4.18 out of 5 from 57 votes
Black-clad, bespectacled Kuro wanders the land with nothing but a large coffin and bat named Sen at her side. During her travels Kuro finds Nijuku and Sanju, two abandoned experiments of a long-gone professor, and takes them along on her journey. Together, they move from place to place, experiencing the joys and hardships of life along the way - for the townspeople always tend to think Kuro is a witch, has bad intentions, or worse…
Across the world, malevolent beings known as il inhabit enchanting objects to entice curious humans toward them, and in doing so they devour the heart and freely use their victims’ bodies as puppets. To combat the threat that the il pose, hunters called Syste Behards roam the land fighting their prey to keep innocent civilians safe. One such hunter is March, who has an incredible ability capable of subduing, exorcising, and defeating ils. But with a dark power sleeping inside that threatens to overwhelm the young Syste Berhard at the first sign of falling in love, can March continue to fight the il and still remain human?
To be clear, March Story is superior to Shoulder in pretty much every way - visually, story, all of it. But both are a tale of someone going from place to place, learning about everyone they meet. March Story is much, much darker.
Mushi are another form of life which live parallel to our own natural world. The source of many myths and superstitions, they exist according to their own natural laws, and can be both beneficial and dangerous depending on circumstances. Ginko, a traveling mushishi, investigates and helps out wherever the mushi have become a problem. Yet Ginko himself is marked by the creatures he researches, and he carries the weight of his past with him.
In Japan, where tampering with the body of one who has passed is taboo, Shinjyuro provides a rare service: as an embalmer, he restores the body of the deceased to a beautiful state, giving the family a chance to say goodbye face to face during the funeral. Amongst those in the know, he is considered one of the best in his trade in Japan, showing exceptional technical skill as well as consideration for the grieving family. Embalming can be heartbreaking work, but on top of that, Shinjyuro also faces the prejudice cast upon him by the general public due to his misunderstood profession. It's no wonder, then, that he has a pathological addiction to physical affection…
Embalmer is quite darker than Kuro, but both star a brooding lead who's misunderstood completely. Supernatural elements take a toll in both series; if you liked one, trust me that you'd probably enjoy the other.