Overall Rating: B+
Summary: MPD Psycho is a psychological horror series written by Eiji Otsuka and illustrated by Shou Tajima, which follows Yousuke Kobayashi a former police detective. The series opens with Kobayashi tracking down a serial killer who severs the limbs off his victims. Meanwhile, Kobayashi is suffering from strange dreams where he sees himself killing people. After seeing Kobayashi on tv, the serial killer kidnaps his girlfriend, and severs her limbs, but keeps her alive.
After Kobayashi tracks him down, the killer tells him that he sees something familiar in Kobayashi and that they are on the same side. At that point, another personality emerges, and Kobayashi becomes Shinji Nishizono. Shinji kills the serial killer and is sent to prison. It is implied that the dreams Kobayashi had been having were actually Shinji killing people.
Most of the above is revealed in flashbacks, and the bulk of the first volume is set after Kobayashi is released from prison. His primary personality is now Kazuhiko Amamiya, a brilliant criminologist, and he has been hired to work with a private consulting agency. The agency is headed up by Machi Isono, a criminologist that asked Kobayashi to consult on some cases while he was in prison. They work to track down and bring to justice serial killers, and tend to deal with the really weird and difficult cases the police have trouble solving themselves.
Eiji Otsuka also writes Kurosaki Corpse Delivery Service, which I love, so I was excited to read MPD Psycho. The two titles are very different, and MPD has little of the dark humor that makes Kurosaki great. However, it makes up for that with a great concept, some really intriguing plot, and interesting characters. The only slight negative is that sometimes it feels like they're trying too hard to shock the reader. MPD comes shrink-wrapped and with an 18+ warning for good reason, and I would definitely caution against reading it if you're squeamish. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to checking out volume 2.