Monday, March 22, 2010

Manga Monday: Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro (Volume 1)
Q Hayashida

The latest addition to Viz's Ikki line is Dorohedoro, a gritty urban fantasy that takes place on a world where sorcerers wield deadly magic and offer gifts to the devil in exchange for unique masks.  The story that Hayashida tells in this dark world follows Kaiman, a man who was left with a crocodile head by a sorcerer and now seeks to find the culprit to revert back to his normal form.  Kaiman also has a man living inside his body that he's unable to see, but gives him messages through his victims.  So when Kaiman encounters a victim, he engulfs their head with his mouth to let the man say something to them, before demanding to hear what he had to say.  If it's not what Kaiman wants to hear, he usually kills the sorcerer.  In one instance, a sorcerer is pulled out of his mouth prematurely, and her face is ripped off by his teeth, which is a pretty good example of how this book plays out.  Very ruthless and bloody.  There's plenty of action heavy with gore, but a good amount of dark humor thrown in to lighten things up a bit (although sometimes the timing of the humor seems a little off).  Many of the sorcerers in this title use transformation spells on humans in The Hole, where non-magic users live.  These grotesque transformations often leave the humans in pitiful states, many times leading to painful deaths as their bodies can't support the state the experimentation leaves them in.  Nikaido is Kaiman's trusty companion who helps him hunt magic users, and is herself the victim of such practice at one point.  They have a nice relationship, albeit a platonic one.  The art is clear and suits the dark moody atmosphere of the title overall with action sequences that play out clearly.  Overall, there are a lot of cool, crazy ideas thrown into this title, and if you have the stomach for its fast pace and plenty of dismemberment, have at it.

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