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Dororo Volume 1 (v. 1) Paperback – April 29, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Dororo Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A surprisingly bleak contrast to manga pioneer Tezuka's better known Astro Boy and Phoenix, this first of three volumes relates the horrific origin of Hyakkimaru, a teenage hero whose father sacrifices his newborn son's bodily components to 48 demons in exchange for unstoppable military power. What remained of the child is found by a doctor who fashions him artificial limbs, including prosthetic arms that house hidden swords, and when Hyakkimaru comes of age, he embarks on a mission to kill the demons, thus reclaiming his flesh-and-blood body parts. Early in his journey, Hyakkimaru encounters Dororo, a young thief, and the two becoming traveling companions. Facing and defeating all manner of inhuman threats, the pair is driven away by the very people they've saved, villagers who are either outraged by Dororo's unashamed thievery or terrified by Hyakkimaru's perceived strangeness. But with each supernatural set-to, Hyakkimaru regains another piece of his stolen humanity and moves on to take down the next demon. Marking Tezuka's move into edgier work, this series is riveting and utterly creepy, with Tezuka's signature cute style offering a welcome counterpoint to the visceral horrors depicted. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Tezuka’s work is about as essential and far-reaching as manga gets, and Apollo’s Song only adds that much more weight to an already massive reputation. Start here, and if you’re intrigued, Ode to Kirihito and Buddha also await you. There’s never been anything like Tezuka’s body of work, and there probably never will be again." - Serdar Yegulalp

"Osamu Tezuka invented a whole new grammar of comics storytelling and his place in the history of Japanese comics is about as central as Siddhartha's place in the history of Buddhism." - Art Spiegelman

Sleek in design and swift in pacing, the story's blend of mayhem and laffs and depression creates a uniquely chaotic world... The monster designs are excellent, ranging from detailed etchings to gargantuan masses of doomy scribbles." --Jog-The Blog

"Tezuka's masterwork is an enlightening demonstration of the limitless potential of the comics medium."- Gordon Flagg

“It's the pioneer of the manga tradition wading neck deep into the mire of freakish swordsmen, ghouls and historical messiness: Kurosawa and Leone meets Romero... Dororo stands as a classic that showcases Osamu Tezuka's unique approach to manga and to the world.” —Ain't It Cool News

“Platinum Award. Tezuka blends high-adventure plotting with deep and thoughtful themes in his inimitable style... It seems a shame it's only all been in Japanese until now.” —Advanced Media Network

"The pacing is blistering...Osamu Tezuka’s ability to immerse his readers in the lives and hardships of his characters is staggering.At its core, Dororo is an awesome action/adventure title with strong characterizations and a gripping setting." — Manga Maniac Cafe

He (Osamu Tezuka) wasn’t only an artist, but a phenomenal story teller, director, and editor. I can’t say enough about this man and if you’ve never read anything by him, do yourself a favor and let this book introduce you to the world that he created. You can’t have a manga collection without this book in your library." —About Heroes

Simply put, Vertical's English translation of Osamu Tezuka's late '60s swords-and-goblins saga is a work of such genius that one must term it not only inspired but also inspiring--it's a reminder of why one reads manga in the first place. Exquisitely rendered and mind-bogglingly creative." --Firefox News

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Product Details

  • Series: Dororo (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934287164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934287163
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,897,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. P. Glass on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first of the recent run of Vertical translations of vintage Tezuka to be in the original manga format. Personally I have been awaiting Dororo in English for close to four decades. I love that tag line [volume title?] on the back - NOBODY IS BORN WHOLE. The front cover is growing on me. The anatomical background not only reflects Tezuka's physician background, but it also reflects what was taken from Hyakkimaru by his father and the 48 demons. I will be eager to see what the image across the spine portrays when volume 3 arrives this fall.
Hyakkimaru's father promised 48 demons a portion each of his soon to born son then literally sends the result down the river in a basket. The basket is found by a doctor who cares for the baby. When the baby communicates telepathically with him, the doctor creates prostatic body parts to replaces those the demon took. Once he becomes proficient at propelling himself, Hyakkimaru leaves the doctor to find and destroy the 48 demons in order to reclaim himself. He is followed by death spirits that can take any form, but that deaf, dumb, blind kid sure wields a mean katana. He rescues and is joined by an even younger sidekick Dororo [the juvenile pronunciation of Dorobo - the word for thief].
Following just the cinematic visuals for forty years I thought that Dororo was a riff on Pinocchio. I was surprised that Hyakkimaru is a 14 year old telepath. Could Dororo in its Sunday Comics volumes and The X-Men at Marvel have reverberated on the same frequency when they first appeared in the 1960's?
This Vertical edition pretty much matches the Akita Bunko publication [minus the opening pages in color plus the creature from page 127 backing up the Table of Contents]. After re"reading" and enjoying Dororo visually for decades, I am eagerly await reading the entire saga "dubbed" with "subtitles".
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It took it so long to get here that I would not have been surprised to have seen it delivered by pack mule...however it did get here, the condition is as described, and I am so very happy to have it!

At a quick glance, it is in English, as promised, and the illustrations and cover art are beautiful.
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By Rochelle on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this series because I heard great things about it from the internet. When I first got the book I was very disappointed in the artwork because I'm more used to the more realistic Anime style Mangas. After reading a bit of the book I quickly became acustomed to the artwork because it shows the characters emotions so well. I totally loved this series and would recommend it to anybody.
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Format: Paperback
Consider this; in 1969 Marvel comics had been around for about seven years and Spiderman was fighting his monthly menagerie of villains month after month and still struggling with his personal issues of self esteem, girls and an uncertain public perception. DC was barely starting to realize that there was a comic book audience older than ten years of age... so what was Osamu Tezuka doing? He was writing a 1600+ page epic about a ronin warrior whose father had sold his individual body parts before his birth to demon spirits in exchange for worldly success. The warrior holds himself together through magic and prosthetic body parts and is on a lifelong quest to kill each demon and win back each body part piece by piece until he is whole. This epic is a fast though often contemplative read as our hero journey's with a young orphan thief while periodically decapitating and dissecting demons who embody various sometimes hideous, sometimes mysterious forms.

This is a terrific page turner. It reads fast and is very engaging so don't let the 800 pgs per volume intimidate you. Much of the focus is on the action and expressive elements of the story with minimal narration. The art style is Japanese old school with the typical wide-eyed cute characters of the time which oddly balances the intensely violent and often tragic elements of the story. The expression and backgrounds are excellent which all delivers for a very satisfying production all around.

I'll just end by saying; do NOT miss this.
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Format: Paperback
Dororo is very exiting, with decent graphics and excellent writing. The book is interesting right from the start and really keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout the whole story. The title comes from the Japanese word dorobo which means thief, but children who cannot pronounce it properly often say dororo. Dororo's name fits him very well because he is both a young child and a thief.

Beyond Dororo, the other main character's name is Hyakkimaru. Before Hyakkimaru was born, his father Lord Daigo gained power by making an exchange with 48 demons, letting each one of them take a body part from his child in exchange for helping him to rule over the land. When Hyakkimaru was born he was missing his eyes, arms, legs, nose, and way more. His father abandoned him after birth, but a kind doctor found him and raised him like his own son.

To help get around, the doctor built prosthetics for all of Hyakkimaru's missing body parts. Many years later, monsters began taking over the doctor's house. The doctor then built new prosthetic arms with built-in blades so that Hyakkimaru could defend himself. The doctor soon discovered that the ghouls were after Hyakkimaru so he told him to flee from the danger.

During his travels Hyakkimaru met Dororo who he rescued from a monster. After seeing Hyakkimaru fight, Dororo decided that he must have Hyakkimaru's sword. He follows him around to steal it, but eventually they became friends. They travel to many different places and help many different people but keep getting shunned and forced to move on. For the most part people despise Dororo for being a thief, but they don't like Hyakkimaru for a variety of reasons.

Hyakkimaru and Dororo have many adventures together.
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