It’s no secret that I love the anime Dorohedoro. I mean, my husband and I named our husky puppy after the character Noi from it, and we started gathering supplies for working on a cosplay of our favorite dynamic duo Shin and Noi for conventions late last year. 😀
I’ve wanted to make the jump over to the manga series that inspired the anime for a while now, but at a sprawling 23 volumes, my wallet was a little less enthusiastic about the venture. Thankfully, I have the bestest friends and husband ever, and they treated me to the entire collection at Christmas. (When I tell you my eyes were popping out of my skull when I opened the gift and saw the ENTIRE collection in front of me, it doesn’t even fully convey the excitement I felt.) I was so surprised and elated, and I immediately wanted to shut myself into an isolated cabin in the woods and read each book aloud for all to hear. I mean, that always works out okay in the movies, right? 😉
Much like summoning demons after reading something in Latin that you probably shouldn’t have, it’s always a little intimidating checking out the source material from a show or movie you absolutely love. Will it live up to your expectations? Is the show you enjoy even anything like what you’re about to read? Will you love the characters as much? Will you love them even MORE and then see where the show is suddenly lacking?? These are all legitimate concerns, I feel. So, I am setting that fear aside and stepping forward, excited and curious about the wonders and pitfalls I may encounter exploring my beloved anime’s origins through the manga, and even getting to read beyond where the anime left off to see where the story goes and what becomes of my favorite characters come the end of the series. That said, let’s get on with this Read-A-Thon, shall we? 😀
Dorohedoro, Volume 1, by Q. Hayashida
A blood-spattered battle between diabolical sorcerers and the monsters they created.
Caiman was not lucky. A sorcerer cursed him with a reptile head and left him with no memory of his life before the transformation. Adding to the mystery, there’s a specter of a man living inside him. But Caiman has one key advantage: he’s now completely immune to magic. Along with his best friend, Nikaido, Caiman is hunting down sorcerers in the Hole, searching for the one who can undo his curse and killing the rest. But when En, the head Sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering sorcerers, he sends a crew of “cleaners” into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.
I really like the rough, sketchy style of artwork by Q. Hayashida. It perfectly fits the chaotic and hyper-violent world she’s cobbled together for Dorohedoro. Which brings me to another thing I’m enjoying about this series: I’m a total sucker for worldbuilding and complex characters, and Q. Hayashida delivers both in spades. To the point that sometimes you aren’t even really sure which characters you should be rooting for, and which (if any) are actually the bad guys. The series wastes no time kicking off the violence, and from there it only continues along at breakneck speed on its dark and gritty but also silly and fun rampage.
Dorohedoro, Volume 2 by Q. Hayashida
Once a year, hordes of the dead rise and roam the streets of the Hole, hungry for live flesh. And every year, Caiman and Nikaido sign up for the local zombie-killing contest! Whoever sends the most zombies back into the ground will win some fantastic prizes. But the fun ends quickly when En’s cleaners finally track down Caiman and Nikaido. Somebody’s going to lose their head. Literally.
Remember when zombies exploded in popularity and almost became too mundane because of it? Well, the zombies roaming around in the Hole in the second volume of Dorohedoro have a unique twist all their own that makes them anything but boring.
My immediate reaction upon reading the first 2 volumes is being pleasantly surprised by how well the anime stuck to the source material. Even so, both mediums do a good job bringing their own magic to the series, and the manga serves to further flesh out the world and its characters that I’ve come to love in the anime, so needless to say, I very much look forward to reading the rest of this series!
What are you reading right now? Get any good books over the holidays?? If you had to get cursed by a sorcerer and given the head of any animal, which one would you choose??? Inquiring minds want to know!