Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service 12
April 25, 2012
Eiji Otsuka / Housui Yamazaki – Dark Horse – 2012 – 15+ volumes
I am absolutely thrilled this came out. I almost gave up hope. I really didn’t want to, but it’s been so long since the last volume. It’s hard for me to believe this isn’t doing well, because it’s just so quirky and has the dry sense of humor and extreme violence that I could see appealing to an audience outside manga. I love it unconditionally.
There’s a very strange Second Life story to start the volume off. I had no idea how popular that simulation was. Sadly, I recognized the situation without even having to check the end notes. The gang does their investigating in the virtual world before tracking the killer down and confronting her with the body of a dead, broke, angry nerd whose face she peeled off. I missed Karatsu’s skill so much! The motive has to do with identity theft on a couple different levels, and was all kinds of creepy. I’m not sure if it’s because the story was genuinely creepy, or if it’s because I haven’t read the series in awhile and the inherent creep factor is registering more than it usually does. Also, bonus points to this story for having a panel where one of the characters walks in on two people having sex, and there’s an image, graduate-like, through the legs of the couple, with the silouhette bottom of the woman’s butt and the man’s penis framing the character’s face who walked in. Now that’s poetry.
Also, it was awesome when Sasaki makes accounts for everyone in Second Life, and Karatsu and the guys show up wearing jeans and a t-shirt and expressionless faces, while she looks like she does in real life, but better. Parts of the story take place in the game, which is… well, really interesting. Especially since most people are wearing rabbit masks.
The second story is about a girl who can astral project. She uses her powers to recruit customers to the host club she works at. One day, she meets a young man who shares her interest in making it as a comedy duo, so she quits her job, and the two of them get set up in a posh apartment where the previous tenant has died. Unfortunately, the boy’s old boss winds up needing the apartment, and the boy is murdered by an old co-worker. Sasayama (I missed him, too!) gets the Kurosagi group together to investigate the body, which has the girl’s astral projecting form hanging around it. There’s an elaborate revenge scenario.
This story was different for a couple reasons. The victim is alive most of the time, and the story was very character-driven, and more about the two comedians than the Kurosagi group and their investigation. It was a very strange story, even with a relatively normal plot like that, what with all the astral projection and the boy living in the apartments of dead people and whatnot. Plus, the ending wraps things up in a very Kereellis-like manner. I… liked it, despite its strangeness, but the Second Life story hit my creep buttons in a more pleasing way. Both were good, though.
The third story is pretty typical Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service fodder. Karatsu and Sasaki are away, which leaves Numata, Yata, and Makino to investigate a case involving a dollmaker, a murder, and his doll-ified sister. He is a maker of… uh, Dutch Wives, and apparently a very famous one. This story is also pretty great, but my favorite moment is a page at the beginning, when Makino gets upset that Numata has run off yelling about a corpse, and Kereellis asks her if she’s sure, because that doesn’t sound like Numata. On the same page, Yata suggests the three of them could have a case on their hands if he does find one, and Makino suggests she could embalm it and the three of them could stare at it for awhile.
Another thing I missed terribly were the end notes. So much knowledge, and I don’t care how relevant it is. The important thing this time around was that they explained how Dutch Wife came to be a slang term for a sex doll, which is something I’ve always wondered. So, mystery solved. Thank you, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. There’s also a footnote that explains QR codes, and Mr. Horn explains he doesn’t have a cellphone himself, going on to describe the unlikely scenario of the President in his war room demanding that the manga editor be reached. But the way the scene is described in the footnote, it’s easy to imagine that the part that came before that line might have had something to do with contracting Duke Togo. And really, there’s only a few ways to contact him. And there’s only a few people in the US that can rattle that kind of info off the top of their head. Just sayin’.
Seriously, read this series. Go out right now and start from the beginning. There really is no horror comic like it. The horrifying moments are grouped together, surrounded by interesting mystery plots and bountiful sarcasm and eccentricity. I keep hoping desperately that each volume will contain more about Yaichi, but no dice yet. Maybe volume 13 will. Dark Horse hasn’t solicited it yet, but… as long as it comes out!