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Literature / Requiem from the Darkness

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Counterclockwise from the upper-left: Nagamimi, Momosuke, Mataichi, Ogin.

The Wicked and the Damned: A Hundred Tales of Karma (Kōsetsu Hyaku Monogatari, meaning "Hundred Stories") is a series of novels by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. These novels were adapted into an anime titled Requiem from the Darkness (Kyōgoku Natsuhiko Kōsetsu Hyaku Monogatari, "Natsuhiko Kyogoku's Hundred Stories") and a live-action show. The anime especially is known for its rather bizarre plot-lines and story elements; said story follows Momosuke as he travels around Feudal Japan in a search for one hundred ghost stories. But while doing this, he runs across a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. They fight evil; well, kind of, anyway. Think Darker and Edgier Scooby-Doo. The series is also known for making lazy animation an artform; seriously, they turn it into an advantage.


Requiem from the Darkness provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: A slightly less fantastic case than the norm, the Nodeppou gun can fire any normal rock like a musket ball.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Mataichi's group is forced to "exorcise" an innocent person to stop a disaster, Momosuke calls them a bunch of murderers. Mataichi points out that the author himself participated in a number of exorcisms, sometimes directly killing the murderers himself. Momosuke is speechless.
  • Ax-Crazy: Most of the sinners that the group encounters will either be this already or will devolve into this once their sins are revealed.
  • The Beastmaster: Nagamimi can control animals.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Although they win in the end, Mataichi, Nagamimi, and Ogin all die, leaving poor Momosuke alone, just as Ogin finally says his name instead of referring to him as "author." However, it does leave open the possibility that they may still be alive after Momosuke publishes his book.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: While some of the work they do is explicitly good, Nagamimi, Mataichi, and Ogin have been known to enter this realm when it comes to punish sinners.
  • The Blank: As a stylistic choice, unimportant side characters tend to be drawn with few features. See No Mouth.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens during a few death scenes.
  • Broken Bird: Ogin has shades of it, mostly thanks to her horrible backstory.
  • Death of a Child: In several episodes, including the first two.
  • Deranged Animation: Just look at several of the "people" in the crowd scenes, and then watch some of the action scenes and you'll know why this trope is almost omnipresent here.
  • Eye Scream: A particularly squirmy example in "Floating Head.", when Oyoshi kills Otama.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's established that many of the "monsters" and murderers in this series come about because of the cruelties they faced as once-innocent children...
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: ...But that doesn't make it okay to murder people, as is also made clear.
  • Genre Blind: It takes a remarkably long amount of time for the Momosuke to realize that his new friends aren't exactly "heroes".
  • Gorn: There's even an episode concerning a series of pornographic scrolls detailing the various stages of corpse decay.
  • Gonk: 100 Stories features an extremely bizarre art style, particularly notable in its depiction of villagers and other incidental characters.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Men, women, children... the Absurdly Sharp Blade makes no distinction.
    • This is particularly prominent in "The Shibaemon Raccoon Dog", where the young samurai cuts people in half at the waist, as he killed his mother long ago. This happens to coincide with a legend where tanukis split people in half at the waist to eat their livers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Momosuke chooses to sacrifice his life to save Yasuku, even knowing that the man's he's saving is a remorseless serial murderer, purely because Yasuku was more passionate about living than he ever was. (Mataichi saves him.)
  • Hidden Backup Prince: "The Shibaemon Raccoon Dog" revolves around a young samurai, the son of one of the Emperor's mistresses, who was raised to take over the throne when the ill emperor died. However, the emperor managed to produce a legitimate heir, and so the child became useless. His own mother attempted to poison him, but he switched the cups. As she cursed him, he struck her down, starting a lifetime of berserk rages he had no control over.
