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31 Days of Horror: KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE

Eiji Otsuka (MPD Psycho) is a bit of a crazy dude. Since MPD’s conception more than 15-years ago, Otsuka has become the master of the shock horror manga scene. Aside from defining an entire manga genre, he has widely influenced anime, film, and written horror in both the East and West. Otsuka is, by definition, a mad genius.

Since 2002, Otsuka crossed over to create another shockingly horrific gore manga series titled Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Widely popular within the horror circuit in Japan, mildly successful in the West. However, after almost 2 years of no word and no publications, Dark Horse Comics confirmed at 2014’s Comic Con that they will be continuing the series in 2015.

Story

Each chapter in the 16-book series tells of another tragic story: A love gone sour, a suicide pact, a young girl’s rape, murder, and revenge, an idol obsession, and an ancient curse. All of which are just another day in the life for the 5 members of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.

The series begins with our Kurosagi cast on the brink of graduation from Buddhist College. In order to pick up some volunteer work, our protagonist Kuro Karatsu is roped into assisting monks with chants at Aokigahara forest — otherwise known as suicide forest — near the foot of Mount Fuji. He may not be the best or brightest among his peers, but Karatsu soon unveils that he has a gift: he can speak with the dead.

Thankfully, Karatsu soon finds he fits right in with the Kurosagi team, and after a lucky break assisting a corpse that paid, he decided to join their ranks. Joining forces with a dowser named Numata, who can track dead bodies; Makino, a prodigy and embalmer; Yata, a channeler who can speak to aliens through a puppet — well, at least one alien; and the founder and brains of the outfit, Sasaki; Karatsu embarks on a strange new journey seeking closure for the deceased.

Combining comedy and horror, Kurosagi is a phenomenal blend of brutality and humor that weaves a fascinatingly engulfing story sure to sate any Asian horror, shock horror, or mature manga fan alike.

Gore & Scares

Kurosagi is as uncomfortable, brutal, and terrifying as any Asian horror film. There’s a sort of impression one feels going into a horror comic or manga that it won’t be as frightening as a film, however, as you stare down at the black and white image of a naked, limbless woman, or a box of decapitated heads, you begin to change your ideals. It only takes a moment to realize that staring at such appalling and vicious brutality just inches from your face is just as stomach-wrenching as most films today.

Overall

If there’s one thing Otsuka does right, it’s unique and gruesome horror. A sort of Miike for comics, Otsuka is not only a brilliant storyteller, but also an amazing visionary. Rarely can a book or comic evoke the kind of terror Otsuka can, and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service thoroughly proves why he is the name to turn to for shock horror in manga.

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cover image via

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Categories: Manga Reviews

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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One Comment on “31 Days of Horror: KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE”

  1. 02/19/2015 at 5:08 PM #

    Reblogged this on Rice Cake.

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