Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service 8
February 14, 2009
I actually wasn’t expecting this volume out so soon. I figured we’d need to wait a year between volumes now, but maybe we’re still a couple behind Japan. I certainly can’t complain about getting this series more frequently.
The first chapter alone reaffirms what it is I like about this series, mainly its sense of humor. There’s some really weird stuff going on as far as forensics and what kills people and how, but it’s the weird jokes and jabs it makes at its characters tha stand out the most. The first chapter isn’t that strong as far as its plot goes, but it’s almost like a re-introduction for the series. It opens with a campus club recruitment-type event. There’s one panel of Numata leaning against the recruitment table for the “Kurosagi CMM Club,” which stands for “cash money makin’.” The poster behind him on the wall goes on to elaborate on the qualities new recruits must have: like or have an interest in corpses, be able to speak to or see the dead, or have a special ability others do not. Obviously the entire area around their table is deserted. Despite their attempt to keep the recruits away (this is clearly a ruse so that they get the club funding from their school), a few people show up. Each of the regular characters then proceeds to upstage them in every way possible, from gristly details about embalming to insulting a gothic lolita type with a foul-mouthed puppet. After each ridiculous thing is said or done, there is a panel with their full name and job description, like a freeze frame in a movie. It is hilarious in context. Plus, I haven’t seen most of the character’s full names in awhile. Apparently Numata’s first name is Makoto. Also, Kereellis gets an intro too. His special talent is listed as “puppet (alien).”
The main story, as featured on the cover, is about marriages that take place after one or more people in the pair has died. It’s a pretty good story. It involves a rich wedding planner, some ghosts, a special shrine, a poor guy who gets caught up in things, some yakuza types, and Sasaki getting strangled by a ghost. More and more is implied between Karatsu and Sasaki. I don’t actually know if that’s going anywhere, or if either of the two is in on the implication. The fact that neither seem to be that into one another is just another feather in this series’ hat. This marriage story is also notable for having a suitably epic final scene.
The next story is also a couple chapters long and is about babies abortion, and midwives. I had a harder time with this story than the other two, mostly because it’s sort of unclear what’s happening until the very end, and even then, the explanation isn’t very satisfactory (or at least wasn’t for me). The fact that the spirits of unwanted babies who pass away enroute to the hospital through some sort of black hole are jumping into cadavers… well, you know, that’s sometimes all you need in a story, though, and it takes Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service to provide.
Also, since Castle of Cagliostro was compared to the final scene in the (copious) end notes, now I can’t ever read this series again without seeing Numata as Jigen. Great.