Author: Eiji Otsuka
Manga-ka: Housui Yamazaki
Publisher: Dark Horse
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: September 2008
Synopsis: “Collecting can take over a fan’s life: what if it takes over their death as well? Zombie robot otaku and plastic surgery disasters are only the latest faces of horror as Kurosagi continues their struggle to turn corpses into cash! But when Karatsu falls into a bizarre trap set for him by the Shirosagi pair, can the rest of the gang save him… or even themselves?”
When a gravestone moving job turns out to be too much to handle, the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service seeks some assistance from some enthusiastic scientists. Too bad their newly created mech-suit runs best on something a little harder to come by than batteries. Working to survive through a case of anime geekdom and a robot on a rampage, the team then must face an epidemic of pointed ears, undead facial tumours and a twisted source of plastic surgery.
The plot thickens further in this seventh volume of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service! It marks the return of the Shirosagi Corpse Cleaners, who use another corpse for their own purposes. During a job, Karatsu’s soul is kidnapped and held captive by a mysterious group, one out for vengeance on him and his guardian spirit, Kuro. It’s exciting having the underlying plot element on the series peeking out every now and again, working to an inevitable climax. I’m enjoying this revelation method a lot, even more so since the lead cast doesn’t even really know anything has changed, minus a small unexplained Karatsu coma.
The episodic story’s of the volume didn’t fail to disappoint either. Where else can I read about a dead body crammed inside a mech suit trying to kill a mall full of otaku with Guts’ sword (main character from Kentaro Miura’s fantasy-epic, Berserk)? And if the basic premise of the zombie wasn’t enough, the enigmatic characters and sombre, but subtly riveting, pacing of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery continues to please. I like all the lead characters as they each bring something different to the table. Even the KCDS’s president, Sasaski, takes her role a little further with each volume and in this one becomes another to have near direct contact with the strange, but helpful, spirit of Kuro.
The final story in this three-part, seventh volume is considerably shorter and doesn’t connect to the continuous plot. However it’s another classic KCDS tale of murder and vengeance and it never gets tiring watching a pile of corpses seek revenge on their wrong-doers. This time the corpses are found on the set of a movie film about a crime-solving detective, where the KCDS are hired on as part time crew.
Impressively, seven volumes in and seeing a next volume placer on the last page still remains the ultimate pleaser. I find I often spend the final chapters of these books fearing they shall be the last, as was my sadness with the series Mail and its three volume finish. While the end is in sight with a sinister tale forming (I want a full face scar explanation!), I can’t wait for each and every volume to enjoy it. I also greatly look forward to seeing how the characters will react when some dark truths finally show themselves in a way that can’t be missed, instead of these dirty corpses dealing playing to their full extent only in the background.
As from volume one to now, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is a creepy and realistically stylish tale of the undead and to any who enjoy the genre, or are looking to give it a shot, there’re few places that’ll delivery so much in such a satisfying little package. Volume eight, please!