1. Comedy and Gore can become a good combo
2. An awesome protagonist doesn't have to be handsome
3. Heroine too can kick ass in an action manga
4. Nakama power isn't limited to "Heroes" only
5. Every character can be given proper air time without any difficulty
6. Magic isn't limited to Harry Porter only
6. Weird art does not mean Bad Art
7. Even in a weird series you can show emotions
9. If you are original, you may not get popular but you will always be awesome
8. Female mangaka can handle a fast action packed Seinen
All of this and more ....
In the most chaotic
This is perhaps the most original, trippiest, creepiest, and imaginative thing I've ever read.
The world is very well thought-out. It is primarily divided into the Hole, a place populated by humans, and the Magic Users' world, populated by human-looking beings with extraordinar[ily weird] abilities. These abilities range from your standard healers, to devastating mushroom attacks, and everything in between. The humans and the magic users don't like each other.
The plot is a lot harder to describe. I mean, saying "well it's about an amnesiac guy with a lizard head named Kaiman who wants his real face back so he's biting people faces so that the
guy inside his mouth can identify the person who may have did this to him" doesn't really cut it. There's A LOT more to it than that, but you have no idea what's going on until volume 7+, when it gets much darker and the real story of Kaiman's memories and identity starts coming together.
That's okay, though, because the series is very entertaining throughout with its hyperviolence and dark humor, and you really do need such a long introduction to get used to this world and its, err, "colorful" cast of characters. That's not to say that the first few volumes are irrelevant for plot progression. Pieces of the plot are sprinkled everywhere but you might not realize it at first. To fully appreciate this it's best to go back once you know all that you will later on, which makes for a lot of re-read value!
/Where else can you find the phrase "The Boss is no longer a pie!!"? XD
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!
(This review is free from other spoilers than a bit of the very first chapter)
Dorohedoro is a manga unlike anything else. It's something you get only once in a genre, or in this case, once in a medium. It's the same as say Death Grips is to rap/hip hop music or Philip K. Dick was to sci fi. It's something breaking all the stupid rules, crossing all boundaries. It's a rare and unique experience. A thrilling and grim world, born from the imagination of Q Hayashida.
So what makes Dorohedoro so special? By looking at the art, it may seem like it's going
to be similar to many other art manga, like Nihei's Blame!. But the raw art style isn't all in Dorohedoro. The world, it's something else. It's quite hard, even impossible to categorize Dorohedoro or any of Q Hayashida's works into a genre. I myself call it cybermagic, since he takes large influences from cyberpunk works like Akira and Nihei's mangas as well as dark fantasy and horror like Berserk or even Lovecraft's stories. It's extremely hard to create almost completely unique and original world and style, but Q Hayashida has managed to do that more than well.
The art perfectly fits the world and story. It's rough and vivid. Q Hayashida uses strong yet detailed lines that bring life to the post-apocalyptic and surreal world. The story is very raw and violent, in a perfect symbiosis with the art style. I don't think there is about any story that is as literally in-your-face as Dorohedoro (maybe with the exceptionof Berserk). It starts right from the violence and gore. You see our lizard-headed protagonist Kaiman eat a weird masked guy. He doesn't do it just for fun or hunger, but because he must find someone. That guy is not the right one. Kaiman let's that masked guy go, but he and his partner Nikaido need to fight and kill them. Those guys were not humans, but sorcerers, from the Sorcerer's world (I like to call it the Sorcerer's home, even if it's not the official translation).
The world of Dorohedoro is two-pieced. One is the Hole, a gloomy and dystopian city where humans reside. The other is the Sorcerer's home, a somewhat similar, but much more lively and surreal place. The only way to traverse between those two worlds is through magical doors that only sorcerers can place. The winding, complex and puzzling Dorohedoro covers both worlds in a way nobody else than Q Hayashida could.
Since this review is spoiler-less, I can't really talk much about the characters or the story. Not even much of the world itself. But what I can tell, is that Kaiman is on a deeply personal crusade to find out what he really is. But he won't be let alone on that journey, as Nikaido and many others will support the seemingly desperate search for a mysterious character. Kaiman's character may remind some of Guts from Berserk, but I bet there isn't a single dark hero/anti-hero in modern animanga that hasn't been influenced by him.
