Friday, August 21, 2009
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 3
The story: This volume is broken up into three distinctive stories: one about an illegal immigrant who is involved with a black-market organ transplant ring, a mysterious group "playing" at homicide and the discovery of a song that causes people to commit suicide. In the first story, Numata and Karatsu come across a near-death immigrant. While the man was not dead quite yet, they do meet up with him—and other pieces of him—soon enough. In investigating a ring of black-market organ transplants, the Kurosagi group meets Mr. Sasayama, a yakuza-looking man with the social welfare office in Shinjuku. Eventually, the group returns the various pieces of the immigrant to his home in the Middle East. In the second story, it seems that Yata, Numata and Karatsu have taken on part-time jobs for the local newspaper. In selling and delivering newspapers, they discover a dead body and a mysterious group of people who have made a game of killing one another. In the last story, the group investigates a rash of suicides near train stations throughout the Tokyo area.
Reaction: There are some pretty funny moments here, from the Rob Schneider-esque baldy nickname jokes to the jokes about a "Halal sausage fest." Of course, this helps balance out the otherwise grim and gruesome subject matter. Out of the three distinct stories, I probably liked the first and last ones the most because of the mysterious appearance of Karatsu's "helper spirit." This helper spirit, a woman with a scarred face, usually appears behind him when he temporarily reanimates the dead. Her appearance intrigues me so much, especially since Karatsu isn't particularly concerned about her involvement and influence over his skill.
Deep thoughts: Black market organ transplants are big business in certain parts of the world. While most countries have outlawed the practice, it's still difficult for those in need of a healthy organ, such as a kidney, to find a match. So, instead, they languish for years on transplant lists until someone appropriate can donate what they need. Still, others will pay for an organ from a willing donor, while others will sell the organs of unwilling donors. It's a dirty business and only underscores the importance of people making sure they're on donor lists, if appropriate.
Artwork: Perhaps I didn't notice it up until now, but Ao really wears some racy clothes, if any at all. From a see-through, spiderweb-patterned shirt to a lace-up, skin-tight shirt, her boobs always seem to be on display. On the flip side, Makino's appearance doesn't bother me as much as it did in the first volume, especially since she just seems to be more of a candy lolita type. In the second story, I really enjoyed seeing the inside of Yata's apartment, since it reveals him to be a toy-collecting otaku. Again, we're treated to a quick flash of his eyes during his one heroic moment. For some reason, he's become one of my favorite characters, probably because he's such a nerd!
The verdict: Highly recommended. While this volume seemed more episodic and disjointed than others, I liked the subjects explored. From war and the black market for organs to suicide, Kursagi Corpse Delivery Service never fails to make me think and laugh nearly simultaneously. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is available in the U.S. from Dark Horse.