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Fourthman Reviews Dorohedoro Volume 1

Written by Lee Newman on Wednesday, April 07 2010 and posted in Reviews

A violent book about lizard people and wizards is a kinetic entry from Viz.

The cover to Viz Media's Dorohedoro Vol 1Dorohedoro Volume 1
Published by Viz Signature
Written and Illustrated by Q Hayashida
Translation by AltJapan, Inc

At the end of the day, I am sure there is an audience for this book.  I am decidedly not a member of it.

This book seems like it will do well with readers who enjoy Bleach, Dragon Ball Z or any other book that has more energy than story.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like about this book.  It’s set in some kind of weird tech deficient future where magic has run rampant.  Wizards are running around experimenting on the general population, proving themselves before they can move to a higher plane.

At the outset of this volume, there is some hack magician performing half assed transmutations on his victims.  This brings both some weird Sorcerer cop style guys into the Hole (the city in the book) to investigate.  Meanwhile, it also garners the attention of  Caimon, a Lizard guy.  He goes about ripping the faces off of the sorcerers investigating things.  He’s on some hunt for the guy who did this to him.  Just to make it all really confusing, the Lizard Guy and his girl friend are the good guys. I think.

See here’s the thing.  I have read this book twice all the way through and another partial third read.  The narrative is scatter shot, little bits of it fly out of nowhere here and there.  As a result, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Lizard Guy slicing and dicing.Okay, that’s the bad, well other than the juvenile dialogue that plagues the entire read.  Hopefully, that is a translation problem, if not then I kind of wonder why this is making its way to our shores.

Alright, I said there were things to like.  The designs are insane fun.  Lizard guy is a marvel to look at.  Most of the bad guys run around in masks that are either outrageous or look like something out of a Dave McKean designed s&m film.  It feels like an old David Fincher video.  I am ready for "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails to be the soundtrack to the anime version.

Furthermore, the book is not afraid to be gory.  It almost relishes in it.  Fans of Eli Roth should check it out.  Heads are chopped off, limbs litter the aftermath of fights.  But best of all, near as I can figure, the Lizard Guy eats the bad guys.  Imagine if Green Arrow and Arsenal went that balls to the wall in their current vindictive streak?

This is a visceral, fast moving manga.  I am sure that many fans will come to it in droves and love it.  This reader just wanted a little more solid characterization and lucid storytelling. I don’t know, just call me old fashioned.



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