A samurai lord has bartered away his newborn son's organs to forty-eight demons in exchange for dominance on the battlefield. Yet, the abandoned infant survives thanks to a medicine man who equips him with primitive prosthetics—lethal ones with which the wronged son will use to hunt down the multitude of demons to reclaim his body one piece at a time, before confronting his father. On his journeys the young hero encounters an orphan who claims to be the greatest thief in Japan.
Many know Osamu Tezuka as the author of Astro Boy and a few more works and that's it. As logic, that's ignorance. Dororo is one of the most famous works of the author and at the same time, one of the darkest. In English, this work was published by Vertical in three volumes, including a new cover design showing human flesh in some panels of manga, showing how dark it is inside.
Dororo tells the tale of a samurai lord (Hyakkimaru) that has bartered away his newborn son's organs to forty-eight demons in exchange for dominance on the battlefield. Yet,
the abandoned infant survives thanks to a medicine man who equips him with primitive prosthetics—lethal ones with which the wronged son will use to hunt down the multitude of demons to reclaim his body one piece at a time, before confronting his father. On his journeys, the young hero encounters an orphan (Dororo) who claims to be the greatest thief in Japan. When reading, the art gives you that 60's look: well-designed monsters, humans are impressive and all the action is very detailed being an old work, making it an interesting atmosphere as a whole.
I find the characters of this manga very alike other works of the author but that's not really a bad thing, the reader must comprehend that when reading. As for Dororo, it is really a fantastic character, bringing all readers to curiosity when they change to the next page continuously until they finish reading. Dororo can be a cute character, a really badass or both, it depends on the person and what's that person thinks of the characters itself. It's just a shame that Hyakkimaru was not as a deep character as Dororo but that's not the main concern when reading, despite the fact that Hyakkimaru’s father made a pact with 48 demons that he’d offer each demon a part of the yet-to-be-born Hyakkimaru’s body in exchange for the fulfillment of his wish.
To conclude, Dororo it's a very paced, complex yet fun story, full of action and twisted plot points to keep the reader interested in this kind of manga. Dororo is still episodic, so that's a plus. I know people won't give a chance to this kind of stories but that's even better for those who like it because these people feel more comfortable, within their own taste and that's a good thing. I really believe that Dororo is worth investing even though there's a lot samurai vs monster/youkai manga out there. Again, I'm not saying those people are forced to like it but they should at least try a classic version of that specific stereotype. If you are European, you can compare this Dororo to Hattori-kun from the "Ninja Hattori-kun" anime, since both of them are called ninjas/assassins (even though Hattori-kun is more turned to comedy).
At times when the fad is to read action/mecha/romance packed series, coming across a manga such as Dororo is a wonderful experience indeed. Most of us love Tezuka’s works but barely a few might have heard and bothered to read such an unknown manga. Compiled up in 4 volumes and about 870 pages (which are actually 3 volumes with a total of about 850 pages in the translated version) is the story of a Samurai and a chibi samurai hater in the Sengoku period.
The main protagonist, despite the fact that the manga title points to the orphan Dororo, seems to be Hyakkimaru. In order to
conquer the country, Hyakkimaru’s father made a pact with 48 demons that he’d offer each demon a part of the yet-to-be born Hyakkimaru’s body in exchange for the fulfillment of his wish(doesn’t sound so clichéd, eh?). As a result, Hyakkimaru is born with 48 body parts and internal organs missing. His mother, when she realizes what has befallen his son, puts him in a basket and releases it in a river. The formless infant is then found by Dr. Honda who believes he’ll survive and raises him. As he grows, Hyakkimaru learns to move about by crawling on his stomach and even learns to speak from his stomach. But soon he is haunted by weird demons looking for his soul and Dr. Honda decides he must leave.
Dr. gives him prosthetic limbs inside each of which he attaches a separate weapon such as swords in his arms and a skin-burning spay in one of his limbs.
He then sets off to slay the 48 demons and finds company of the young thief Dororo(who is later revealed to be a girl even though she herself does not believes it). Together they help villagers ger rid of demons and gain Hyakkimaru’s organs one by one.
The overall manga is a very good one considering the time it was made in; however a major drawback in it is the way it ends. We never clearly get to know what exactly happened except a line that mentions “Where Hyakkimaru went from there, no one knows. It is said that fifty years hence the flames of war burned down the hall of hell that housed the 48 sculptures.” And Dororo only calls out to him from a distance..But Hyakkimaru never turns back. I think that I would have liked to see a few more pages describing what happens in the near future but the manga is good as it is maybe.
A good read for Tezuka fans. The art is vintage-kind so ignore this one aspect :D
Dororo is one of Tezuka Osamu's darker works, and I'm honestly not sure what the author was aiming for here. Anyway, this was released by Vertical in 3 separate volumes, instead of 4. Vertical's release features a new cover design, which is possibly the worst cover design I've ever seen. Describe the cover?
Imagine taking random panels of manga and pasting it onto some human flesh.
Cool,right? No, not at all.
What happens when you combine Disney with rather violent fight scene? You get a manga like Dororo. The monsters are awesomely designed, while the humans are rather boring, and just unimpressive. The violent action scene lack
detail and the panels are too small of its own good. But it does create a rather interesting atmosphere....
I wouldn't say that they're anything special, but Dororo is a really cute character, and is more than I can say for the rest of the cast. I guess Hyakkimaru is cool, but he's not a very deep character. Can't really say much for the side characters since they're just kind of there....
It's really fun and fast paced. Dororo is full of action and cool monsters. Dororo is episodic, ignoring some slight continuation. But these words of praise on apply to the first 2 volumes, while the final volume is a poorly written mess. The 3rd volume introduces possible new allies, only to kill them off at the last possible moment, because writing in a new character is hard.
It's just really incomplete as a whole.
It was fun, certainly not worth the money, though. Plenty of better samurai vs youkai/monster stuff out there.
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