MPD Psycho vol. 6 – Eiji Otsuka

3 out of 5

This is a fun MPD Psycho entry, if a bit demystifying in how it seemingly lays bare the Whys behind the multiple personalities and eyeball barcodes. I say ‘seemingly’ because there’s certainly still room for Eiji to introduce story wrinkles down the line, and ‘demystifying’ because it all feels a little too “…to take over the world!” cheeky, and draws into question the need for the bizarre and violent murders that kicked the series off. It doesn’t drastically change things, necessarily – and allows Eiji to lean in to the dark humor that perpetuated throughout MPD, with the ongoing stream of personality clones that keep popping up, and the general dehumanization of its characters as chess pieces, to occasionally humorous extremes – but it zeroes in on a focus, whereas things up to point could be said to be defined by how almost random they were. Looking at it from that perspective, and considering that I’ve criticized earlier tankobons for not following up on plot threads, I should be thankful for how relatively linear volume 6 feels, but it’s probably a pacing hiccup that will feel less abrupt upon a reread.

After an incident with a stalker, Machi – and Sasayama – are brought in to the inner Gakuso workings, leading to some last minute character reveals which should tipple over nicely into the next chapters. Sho-u Tajima, having to contend with a large cast – which includes several iterations of the same personalities across different characters – has proven to be an ace at capturing the acting, and uses a lot of fantastically cinematic angles to maintain a slightly off-kilter feel from page to page.