[[quoteright:315:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kurosagi_v03_136s_6124.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:315:"Just your ordinary, everyday delivery men". From the bottom and up: Karatsu, Sasaki, Makino, Numata, and Yata/Kereellis.]]

->''"Listen, Mr. My-karma-is-oh-so-spotless, we're running a ''business'' here, not a charity. Did you check the corpse's credit?"''
-->-- '''Sasaki'''

''The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service'' is a BlackComedy horror {{manga}} written by Eiji Otsuka and illustrated by Housui Yamazaki.

Answering an ad for volunteer work for extra credit, five students of a Buddhist university meet up at Aokigahara Forest, a real-life suicide spot. Kuro Karatsu, the viewpoint character, appears normal, but the rest are slightly...unusual. Ao Sasaki runs an internet chat room for people who like to share pictures of corpses. Makoto Numata can use a pendulum to dowse, but can only find dead bodies. Keiko Makino is a licensed embalmer in a country where close to 100% of bodies are cremated. And finally, Yuji Yata constantly wears a hand puppet that he believes is possessed by an alien called Kereellis.

As Karatsu decides that he doesn't really want to get mixed up with these weirdos, he turns to leave...and finds a corpse has crawled up behind him. His secret's out -- he can talk to the dead and listen to their last wishes. Sometimes, the dead come to him. When the events caused by the dead man's testimonial have all finished, Sasaki gets an idea: There's not much demand for what the group can do amongst the living, but there's ''always'' dead people. Some are bound to be grateful, in the folding-cash way, for what they could do for them.

Thus is created the concept of the {{Psychopomp}} For Hire, and so begins a dark, gory, squicky, yet frequently funny exploration of death and dying in Japan, and quite a few horror tropes as well. It's interesting for its episodic style - apart from the characters' back-stories and the arc regarding the origin of Karatsu's powers, each chapter is self-contained. The realistic art style and top-notch translation makes it something definitely worth reading, for those with a strong stomach.

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!!Contains examples of:

* AkashicRecords
* AmericansAreCowboys: Reina Gorn sports a cowboy hat.
* AstralProjection: Nene in the stand-up comic plotline of Volume 12.
* BackFromTheDead:
** Karatsu's ability allows him to temporarily bring the dead back to finish their business.
** [[spoiler:Nire employs a girl]] who can bring back the dead.
** One story deals with another character who can do this [[spoiler:(temporarily) with his MagicalDefibrillator.]]
* {{Badass}}: Numata.
* BaldOfAwesome: Karatsu.
* TheBait: Yata, at one point. Also see GotVolunteered.
* BandageMummy: Shinuhe's standard getup. He's even written Egyptian burial prayers on the inside of his bandages. It's unclear whether he was just horribly burned, or if he is an actual Egyptian mummy brought to Japan in the Edo period and brought to life by Nire Ritual--he has claimed both as explanations for his getup.
* BareYourMidriff: Some of Makino's outfits do this; also, see MsFanservice below.
* BlessedWithSuck: Pretty much the entire company, which is the reason they stick together. Their skills are very useful, but at one thing and one thing only (namely, working with corpses) and the idiosyncrasies that accompany their skills pretty much renders them all completely unemployable in any other sectors.
** Karatsu can talk with the dead. While this makes him the linchpin of the 'Corpse' part of the Kurosagi Delivery Service, it has given him alienation issues.
** Later in the series another character shows up who has the same ability, albeit more limited.
* BlindingBangs: Yata's kept his shaggy bangs since he was a kid.
* BodyHorror: Shows up occasionally.
** In part 4 of Vol. 4, [[spoiler:a parasite causes people to develop massively swollen eyes and a compulsion to climb tall things so their eyes can be pecked out by birds]].
** In the last chapter of vol. 13, [[spoiler:a man is turned into a tree in an extremely invasive manner]].
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler:Numata's dowsing master, when he confesses that he knew where Numata's parents' corpses were all the time and didn't tell him for fear of the killers.]]
* BrownNote: One episode concerns a sound that makes people want to kill themselves (entirely accidentally created).
