Dorohedoro 6

April 3, 2012

Q Hayashida – Viz – 2012 – 16+ volumes

This comes out way to slowly for my taste. I think I could read all sixteen volumes in one sitting. It’s just so strange and wonderful, and absolutely vague about everything. It’s clearly going somewhere, and what’s coming is going to be wonderful, but it’s taking its time to develop the world while it gets there. Also, the art is amazingly dark and detailed and the violence is over-the-top and absurd.

The Blue Night festivities draw to a close, with contracts being signed, including a new partner for En. This process is detailed extensively, and involves going to a Devil house, some sort of bathing ritual, opening the chest cavity of all concerned with a special handle, and signing all the contracts and whatnot.

After this, the primary thrust of the story is helping the group from the Hole recover from En’s magic (most of them were partially or completely mushroom-ized) and helping Nikaido escape. We learn about the situations around En’s manor not directly, but indirectly through a strange murder mystery that lets us get to know one of the side characters (En’s old partner Chota). He also manages to squeeze in the life story of En in video form, which may or may not be a factual telling. I love that it’s so ambiguous (the video is presented in a way that makes En legendary), and I love that it doesn’t really matter whether it is or not.

Elsewhere, Caiman is still trying to chase down the cross-eyes. His searches take him to a prison, where we get to witness a Devil execution and learn that selling pastries in the shapes of devils is an offense punishable with death. All of this is fascinating, and makes up for the fact that the convict offers very little new information. The Devil execution in particular is fabulous.

The main hint of story that appears to have real purpose, however, is the end of En’s movie, which reveals that his magic completely wiped out a town while he was trying to fight a cross-eyes sorcerer who was completely immune to magic. He thinks he may not have killed this person, and it is his life’s mission to try and determine if this person is still alive. Was this Caiman? Hard to say.

We are no closer to learning about Nikaido’s special magic, nor what’s up with the cross-eyes, but somehow this volume is still incredibly satisfying. Again, it’s the details that really get me in this series. Everyone really does have their own eccentric story to tell, and all the design and story decisions are unique and extremely purposeful. Even the pin-up illustrations sometimes include details that you wouldn’t otherwise notice in the story itself. One particularly nice chapter illustration of Chota shows him with a hole through his hand, which I noticed later is part of his character design, he wears a strange pipe through and around his hand.

In fact, I suspect that what’s actually going on might be less interesting than the Devil execution and the hell toilets and the strange En self-promotion movie that we’ve seen so far. But that’s fine, because the long, strange, and amazingly illustrated ride I’m taking to the destination is enough for me. It is unlike almost any other manga I’ve read, and I absolutely cannot get enough.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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