The magic system in Dorohedoro is very unique and cool too. I can't tell much else other than that it kind of works through the masks that the sorcerers wear. If you want to start this manga, be sure to have an open mind, since it's probably very different from anything you've ever experienced. Close your seat belts and hold tight to your seats as you will dive deep into the grim and overwhelming world of Dorohedoro, a masterpiece of manga.
Dorohedoro, as a series all about the plot twists, is kind of hard to describe easily. It takes place in a gritty magic-punk dual world: The high-class world of the magic users, and the slum-like Hole, the world of the non-magic users. The story centers around Kaiman, a man with a lizard head and no memories. He hunts down magic users, eats their head, and then the person inside his mouth evaluates them, looking for someone. And that description does absolutely no justice to the series.
Q Hyashida loves 'er plot twists. Yes, this series is filled with twist after crazy
twist, but, and this is a big but, it feels coherent. In some series you get the impression an author came up with a cool premise and then basically made things up as they went along, but Dorohedoro, in all its twisty madness, feels like it's going along a very purposeful route.
It helps that the characters are great, and really hold the whole thing together. Despite Kaiman and his friend Nikaido ostensibly being the protagonists, the series spends about equal time with all of the important characters on the various different sides of the central conflicts. They're all well-developed and lovable, and you'll likely find yourself not quite knowing who to root for during the battles.
Now, the word people often use to describe Dorohedoro is "gritty" and, well, it is, yeah. Especially in the art, which is thick and dark, with lots of cluttered environments and greys everywhere. It might take a bit of getting used to, it's a somewhat unusual style, and some of the anatomy is a little weird early on, but once you do get used to it you'll grow to love it.
The series is gritty and violent, but it's not as bleak as you might expect. It's cut through with a REALLY goofy sense of humor to give things balance. I've always liked series that balance dark and light, and Dorohedoro pulls it off really well. Another slight break from traditional grittiness is that the characters are pretty much all lovable. They're pretty much all anti-heroes, but almost everyone has a good/adorable side to them. There's no real mopey angsty types or bad-ass murderers whose only thought is murderification. The creator describes it as "a song with really dark lyrics, but a melody that's so happy that you want to dance to it," and I can't really put it better.
Over all Dorohedoro is definitely one of my favorite manga series. If you like unusual worlds with cool art and an interesting story, definitely check it out. Apparently it's ending fairly soon as well, so that's something to keep in mind.
In this series, magic users are beings born with a certain organ in their bodies that allow them to use magic in the form of puffing out smoke, be it from their fingers or mouth. On the other hand, you have the regular humans who live in a place called the Hole, which is shown to be a ghetto-ish area. The story thus follows two main perspectives, the first being that of Kaiman and Nikaido having their little adventures in the Hole. The second focuses on Shin and Noi, two magic users who are tasked with tracking down Kaiman. This is later expanded to include
En’s family and the inclusion of several other factions and groups. As the series continues, the viewpoints begin to converge as the different characters meet and interact and yes, this is a manga with a relatively huge cast of characters.
According to Wikipedia, Dorohedoro is serialized in Ikki, a magazine that “specializes in underground or alternative manga”. And it indeed is alternative for it is hard to find a manga as quirky and stylish as this. Trying to write a review to explain why this manga is just so addictive is rather difficult as much of its charm lies in its visual styles.
Really, trying to categorise this title under a genre is not easy. Manga Updates tagged it with a Biopunk, but it too has the elements of Gothic in its ambience. The only way I can succinctly describe Dorohedoro in one sentence would probably be that it is akin to what it would be like if Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino collaborated to produce a manga. It’s not the best description I’ve got, but I think the analogy fits pretty well. In the Magic Users’ world each Magic User are obliged to wear a personalized mask to mark their identity. Throw in the fact that you have manifestations of curses, devils and death god flying around and the place is like a much more macabre mash of Halloween Town and Beetlejuice. And then you have En’s family and his estate. En’s family being clad in suits make it a like the mafia in a Halloween party. In fact, when Shin and Noi first turned up, I was strongly reminded of Jules and Vincent from Pulp Fiction. The whole imagery is bizarre, but it is also freakishly cool.
In general, I am not a fan of gore. Titles such as Berserk and Gantz are far from my preferred types of manga and I tend to be averse to manga that displays excessive amount of gruesome disembowelment like Shigurui for example. However, I do like me som dark comedy and Dorohedoro pretty much struck a chord with me despite the display of characters getting brutally murdered – hell, there’s even a character whose magic is all about disemboweling bodies. Yet within the bleak setting there is sufficient amount of well executed comedy. The gratuitous amount of stylised violence as well as the general nonchalance in attitude towards its delivery by the cast of eccentric characters means that although the tone is grim, it is at the same time funny. The humor style is more towards the dry sort though.