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Shinuhe. Having burns is all well and good, but he apparently ''enjoys'' dressing like an Egyptian mummy...unless he actually ''is'' one.
* BuryMeNotOnTheLonePrairie: It's all part of the service.
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler:The first Nire storyline has a girl that can revivify the recently dead, but not very well. They turn into vengeful zombies, which usually doesn't come up, given what Nire actually uses the bodies for...]]
* CaptainObvious[=/=]{{Understatement}}: The MadDoctor, surrounded by the animated (and angry) corpses of his victims: "No... This isn't right."
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Karatsu, the medium. Whether he does it out of curiosity, boredom or the goodness of his heart, he just can't seem to abandon a penniless corpse in need. This is a frequent source of exasperation for Sasaki.
** Sasaki comments in the first volume that the reason the restless dead come to him is because he's "a guy that can't say no." For all that he's a cynical wiseass, he's astonishingly compassionate.
* ClusterFBomb: Kereellis, Yata's alien-possessed hand puppet, is very foul-mouthed; the others' language can get salty at times.
* CoolOldGuy: Sasayama.
* TheCoroner: Given that the protagonists work outside the law, they obviously don't have professionals to rely on. Makino (as an embalmer) usually fills this role in regards to the plot, but for professional aid they usually have to pull Sasayama into the case.
* CoverDrop: See IdiosyncraticCoverArt below.
* CreepyChild: Mei in Vol.11, although she has a good excuse for it.
* CrossOver: With ''Manga/MPDPsycho'' (through Sasayama) and ''Mail''.
* DangerouslyCloseShave: The crew had a run-in with a psychotic hair stylist who knocked out his victims, locked them in his back room and amputated them limb by limb with his razors.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Practically a requirement to be part of the group.
** It's suggested eventually that Sasayama's actually seeking out people with tragic pasts after enough experience with Karatsu and co., seeing as they tend to be the ones with supernatural powers.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:The 'ghost member'.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: The entire cast apply sarcasm liberally, though Kereellis is by far the worst.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: Sasaki believes in this trope, dismissing out of hand the need for the corpse of the man who murdered her parents and sister to apologize. This feeling may not be genuine when she says it, [[spoiler:although she and her sister do legitimately forgive him by the end of the story arc, mostly because it's revealed that he only killed her father, and someone else killed her mother and sister]].
* DemonicDummy: Well, more 'foul-mouthed alien' than 'demonic', really, but Kereellis qualifies, if only because he seems to be able to do things that normal ventriloquist dummies can't. [[spoiler:Although we're still not sure if it's not just a combination of Yata's powers and some dissociative mental disorder.]]
* DemonicPossession: A ghostly one, to be specific, and also fairly benign. [[spoiler:Karatsu is haunted by a scar-faced spirit called Yaichi, who gives him his powers to bring the dead back to life and seems to be devoted towards protecting him. The little girl from Shirosagi is also possessed by a similar ghost, and it is implied in volume 13 that Sasaki may be as well.]]
* DowsingDevice:
** Numata's pendulum, which works either on a ring or hanging from the rearview mirror of the Service's vehicle.
** Numata's mentor used bent coat hangers, and this was the method Numata first learned. [[spoiler:He uses it per his mentor's request to find his killer.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Several of the service's clients are suicides, including their very first.
* DropDeadGorgeous: See FanDisservice.
* DumbMuscle: Numata is ''dense''. It's frequently noted by the others, especially Makino and Kereelis.
* DueToTheDead: Giving the dead their due is what the service is for.
* DysfunctionJunction: [[spoiler:So far we've one whose entire immediate family (except one sister) was murdered, one who lost his sister and both parents to a murder-suicide and barely survived, one whose mother committed suicide in front of her, one whose parents and older brother 'disappeared' (and later discovers where their corpses are buried, but is unable to retrieve them) and the BlessedWithSuck entry above. [[WildMassGuessing His parents are probably dead too]].]]
* ElegantGothicLolita: Makino tends to go for this look.
* EvilCounterpart: The Shirosagi Corpse Cleaning Service, which performs the opposite service of the main characters and appear to have hostile intentions towards them.
* EvilPhone: Who knew insurance salesmen could be so deadly?
