This week I’m starting up yet another manga, with the first volume of the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.
Title: Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 1
Written by Eiji Otsuka
Illustrated by Housui Yamazaki
Translated by Toshifumi Yoshida
Published by Kadokawa Shoten (Japan) and Dark Horse Comics (US)
Publication Date: July 2006
Available from Amazon.com and RightStuf
Kurou Karatsu, Ao Sasaki, Makoto Numata, Yuuji Yata, and Keiko Makino are students at a Buddhist college in Tokyo. Their grades are average and none of them have jobs with temples lined up, and all of them have talents related to the dead. Kunou can speak with the dead, Makoto can douse for corpses, Ao is a hacker who runs a corpse related message board, Yugi recieves information from an alien intelligence through a sock puppet, and Keiko is an embalmer (most people in Japan are cremated instead of being embalmed and buried).
They realize that their skills will allow them to put the spirits of the dead to rest, particularly suicide and murder victims, and will allow them to negotiate payment with the dead so they afford to do this for a living. Thus, they start a company to allow them to do this – the Kurosagi Corps Delivery Service.
This volume does a very good job of balancing the mystery-of-the-week aspects of the story with some ongoing larger mysteries as well.
Ao’s side business with her site is really skeevy and puts me off of the character.
There is some graphic violence and nudity in this volume.
Originality: I am reasonably sure that I haven’t seen this concept before. 5/6
Story: Each chapter is very well written, with interesting little mysteries, and well executed supernatural elements. 5/6
Artwork: Very well done artwork, particularly in the beginning – with some of the sections on Mount Fuji. 6/6
Characterization: Otsuko does a good job of setting up the personalities of each member of the K.C.D.S, as well as the personalities of the dead. 5/6
Emotional Response: There’s some humor here that works very well, though horror of the dark variety. The stories themselves are also very creepy. 4/6
Overall: This is a good manga, and definitely worth picking up. 4/6
In total, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 1 gets 35/42.