Author: Eiji Otsuka
Manga-ka: Housui Yamazaki
Publisher: Dark Horse
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: November 2007
Synopsis: “The corpses that are Kurosagi’s client base usually died not too long ago, for reasons that gruesomely obvious. But when the ominous Mr. Nire returns with a modern-day mummification series, what they’re gonna do is go back… way back, as the kids kick Egyptian Old Kingdom school! Then, travel from the past into the future of death, as they uncover the cold business behind some cryonic frozen heads!”
In this fifth volume of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, the team continues to find corpses in some of the most unlikely places. First, a deceased elderly man leads the group to a desolated town that fell victim to a serial-murderer years ago, and after that they have to deal with a new find discovered in a sarcophagus.
Lots of interesting adventures in this volume, that’s for sure. And if that wasn’t enough, sprinkled amidst them all, with surprising relevance, are more glimpse of Karatsu’s past, and connection with his ghoulish guardian. As much as I enjoy the episodic trials the characters go through in this series, it’s these little teases in recent volumes that’ve really made the experience for me. Certain dropped clues, such as a possible glance at Karatsu and his guardian’s births, in this volume made me realize just how little we know about some characters, and yet how the book cunningly never gave much reason to question it… until now that is.
Other favourite parts of this book for me includes a new character, who may very well be a real-life living mummy with a great intellect and sense of humour, and the introduction of the Crying Lady, someone who I hope to see more of as she’s woven into Karatsu’s past.
Housui Yamazaki’s artwork continues to impress me, almost entirely due to the imperfection of the characters. They’re scarred, wrinkled, lopsided and possessing some body fat: they actually look like average, everyday people. The style compliments the story flawlessly, especially when it suddenly switches over to some darker scenes. Nothing is too overdone, it just works.
Thus, another book, another intriguing collection of murder mysteries. There’s nothing like the twist of the victims being directly involved with a killer’s discovery, and with such a defined cast of characters accompanying them, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is something any fan of horror, or someone looking for a unique mature manga title, should definitely check out.