Now, simply having great visuals is of course not enough for me to consider this as one of my favourite. The characters too need to actually be interesting. Since this is after all a rather Gothic story with some rather grim setting, it should come to no surprise that trying to categorize them into “villains” and “heroes” is rather pointless. Heck, considering that the different groups get their own share of characterization and screen time, it is also not easy to distinguish between some of them as “protagonists” or “antagonists”. In other words, despite the large cast, the core characters remain interesting while the other supporting characters too get their fair share of spotlight. The result is that even though the characters are supposed to be opposing against each other, I can’t help but root for some of them all the same. Lastly, not to forget the trippy elements that goes in several parts of the manga. For the most part, the story is pretty straightforward, but as the plot progress, or rather in the recent volumes, there are certainly quite a fair bit of mind screw going on – the macabre art style definitely helped in enhancing the effects.
In a way, one of the things I like about Dorohedoro is also what made me took a liking to Narita Ryougo’s works in the first place: the inclusion of multiple viewpoints and what is at first glance seems like a very chaotic story, as nicely summed up one of the characters in Baccano!, “Depending on who you place in the same situation, the characteristics of said incident change kaleidoscopically. In other words, there is one incident. However, there are as many stories explaining it as there are people involved in it.” — Gustav St. Germain (aka that guy voiced by Norio Wakamoto).
On the whole, Dorohedoro may take a while to get into and feel comfortable with its surreal style, but once you do, what you have here is one wickedly engaging manga. Definitely worth the read.
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.
If you like a large cast of characters that have enjoyable and fun interactions, an intriguing mystery that is both haunting and complex, and have the stomach to handle gore then this is the manga for you.
There are no good guys. The best way to describe it is that the morality scale is incredibly gray. Almost everyone does something bad, usually with violence. Despite that the characters are still lovable and have humorous interactions with each other even in serious moments. There's also some subtle romance, mostly from Noi and Shin. Sometimes hinted at with the main pair, Nikaido and Kaimon, because their relationship is
built upon a close friendship that is very apparent throughout the story. They care about each other a lot so shipping or just platonic friends can go whichever way you want.
The gore in this manga appears consistently in each chapter and is always incredibly brutal. But the overall read is definitely worth sitting through all that. At most the gore is just body horror and sometimes there are dead bodies getting mutilated but everyone seems to come out okay from it because... magic. It's pretty easy to ignore it as you read. But it's impossible to avoid if you're still iffy about it.
It gets a little psychological horror-ish especially when we get closer to answering the mystery of Kaiman's identity and his origins. But not as bad as Silent Hill or Oyasumi Punpun or anything else in that genre. The gore is much more bearable because of that.
Art is pretty messy from the beginning but like most manga, it improves. The color pages look pretty nice too. Nudity warning because of female fanservice and also some from the male side of the cast.
The story is incredible. That's all I have to say about it. It's complex and details are fed to us every chapter as we get closer and closer to the end. The world-building is good and very nearly everyone gets a chance in the limelight, even though Kaiman is the main character. It might be a little confusing but hey, that's what a mystery is. If you want to find out the truth, you have to read. If you want to understand better, you have to read.
The BIGGEST NEGATIVE thing I have to say about it is... that it's not complete and that you have to wait at least a month for a new chapter. But that's pretty normal isn't it? If you choose to read, I wish you luck and patience when you read to the latest chapter :))
Dorohedoro is an amazing fantasy manga by Hayashida Q, notable for being a studio assistant to Nihei before making the Maken X manga adaptation. The story starts off in a dimension called the Hole, which more or less is a very run down and dangerous world that looks like what San Francisco would if the nukes dropped. Kaiman and Nikaido, the two central protagonists, are attacking two people identified as magic users, those who can spray black smoke from their hands to cause an effect of some sort, although the particular usage of the magic smoke is unique to each user. After subduing one, Kaiman
is revealed that he is immune to the effects of magic, and subsequently takes of his gas mask revealing that he has the head of a giant lizard. Kaiman then stuffs the magic user's head in his mouth, where inside he meets a phantasm like being who remarks that this magic user "is not the one." Kaiman pulls the user out of his mouth and asks him "What did the man in my mouth say?" Upon being revealed this information, Kaiman takes out a pair of knives and cuts the magic user into 4 pieces. It is revealed shortly after that Kaiman has no memory prior to the time he met Nikaido, and is staying at Nikaido's house until he solves the mystery of the ghost in his mouth, what his past was, and why he has a lizard head. The second magic user is able to escape from Kaiman and Nikaido, and returns to the home dimension of the magic users, the aptly named Magic User World. There the user, whose name is Fujita, reveals what transpired to a magic user named En, who controls a global conglomerate in the Magic User World concerning mushrooms. En, taking an interest in the matter, contacts his cleaners Shin and Noi, two extremely powerful magic users and his personal hitmen, to investigate. This is where the intricate, absurd, and fantastic story of Dorohedoro begins.
