Meet Kuro Karatsu. He can speak to the dead, or rather make them speak to him by touching their corpse. One day he joined up with a volunteer group from the campus of his Buddhist university. There's Makoto Numata, resident tough guy and corpse dowser, Yuji Yata, the nerd who has a sock puppet on his hand that channels and very rude alien, Keiko Makino, licensed embalmer and kind of a girly-girl, and Ao Sasaki, an expert hacker and collector of corpse pictures. After realizing Karatsu's talent, Sasaki decides to start a company to fulfill the dead's last wishes and make some money. Only problem, what money does a corpse have to spend?
And then there is Mail that focuses on Reiji Akiba, a detective that can see ghosts, thus taking on rather unusual jobs which usually also includes bullet-exorcism.
The reason I started a thread for both of these series together is because they are very similar in style and both are usually very episodic. Mail has only stories that are completely self-contained and KCDS is also very much in the same manner, though due to a recent change in serialization most stories now span two or three chapters. Still, they do keep things wrapped together so one can pick up any given volume without being required to pick up or read anything before it to really follow the story. Both series were also drawn by the same guy, Housui Yamazaki and there has been a crossover when Akiba appeared in one KCDS story, but with enough explanation not to confuse the reader.
However, KCDS is written by Eiji Ohtsuka who many may know as the writer of MPD Psycho. This also shows very much as KCDS is very well put together, dynamic and witty. There also has much to be said about the English translation from Dark Horse Comics which is nothing short of excellent. As someone who very much appreciates liner notes in the back it has also very much to offer in that department without becoming boring. I can't vouch for Mail in that regard as I've read Mail in german, but I'd put my trust into Dark Horse on that one.
Both series are also kind of graphic so expect to see a few mutilated corpses and simply fucked up things. It doesn't quite reach MPD Psycho level (ok, there's one scene in Kurosagi) but it can get gruesome. But it has to be mentioned that the biggest overlap between MPD Psycho and Kurosagi is the re-use of Tooru Sasayama, even though he looks and behaves a bit different. As evident by my description of the plot, both are classified as "Horror" though it should be noted that as with most japanese Horror it isn't much of "scare the shit out of you" type of horror but more the gross-you-out type.
While Mail is a decent series that doesn't overstay its welcome (it's only three volumes), it can't really hold a candle to Kurosagi which is just an excellent series overall in which the art and story just mesh very well and keeps the reader interested and entertained. AWO also once reviewed KCDS
but has yet to review Mail.
So, who's reading either or both of them?