Hole—a dark, decrepit, and disorderly district where the strong prey on the weak and death is an ordinary occurrence—is all but befitting of the name given to it. A realm separated from law and ethics, it is a testing ground to the magic users who dominate it. As a race occupying the highest rungs of their society, the magic users think of the denizens of Hole as no more than insects. Murdered, mutilated, and made experiments without a second thought, the powerless Hole dwellers litter the halls of Hole's hospital on a daily basis.
Possessing free access to and from the cesspool, and with little challenge to their authority, the magic users appear indomitable to most—aside for a few. Kaiman, more reptile than man, is one such individual. He hunts them on a heedless quest for answers with only a trusted pair of bayonets and his immunity to magic. Cursed by his appearance and tormented by nightmares, magic users are his only clue to restoring his life to normal. With his biggest obstacle being his stomach, his female companion Nikaidou, who runs the restaurant Hungry Bug, is his greatest ally.
Set in a gritty world of hellish design, Dorohedoro manages a healthy blend of comedy and lightheartedness with death and carnage. Taking plenty of twists and turns while following the lives of Hole's residents, it weaves a unique world of unearthly origin and dreary appearance not for the squeamish or easily disturbed.
Dorohedoro has been published in English by VIZ Media under the SigIkki imprint since March 16, 2010.
The manga was first serialized in Ikki magazine until its discontinuance with the November 2014 issue. Serialization then moved to HiBaNa on March 6, 2015 (volume 1) and continued until its discontinuance on August 8, 2017, and then to shounen magazine Gessan starting with the December 2017 issue.
Settings directly from post-apocalyptic series. World filled with anomalies of every sort. Characters who are the combination of futuristic cyberpunk and magical fantasy adventure. Artwork by the assistant of BLAME, relying on nothing but new ideas that are weirder than the last one. Story centering around the daily lives of our wide and colorful cast, yet the whole thing is essentially an action comedy. No one could have ever asked for Dorohedoro because it's simply too original and specific to be an answer to a need.
There are several reasons to like this series,
-Significant amount of the original ideas offer new perspective on things. For example,
stuff like "curse" or "disease" is not necessary a similar concept as we understand them IRL, but they can vary from living persons to inanimate objects. It plays with words and wits.
-The series stays loyal to its own world and uniqueness to the bitter end. It abandons so many norms and "in the box" ideas, introducing its own take on practically every concept it deals with.
-Our cast is memorable to say the least. From their personalities and character design to badassery and taste in food, heavy amount of detail exist in characteristics an character-centric narrative. Liking the characters can end up carrying the entire series during its worst parts because it is just that strong.
-The art work manages to capture the atmosphere of the world in an impressive manner, making Dorohedoro immersive and pretty to look at. Mostly weird, but also pretty.
-The combination of different genres creates a narrative that can offer enormous appeal to those readers who are tired of seeing the same old stuff.
The are also several reasons to dislike it,
-Some of the weirdness seems to exist just for the sake of it.
-It masks most of the common things and cliche events seem unique by simply using its extraordinary settings and cast, but it never quite seems to live to its full potential. For example, there is always a convenient magic power that can solve the current problem and lead the story to preferred direction.
-Significant amount of the dialogue and text boxes contain something that could be considered irrelevant filler-text. This makes the reading experience suffer in smoothness and in generally, some of the most boring parts are skip-worthy.
-"All of this and more in the most chaotic limbo that is Dorohedoro." The manga is repetitive and it knows it, but doesn't really do anything to counter its repetitiveness. Quality differences exist and are obvious.
The first 50 chapters were a pleasure to me. I could say the same about events around 70 chapter mark and 100 chapter mark. The remaining parts made me change my mind more than once. Dorohedoro was supposed to end first time already over 5 years ago, but it was extended over the next years. Some of it feels forced and rises the question was this length truly necessary for the work? Spoiler: It wasn't. It could have been both: more entertaining to read and more meaningful by simply being shorter. This series is worth of reading for everyone who considers themselves a fan of manga, but I really wouldn't call it an obligatory read.
The world of Dorohedoro is one of the rarest and most original that I have seen in a manga: it is violent, dark and visceral, without falling into the common topics of this kind of stories.
Personally I think that would be its main characteristic: Dorohedoro can use elements such as magic, satanism with demons or steam-punk aesthetics, but in such a way that when using them as material to build their history and lore, they end up Feeling fresh and differents.
In short, the author Q Hayashida has a gift for making the grotesque and bloody something fascinating, enjoyable and interesting. For that reason, Dorohedoro is
a very good story, which I could easily recommend to anyone who enjoys this world.
