Dorohedoro Vol. 1 (Manga)
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 2010
Price: $12.99
Creator: Q Hayashida
Format: 168 pgs.; B&W
ISBN: 978-1-4215-3363-6
Age Rating: M/Mature
ICv2 Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

In the city called the Hole, sorcerers appear and steal people to use in their experiments.  After one such experiment, Caiman was left with a reptile head and few memories.  Now he and Nikaido, the woman who found him, travel through their bleak world trying to find that sorcerer and undo the spell.

 Hayashida’s manga is gritty and off-beat.  She moves between drama, humor, and horror, occasionally combining them into one.  Caiman in particular exhibits those traits.  He hates being cursed and suffers from nightmares, but he’ll make jokes in the most inappropriate moments, such as after killing a sorcerer.  Nikaido is not afraid of a fight if it comes to her, but is overall level-headed.  The world Hayashita has built is complex and seemingly senseless, gripping in its originality.  This first volume only begins to tell the story, which seems likely to get odder.  Hayashida’s art is as rough as her tale.  Everything is shaded dirty and hard-edged as blood splatters and viscera are sliced from the body. Adult readers looking for post-apocalyptic-type settings or those who like their horror more physical and less emotional and with just a touch of humor should find something to appreciate here.

--Snow Wildsmith: Librarian for the Mountain Island Branch of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenberg County in North Carolina.