THE KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE
Writer: Eiji Otsuka
Artist: Housui Yamazaki
Publisher: Dark Horse
Warning, this is a dark one!
I recently picked up this big omnibus edition, based on it’s really cool cover. The title and synopsis are a clear giveaway that death is the main topic of this manga. It doesn’t sound very enticing, mainly weird and obviously I had to bring it home with me. Whenever a manga is wrapped in plastic, you can be assured of NSFW pages. The fact I couldn’t check out the contents because of the wrapping made me even more curious to start reading. Unlike most of the new stuff I buy, this book had never hit my radar. This beautiful strange big manga was a complete mystery to me, I just HAD TO find out more. If I’m being completely honest, after reading the first few pages... I regretted my curiosity. The storytelling seemed stiff and as expected, the story was weird, maybe too weird for me? For some reason this one seems too far fetched for my mind to just sit back and enjoy.
This horror manga series is written by Eiji Otsaku and illustrated by Housui Yamazaki, Japanese version was first published in 2002 and the English version arrived in 2006. It’s about a crew of young graduates from a buddhist school, essentially figuring out how to get a job with a decent income after finishing school. They end up getting together to form The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, a team of five people who each bring their own very special gift or specific knowledge to make this operation work. One has the ability to lead a team, one can locate the corpses while another one can talk to them. Their main objective is to bring peace to the corpses and naturally run into all sorts of adventures (or rather problems) following dead people’s directions.
Once I could wrap my head around the story and the dry writing, I started to enjoy this first omnibus. Next to all the horrifying elements, there is also quite a bit of humor present that makes the story easier to read. Our five main characters have a great dynamic together, depending on the adventure one person gets more attention, ensuring you will get to know more about all of them. They are all interesting enough for me to get excited to go out and get the second omnibus. They get into some crazy adventures all obviously (and luckily) very unrealistic, however the artstyle is harshly realistic making it extra scary. The type of storytelling can be compared to Junji Ito, over-the-top horror elements set in a realistic environment making it more haunting.
If you are interested in horror stories, this will for sure be one of the most unique ones you’ll read. The illustrations can be incredibly graphic so I advise to approach with caution!