"Funayuurei" (船幽霊)
December 13, 2003 December 29, 2007 (CAN)
August 16, 2010 (USA)
Momosuke hasn't seen the Ongyou for months. When he asks Tsutaya if he heard any ghostly rumors lately, he tells Momosuke that there are two with one of them being the sea ghosts of Sanuki. While out walking, he comes across the Kyogoku Tavern where he has an encounter with Kyogoku Tei and the Hermits who point Momosuke to Shikoku to help the Ongyou who "vanished" while on an assignment. Momosuke comes across some fisherman who had lost some of their own to these sea ghosts. The fisherman tell Momosuke that the sea ghosts have been appearing near Kabuto Island instead of Twin Island as one of the fisherman tells him that one of the islands that make up Twin Island just vanished. The fishing magistrate Lord Sakiyama appears claiming that the sinking of boats is the work of the Kawakubo Clan and that he has taken action to remove this threat. While trying to get info on them, Momosuke is ambushed by some strange warriors only to be saved by Ogin. Ogin tells Momosuke to turn back and head home. After Ogin leaves, a man approaches Momosuke who tells him that Ogin took a boat out to sea bound for Twin Island. As the man takes Momosuke to Twin Island, he claims that the Kawakubo Clan are a bunch of ghosts of the defeated Tyra Clan that clashed the Minamoto Clan. As the boat approaches Twin Island, the sea ghosts attack. Upon being washed up on Twin Island after surviving the encounter, Momosuke has an encounter with the Kawakubo Clan until their leader Tarumaro and the Ongyou arrive as Tarumaro states that the sea is angry. Mataichi later tells Momosuke that the beaches of Twin Island were stained during the fight between the Tyra Clan and the Minamoto Clan. He also states that 20 years ago, dozens of people died when the neighboring island sank. Tarumaro then explains of the Flame Lance that was entrusted to them by their ancestors which would act as a signal which would by of use when the Tyra uprising occurred. Mataichi argues with Tarumaro about destroying the Flame Lance as it calls out to the darkness in people's hearts. The island is then visited by Hyogo (a man who once washed up on Twin Island and escaped from it) and some men where one of them Momosuke recognizes as one of the warriors that attacked him. Hyogo demands that the Kawakubo Clan turn themselves in when they return the next day. When it comes to that that, Tarumaro has his clan, the Ongyou, and Momosuke evacuate the island. Though Tarumaro decides to destroy the Flame Lance, having it sink the island with himself, Hyogo, and his men still on it. When Mataichi mentions to Momosuke that helped in slaying some of the Ongyou's targets, they then noticed that the Hermits have salvaged what remained of the weapon.
12 The Death Spirits of Seven Man Point (Part 1)
"Shinigami, or rather the Shichinin Misaki Part 1" (死神或いは七人みさき(前編))
December 20, 2003 January 5, 2008 (CAN)
August 16, 2010 (USA)
Strange massacres have been occurring at Seven Man Point. Momosuke encounters the man who he thought drowned helping him get to Twin Island, a ronin named Ukon Shinomore. Ukon reveals how he served under a feudal lord named Danjo Kitabayashi until an unspeakable evil plagued his land. But as he journeys with Ukon to the man's homeland, expecting the Ongyou to be there, Momosuke learns a horrific revelation.
13 The Death Spirits of Seven Man Point (Part 2)
"Shinigami, or rather the Shichinin Misaki Part 2" (死神或いは七人みさき(後編))
December 27, 2003 January 12, 2008 (CAN)
August 23, 2010 (USA)
As Danjo is about to fire the Flame Lance on his own people, his true identity is revealed as the Ongyou confront him.

Theme Song

The opening song "The Flame" and the ending song "The Moment of Love" were both performed by Keiko Lee.

Cast

Principal Seiyu

Principal Voice Actors

Additional Voices

Crew

English Staff

External links

it:Requiem from the Darknesszh:巷說百物語

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