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!
(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.