Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro Book 1

Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro can be a bit clueless. She wears a large hat and black overcoat while carrying her own coffin, filled with bats, on her back. (She resembles a Pilgrim mortician.) Then she wonders why the locals in the village she passes through mistake her for a vampire.

Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro Book 1 cover
Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro Book 1
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She doesn’t bother to explain herself, a trait that extends to the book itself. Everything’s vague — her intent, her motivations, how some situations are resolved — perhaps because of the format. The book collects 4-koma strips, consisting of four panels arranged vertically. That format is more often used for comedy (such as the popular Azumanga Daioh) than supernatural quest adventure. I’m not sure the combination works, because it makes for choppy, abrupt storytelling. Just as I got interested in some of the situations, they ended.

This book is just over 100 pages, but in order to give the strips enough room to be readable, the pages are bigger than the usual manga size. There are occasional color pages, too, which are standouts. Also strong are the cute characters, especially the two cat-eared children with an unusual mystical background. They work together amusingly, and the humorous dialogue is appreciated.

Overall, I don’t recommend this book — it’s forgettable, even just after closing the cover. Those interested in melancholy death elements with an adorable overlay might enjoy it more.

7 Comments

  1. […] Boyfriend and vol. 5 of Bring It On at Kuri-ousity. Johanna Draper Carlson is not impressed with vol. 1 of Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro at Comics Worth Reading. Connie works her way through the stack with reviews of vol. 1 of Kiichi […]

  2. […] Johanna Draper Carlson on the first volume of Satoko Kiyuduki’s goth comedy series Shoulder-a-Coffin […]

  3. I strongly disagree with this review.The fun of mystery to a story is good.And a bit of darkness to a cutesy world is popular check out gloomybear.

  4. I IN FACT LOVE SHOULDER A COFFIN KURO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just love slightly dark stories. I think that anybody with a mind would enjoy this story.

  5. […] some 4-koma, it can be difficult to grasp the distinctions among the characters or follow development at a short length, or the comedy might not translate. My favorites are those where simply defined but funny […]

  6. Its begin look like fantasy comedy. But it ended up Realism fantasy.

  7. […] of Azumanga Daioh will find a lot to like here. Another of author Satoko Kiyuduki’s works, Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, was previously released in the U.S., but the lighter mood here is more approachable, in my […]

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