|Ballad of a Shinigami (しにがみのバラッド. Shinigami no Baraddo), subtitled momo: the god girl of death, is a Japanese light novel series written by K-Ske Hasegawa, with illustrations by Nanakusa. The series includes twelve novels released between June 10, 2003 and April 10, 2009, published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. The novels were licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment for release in English with the first novel released in March 2008. The series revolves around Momo, a shinigami, and her familiar Daniel, a talking black cat, as they interfere with the world of the living.
A radio drama of the series aired on ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Taishō radio program between April and May 2005, and the recordings were collected into a drama CD released in June 2005. A manga adaptation by Asuka Izumi was serialized in Hakusensha's shōjo manga magazines LaLa and LaLa DX between May 2005 and February 2007. A six-episode anime adaptation of the series produced by Group TAC aired between March and April 2006 on WOWOW satellite TV. Lastly, a TV drama which aired on TV Tokyo was produced between January and March 2007, containing twelve episodes.
Ballad of a Shinigami primarily centers around a young-looking girl named Momo (モモ?) who is a shinigami, or death god. Momo is clad in all white, along with having long white hair, and as a god of death, she leads deceased souls to the other side. She carries with her a large scythe and an ID card which helps to facilitate in her identification as a shinigami; her shinigami ID number is A-100100. Momo is different from other shinigami because she tries to ease the suffering of the people she encounters whether they be living or already dead, such as conveying messages from the dead to the living. She is also known to cry a lot, and she says that she cries for the dead because they no longer can. Accompanying Momo is a talking black cat familiar named Daniel (ダニエル Danieru) with a bell around his neck and bat-like wings who helps Momo out. The living frequently hear the ringing of Daniel's bell when Momo and Daniel are nearby. Daniel has a calm character and does not show as much sympathy to humans as Momo, but is still patient with them. In the TV drama, Daniel is portrayed as a young boy rather than a cat. The story follows Momo and Daniel as they interact with the living and usually consists of them changing something sorrowful for the living.
Another shinigami featured in the series is also a young-looking girl named An (アン) who is clad in all black, along with having black hair. Like Momo, she shows outward emotion towards the living and dead, but An has a cruel personality and does not give mercy to anyone. Despite the fact that shinigami are meant to transport souls to the other side, An chooses to terminate the souls of the people she kills. Among shinigami, she is very powerful, and is referred to as a special type of shinigami. Her shinigami ID number is A-99. Accompanying An is a talking gray cat familiar named Nicolas (ニコラウス Nikorausu), but is referred to as Nicol (ニコル Nikoru) for short. Before starting to work with An, Nicol had once been very close friends with Daniel.