Rating: 5/5 – The Volume We’ve Been Waiting For – Though We Might Regret It.
In any manga series there’s a “Come to God” moment – the protagonist and the big-bad meet and scuffle for the first time, the high school girl finally gets her opportunity to be alone with the boy of her dreams, etc. – and that moment has arrived in Dorohedoro’s 10th volume, where hero Caiman finally meets up with villain Ein in a showdown that may result in Nikaido’s ultimate destruction.
No idea what I’m talking about? You have some quality reading to do, and I think by the time you’ve caught up to me, you’ll thank me for telling you to go back and grab vols. 1-9 of this series. Oppressively dark, laugh out loud funny, and eerily creepy…not often you can put those three elements together and create such a compelling read, but creator Q Hayashida does so with ease. In a nutshell, there’s a world where sorcerers ply their magic on hapless citizens of a slum called The Hole. One such victim has decided not to stand for it, and is taking the fight back to the sorcerers. Problem is, his best ally just might be his worst enemy, and as events keep unfurling there’s evidence to suggest he might be the villain of the whole storyline.
In Volume ten, everything comes to a head, as the good guy meets the big bad, but it doesn’t quite have the outcome you were hoping for (or perhaps it does, because that means more volumes to come!). In addition, there’s a side-story that hints this may be the final appearance of a beloved character…and yes, that sentence means exactly what you think it means. Q Hayashida pulls no punches in her stories, and in no other volume than this one is that more apparent. Fans, enter at your own risk…this is a dark ride in a very dark series.
Dorohedoro is arguably the best book Viz is putting out right now, and they’d better finish the run on it. That’s a threat, Viz! Don’t make me come down there. You will find characters in this macabre world of death, disfigurement and utter despair that you will come to love as much as your first teddy bear. You will see love stories amid the decay, beauty rising up from the muck, and a story you won’t soon forget…nor will you want to. I bring this series up to every single one of my friends who bemoan that comics are all the same and there’s nothing truly unique out there, and I drop Q Hayashida’s name every time I hear someone say women aren’t well represented in comics. Go pick this series up and you’ll understand why neither of those arguments hold any water with me.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – firstname.lastname@example.org
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