The story in Dorohedoro is very fun. If I could describe it with one word it would be adventure, and what I mean by this is that action is a device used to tell the story, the story taking up the bulk of the manga. For disparity, it is an opposite of a manga like Feng Shen Ji which only uses the story as a device to formulate the action sequences, which I would classify as strictly an action manga. Beyond that, Dorohedoro's story is just adventurous in nature, with main characters Kaiman and Nikaido as well as the En Family going all around the block and back again. Going into some specifics, I just really like the way character objectives and motivations are handled in this manga. In the beginning what drives the Kaiman side of the plot and most of the story by extension, is his quest to get his original head and memories back, but of course an extreme amount of shit happens between then and now. This is standard structure for an adventure story, but what makes it stand out just like alot of really good manga, is its execution. Not all manga actually come to the point that has been predisposed since the beginning of the story, or if they do the objective has been completely transformed by transpiring events. In the case of some manga like 7 Seed and Bastard!!, it will completely abandon various original objectives for the sake of continuation, which is usually a sign of not great writing. Some manga like Berserk, on the other hand, don't really change the overall quest at all during the story, rather the transpiring events are used as buffers for character development or simply filler. Dorohedoro on the other hand, can take all kinds of different plot lines and converge them perfectly without skipping a beat, and this doesn't come at the expense of other aspects of the manga either, but more on that later. There are other elements that drive the plot of course, a notable one being the characters that act it out. All of Dorohedoro's characters are great, to put it simply. Gary and Mary Stu, or whatever you want to call a generic archetype with predictable interactions and design, does not exist in the slightest. Every single character is quirky, complex, and with an original personality. In fact the manga is so alien in not just this regard but other aspects as well, that I have read about many people saying how it feels more like a western comic (please don't let this put you off, this is far from Spiderman.) Kaiman is jolly, simple minded, happy, and crazy, while Nikaido serves as a contrast by being more level headed. En's family particularly comes to mind when thinking of fun characters. En himself, while being a very powerful magic user, is still cranky and idiosyncratic to the maximum. Shin is a hitman with an interesting history, and while he looks happy and rather bright in most of his normal appearances, shows no mercy to his targets. Noi is an extremely tall and muscular woman, who is boisterous and infatuated with her partner Shin. Ebisu is an accompanying member of En's family who due to shenanigans with Kaiman early in the story, goes braindead and behaves ridiculously for most of the story, with Fujita constantly on her tail. Other great characters include Professor Kusakabe and his assistant Johnson the Giant Cockroach, members of the Cross Eyed Gang, mysterious Outsider Risu, and the Devils. The cast is vast and absurd, to such a degree that no other manga quite shares. I've talked roughly about how fun the characters are but I have a few other things I want to mention about them. Character development doesn't exist in the same way it does in more realistic manga, in all honesty it just doesn't belong in Dorohedoro. A character's personality changing is not necessarilly warranted in the first place, and I truly dislike this being a standard for good characters. Although I've said this, some character's personalities do change such as main character Kaiman, but not due to conventinal reasons that would be normally called character development. Dorohedoro does have development though, more specifically along the lines of cast development. Introductions of new characters happen all the time in Dorohedoro, creating pockets of plot and side stories all over the place while never actually diverting from the main storyline, in fact its woven in such a way that all plot lines are equally a part of the main story. On another note, there is alot of comedy in Dorohedoro, but make no mistake this does not stop the story from overall being serious. There will never be a moment when dramatic scenes are ruined in tone due to comedy bits. But when the comedy is shown is very funny. This is mostly due to how riduculous the world of Dorohedoro is and how quirky the cast is as well. To summarize this, Dorohedoro's story is mysterious and bizarre, and the characters that drive it are as exceptional as a manga could hope for, although prepare to abandon manga standards from works like Pun Pun if you really want to enjoy it.