  • Humans Are Bastards:
    • The entire point of the show, though "bastards" might be too kind a term.
    • The final episode has shades of it at the beginning, but overall the show has a bit of an optimistic approach to this trope.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Despite his efforts to join Mataichi and the gang, Momosuke is repeatedly told to turn back before it's too late.
  • The subplot between Momosuke and Ogin, since Ogin is pretty blatantly stated to be a ghost.
  • I'm A Humanitarian: "Salty Choji." The Reveal is that the house-owner is actually the real owner's twin brother, who was forced to eat his brother's corpse when they fell down a ravine together and who has been obsessed with the taste of human flesh ever since.
  • Jade-Coloured Glasses: By the end of the series, Momosuke has had most of his idealism worn away by the very human monsters he's run into.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Mataichi & Co.'s mission. Mataichi is even called a "karmic enforcer" at one point!
  • Marshmallow Hell: Ogin does this to Momosuke in the first episode.
  • Meaningful Name: Nagamimi ("Long Ears").
  • Mercy Kill: By the end of "Floating Head" Oyoshi has gone completely insane, and Momosuke requests that Mataichi grant her peace, however possible. He does.
  • Mind Screw: Sometimes it's very difficult to understand just what the heck is going on here, thanks to long bouts of Exposition on things that may have been mentioned once in the episode in question.
  • Morphic Resonance: No matter what form he takes, Nagamimi can't change his unusual ears.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: In "Floating Head" Oyoshi refuses to believe that Otama is dead, killed by her own hand, no less, and claims that she's only ill.
  • Never My Fault: A few sinners desperately try to use scapegoats to absolve themselves. Mataichi and Co. are never impressed.
  • No Mouth: Most of the minor characters. The pic on that page is from this series.
  • Off-Model: Used to great effect. Some characters' proportions are drawn radically different from scene to scene, or even within a scene. This technique usually highlights the characters' mental instability.
  • Only Six Faces: There are a limited number of models for background characters and other "extras", all of them quite surreal.
  • Parental Incest: In "Floating Head." Oyoshi's father Matajuro Ishikawa committed this against her from a young age, making her mentally unstable. She eventually used his passion for her to convince him to kill her mother.
  • Perverse Puppet: Ogin's puppet, which is very pretty...until it looks at you.
  • Primal Scene: In "Floating Head", Otama sees the Parental Incest she and Oyoshi's father is committing upon Oyoshi and is too young to understand it, thinking their heads are dancing. Wehen she talks to Oyoshi about it, Oyoshi kills her.
  • Pyromaniac: Shiragiku (actually Tatsuta impersonating her)
  • Split Personality: In "Willow Woman", the titular lady is one of these for the owner of the inn, driven insane by his greedy relatives, who only saw him as a means to carry on the family's ownership of the inn by having an heir—hence the murders of his wives and children.
  • Tanuki: "The Shibaemon Raccoon Dog" revolves around an alleged one of these.
  • The Trickster: The entire crew, but especially Mataichi.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Momosuke is Too Well-Meaning To Live. Luckily Mataichi's team is there to save his ass.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Kyogokutei serves as the boss of Mataichi's crew for most of the series, but turns out to have been planning to cover the world in darkness and evil all along. Naturally, our team of anti-heroes won't stand for that.
  • Vapor Wear: Ogin doesn't wear much, if anything, under her kimono.
  • Verbal Tic: Quite a few. Mataichi's speech is highly archaic, and Nagamimi...well, Nagamimi is Norio Wakamoto.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: A mystical WMD powered by human atrocity, no less. Becomes the focus of the final two episodes.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Momosuke can't go five steps without running into some demon or serial killer. Then again, it is mostly his fault for actively seeking these things for his book.
  • When Trees Attack: Two for one special; a possessed tree decapitates a woman holding a baby. The women drops the baby. Then she falls on and crushes the baby. Only it turns out there's no ghost involved at all and she was actually murdered by her insane husband.

Alternative Title(s): Kyogoku Natsuhiko Kosetsu Hyaku Monogatari, Requiem From The Darkness


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