* EyeScream: Shows up in several different ways. The examples listed under BodyHorror both feature exceptionally graphic examples.
* FanDisservice:
** If someone is naked or nearly so, the chances are really good that he/she is either dead or in mortal danger. For instance, Makino's first nude scene [[spoiler:is as she's being prepped to be vivisected for a plastinated corpse exhibition]].
** Sasaki bathing Chihaya (who's in her early teens) in one of the {{Furo Scene}}s below.
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero -- Karatsu (psychic)
** TheLancer -- Sasaki (most commonly the foil to Karatsu. Also the TeamMom)
** TheBigGuy -- Numata (corpse dowser and muscle)
** TheSmartGuy -- Yata/Kereellis (Yata is a nerd and urban legends expert, while Kereellis is good for the occasional alien-babble)
** TheChick -- Makino (embalmer)
** TheSixthRanger -- ([[spoiler:Yaichi, the ghost possessing Karatsu]])
** TheMentor -- Sasayama, somewhat reluctantly
* FuroScene: A few of these, both for the guys and the girls. The one for Makino and Sasaki also serves as a bonding moment between them and Chihaya.
* GallowsHumour: Obviously.
* GenericCuteness: Averted. Realism is the order of the day.
* GilliganCut: When Karatsu sarcastically says that yeah, they could call the suspect in one story and ask to meet up. Cut to Yata finishing a call to the suspect. [[spoiler:He agrees.]]
* TheGlassesComeOff: Numata -- who is normally seen wearing SunglassesAtNight -- takes off his glasses once in order to identify himself to his old master.
* HotLibrarian: Sasaki is very attractive, very intelligent, and an extremely competent hacker.
* HotScientist: A [[PhenotypeStereotype stereotypical blonde American]] entomologist, wearing a bikini, in the fourth volume. Still didn't compensate for the BodyHorror in the same chapter.
** For bonus points, said bimbo scientist is named Reina {{Gorn}}.
* HumanPopsicle: One chapter is devoted to cryogenics, and feature a few of these.
* IdiosyncraticCoverArt: The tankobon covers all have two distinct features:
** They all feature pics of the group that follow a theme. For instance, on one cover the pics are digitally blurred. In another all the members are shown as kids. In another, they're all hand puppets just like Kereellis. The one exception is Karatsu, whose pic never changes.
** They all feature a diagrammatic illustration of the theme of one chapter within that particular tankobon.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The chapters are all named after obscure Japanese rock and pop albums and songs, with the chapters of each book usually being united by theme such as a common artist.
* TheImp: The hand puppet through which Yata talks to the aliens.
* [[spoiler:JackTheRipper: Shows up in a flashback story in volume 6.]]
* TheLabRat: Makino, occasionally, due to her embalming expertise.
* LaserGuidedKarma: After helping their first suicide victim and (with his permission) taking a lottery ticket from his corpse as 'payment', the group discover it's a winning ticket. It turns out to be just enough money for starting capital for the service, and the group continues to do their good deeds for promises of karmic payoff. Several villains also get defeated in a very karmic manner.
* LongLostRelative: Volume 13 brings a series of these out of the woodwork, [[spoiler:implying that not only is the creepy little girl in Shirosagi somehow related to Karatsu, but Sasaki is apparently his half-sister.]]
* MagicPlasticSurgery: The criminal conspiracy in Volume 12's MMORPG arc specialises in this. Just don't ask them where they get the replacement faces from...
* MagicalDefibrillator: One character uses a specialized AED to revive corpses.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Nene from the stand-up comedy arc. [[spoiler:Then, her boyfriend is killed.]]
* ManlyTears: Numata tends to do this a lot, or at least protests that his crying counts as manly tears a lot. But he also explains that the tears aren't manly if the emotion isn't genuine.
* MeaningfulName: Mr. Shinuhe the embalmer and suspected mummy, whose name is composed of the kanji for 'death' and 'door'. As the translation notes, '[[SarcasmMode not foreboding at all]]'.
** Seeing how he looks like an Egyptian mummy (or possibly is one), it might also be a reference to ''[[Literature/TheEgyptian Sinuhe the Egyptian]]'', a historical novel set in ancient Egypt.