The next main thing I want to talk about with Dorohedoro is the art and design of the manga. In the beginning of the review I mentioned how Hayashida Q was once an assistant to cult sci-fi mangaka Tsutomu Nihei, who is pretty famous for his work Blame! and his bizarre art style and tone. Putting it simply, Hayashida Q and by extension Dorohedoro inherited this style. The art of Dorohedoro is reminiscent of the style of works like Blame! in a few ways, although do not make the mistake of thinking the art style is a "rip off." An overall sketchy style, crazy enemy designs, and detailed backgrounds are all things they share in common. One difference is that Q's artstyle of humanoid characters is generally more realistic and overall more pleasing to the eye than Nihei's style, which is mostly used on inhuman designs. Character design of Dorohedoro is particularly very awesome going off of that. Almost every character or enviroment design is notably original or cool in some way, and I am quite understating the gravity of that. The worlds of the Hole and Magic Users have all sorts of bizarre land marks, and they are just overall very unique in conceptualization. The people of the manga have many unique designs as well, with some notable examples being Shin and Noi. Shin being a tall man wearing a rugged screwed up black suit, a backwards heart mask on his face, sneakers, stitched together fingers, and a shed hammer as a weapon. Noi an extremely tall and muscular woman, who uses a strange blue mask with the vines on it and a similar suit. The character of En has bright red hair, a mask that only covers his mouth, and clothes that usually go with the fashion mood he is in. Most of the magic users have a particular style and mask that they use to identify themselves, although there are several magic users and regular humans that are exceptions to this rule, and by far its interesting character design. Some other cool designs are the already mentioned Johnson, Kaiman himself, and the Devils, which are mysterious beings that screw around with humans and magic users alike, with a unique wit and style to each one. There are a variety of less humanoid designs as well, such as some hulking monsters, and Kirukage, a cat like creature that wears a leather wrestling mask and wooden stumps for limps who can bring people back to life with little restriction. Overall its a fantastic art style that notably improves both technically and as a style.
In conclusion, I would say without a doubt that Dorohedoro is one of the best of the best when it comes to manga. It's bizarre biopunk/fantasy style leaves little to be desired in originality, with a great story and quirky characters to go with it. It is terrifying, unique, extensive, interesting, and hilarious, and you should definitely give it a try.
My very first experience with DRHDR was through twitter, when a good friend was talking about the characters. I was curious, and decided to check it out, and I'm glad I did, because I found probably one of my most beloved - if not the most beloved - mangas of all time!
The premise sounds simple enough - an amnesiac lizard-faced man tries to recover his memories by biting sorcerers so they can answer him what the man inside him said, then kill them afterwards, all with the help of his companion, Nikaido. It's not that simple later on, though, but the mystery surrouding Kaiman's identity
is rather interesting. In hindsight, the first volumes make good re-read material to connect the scraps we get early on and such. It's a strange story, with twists and what not, but a very interesting one to digest.
Speaking of the premise, my favorite thing I love about this manga is the world and, specially, the cast of characters - everyone feels like they have their own quirks and personalities that stand out, as well as designs that make them recogniable. It's a dark and crazy world with equally crazy characters, all while balancing the violence and gorn with lightheartedness and dark comedy.
The art is rough at first, but surely fits the setting our protagonists live in - a dark world, divided in two main areas the story takes place in. The later artwork and colored pages, in particular, are outstanding while still keep the essence of the series.
And hey! We get a guy with a lizard head who really loves his gyozas! :p
My first reaction to Dorohedoro is "What the f*ck, a woman wrote this?". It has to be one of the most strangest, creative, unique and awesome mangas I have read in my short life. It combines the gloominess of a normal seinen manga and has the traditional qualities of blood and gore, violence and sexual explicity.
To be honest I hated the artwork to start with. It was so strange and creepy to look at. But as you read on, you get absorbed into Hayashida's fictional world and in due time, you will feel the need to read more.
The story line is well made and it
has an interesting plot which continually changes but never deterring the reader. It combines the proper elements of mystery, action, comedy and tragedy into one awesome power-packed package.
The characterization is unique as well seeing that these are not you're average characters. Each character has a story to tell and is almost lifelike. Even the ugly ones are beautiful in theor own way. They add flavour to the story and contributes to each event personally.
