MPD-Psycho Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-59307-848-X
  • Size: 5x7
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: MPD-Psycho

MPD-Psycho Vol. #03

By Greg Hackmann     January 15, 2008
Release Date: December 05, 2007

MPD-Psycho Vol.#03
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Eiji Otsuka / Sho-U Tajima
Translated by:Kumar Sivasubramanian
Adapted by:

What They Say
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!

The Review
Volume 3 of MPD-Psycho starts off on a bit of a political angle: the newly-appointed Minister of Justice has ordered the execution of 26 inmates on death row, a bold move in a country that has only seen 548 total executions after World War II. During the media spree that follows, Sasayama is thankful to hear that the notorious serial killer Akio Umemiya is among these 26 criminals. This relief is short-lived, though, since he soon receives a phone call from not-quite-dead Umemiya. This conversation reveals two shocking facts: first, that Umemiya had a double stand in for him during his execution; and second, that he's plotted revenge on the government by setting the Metropolitan Assembly on fire during a televised session.

To make matters worse for Amamiya, Umemiya offers Toguchi an exclusive TV interview about the arson incident, during which he specifically calls out Nishizono by name. Though Amamiya himself doesn't understand his other personality's connection with Umemiya, Isono is able bring forward the dormant Kotone Sakurai personality and question him about Umemiya's whereabouts. When Isono reaches Umemiya's hideout in the abandoned Gakuso Society Hospital, Umemiya takes her hostage and forces her into a tanker truck hurtling toward the waterfront. This feint is enough to draw out his mentor Nishizono, who's less than impressed with Umemiya's plan to literally go out in a blaze of glory. The end result is a lengthy high-speed chase/shootout that ends in Umemiya finally meeting his demise -- though not in the way that either he nor the audience probably expect.

Even at three volumes into MPD-Psycho, Otsuka still seems to be stuck squarely in the setup phase. Now, I'm not exactly asking for all the answers to be handed to me on a sliver platter; but it's getting frustrating when each explanation is immediately followed by two new open questions. I'm starting to wonder if Otsuka's just making it all up as he goes along, throwing new characters and organizations into the picture whenever one of the story angles gets uninteresting.

But even if that's the case, at least the over-the-top, constantly-evolving pure ridiculousness is keeping things fresh from chapter to chapter. Whether Otsuka's master plan for MPD-Psycho makes any sense or not, he consistently leaves me wanting to find out what's going to happen next -- which is more than I can say for a lot of other series out there.


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