Manga Village

MPD Psycho Volume 8

April 11, 2009

“There’s just…dead bodies everywhere.”

By: Eiji Otsuka and Shou Tajima
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Horror
Range: Mature 18+
Price: 12.95 USD

I have spent much of the last few months comparing MPD-Psycho to a roller coaster ride. A lot is asked of the reader the first couple volumes, a little like loading into the coaster and easing up the first big drop. At about Volume 3 and 4 we start getting payoffs, and by the bucket loads. The faithful reader who dug deep into the tale of the Multi Personality Detective Amamiya in the first volumes found quick twists and breath-taking spirals as the size and scope of the world of MPD-Psycho slowly began to reveal itself.

In expert fashion, Eiji Otsuka gives us a ride on a roller coaster on it’s fatal last run. Buckled in and barrelling straight ahead, we look forward to what’s ahead as we hear the girders and steel collapse behind us. Everything in the most recent volumes indicates that no character still alive is returning to any sort of normal world after the story ends. The twists and turns get bigger and more frightening, but at  the same time insanely satisfying. Like the perfect dream roller coaster, MPD-Psycho was built in Hell. And the thrills are only truly enjoyed by only those insane enough to get on.

Volume 8 comes at an epic cliffhanger, and Otsuka and Tajima’s ability to keep the scale so large and so personal at the same time with such stark and penetrating artwork never ceases to amaze me. Despite the high body count and cringe-inducing page after page, a lot happens in this volume. A close read is a must, like it or not.

I sometimes question my mental state when I declare MPD-Psycho as my favorite manga series running right now. Despite the high amount of bloodshed (often, but not always shown after the fact as a crime scene, leaving the crime itself to the reader’s imagination) MPD-Psycho is thoughtful and meticulously plotted. It is quick, complex, and occasionally unnervingly funny. If you have been waiting to hear if MPD-Psycho is worth investing in, I can assure you it is. Just know it will get worse before it gets better. And that’s a good thing.

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John Thomas

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