Story/Art: Q Hayashida
Translation/Adaptation: AltJapan Co., Ltd. (Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt)
What They Say
Caiman has left the Hole behind for the Sorcerers’ dimension in an attempt to unravel the mysteries of his past. As the Sorcerers’ “Blue Night” festival draws to a close, Nikaido finds herself taken captive. Supernatural crime-syndicate boss En has taken an inordinate interest in her abilities, which may be far different, and far more powerful, than anyone suspects. Oblivious to his best friend’s danger, Caiman continues his quest to determine his true identity, picking up some unexpected help—and meat pies—in the process. But once he gets wind of her predicament, he makes a beeline for En’s heavily guarded fortress of a mansion. Prison confessions, daring escapes, strange tattoos, unexpected reunions, and devils aplenty abound in this volume of Dorohedoro!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Six volumes into Dorohedoro, and the weirdness factor is starting to loose it’s edge. It’s not that the subject matter is normalizing, but much like being in a foreign land, the culture shock is starting to wear off.
Conflict is at an all time high between Caiman’s friends and En’s group, despite their almost chummy interactions. It’s a veritable blood bath for a large majority of the volume, with limbs flying and heads smashing. There’s a mostly bloodless murder mystery featuring Chota thrown in the middle for a change of pace, a throwback to the earlier more episodic chapters of the series.
Things aren’t easy for Nikaido, kidnapped and forced against her will to serve as En’s new partner, much to the anger of some of En’s underlings. Her friends aren’t doing well either, locked up, tortured, and transmuted by En’s mushroom power. As Nikaido’s will is magical zapped, we discover En’s rise to power in a cleverly framed flashback, which is a huge highlight for En fans, as we finally get to see what’s behind his mask.
Caiman remains oblivious to the plight of his friends, stuck across town making meat pies and trying to track down more information on the cross-eyes. His search for answers lead him to a prison run by devils, and lead to a rather unusual interrogation.
Yup, all signs are pointing to the cross-eyes as the root of all evil for everyone involved. Finding the one of them responsible for all of the trouble with Caiman and En’s family has now become a priority for everyone.
For all the manic action and weird humor, it’s the little things that endear Dorohedoro to me as a reader. My favorite in this volume is a splash page featuring Professor Kasukabe at different ages. I still admire the commitment Hayashida has for making sure that everything in the sorcerer’s world is hell themed, even down to the television networks.
For our cultural shock moments of this volume we learn about sorcerer school, Blue Night, and what it takes to get a death sentence in a land where murder and mayhem are commonplace. We even find out how Nikaido came to own a gyoza shop, which unfortunately is reproduced entirely in gray tones. I should probably give up hoping that Viz will ever return to printing color in this title, at least this time the pages were bright enough to not be muddy when reproduced in black and white.
Dorohedoro continues on it’s murderous path to the truth, which is growing into a deeper mystery as time progresses. Could it be that Caiman and En are seeking the same truth? Could a truce be called and an epic team up be in store in the future? With En and Caiman’s tempers it seems unlikely those two would ever see eye to eye, especially now that Caiman knows that Nikaido is being held captive by En. Not to mention what’s happened to Caiman’s friends. The gore is still flowing in buckets, the boobs are still enormous, and this still isn’t a title for the faint of heart. For the rest of us, this is one of the best mixes of action, horror, and comedy on the manga market, and more people should check it out.
Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: April 17th, 2012