The Garden of Sinners (movie series, 2007-2009): 6/10
I've got mixed feelings about these--on one had, they are some of the prettiest and most detailed animated works I've ever seen, complete with great mind-bending action choreography, a decent soundtrack, and chillingly dark, gory mysteries unfolding in each installment. (Well, almost.) On the other hand, they are unrelentingly self-serious, populated almost entirely with either thinly developed or unlikable characters (with maybe one or two notable exceptions), and make the grave mistake of thinking that they are about more than they are actually about. Top it all off with some occasionally lazy writing and way more purposeful obfuscation than an action series like this requires and you're left with something that's sort of a pleasure to behold, but difficult to enjoy, or ultimately care much about. There is some meaty substance here worth digging into (the fifth film's central plot revolving around a magnificently bizarre apartment complex was particularly satisfying for most of its length), and when it pushes into emotional territory without overextending its reach it proves itself capable of some seriously fantastic sequences, but otherwise, fans of pitch-black action/horror and mystery anime are going to probably be the only ones who are going to totally nerd out about this.
Still, it's worth noting that I'd probably watch it again, and I wouldn't be too terribly surprised if I wound up liking it more the second time around. Recommended--but only to a particular audience and with some heavy reservations. Oh, and if you want a plot summary, here's Wikipedia's take on it for you:
'Mikiya Kokutō becomes intrigued by the mysterious series of violent deaths occurring in his town and Shiki Ryōgi, a beautiful but unsociable girl. As he tries to become closer to Shiki, he realizes that Shiki is connected to the mysterious deaths and that the supernatural forces involved with both could kill him. It is revealed that in Shiki's family, certain members of her family possess two distinct personalities, both aware and conscious of one another, but possessing different qualities. The dual consciousness, and Shiki's upbringing as a demon hunter, has caused her to reject other human beings.'