Manga Review: The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 2


The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Volume 2The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Volume 2 by Eiji Otsuka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery service is a very interesting manga to describe, in terms of being a horror manga that contains elements of the supernatural, but is ultimately bases its horror out of what people do to each other, then it does with the actions of the restless dead – though those elements are there.

(view spoiler)[This volume takes things up another notch with the introduction of Nire Ceremony, a sort of opposite number to the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery service. While the gents of Kurosagi will help the dead with their last wishes for a reasonable fee, Nire Ceremony gives the families of murder victims presumed closure... by chaining the naked corpses of executed murderers to a wall, animating them, and then letting the families desecrate the bodies.

What makes this really work is how the story handles the situation. Nire Ceremony is clearly depicted as being sinister - but they're providing a service to people who have been wronged, and feel that even with the death of the person they wronged them, they still don't have the closure that they deserve. However, on the other hand, the story also depicts this as the final indignity to the families of these people, who committed no crimes on their own, but have been tarred with the same brush by society - societally ostracized for being related to a criminal, and because of this being unable to claim the body of their loved one for a proper funeral, thus allowing Nire Ceremony to provide a venue for the family to desecrate them.

If Japanese society's treatment of the families of criminals is even half as bad as its depicted in this book, then this makes for a great piece of social commentary, and I'd love to see more of this from manga creators in the future. (hide spoiler)]

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