Q Hayashida’s bewildering horror manga is finally animated! Dorohedoro is a dismal, filthy anime that’s teeming with cheerful monsters and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Plot summary

Caiman kills someone. Whoops!

Caiman is out to find the sorcerer that stole his memories and transformed his head into that of a reptile. I don’t know how to explain this in a coherent way but… there’s another man hiding in Caiman’s throat, a man that supposedly knows the identity of this illusive sorcerer, so, more often than not, Caiman catches a sorcerer, wraps his whole mouth around the poor person’s face and waits for the man in his throat to say if this person is “the one”. That makes sense, right?! I mean, that’s just the tip of iceberg…

Is it any good?

Caiman & Nikaidō from Dorohedoro episode 1

Dorohedoro is idiosyncratic. In other words, it’s really weird, to the point where there’s nothing else in anime that compares. It’s gory and full of grotesque monsters, but it’s also quite funny. Definitely more funny than scary. Everything is run-down, dirty and overcrowded, yet there’s life around every corner, happily crawling by. Q Hayashida has created a dismal, filthy world and populated it with a bunch of cheerful monsters. That’s really what comes across most of all in this first episode, that Dorohedoro is full of life. It’s a master-class in world building.

What are you worried about?

Caiman brushing his teeth

I was worried about Dorohedoro being a little too CG heavy, but aside from a few scenes, it’s well animated and really captures the dingy, lived-in aesthetic of Q Hayashida’s manga, not to mention the oddball chemistry between guys like Caiman and Nikaidō.

Is the storytelling coherent right now? Probably not at the moment, no. I wouldn’t blame anyone watching this feeling a little… bewildered. That’s certainly how I felt and I’ve collected a lot of Dorohedoro‘s manga, but have faith, dear reader, things are explained… eventually!

(Stream note: Dorohedoro is being streamed by Netflix in Japan, and therefore, as their “way”, it’s being held back for international release until they deign to release it. The version I watched was fansubbed. You may as well do the same.)

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