Ballad of a Shinigami – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: Ballad of a Shinigami, Momo the girl god of death
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 6
Released: March 2, 2006 – April 6, 2006
Based On: Shinigami no Ballad light novels by K-Ske Hasegawa
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Produced By: Pony Canyon, Group TAC, Ginga-ya
US Distribution By: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Momo: Akiko Kobayashi
Daniel: Ai Shimizu
Kōta Seto: Akiyo Kanada
Mai Makihara: Chiwa Saito
Mitsuki Asano: Yuki Kaida
Yutaka Fujishima: Kana Ueda
Kantaro Ichihara: Toshiyuki Toyonaga
Tomato Fujiwara: Kanako Mitsuhashi
Chiaki Kazama: Tomoko Sadohara
Fuyuki Kazama: Ryoko Shiraishi
Eko Miyazaki: Fuyuka Oura
Sakura Kosakai: Nobuyuki Kobushi

Major English Cast



Animation: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 140/170 (82.4%)


Ballad of a Shinigami is about Momo, a Shinigami – basically the Japanese version of the grim reaper except cuter in this case – and her cat companion Daniel. The series addresses six different stories which deal with death in one way or another, with Momo playing a critical role each time.

These stories range from a young girl eventually succumbing to an illness, to pushing someone to live his life to the fullest since “you’ll eventually die someday,” to not being able to say “sorry” for things you said to a love one just before they died.

I think each of the six stories are interesting in their own right, and I like how each of the six stories were able to address the issue of death in unique ways. Of course the main negative to having six stories in six episodes is that none of the stories necessarily have time to really stand out or leave a lasting impression, but I’m not sure how important this is with a series this short (there is a reason why I have a minimum episode count before I give a coherence score, after all).

I’d say if you’re interested in a well written set of stories about an unusual topic (how many series deal with the issue of death this head on), I’d recommend Ballad of a Shinigami, especially since it is easy to watch in a single sitting.

First Watched: July 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes