Characters / The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service team

    Group Tropes 
  • Blessed with Suck: All of them.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Outside of Sasaki's computer-hacking and social skills, they've all got death-related or plain outlandish skills that don't translate to "normal" jobs. Makino also counts since she's a licensed embalmer in a country where cremation is the norm, so she's not likely to get any business due to cultural reasons.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of them.
    • Sasaki's parents and one of her sisters were murdered when she was very young, and when she was eight she found their corpses, resulting in deep trauma that required constant psychological therapy and very strong antidepressant medicine. And it turns out that her dead mother and sister were murdered by someone else but framed the man who only killed her father.
    • Numata's parents were murdered and dumped somewhere. His old dowsing teacher knew exactly where their bodies were buried, but didn't tell him until after the teacher dies several years later due to fear of becoming the killers' next target.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Applied liberally by all members, but Keerellis, Yata's felt hand puppet, is the worst offender.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of them have personal issues and bad pasts that shaped them into the people they are today.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A rare heroic example; 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.
  • Only Sane Man: They tend to trade places each story depending upon who's in focus; sometimes it's Sasaki, other times it's Karatsu, but they all have their moments of temporary insanity.
  • Parental Abandonment: All of them, except maybe Karatsu. It's suggested in Volume 11 that having your parents die violently when you're a small child increases your chance of developing odd abilities, which may explain why three members of the Kurosagi team have Psychic Powers.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Since dead clients can't really pay, the Kurosagi gang often have to take up odd jobs in order to feed themselves. They soon get jobs as a corpse delivery service but even then it barely keeps them afloat.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Yata is a channeler whose felt hand puppet may or may not be possessed by an alien.
    • Karatsu is an itako who can communicate with the dead and revive them long enough so they can finish their unfinished business. Actually, he's possessed by a benevolent spirit (an ancestor maybe?) who's doing the real work.
    • Numata is a dowser who uses a pendulum to find hidden corpses and dead tissue. He can also dowse for people who are going to die.
  • Psychopomp: In addition to acting as this in general, the group's symbol is kurosagi, the black heron that takes souls to the land of the dead.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: All of them utter curse words at some point, but Keerellis is the worst of the lot.
  • Unfinished Business: What the main characters specialize in. The manner of death doesn't matter - if you got any last requests, the Kurosagi team will make sure those requests are fulfilled. But sometimes... what the dead want isn't very specific.

    Kuro Karatsu 
A Senior at an average Buddhist university. He can hear the voices of the dead.
  • Bald of Awesome: He's a Buddhist, so yeah, he has to be bald. Also, he sees dead people.
  • Blessed with Suck: He can talk with the dead, 'nuff said. While this makes him the linchpin of the 'Corpse' part of the Kurosagi Delivery Service, it has given him alienation issues.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Has one in Volume 1.
  • Character Development: Becomes more heroic as the series progresses.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Whether he does it out of curiosity, boredom or the goodness of his heart, Karatsu just can't seem to abandon a penniless corpse in need. This is a frequent source of exasperation for Sasaki, who 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.
  • Got Volunteered: Was roped into the Kurosagi team in Volume 1 thanks to Keerellis, more or less.
  • Face Palm: Does this in Volume 1's first chapter when Sasaki was running late.
  • How We Got Here: The first chapter of Volume 1 has him having a flashback as to how he got roped in with the Kurosagi team.
  • Insistent Terminology: Calls Grave Robbing "body-borrowing".
  • Japanese Ranguage: On occasion he will mispronounce a Japanese word as something else and quickly get corrected.
  • Kubrick Stare: Sometimes does this when reviving a corpse and setting them on the case's Big Bad.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He's actually Sasaki's half-brother.
  • Powers via Possession: His I See Dead People ability actually comes from a benevolent spirit who's using his body as a conduit.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Back from the Dead: He has the power to temporarily revive the dead long enough for them to finish any Unfinished Business. Usually it results in someone's Karmic Death.
    • I See Dead People: He's an itako, which allows him to communicate with the dead by touching a corpse. That itako are supposed to be women doesn't seem to stop him. Every time he uses the power, though, the ghost of a blind priestess appears behind him. It may be an ancestor of his doing the actual work.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tries to do this in the first volume, not wanting to mix in with a group of weirdos who like dead bodies a little too much. Then his I See Dead People ability got exposed, and the rest is history.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Is occasionally seen smoking, despite going to a Buddhist university.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:

    Ao Sasaki 
"Let's go see some dead people!"
The founder of Kurosagi, she takes pictures of the dead to sell on the internet and gathers information.
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Bare Your Midriff: Some of her outfits expose her midsection.
  • Broken Bird: Once her past and trauma are revealed.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Sasaki's parents and one of her sisters were murdered when she was very young, and when she was eight she found their corpses, resulting in deep trauma that required constant psychological therapy and very strong antidepressant medicine. And then she found out, some years later after the murders, that someone else murdered her mother and sister.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Believes in this trope, dismissing out of hand the need for the corpse of the man who murdered her parents and one of her sisters to apologize. This feeling may not be genuine when she says it, 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.
  • Forum Pecking Order: She runs the Kurosagi Corpse Chat, where people are allowed to post and share pictures of corpses.
  • Grave Robbing: Technically they haven't been buried yet, but she's still stealing a corpse and not contacting the police.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She's actually Karatsu's half-sister.
  • Meaningful Rename: Her birth name is "Saito", but she changed it to "Sasaki" after the murder of her parents and one of her sisters, and being subsequently adopted by relatives.
  • Mission Control: Thanks to being the admin of an online corpse forum, she can gather information more quickly that is outside of the group's normal capabilities. That being said, she doesn't actively participate in most of the cases Kurosagi deals with. It's later exploited in Volume 3 when, during a case involving illegal organ trafficking, the others needed an excuse to find a missing kidney so they left her behind at a hospital.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In wardrobe, if not personality.
  • Nausea Fuel: Her corpse photos served as an In-Universe example for Yata, who tried to look at them while eating. It didn't end well for him.
  • The Stoic: Sasaki is frequently this, which is sarcastically lampshaded by her friends. Later heartbreakingly justified with the reveal that she had been taking very strong antidepressants to suppress the trauma of discovering the corpses of her murdered parents and one of her sisters when she was eight.
  • Team Mom
  • The Team Normal: She and Makino are the only ones without any odd powers. She's also the only one with a full range of social skills. That said, she's on some pretty hardcore antidepressants and seeing a therapist.

    Makoto Numata 
A member of Kurosagi, he can dowse with a pendulum to locate dead bodies.
  • Badass: This guy punch-stopped a truck!
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's a leather-clad tough guy who wears Cool Shades and once punch-stopped a truck. He's also very emotional, likes teen idol music, and even prone to shed Manly Tears.
  • Cool Shades: Is constantly wearing these, even when he was a kid. There's a tragic reason for it.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Brought some camping supplies with him on their graveyard trip.
  • Dowsing Device: He has a skull ring that turns into a pendulum which can be used to locate corpses and dead tissue. It can even locate people who are going to die.
  • Driven to Suicide: Attempts to drive himself in front of an oncoming train after hearing a song that makes people kill themselves, forgetting that Karatsu and Yata are with him. Luckily, they save him at the last minute.
  • Dumb Muscle: He's not completely stupid, but most of the time he's really dense (and once punched out a moving truck's windshield). It's frequently noted by the others, especially Makino and Kereelis.
  • Geek: Reads a lot of shonen manga, and makes a lot of shout-outs due to this. Also a fan of teen pop idols.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He has a goatee, but he's a good guy and one of the main protagonists.
  • Harmless Electrocution: During a case involving a Corrupt Corporate Executive who murders people via Million-to-One Chance, Numata is struck by lightning. Also subverted - due to being in a vehicle at the time, he got away with light burns, which could've been a lot worse if he actually was standing outside.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He's usually wearing a leather jacket, including the sleeveless ones.
  • Hidden Depths: His being a fan of a teen pop idol allowed him to give his friends background information on their first case where a guy who committed suicide is trying to find his girlfriend.
  • Luminescent Blush: Tends to blush a lot.
  • Manly Tears: Numata is prone to shedding these, 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.
  • Meaningful Name: "Makoto" means "truth" or "sincerity" in Japanese. A fitting name for someone who is a corpse dowser.
  • Parental Abandonment: Numata's parents are deceased. They were murdered. Numata's old dowsing teacher knew where their corpses were all along, but didn't tell him out of fear he'll be the killers' next target until after he died.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's the fan of a teen idol. Also reads a lot of shonen manga that leads to him making a lot of shout-outs. Also reads romance novels.
  • Smoking Is Cool: He smokes from time to time.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Is always wearing his Cool Shades no matter what time or season it is. He later takes them off in one chapter so his old dowsing teacher can identify him.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The others rib him for his dowsing, because a) it's his only real skill b) he can't find anything other than corpses. Or any dead tissue. Or people who are going to die.

