The uncensored, uncut MPD-Psycho manga series continues, with another volume of creative crimes, slippery criminals, and an enormous, disturbing puzzle that's slowly unraveling with each inventive atrocity. The Isono Criminal Research Lab trusts that Kazuhiko Amamiya, their maverick multiple personality detective, can crack any murder case-as long as he can keep all of his other personalities in check. His latest mystery involves a serial killer who uses body doubles and is actually famous for his macabre murder scenes and attempts at dark humor. More clues on the Gakuso Group emerge, and their top "company man"-the white-haired, maniacal Zenitsu-just can't stay out of the Isono Lab's business. Toguchi, the tough, one-eyed video journalist, now feels that he deserves a worldwide spotlight . . . and he's on the verge of making a deal with a laughing devil!
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Attention to detail makes the horror of this psychological detective series creepier. It's not just that we see a prisoner hanged; it's that a panel is devoted to him soiling himself at the moment of death. That's prelude to finding out that a group of criminals, as well as the title detective, are all marked by barcodes on the whites of their eyes and all are being investigated by an execution-happy justice minister. The case this time around involves a supposedly dead mass murderer playing deadly pranks (in a style reminiscent of Batman's Joker). As the number of crimes mount, the detective attempts to rescue his partner from a tanker-truck bombing. The varied personalities and plots can be confusing, but those who've been carefully following the series since the start will find their attention rewarded. The book has the fast-paced action of a movie thriller, exploring the boundaries of the human mind through extreme actions. Panels are light on text and designed so skillfully that the reader can take in events as quickly as they can turn the page. Adult comics readers looking for a manga they can sink their teeth into will find it here. (Dec.)
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