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Dorohedoro, Vol. 1 Paperback – March 16, 2010
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About the Author
Known for her bold style and seamless creation of alternate universes, Q Hayashida made her manga debut with Maken X Another, which ran in Magazine Z and was subsequently adapted into a video game. She followed this series with a sequel, Maken X Another Jack. Dorohedoro is her latest series.
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This story combines sorcery/magic(that you haven't seen before), battle manga, great action, explicit death/gore, and a unique plot. You get both strong male and bad ass female characters in this manga, well up to Vol. 5 that I've read.
Give it a go, you might like it.
The story takes place in some strange dystopia where magic reigns supreme. We start out in "Hole," a literal hellhole where the entire population suffers at the whims of magic users. Grotesque mutations are commonplace and one such grotesque character is our hero Kaiman. Now Kaiman has been transformed into a lizard-man and lost all of his memories in the process. He and his good friend Nikaido patrol the streets in search of the magic user responsible.
Of course, there's a lot more to Kaiman's transformation than that. The story really takes off after the initial introductions and world-building (this first volume). The world itself is enchanting. Magic takes on a sinister air, there's not a hint of hiddly-piddly wand waving or charming little spells for the domestic housewife. It's dangerous stuff, unique to each person and usually deadly for the victim. There's no set good and evil in the series. We're introduced to Kaiman as he kills a man, and introduced to Shin and Noi as they massacre a gang. In contrast to this sinister vibe, the characters are all quirky, lovable, and light-hearted. Kaiman in particular acts quite childish at times. He's sheepish around Nikaido and quite confused about his past.
The artwork fits the series perfectly, it's actually how I heard about Dorohedoro. Q Hayashida was an assistant to Tsutomu Nihei, famous for BLAME! You can definitely feel his influence what with the dark alleys, exposed plumbing, and grime. But Hayashida has a style all her own and I can only describe it as quirky. She employs a dark humor in her artwork.
A note on the Viz's publication, Viz has translated a few things differently from the fan translations circling around the net. For example magic users are called sorcerers and Kaiman is spelled with a "C", Caiman. Also I believe I found a misspelled word, "heve" instead of have. Though perhaps it was meant to be an accent. But it's not censored, the book is slightly larger than most manga keeping the detail of Hayashida's work, and there are some lovely colored pages.
Overall, I'd recommend Dorohedoro for anyone looking for something unique, creative, and gory. Believe me, this series just gets better and better and the first volume is a great start.