The Shadows are the main plot point of the new anime series Shadows House. They seem to be faceless and black entities with personalities. They also appear to emit a dark substance similar to soot.
How they came into existence and how they function is still a mystery. However, it can be deduced from the anime that the Shadows existed for a long time.
Judging from the anime and bits of the manga, we can infer that shadows require the assistance of Living Dolls to clean up the soot they emit. This soot contains some kind of mysterious power.
The soot is known to create phantoms and other entities that harm both Shadows and Living Dolls. However, it can be cleaned off like dust.
The Living Dolls assigned to the Shadows act like their face and their physical form. They are to mimic every aspect of their Shadow. Dolls are selected based on their physical appearance which must be similar to the Shadows’ silhouette.
The personality of the Doll is also supposed to be similar to the Shadow. This leads to better compatibility between the Shadow and the Doll. Later episodes confirm that a shadow will eventually merge with the Doll and will become a single being. For example, Edward refers to himself as a special Shadow and is able to change from a human to a shadow in situations.
There are exceptions to this rule as some Dolls possess personalities which is opposite of their Shadow. It is later revealed that the Dolls also possess the qualities which are lacking in their Shadow.
This is however lost when the Shadow completely assimilates the Doll. The Living Dolls are actual humans who have been offered as gifts to Shadow House.