Author: Eiji Otsuka
Manga-ka: Housui Yamazaki
Publisher: Dark Horse
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: September 2007
Synopsis: “A country town’s got more than crop circles to claim UFOs… they say they’ve got the extraterresrtial’s body! It’s going to be a different kind of alien autopsy when the Kurosagi crew investigates their oddest client yet. And there’s more strange visitors from afar when an American entomologist drops in – not to mention a crossever appearance by Reiji Akiba, the gun-toting exorcist of Mail!”
The fourth volume of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service offers up a healthy dose of the creepy and bizarre. From an alien corpse discovered in a small town, to missing Japanese tourists ending up in museum exhibits, there are lots of things to keep readers turning the pages. But perhaps most interesting of all is the continuing reappearances of a mystery spirit haunting Karatsu.
I always look forward to reading a new volume of KCDS and have never been disappointed. This fourth volume was no exception and I enjoyed how many different kinds of stories there were here. The first about an alien corpse gave Yata, the group’s channeler, a chance to strut his stuff as alien communicator along with his foul-mouthed alien hand puppet. The next story about a museum exhibit was chilling and one of the closest calls this group of corpse deliverers has faced. Toss in a cameo from the artist’s other series, Mail, and you’ve got yourself a fun volume.
What’s really begun to become apparent also is the relevance of the strange disfigured spirit that has attached itself to Karatsu, the group’s psychic. In this volume it interacts with other characters, helping them to solve a case, yet it’s exact presence is never really known until a photograph reveals its face. This also reveals to readers that Karatsu continues to know a bit more about this than he’s letting on. As much as I like having the episodic chapters, it’s nice knowing there’s an underlying continuous plot to look forward to.
Housui Yamazaki’s art continues to please with clean artwork and unique, yet pleasantly average, looking characters. Instead of the usual over stylized manga characters, those here are imperfect and varied making them feel more like actual people. Nice choices of angle, shading and pacing also make sure that moments are intense and dramatic when they need to be. Also on the topic of visuals, Dark Horse continues to treat this series wonderfully with nice interior work and excellent handling of the original cover design.
In the end, it’s another enjoyable volume of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, and with no shortage of corpses in the world, I’m happy to know this entertaining cast of characters will be around for a while longer yet.