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Dark Horse was founded in America in the 1980s. "...with the concept of establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals." Their titles are a lot different from those I have previously reviewed whose publishers were tokyopop and shojo beat.
Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki
Also known for writing the equally graphic and gory MPD Psycho and Mail series these artists are top of their game in creating graphic horror manga.
For your information
I would just like to say first of all that this manga is graphically gruesome and is very different from the other manga reviews I have written in the past. So if you are squeamish or religious you may be offended by some of the stuff I am going to write about in this review.
With that aside "Let's go see some dead people"!
Kuro is a regular male final year student looking for some extra credit work however instead of volunteering for the elderly or doing an extra piece of coursework he ends up in a detective agency for the dead. The art style for this manga is excessively graphic and very different from tradition Japanese manga styles it looks and feels a lot more western. There are no talking animals, big cute eyes or fan service in this series.
I could compare this most to the cartoon series the extreme Ghostbusters which was around in the 90s except instead of sucking souls up a make shift vacuum cleaner this group actually communicates or relays messages by the dead as in the corpses so that their souls can rest in peace, which is difficult since some of the corpses either committed suicide pacts but are missing members of the pact or are brutally murdered and chopped up. So the first volume is really like the creation of the corpse detective agency in which the characters have to reunite the corpses either with the person they were supposed to die with or to the place where they were supposed to be buried.
Kuro Karatsu-A final year student at the Buddhist University in Japan. A good looking guy looking for some extra credit work experience he has the ability to communicate with the recently deceased providing he touches them. He isn't terribly happy about his special ability however.
Numata- Dressed somewhat like a rock star, he is a dowser though instead of finding water he finds the dead. He also seems to be a fan of cult pop music and has no issue dealing with the dead.
Makino- She seems to be a lot younger and cuter than the rest of the group with little pigtails, though she takes her embalming very seriously.
Yata and the puppet- Yata is a rather inverted channeler who seems to go along with the group without any objections. His puppet on the other hand has no problem shouting foul insults at anyone in range however. The voice which the puppet has is disjointed and similar to that of a radio; supposedly this voice is that of aliens.
Sasaki- The brains and manager of the group she has no problem taking pictures of the dead and selling them online or having the rest of the team drag well dead rotting or mummified corpses across Japan.
1st Delivery: Less than Happy- The chapter opens with a big double page of a suicide victim who has decided to hang himself followed by the very dead corpse swinging until the rope breaks and then crawling off into the undergrowth of the forest. In this chapter the group is united for the first time and they must find this guys also deceased girlfriend who has been taken away from the area where they both committed suicide together. This has a very gory and violent conclusion.
2nd Delivery: Lonely People-The group find an old, dead and mummified woman in a wardrobe in the middle of a dump. In order to fulfil her wishes the team must find the field of Dendera which doesn't seem to exist any longer. Expect to see lots of drawings of dead mummified people.
3rd Delivery: Magician of Lost Love- A murderer claiming to be an avid artist is murdering girls by the dozen chopping them apart at the limb joints and then reattaching them together to form new individuals. The team must find out who this person, why they are doing it and try to stop them.
4th Delivery: September Rain-The team find a drowned victim who claims that all her insurance money was stolen from her before she was killed. The team must uncover the villain who committed the fraud.
Not wanting to divulge the story too much I will just say this volume has a lot of the walking dead but not in the zombie sense as they only have revenge on their minds.
Can be purchased for somewhere in the range of £5-£9 online on the likes of amazon