Manga review: The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

Status: read 3 issues


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A graduating group of students at a Buddhist University – do those even exist? – have few job opportunities. Turns out there’s not that much demand for monks and funeral home assistants. So they decide because of their special abilities to go into business for themselves.

By special abilities, I don’t mean praying and chanting. As picture above: Makato Numata can find the dead by dowsing; Keiko Makino is a master embalmer; Yuji Yata’s hand puppet channels an alien; Kuro Karatsu can hear the thoughts of the dead; and Ao Sasaki is a master researcher and hacker.

The business they form is euphemistically called a “Corpse Delivery Service”. What they really do is investigate the deaths of their clients – dead people they find – and try to earn some money setting their matters straight. Along the way they run into a lot of supernatural intrigue and skulduggery. Kinda like Scooby Doo meets The X-Files.

kurosagi_cover.gif This manga has a killer concept but it’s the execution that doesn’t quite make it come alive for me.

My biggest gripe with Kurosagi is the artwork. I find it too loose and amateurish – it has a very 80s indie comic look. Except for the occasional close up, faces tend to look unbalanced. However, it seems to be this illustrator’s style and not inexperience, so it’s just not my taste.

The stories themselves are page turners with freaky and very original plots. But they lack depth. They rarely reveal anything about the main characters, and in a long series, that’s what you need to tie all the stories together.

Despite all that, Kurosagi is definitely a fun read, and by book three, the stories are moving at a great pace and becoming more intricate. So I’ll probably continue for at least another issue, but if something big isn’t revealed soon – like who the hell is that stitched up ghost lady that appears behind Karatsu? – then it’s off to the morgue with this one.


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