* MegaNekko: Sasaki. She's even called this in the notes at the back of the English-language volumes.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler:Numata's dowsing master.]]
* MillionToOneChance: The evil insurance agent has learned how to manipulate the odds to make this a method of murder. [[spoiler:So naturally his KarmicDeath involves such an unlikely event.]]
* MisappliedPhlebotinum: A young scientist invents an invisibility suit [[spoiler:and uses it to sneak into women's locker rooms so he can watch them undress. At the end it's admitted his perversion actually saved the world from having invisible spies and assassins running around, so it's mostly a good thing.]]
* MomentKiller: [[spoiler:Makino's]] [[ShipTease walk with]] [[ButtMonkey Yata]] is interrupted by him being dragged off to help with an obese corpse.
-->'''[[spoiler:Makino:]]''' [[{{Lampshading}} So]] ''[[{{Lampshading}} this]]'' [[{{Lampshading}} is the punchline?]]
* MonsterOfTheWeek: [[JustForPun Revives]] this trope in the form of, "What's the story behind the corpse in ''this'' chapter?".
* MsFanservice:
** Sasaki seems to have built her wardrobe around BareYourMidriff, {{Stripperific}}, and VaporWear.
** Reina Gorn is a one-shot version.
* NauseaFuel: This happens in-universe when Yata tries to view some of Sasaki's pictures while eating. It...does not go well for him.
* NippleAndDimed: {{Averted|Trope}}, especially with Reina and Sasaki.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: {{Inverted|Trope}}. One chapter reveals that [[spoiler:when Sasaki is in her cycle, Karatsu can't access his power. The Shirosagi group appear to be wanting to use this for sinister purposes]].
* NotUsingTheZedWord: They don't ever call them that, but what else would you call it when the dead start moving? They have used it jokingly.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Jenny Kayama, Sasaki's professor. She looks as young as her student, but she's actually ''Sasayama's'' age.
* ParentalAbandonment: All of the Kurosagi crew, except possibly Karatsu, suffer from this in one form or another. [[spoiler:In volume 11, it's hypothesized that having your parents die violently when you're a small child increases your chance of developing odd abilities.]]
* PeekABooCorpse: Endemic. You're reading along, then all of a sudden STIFF OUT OF NOWHERE.
* PeoplePuppets: A villain in volume 13 has access to a device that lets her take control of people's muscles by remote control. She uses this to kill or enslave her victims.
* PerpetualPoverty: They're good at what they do. They aren't that good at doing anything else, which means they have to resort to odd jobs when the bodies dry up.
* PottyFailure: Shown graphically for some of the victims of the PeoplePuppets villain above. Being forced to stand in one place for 16 hours straight will tend to lead to that.
* PowersViaPossession:
** Yata, who is a channeler.
** [[spoiler:Karatsu, who is possessed by a benevolent spirit.]]
** [[spoiler:The girl in Shirosagi]], who is possessed by [[spoiler:a female spirit who is connected to Yaichi in some unrevealed manner]].
* {{Psychopomp}}: In addition to acting as this in general, the Service's symbol is ''kurosagi'', the black heron that takes souls to the land of the dead. Chapter 3 references both this and the white stork that bring souls into the world of the living.
* ThePsychoRangers: The Shirosagi Corpse Cleaning Service.
* PsychoSerum: Volume 11 has a short story about a serum that contain viruses used in gene therapy. It leads to buildup at muscle mass but screws up your circadian rhythm and makes the recipient go into a deathlike sleep during daytime.
* RedRightHand: What with his business suit, scar running across his head and missing leg, the Kurosagi crew's first reaction to Sasayama is to assume he's {{Yakuza}}. [[spoiler:He's an ex-detective.]]
* {{Revenge}}: [[spoiler:The female spirit possessing the girl in Shirosagi]] is ''pissed'' at [[spoiler:Yaichi]] for some reason, and their scheming is mainly to trap him so she can avenge herself on him.
* SadistTeacher: Played with in the school arc in Vol. 11. [[spoiler:The vice-principal is a nasty, shouting, stereotypical SadistTeacher, but the gentle, forgiving, principal is a serial child murderer.]]
