Manga: The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
aka: Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
"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 The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
business here, not a charity. Did you check the corpse's credit?"
is a Black Comedy
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—generally by giving the group permission to sell their belongings (after all, it's not like they'll need them anymore).
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.
Contains examples of: