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Fun, fast-paced, demonic synergy
on October 6, 2008
The first volume of "Dororo" has been put together by Vertical with wonderful aesthetics.
The story itself is fairly self explanatory; I'm sure if you've read this far you already know that it's protagonist, Hyakkimaru, is in search of his body parts, each protected by a demon which he must first kill. Sold off by his father in infancy, Dororo is picked up by a doctor and given prosthetics -- arms, legs, eyes, the whole works. He trains with them and eventually becomes a skillful swordsman without the use of any natural body parts (his own arms are actually swords!). Tezuka does a wonderful job of keeping the pace up. You never go more than a few pages without Hyakkimaru drawing his swords (uh, arms).
At just three volumes, Vertical could've easily published this as one single work. Hefty though it would've been, given the right (read: hardcover!) treatment, I'd trust it in the hands of Vertical. Otherwise, the publication is beautiful - sturdy cover, intricate and graphic cover art and Tezuka's drawings are all intact. This is some truly beautiful stuff to look at. I go about snatching up any Tezuka I can find and while this doesn't stand apart from things like "Apollo's Song", it's Tezuka nonetheless and that means it's better than 90% of anything else your comic-loving hands could find.
Volumes 2 & 3 look to be even better and with the upcoming re-publication of "Black Jack" forthcoming, it's a great time to fall back in love with Tezuka!