The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 14

By Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki. Released in Japan as “Kurosagi Shitai Takuhaibin” by Kadokawa Shoten, serialization ongoing in the magazine Young Ace. Released in North America by Dark Horse.

It’s been a long time since the last volume – two and a half years, in fact – even though the manga is still clipping along at a reasonable pace in Japan. Sadly, the reasons for this are the same reasons that we aren’t seeing Eden: It’s an Endless World or Translucent. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service doesn’t sell well enough to justify its continuing expense. That said, Dark Horse are certainly giving it more chances than the other two (the potential movie rights help a lot), and Carl Horn talks about the Omnibus Editions coming out in the fall – specifically, that we should get folks to buy them if we want to see Vol. 15. Like corpse delivery, manga can be a cutthroat business.


What we get from this volume are 3 solid stories, all of varying types, which show us why this series is such a hit. The first is one that cries out to my Higurashi loving soul, as the premise is a corrupt politician who is trying to get a dam put in that will destroy a backwater town, and the dam protests that happen as a result. Of course, this politician is taking care of the problem in a more murderous way, the better to involve our heroes. What’s more important here is the introduction of a new sort-of antagonist, who has created an app that lets him find corpses and see their thoughts, and thus creates his own fake Corpse Delivery Service to lure out the real one. This series is fond of picking up plot arcs and dropping them, so I suspect he may not show up for a bit. He certainly makes himself known, though, casually solving the murder of Numata’s family just to show off.

The second story explains the title portraits, drawn in a simplified “western” style. We get a couple of chapters of what the series would look like transplanted to America, with a bit more snark and grotesqueries, but the same old horrible murders, this one of a couple with a fancy tattoo cut off of their bodies. It was cute, but honestly made the least impression on me, and I felt the comedy ending was a bit forced.

The last part gets back into the dangerous political waters this series is also known for – it’s courted controversy several times, bringing up stuff the government would rather the Japanese people forget. There’s no real-life comparison here, but certainly it’s a great example of bureaucracy taken to fatal extremes, particularly when up against a politician trying to cut down on wasteful practices. Ranou’s death is sudden and horrific, made all the more tragic by the fact that we actually meet and sympathize with her first – she’s someone Sasaki can intern for, so we know she’s respectable. She gets the last word, but sadly only in the way all the dead people in this series do.

This was a good, solid volume of the series that will make fans happy it came out. As for those who haven’t read the series – please, I beg you, get the first omnibus when it comes out this September.

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  1. themooninautumn says

    I second the motion! This series is amazing, as is the care Dark Horse has taken with it. It deserves a wider audience to appreciate it and continue its English run. : )

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