Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - MAPPA
Caiman is a person who has lost all of his memories after being transformed into a lizard-headed man by a sorcerer. Living in a grim urban region called Hole, he now hunts magic users in search of the one responsible for his metamorphosis in an attempt to recover his past and his face. Extremely strong and immune to magic, he has the help of his best friend, Nikaido. She is an agile fighter who runs a small restaurant at Hole. Their continuous slaughter of magicians calls the attention of a powerful sorcerer named En. He has his two best hitman, Shin and Noi, target the lizard-man and his ally. As Caiman delves deep into the search for his former identity, he starts acquiring odd clues that lead him into the bizarre magic world.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

TV anime that premiered on January 12, 2020.
Animated by MAPPA.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 7 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3791#1552]
Dorohedoro is set in a post-apocalyptic world that consists of two dimensions: a dismal city called Hole that is home to humans and an alternate world that is home to Sorcerers who have the ability to create magic through manifesting "smoke" and are contracted with demons. Within Hole, a mysterious man with the head of a lizard named Caiman has no memory of who he is and a mysterious figure is within his stomach. Seeking aid from a young woman named Nikaido, the two hunt down Sorcerers who enter Hole to find the one who transformed his head and discover more about his lost past.

Dorohedoro offers up some pretty engaging exploration of its world and characters relating to the societies of both Hole and the world of Sorcerers within the series. There is clear conflict between the realms as Sorcerers often sneak into Hole to make its residents into guinea pigs to test their magic on and doctors exist to try repairing whatever abnormalities Sorcerers inflict onto humans with their magic. Conflict is also commonplace in the Sorcerer world as it runs on a hierarchical system based on the proficiency of the Sorcerer's magic and has caused internal conflict within the realm. There is also a good amount of exploration that goes into exploring how the Sorcerers are able to conjure up their magic and the ties they have to demons These elements help add some engaging layers to the conflicts that take place throughout Dorohedoro's run, as well as dabbling more into how the magic used by Sorcerers works specifically.

The characters for the series also make for more of the entertaining elements of Dorohedoro. In spite of the mentioned conflicts, the series carries a rather light-hearted and easygoing tone in depicting interactions between characters, even involving those within the different realms. There is a good deal of moral ambiguity with many of the characters seen throughout the series, as all have their good and bad traits that can make the audience care for them in spite of all the chaos they stir up and there is enough time to flesh out the backgrounds of a number of the major characters in Dorohedoro. The only shortcoming in this area is that Caiman's character is still largely a mystery and the conflict between factions is still largely unresolved. While the manga source material for the series is complete, it's unclear as of this review whether or not there will be more seasons to further explore the plot of Dorohedoro.

One other thing I should warn folks about Dorohedoro is that it's quite graphic in terms of violent content. Characters are shown to be slain or mutilated in various messy ways throughout the series in spite of the light-hearted and comical mood that the series often comes off with. While the more violent nature is a good fit for Dorohedoro given the gritty and chaotic world it explores, I would still not recommend any younger or more content-sensitive audiences look into this series.

In terms of presentation, Dorohedoro makes use of a 3DCG animation style in rendering its characters and settings. While implementations of this technology have been hit-and-miss in quality with TV anime over the past several years, the animation works quite well with Dorohedoro as character designs and scenery are nicely rendered and character movement is convincingly fluid throughout the show's run, most notably during action scenes and scenes depicting Sorcerers using their magic. The CG is quite noticeable if you pay attention to details with the rendering that may seem a little off and can take getting used to viewing for those not accustomed to it.

Overall, I was quite entertained with Dorohedoro throughout its 12-episode run as it offered a fun and gritty time exploring the chaotic and dark world offered up with the residents of Hole and the Sorcerer World. Those who've enjoyed gritty and mature action titles like Black Lagoon and Baccano! should give this series a shot if you've yet to see it.

Last updated Monday, March 30 2020. Created Sunday, March 29 2020.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3791#628]
(One episode watched):

I am wary of shows that include magic, because sometimes writers of anime seem to take the attitude that their stories don't have to make sense, because they include magic and magic doesn't make sense. But there are no exceptions to the rules which govern what is really high quality and what isn't. Pretty much right from the start, Dorohedoro was bizarre and confusing. There are strange gateways between the normal world and some magical realm--I think this dark, dystopian world where the bulk of the story takes place is the 'normal' world but it wasn't clear. This lizard-headed man, Kaiman (there's a type of crocodile known as a Caiman) needs to stick people's heads in his mouth and then ask them what the man within his mouth (no kidding) said to them. Why in the world would that be so? No answer. Apparently Kaiman was once an ordinary human, but a 'magic user' converted him into the freak that he now is. Magic users, apparently, are really, really bad and deserve to die, and Kaiman enjoys hunting them down as a sort of revenge. One problem was that since he's basically a vigilante who takes the law into his own hands, I never really got the sense that he was a hero who I could sympathize with. In general, there are lots of messed-up, despicable people, but not really anybody I feel sorry for. And it gets pretty violent; a person gets their face torn off, fingers are slashed off, heads are crushed against concrete walls, etc. It's not all that disturbing a sort of violence, since everything is so bizarre and the villains aren't all that deep or scary. But, paradoxically, violence without a purpose or much of a reason is kind of boring. Basically, at the end I didn't feel much curiousity about what the explanation of Kaiman's situation would be and if he would ever undo it or get revenge.

Last updated Tuesday, January 14 2020. Created Tuesday, January 14 2020.

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