Direction: Right to Left
By: Eiji Otsuka (Story) / Housui Yamazaki (Art)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Shounen, Slice of Life, spiritual
Availability: Volume / Omnibus
Five spiritualist students at a Buddhist college in Japan realize the job market is tough these days . . . among the living, that is! But the dead need jobs done too, so the five form the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, carrying out the last wishes of their cadaverous clients, so their souls can move on. But the Kurosagi gang are magnets for weirdness—not just corpses—and every case gets them involved in disturbing personal obsessions, bizarre modern Tokyo fads, and strange rituals of old Japan!
While out around town today I popped into my local Waterstones I came across two titles, this is the first, and one I’d honestly not been interested in before.
Something about this series always turned me off, so I’d never picked it up. I think it was the covers, however, it was on display in the branch so I picked up the first three volumes. Overall I have to admit that it surprised me!
The first three volumes while, not covering a lot in the character development area, does get a lot of ‘ability’ development, as it sets out the abilities of the team. Initially I didn’t think much of the story, but it does have a mysterious compelling pull to read, and by the end of the third volume I was hooked.
So what is the story, well it follows a team of graduate’s, graduates from a buddhist university. Although they’re graduates they’re not exactly the cream of the crop.
Kuro Karatsu, a guy who talks to the dead and is able to hear their last wishes, which usually entails their remains being taken somewhere. He does however seem to be possessed by a strange spirit of sorts.
Ao Sasaki, the boss, a skilled hacker who acts as the information gatherer for the company.
Makoto Numata, the walking mountain, he’s the dowser and finds ‘clients’ aka dead bodies with a pendulum.
Yuji Yata, a super genius though he tends to hide it. He also has a hand puppet which he claims is inhabited by an alien intelligence which has a bit of an odd attitude.
Keiko Makino, a young looking fashion conscious girl, who is a fully trained embalms, something of a rarity in japan. But it’s ideal for the business since it involves transporting bodies around.
The thing that I love is the way they all interact with each other, though admittedly given the so little development we’ve seen it’s hard to judge where things are going to go. However I do find I’m actually interested in finding out!
Art wise it’s pretty damn good. Yamazaki’s art is solid throughout. While his corpses aren’t ‘scary’ he does draw amazing settings which heighten the atmosphere really well. This results in some interesting, if disturbing images.
His character designs for the team are interesting, their disparity actually helps with the setting.
The story, like the character development, is pretty light at the moment. The story is thus far interesting, but so little has been revealed it’s essentially scene setting. Which I honestly love, it’s taking it’s time and setting good strong foundation.
Dark Horse did a great job with this release. The paper is good quality, the translation is solid with nothing jumping out at me as being off or out of place. The editing was spot on, with great choice of fonts making for an easy read, even by this blind as a bat reader! I especially loved the left in all the original sfx’s and stuff, and just moved it all to a glossary at the end. Perfect!
Overall this has been a very pleasant surprise which I wasn’t expecting. I’m going to be keeping this series on the go, and I’d recommend it as a good read, so long as you’re not squeamish.