Saturday, 29 January 2011


Since appearing about a year or so ago, Viz's Ikki line of manga has always been worth checking out. (I'll probably get around to quite a few of them as time goes on) Its sealed state from its 'Mature' rating means that browsing in store is difficult, but you can get a taste of all the titles on the official website. Chapters are published for free, and once a volume's worth has been translated the archive is deleted and a retail copy is made available for general sale.

Not being one for webcomics, digital copies, e-books for whatever they're call these days, this hardcopy junky skipped the previews entirely and bought volume 1 of Dorohedoro on the blind. It's a tactic that's been tried on more than a few occassions as it reaps all kinds of unusal surprises and curios. This time round what I found was one of the more quirky, bold and fun titles being released at the moment.

Caiman is a victim to a Sorcerer attack and is left disfigured with a lizard-like appearence. He has no recollection of how he got it, who gave it to him, or who he was before his transformation. Luckily by chomping down on peoples' heads, a man in his throat (bare with me) rises up through it and dictates who is or isn't the 'one'. It's the only lead he's got as to what's going on, not much but it'll do, so he and his partner Nikaido decide to solve the mystery while taking out their revenge on as many Sorcerers as they can on the way.

It's a bizarre scenario in an equally bizarre setting. Living in a slum and populated by all manners of weirdos and social oddities who have a penchant for wearing boiler suits and gimp masks, Dorohedoro's setting and design is striking and one of its strongest features. The thorough attention of detail given to the rough scratchy drawing style creates a convincing world that helps you accept all the freaky stuff that goes on. The strong characters help bring this over along with a particularly carefree sense of humour. There is a lot of violence, and it's true a few of these characters are real sadists, but their everyday banter and humour in face of the increasingly surreal circumstances helps to not alienate or freak out the reader.

Certainly not for everyone, but the combo of gore and dark humour certainly hits the spot. File this one under guilty pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. Took a glance at this on the website and indeed looks like a wild read, exactly the sort I'd be interested in...