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Karatsu was about to do this when he heard about Yata's alien-channeling hand puppet, but then the puppet exposed Karatsu's talent.
* ShipTease: In-story. As the story goes on, Sasaki gradually shows more and more of an interest in Karatsu, leading the others to wonder if there's something going on between them. [[spoiler:The readers learn later on that it's not what it seems--Sasaki suspects a connection between them, and eventually learns that they are half-siblings.]]
* ShoutOut:
** For starters, Numata makes many shout outs to classic shounen titles as a result of reading too much manga.
** Yata also has a few shout outs to ''Franchise/StarWars'', including a Darth Vader cellphone charm.
--->'''Yata''': (wielding a lightsaber) [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack You'll find I'm full of surprises!]]
** The one with the otaku-bot features the [[Manga/{{Berserk}} Dragonslayer]], or at least a fragile plastic replica.
** Later on, that same bot is labeled "03", noted in the Disjecta Membra for that volume as a reference to Unit 03 from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''.
** At one point Numata references, of all things, ComicBook/ChickTracts (specifically the "Here come de judge" line.)
* ShowWithinAShow: The anime/manga ''Magical Maid Girl Mumume-tan'', whose lead character Makino sometimes {{cosplay}}s.
* ShownTheirWork:
** ''Disjecta Membra'' - the section in each English volume that translates the SFX, and which doubles as UsefulNotes for Japan's writing system, culture and history. The 1st volume's, for instance, covers Aokigahara Forest, ''VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}}'', what's considered an 'old' building in Tokyo and Japan's construction industry, folklore, Buddhist altars, old manga, {{Easter Egg}}s in the story and emergency numbers.
** The manga itself tends to be fairly well-researched as well and provides mostly correct information (with a few embellishments) on many diverse topics, ranging from Egyptian funereal rites to the use of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adeno-associated_virus AAVs]] as a (potential) form of doping in sports.
* SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror
* StartToCorpse: The ''second page'' of the first volume.
* TheStoic: Sasaki. It's often lampshaded sarcastically by the others, and may be justified due to the medication she is taking [[spoiler:to suppress her childhood trauma]].
* SunglassesAtNight: Numata. [[spoiler:This being ''Kurosagi'', there is a genuinely tragic explanation for why.]]
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted. Sasaki is still going to therapy for [[spoiler:finding the corpses of her murdered family when she was eight]]. She's one of the saner members in the service.
* {{Tontine}}: In volume 3.
* TotallyRadical: From a cryonics poster from the 80s: ''"HOT" is a term of art meaning "gnarly"''
* TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening: Sort of a stretched-out version. It's implied that having a DarkAndTroubledPast increases your chances of developing weird powers, though it doesn't look like any one particular thing sets it off for anybody.
* UndeathAlwaysEnds: Karatsu's ability doesn't last for long, but usually long enough for the dead to do what they need to do to set things right.
* ValleyGirl: Makino lets bits of the accent slip into her speech but not to the point where it hides that she's actually very intelligent.
* {{Ventriloquism}}: The suspected truth about Yata's alien, especially for Numata.
* VerySpecialEpisode:
** ''Kurosagi'' addresses Japanese social ills like suicide or the justice system in several chapters. Goes with the territory, since the main characters' job is to clean the skeletons out of the closet, so to speak.
** [[spoiler:Kikuchi's introduction arc]] addresses abortion and infanticide.
* WaxMuseumMorgue: A very disturbing example. [[spoiler:Makino almost becomes a victim.]]
* WeirdnessMagnet: Sasayama has a reputation for this, especially in his last job. He's able to get away with -- and help the corpse delivery service with -- a lot of unusual things because people know that weird stuff just happens to him.
* WidgetSeries: The real-life "weird Japanese things" are almost as weird as the series itself.
* {{Zeerust}}: The Habama cryogenics corporation, which ran a cryogenics scam in the eighties, had an ad that claims that [[Film/EscapeFromNewYork by 1997, Manhattan will be a maximum-security prison]], [[Film/BladeRunner off-world colonies will be established by 2019]], and [[ThisIsGoingToBeHuge the billionth Betamax will be sold in 2052.]]

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