The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 11
Written by Eiji Otsuka, Art by Housui Yamazaki
Dark Horse, 232 pp.
Rating: 18 +
After a lengthy wait the 11th volume of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service has arrived! The latest installment includes one of the longest stories of the series as the gang finds themselves caught up in a case involving a young girl accused of murdering her family.
Eleven volumes in and the on going subplots are still kind of vague and rarely touched upon, but it doesn’t matter a whit as the series continues to be one of the best reads from any country. Otsuka creates an intriguing tale loosely based upon the now infamous Nevada-tan incident and uses it to criticize societies fascination with childhood murders and similar outrages. If that wasn’t enough, scattered throughout are references to other recent well known instances of violence, including a stabbing at a school which echoes similar incidents from several years ago and even a brief nod to the Akihabara van attack. As an outsider I’m not that privy to the ins and outs of Japanese societal concerns, but it’s nice to see a manga reference and discuss a few of the events I recognize. Of course topical subjects and plots ripped form the headlines aren’t all this volume has to offer as it also includes the wonderfully off beat humor that helps give the series a large portion of its charm. Watching Yata and Keerellis attempting to teach history class is comedy gold to say the least. In addition to that there’s a surprising, possible development in the ongoing story as well!
Yamazaki’s artwork continues to be clean and sharp and he maintains a fantastic eye for story telling. His characters are always interesting to look at with their own unique mannerism, dress style and more. Despite the contemporary setting a moment never goes by when you’re unable to tell folks apart. Likewise he gives enough time over to drawing backgrounds to help ground it in “the now” but not in a way where it will feel dated or alien to those not familiar with contemporary Japan.
This continues to be one of my favorite reads and is probably one of my top five manga series of all time. Fantastic writing, sharp art, interesting characters and just the right mix of horror and humor all combine to create a winning formula that keeps me coming back and helped make it one of my most anticipated reads, regardless of how long it takes to come out.
The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 11 is available now from Dark Horse Comics.