Requiem from the Darkness volume 3 : Pain of the Damned

Image of DVD cover (66k jpg)

Released by: Madman Entertainment.
Region: Four.
Aspect Ratio: 4:3)
Disc 1:

Momosuke's new found strength of will now brings him to the attention of the Ongoyu - puppet master behind Mataichi and his co-horts. Despite Mataichi trying to disuade the Ongoyu plans are made to use Momosuke in a more active role in what they do. With that ominous scheming done we launch into the tale of a body found with a killing stone lodged in its forehead. Momosuke is brought in by his brother to try and understand this crime before the local shogunate forces are forced to act rashly for fear of looking powerless. It all leads to a possibly cursed field gun which is compelling its owner to seek a twisted form of vengance.

In 'The Unkillable' Ogin finds rumours that the person responsible for her parents death might well be at it again - despite having been beheaded three times now over the course of fifteen years. Just how do you kill someone who is seemingly unkillable? Finally in 'Flames of Desire' an elderly man enlists Momosuke's help in trying to find his long lost bethroted who happens to be a bit of a pyromanica. He doesn't care having used his money to build a house where she is free to burn whatever she likes so long as she comes back.

This being Requiem from the Darkness none of these tales are quite what they seem and Momosuke is used to discern the truth, at no small risk to himself and despite Mataichi & Co.'s best efforts in trying to keep him out of harms way. The lengths people will go to to obtain power, the unscrupulous use of a name to create mayhem to their advantage with while avoiding the blame and the inability of people at times to share in others good fortune all get explored. At this point in the series though you are well aware of the pattern it uses and these tales do nothing to change that pattern. They do begin to lay the groundwork for something bigger surrounding Momosuke in the final set of episodes for the series.

Quite interesting is the look we get into Ogin's past and a lot of why she thinks the way she does is revealed. It also shows that each of the trio, in their own way, have become concerned about Momosuke insteading of finding him the nuisance he once was. They now readily explain what they are investigating with him and listen to what he has to know.

It certainly hasn't let up in the depravity stakes with most of these stories focusing on betrayals by trusted individuals but neither has it got worse either. One of the most disturbing, 'the Unkillable', merely tells us about what the primary culprit got up and how they abused their position in life so totally. Yet we see clearly the devestating effect it has had. It all makes for entertaining viewing so long as you don't mind the plot pattern repeating. It might be best to see this the way it was originally aired - one episode at a time with a weeks break inbetween.

Like the other volumes we still have a 2.0 stereo soundtrack and a 4:3 formatting. And also like the other volumes I lament the chance we had for a truely interesting 5.1 mix to have been done when making the dub. This is a series that, like Boogiepop Phantom, could make spectacular use of such a soundfield. Still it is well presented with limited extra features and I must admit leaves me hanging as to where the story is going to go for a conclusion. here is to watching volume four to see how they wrap up this story of karmic justice being metred out...

Philip R. Banks
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