    Keiko Makino 
A member of Kurosagi. She's an embalmer, which she learned from studying abroad.
  • The Coroner: Usually serves as this for the group due to being a licensed embalmer. For professional aid, however, the group turns to Sasayama.
  • Cosplay: At one point she had to dress up as a character from a Show With In A Show for the funeral of a manga artist.
  • Damsel in Distress: She was kidnapped by a Mad Doctor who seeks to preserve her corpse and turn her into a museum display. Karatsu saves her by reanimating all the bodies of the doctor's angry victims, who kill the doctor and rescue Makino.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Sometimes.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: During a case, she discovers that Kei Tsutsui, a friend and former classmate in America she looked up to, was misusing his embalming skills to create what he calls "the perfect corpse". The devastation is clear on her face.
  • Every Girl Is Cuter with Hair Decs: She's a university grad student who works as an embalmer (which is a strange occupation in Japan since cremation is strongly preferred to burial). Her constant use of hair decorations makes her younger than she actually is.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She frequently styles her hair as these. Or braids. Or some other variant.
  • Hair Decorations: Frequently wears barrettes and the like in her hair.
  • Hes Not My Boyfriend: She used to attend an embalming school in America with a fellow male Japanese student whom she saw as an older brother figure. Sasaki pokes fun at their relationship, causing some denial. Turns out he's the Big Bad of a case Makino and friends were working on.
  • Hostage Situation: She was more or less taken hostage by Mr. Yamakawa in Volume 1's first chapter.
  • Ironic Name: "Keiko" means "blessed child". Her occupation as a licensed embalmer in a country that strongly prefers cremation makes her anything but.
  • Kawaiiko
  • The Lab Rat: Sometimes, but she's more likely to be out gathering information with the rest.
  • Older Than They Look: She looks about nine, yet is a senior in university and is a licensed embalmer.
  • The Team Normal: She and Sasaki are the only ones without any odd powers.
  • Valley Girl: Makino lets bits of the accent slip into her speech, but not to the point where it hides that she's actually very intelligent. Justified as she briefly studied overseas in America, allowing her to pick up the accent.

    Yuji Yata 
A member of Kurosagi. He channels aliens through his sock puppet, Keerellis.
  • Blinding Bangs: Apparently he had these even when he was a kid.
  • Butt Monkey: He gets picked on his friends (usually Numata or Karatsu) usually because of what Keerellis said. In one case he Got Volunteered as The Bait (long story behind that) and would've died if his friends hadn't come at the last minute.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Averted. He's actually pretty normal despite wearing a hand puppet that may or may not be possessed by a real alien.
  • Disabled Snarker: Like his friends, Yata can be sarcastic when the mood strikes. He also has a heart condition, meaning too much physical exertion is bad.
  • Geek: Is a fan of science fiction and Star Wars (called "Star Peace" here), and owns quite a lot of memorabilia. Despite it, he insists he's a nerd as they're smarter.
  • Powers via Possession: Yata is a channeler who is implied to be possessed by an alien who talks through his sock puppet.
  • Precision F-Strike: Utters the F-word in Volume 4.
  • Ventriloquism: It's ambiguous whether Keerellis is a real alien or just something Yata made up. You can't see lips move in a manga. It's implied Keerellis is real, and he's possessing Yata.

    Keerellis 
Yata's alien sock puppet, who is (technically) a member of Kurosagi through Yata.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's pretty spacey, and his advice isn't very useful most of the time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Easily the worst offender of Kurosagi.
  • Demonic Dummy: It's ambiguous whether Yata's sock puppet is actually possessed or it's just something Yata made up. There are hints that the former is actually true.
  • Flipping the Bird: To Numata at one point.
    I got a middle finger for you, and it's made of felt!
  • Jerkass: Oh so much. When he's not helping the Kurosagi team (which is almost never), he's snarking/swearing at them. And most of the time his host Yuta pays for it.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: If Keerellis is a real alien, he's certainly suffering from this, seeing as he's outright offended when the group tries to dissect a doll.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Keerellis occasionally notices very important things the others don't. Unfortunately, he tends to get brushed off when he points them out (even by Yata!).
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Easily the most potty-mouthed, though the other Kurosagi members have their moments.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: His official role in the group, according to him, is "cosmic advice and odd jobs." And Keerellis' advice isn't particularly useful a lot of the time.
    • It's eventually revealed that Keerellis isn't quite as useless as expected, as he apparently has access to the Akashic Records, which might be the universe's version of the afterlife (or at least connected to it.) However, all he's done with this ability is commune with the spirit of a dead goldfish.

Recurring Characters

    Sasayama 
A former police detective who now handles the dead and other social services issues in their prefecture of the city. Naturally, they increasingly come into contact with him as the series progresses.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: He's a social welfare worker. Is capable of handling his own, and frequently lends a hand to Kurosagi.
  • Bald of Awesome: He has a bald, scarred head, but he's the one the Kurosagi gang turn to whenever they need professional help.
  • Canon Welding: He's an older version of a character from Ohtsuka's other manga MPD Psycho.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's several years older than the manga he came from. Several times he proves he still has it in him to save the day, especially when the Kurosagi gang is concerned.
  • Face of a Thug: Frequently lampshaded that he looks like a yakuza. Their first meeting had the Kurosagi gang assuming he had a loaded business card!
  • Handicapped Badass: Has an artificial leg. Doesn't help him from aiding the Kurosagi gang sometimes.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Was a lot more handsome with a full head of hair back in MPD Psycho when he was a police detective with no scars or a peg-leg.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Is always seen wearing a suit. Unfortunately, it makes him look like a yakuza member to Kurosagi.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Apparently he has a cousin who has the same scarred bald head and artificial leg.
  • Weirdness Magnet: He references this almost by name.
    Sasayama: Everyone knows old Sasayama's reputation - the greatest loony magnet ever to walk a Tokyo beat.
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