MPD-Psycho vol. 8 – Eiji Otsuka

4 out of 5

MPD-Psycho has always had an undercurrent of dark humor to it, but it was definitely second or third to the forefronted weirdness, and violence, and the daunting task of keeping straight the many emerging personalities within Amamiya. While the reveal of the whole Gakuso / eyeball / Monostone gambit took away some of that “twist every moment” sensibility, now that we’re on the other side of it, the series really feels like it’s becoming sharper, and gaining a new head of steam. …It also means the Otsuka’s inner Kurosagi Corpse-style humorist can come out more, and it’s a great look for the series.

Sasayama is investigating a new set of strange murders – missing ribs; angel wings – with a new, quirky partner; Machi is tangentially assisting, now “done” with Gakuso, but still bumping in to related people like Zenitsu, who have no need to be so mysterious about things anymore. Again, this actually allows the story to feel like it’s constantly moving forward, instead of stacking up a leaning tower of puzzle pieces, and now that we’re so used to our cast members, each page has a similar – but new – sense of excitement.

The first chapters of the set deal with the conclusion of the Tetora and Miwa showdown, and though Eiji has leaned in to the violence overkill at various points in MPD, this is one of those moments where it comes across as a little silly. But it definitely gets the story to where it needs to be going, though I’m now fearful of Eiji building things up to something really gripping, and then I’ll run smack dab into the “wall” of Dark Horse having stopped English printings of these after volume 11…