The artwork is especially unique and if you have a think for gloomy and Satanic artwork, you will definitely love it. It brings out the feeling in each scene and makes the world seem almost lifelike.
The enjoyment factor is at its maximum and the comedy factor is there as well, kinda enjoyable. The gore count is at a maximum though and the sexually explicit count is at a medium level thus creating a normal seinen manga. Its mostly for mature readers.
In short, Dorohedoro has that wonderful and violent seinen manga vibe and is truly a great read. 9/10.
I give this manga a rating of 6.5. I read it in about a week, give or take a couple of days. I'll make this short and sweet: While it does have a really intriguing premise and fun, fleshed-out characters with a little depth, don't expect anything other than a mediocre ending. This is a very safe, by-the-books manga. There will come a point in the story where you will say to yourself "Oh, so that's probably how it's going to end" and you will more than likely be correct. Very predictable. That's not to say that everything isn't tied up nicely. It's neatly
wrapped up and the author even puts a little ribbon on top, metaphorically speaking. Very light-hearted so if you were looking for something with grit, other than the art style and all of the killing, don't expect much grit other than that.
All in all, it was an enjoyable experience. For the most part, that is. You know what they say, it's about the journey not the destination.
The premise of Dorohedoro is very simplistic and weird, but it's nothing like that. Q Hayashida (the author) has crafted nothing short of but a convoluted tale filled with phenomenonal world building, horror, gut-busting dark comedy, some action and an absolutely perfect long form mystery storytelling. Dorohedoro is also a very raw and gritty manga, there's tons of body horror and also lots of nudity. What I admire about Dorohedoro is that nudity isn't used to sexualise the female cast. Majority of seinen manga use nudity as a way to sexualise the female characters, but in Dorohedoro seeing the female cast being nude is just
like a natural event and is in no way sexual, this is something I truly appreciate of Q Hayashida.
Dorohedoro's raw and gritty atmosphere is elevated even further with Hayashida's art. Her style is rough, sketchy, gritty but definitely matches the atmosphere of Dorohedoro, it also perfectly conveys the theme of it. Each panel is jam packed with minor details and debrises, like mushrooms, hobos, broken signboards, litters on the ground, etc, etc. These minor touches really brings the world to life and makes it feel real. The characters also look fucking good. I especially love Nikaido's design, she has a blonde hair with blue eyes, wears dark baggy clothes which strikes a direct contrast to her Chinese design and also wears combat boots with gloves. Hayashida also does a wonderful job at the horror scenes. Picture this, thousands of mushrooms bursting out of your innards and growing till they rip you to pieces. Yes, Dorohedoro is filled to the brim with these kinds gory scenes and they are drawn sooooo grotesquely, which I absolutely love.
If for anything Dorohedoro is a must read for its characters. If you love a large cast of well developed eccentric goofy characters, Dorohedoro's your shit and if you love strong female characters who can take care of themselves without a man, then Dorohedoro's gotcha covered. The female casts of Dorohedoro are literally one of my favs. Noi is probably the THICCest character that I've seen, she has healing magic but that doesn't mean she's weak, I mean she literally karate chops a dude in half with her fucking hands. Nikaido is my most favourite among the female cast though, she's kind caring, good at making gyōzas and I'd literally love to have her as a partner. Ohh and she also decapitates a dude with her bare hands. Ebisu, is weird and kind off like the comic relief character of the series and is also capable of turning to a freaking T-Rex. The male cast are also fantastic and justbas badass as the female cast. Kaiman is literally a dude with a Cayman for a head and chops up magic users using to pairs of daggers. Shin is a magic user who uses a hammer and smashes Hole's peoples just for the fun of it. Fujita, well is Fujita. En, is the strongest magic user in existence, who uses mushroom magic, who is also very caring for his familia and would literally annihilate anyone who harms them. There's more characters but I doubt I'll be able to explain everyone's quirks and traits.
Dorohedoro is nothing short of but a masterpiece and is definitely one of my favourites of all time, if not my most favourite manga. It's got a fantastic plot filled with dark humour, gore, nudity, mystery and occasionally some action. The artsyle is absolutely gorgeous (in its own way) and portrays the underlying tone and theme of the manga. The cast are eccentric and quirky, with both strong male and female leads and are enjoyable to watch. I highly recommend this manga to everyone who loves seinen or just wants a fun read