The first Manga i ever read was Dorohedoro and i'm grateful that it was. The excitement of waiting for a book to be released and checking them out at my library 4 books at a time, the anxiety of having to return them and not be able to go back and admire the art and worrying that i was reading them too fast. I never want to forget the amazing experience that Dorohedoro was. It introduced me to a new idea of what manga is and what it can be, that the most complicated of stories can still be simple and heart warming even in
a swarm of guts and gore.
Regardless of who i show this manga to, the first thing they are captured by is the art, rough lines and sketchy characters, detailed settings and apocalyptic-grunge clothing with nikes. The world of Dorohedoro draws you in visually first before enchanting you with a plot constantly leaving you wanting more and romance that will have you ripping your hair out in anticipation (and always will (: ) humor that builds and eventually requires the 23 volumes of knowledge to really get, never ending action, information and plot twists. And of course, everyone's favorite- little gyoza fairy
Dorohedoro NEVER had me wanting to drop or put this on-hold, in fact I'd have to pace myself as to not read too much. Q Hayashida really created an entire world like you've never seen it and does a spectacular job at being able to create a diverse cast of unique people and animals. each story is choreographed perfectly with the personalities of each character. It accomplishes what a lot of manga doesn't care as much to touch on- architecture and the nuances of the world and environment.
I'm not the best at conveying why i enjoy things objectively but if anything I urge you to read a story that will always give you enjoyment!
There are two types of absurd but well-told storytelling. You get anime such as Gurren Lagann or Redline where the interest is piqued because of its spectacle and over-the-top visuals and characters. Or you get anything made by Masaaki Yuasa where the presentation is wacky and strange but underneath the surface, there lies a lot of character analysis, social critique, and philosophy that a majority of his audience can find relatable.
Dorohedoro had the potential to be a well-thought out mystery containing dark humor and sick action. But unfortunately it built-up something so huge that the climax was below underwhelming.
Don't get me wrong. I'm fine with the story being absurd and weird since it was not very aspiring to be something more or grand like what Masaaki Yuasa makes. But it brings upon so many subplots and crucial details in the middle that the audience will begin to lose track of coherence and what is even supposed to matter.
Story: There is only one word that can fully described the plot of Dorohedoro: CONVOLUTED! While the setting and premise I do say is quite fascinating, it takes a more mysterious turn in the middle and the amount of mysteries keep piling up and will leave you lost. The world of the humans and sorcerers was interesting and the history behind some of the past events does make you invested. But it will more depend on what you are looking for. If you don't care too much about the plot and just want to enjoy a silly story of sorcerers and humans murdering the shit out of one another, then don't let my criticisms stop you from checking it out. But if you are looking for (at the very least) some sense for the amount of plot points it tries to put together, then you are going to be disappointed. I stopped caring around the final 3rd of the series but was still curious enough to see it all the way through.
In short, vol. 1-4 = slow / vol. 5-13 = very interesting / vol. 14-23 = I'm lost.
Characters: If I'm completely honest, the story would not have had a huge impact on my distaste for this series had the characters held the story well. And for the first half of it, they did and they were pretty tremendous. Caiman and Nikaidou were very likeable characters and their friendship was very believable. My personal favorites were the villains: En, Shin, and Noi. They were hilarious and they give the audience a perfect reason to not take Dorohedoro all too seriously. When comparing the humans (and Caiman), En's family, and the Cross Eyes, En's family had the most consistent character state and their relationship expressed their truest characters best out of all of the main groups in the story.
Unfortunately, where things went wrong was that at the half way point, some crucial characters are not able to fulfill all of their potential and move away from the story (I will not spoil, just figure out why yourself). And some characters (Nikaidou and Ebisu), while still likeable (more in the first half than the second), change for very annoying reasons and the plot ruined them when I previously loved them.
There also isn't much character development. Some characters never needed it because they were great the way they were and were even fleshed out further into the plot. But I feel the only characters that change from beginning to end are Fujita and Risu. Everybody else either never changes and feels like their character is just being dragged by the complicated plot and not entirely being themselves or they go through realizations which have a minor impact on their final character change.
Art: It is different in a good way and it suits the atmosphere it is trying to present. It fits the gritty violence and over-the-top designs of the characters. While some of the backgrounds did lack a little too much detail for me, I'd say the art is the best part of the series.
Final Thoughts: In the beginning, this manga had practically everything to be something awesome. But with poor plot decisions, the story just drags and will leave you lost on what the point of really anything is. You can enjoy the absurd humor and the gritty action but nothing makes sense. If it was all absurd humor and gritty action, it would come across more consistent than when it builds up something so crucial for the overall story just to forget about what to do with it and make an underwhelming conclusion. It's still worth the check out if it really interests you.
I give Dorohedoro a not bad, but disappointing 5/10.