5 out of 5
Throughout all of Kurosagi’s volumes, Eiji Otsuka has done two things consistently: taken a high concept setup of students with various “powers” who solve murders by interpreting clues from discovered dead bodies into something somehow bite-sized digestible and charmingly human; and turned in inventive variations on the ‘solve how I died’ conundrum each body presents.
Volume 13 is no slouch in either of those areas, going one step further by adding a whole new take on that setup, and then actually dropping a plot twist in, something we’d sort of gotten used to not occurring amongst our rather unchanging lead characters. That last bit isn’t a bad thing: part of what’s been so much fun about Kurosagi is how ‘normal’ all of our leads are, making the things they do seem hilariously mundane and making their status as sort of the not-cool-kids believable. It’s thus that much more rewarding to be given an evolution on that in this volume, as it only serves to enrich the characters we’ve come to know.
Three main stories occur over six ‘deliveries’: Suicides via mind control; Sasuki sits in as a judge on a murder case (an interesting spin on the jury system of American courts) and uses the group’s skills to redirect the resolution; a discovered artifact in a field oddly triggers Numata’s dowsing pendulum. The latter is the most ‘typical’ of a Kurosagi case, but all are extremely enjoyable, with the as-usual excellent art from Housui Yamazaki and, in this DH tankoban, also-as-usual entertaining notes from Carl Gustav Horn.