Dorohedoro 8

February 14, 2013

Q Hayashida – Viz – 2012 – 17+ volumes

You may think I’m going against the Valentine’s Day theme of my posts today, but it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t feature heartbreaking in the literal sense of the word. Or maybe it’s because Shin’s mask is a heart, and he loves to break bones and organs. The important thing is that I will use any excuse whatsoever to talk about Dorohedoro.

This was another fine volume, though a lot of time was spent fighting rather than advancing the story. There are a few different threads here. In one, Kasukabe fights with Shin and Noi at the Cross Eye hideout. Shin and Noi are both given a pretty hard time by the Cross Eyes, and one even mutates in order to stop them. We also find out a little bit about Kasukabe’s wife, who is inherently awesome in the present.

Elsewhere, En serves a dinner of mushrooms that taste like steak, but cause the person consuming them to enter a dream world that includes anyone dining with them on the mushrooms. There’s a narrative purpose to this, but like anything else in Dorohedoro, it keeps going in bizarre directions that serve to entertain and… maybe reinforce some character traits? All I know is that Fujita is awesome at taking advantage of the dream world to get what he wants. Eventually all the characters go their separate ways and have their own dreams, all of which end in bizarre personal nightmares.

We’re also following Caiman and Nikaido, who find a Cross Eyes base and try to infiltrate the organization. They gain an ally while doing this, and Caiman is on the cusp of remembering something important at the end of the volume, but other than moving around some, not much happens with these two. Well, I guess Caiman changes out of his tutu, which I don’t even remember him wearing, so there’s that.

Finally, there’s the other faction of Cross Eyes. Risu has been held by them, and while they reorganize after the loss of the shack that Shin and Noi destroyed, we also find out that Risu is no friend of theirs, and Risu begins a flashback that contains a character called Aikawa, who… may be a Cross Eyes, but more importantly, he wears the same mask as Caiman and seems to have the same personality. So that’s a lot of fun, and a definite push forward for the plot. Maybe. If those are actually the same person, and don’t just kind of look like the same person, like Caiman and Risu.

And the art is still fantastic, but I’ve raved about that before. Basically, it’s still very violent (wherever Shin and Noi appear, messy deaths follow), still very funny, and still the most absolutely eccentric series I’ve ever read. I cannot get enough of this, and still wish it came out faster.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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