The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Volume 5

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Volume 5

The great famine is over. There’s a new Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service volume.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service volume 14 came out summer 2015, seven years ago. There’s a note at the end of that book that they’re about to begin the Omnibus reprints, and the future of the series likely will depend on how those do. They did well. Still, this fifth collection, the first with new material, was originally planned for 2020 (but we know all kinds of publishing plans were disrupted around then).

Now it’s here. The fifth Omnibus collects the previously published volumes 13 and 14 and the new-to-English volume 15. It’s odd for me to enjoy this series, as I can’t normally stomach horror stories. But they’re enjoyable as tales of poetic revenge, and the motley band of death investigators are silly enough that I like reading about them.

Although I wrote about 13 and 14 when they came out, I reread them, as I didn’t recall at all what had happened in them. That was a benefit, as I found the stories in the middle volume the best of the bunch. Mainly because I love the American-style cartoon parody that takes place in it.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Volume 5

Volume 15 was, comparatively, a little bit of a let-down. Perhaps I’d forgotten how moody this series could be, but the three stories struck me as even more Japanese in context than much of the rest of the series. The first features a rich old woman who wants to return to the village where she grew up, as a typhoon is blowing in. The second combines robotics, mind control, a biker gang, and how a leader must protect his followers to maintain his honor, even after death. The third is set in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster and involves a savant and an apocalyptic cult. It was all pretty grim. I probably shouldn’t expect it to be otherwise.

I also found the format, a bind-up of the three digest-sized books, a bit unwieldy. It’s over 600 pages, so it can be tricky to read without breaking the spine. Each book has pages numbered individually, so the end notes can be followed. Those, by editor and adaptor Carl Gustav Horn, are a high point of the series, as he gives context and references but also wanders a bit into his own history and memories.

Specifically, this time, he finishes by talking about how the series will only continue as omnibus editions, and the price will rise as the contents won’t have been translated and lettered for separate books. Still, I’ll be there for it. Whenever it appears.

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