Dorohedoro is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Q Hayashida. It tells the story of Caiman, a victim of a magic attack, resulting in Caiman being left with a lizard head. I reviewed the series and considered it one of the best anime series in the last decade. Chris Joynson over at Never Argue with a Fish reviewsDorohedoro and loves the series “creativity.” He says that:
Sometimes I just have to marvel at anime. I mean there are many, many reasons why I’ve been watching it for the majority of my life now, but one of the main ones is the sheer breadth and creativity of its stories. Where else am I going to come across a show that opens with a man with a lizard head biting down some other dude’s head, only for another head to work its way up the lizard man’s throat and start talking?
Irina review Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen has been a massive hit and has become one of the best received and most successful manga/anime series in years. Like Dorohedoro, I reviewed the first anime season. Irina reviewed the series and was captivated by the animation from MAPPA, “I’m pretty impressed by Mappa lately. . . they certainly know how to create some eye-catching animation.” Overall, Irina concludes what most fans of Jujutsu Kaisen have, the series is a great action shonen;
Season 1 of Jujutsu Kaisen is a strong start to what could become a future classic of action shonen anime. It’s not breaking any molds but it’s a prime example of its genre
Madoka Magica and the capitalist metaphor
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of those highly regarded anime you hear about from time to time. I always intend to watch it but can’t seem to find the time. Anyway, Audrey Dubois explores how Madoka Magica can be seen as a metaphor for capitalism. Using an “economic lens,” Dubois discusses how Kyubey exploits the magical girls employing them as “freelancers,” into deadly work without “protection.” Kyubey’s manipulations result in isolation, conflict, and ultimately the magical girl’s destruction.
Kyubey’s character is truly a masterclass in labor exploitation. He conditions his magical girls to view potential allies as rivals and targets the most vulnerable candidates to continue his profit machine. His exaggerated evil might help viewers recognize those manipulative tactics when they arise in real life.
The origins of the cross-eye have been a mystery for this entire season. Episode 12 of Dorohedoro, answers some of our questions early. The cross-eye can’t use magic. Risu claims that they have a “headquarters” in Berith. He heads there to find out who killed him. Meanwhile, Kaiman and Nikaido begin to fight on the bridge. Kaiman is reluctant to fight her. She knocks him through a wall. A statue crushes Kaiman’s legs. Barely able to walk, Kaiman’s head starts to hurt. Nikaido is surprised by what appears to be Kaiman. He stabs her in the back. Asu, her devil friend, finds her and removes the contract from her wound.
The contract is still on
Despite Asu removing the contract, it’s still in effect. Nikaido has escaped its control temporarily. According to Asu, if she lays eyes on En again the “contract will regrow inside her body.” Asu tells her that she must escape and get far from him. Kaiman has flashbacks of meeting Nikaido. It turns out that Kaiman isn’t his real name. Its the name of the reptile he resembles. When he comes to Kaiman swallows Nikaido’s head. She sees Risu and he tells her that she’s “not the one.” Nikaido tells him that the man in his mouth is Risu.
Meanwhile, Shin and the others share a meal. He plans to return them to Hole tomorrow and implores them to forget Nikaido. As En follows Nikaido into the church. Asu forces Kaiman and Nikaido into a door and turns Chota into Nikaido.
A heart to heart
Kaiman and Nikaido are sent to a ruined city. They hid in an abandoned train station to escape the devils. Nikaido explains that her magic caused her to “lose a friend.” It’s dangerous and she has highly sought after. She wanted to become human. She hoped that she could become human by fighting against sorcerers. Kaiman points out that he has no idea what kind of human he was. Why would she want to be friends with him?
Nikaido asks Kaiman if being a sorcerer is a “dealbreaker?” He rationalizes that if she doesn’t use magic she really can’t be a sorcerer. They pinky swear. Promising no matter what Kaiman is really like they will be friends forever.
The mysteries in Dorohedoro continue
Dorohedoro episode 12 ends on a touching moment. However, I can’t help but assume both promises will be broken. At some point, Nikaido will be forced to use her magic and we will find out that Kaiman was a terrible man. This episode was very well-paced. It felt quick but satisfying. Dorohedoro has set up new problems, Nikaido can’t escape En’s contract so easily. While implementing a temporary solution, Chota taking her place. Eventually, Chota (as Nikiado) will be asked to use her magic.
When he fails En will surely kill him. Shin and Noi helping Vaux and the others could prove problematic for them. Finally, Asu is going to pay for his interference. One thing is clear, if Risu can’t use magic then he didn’t use magic on Kaiman. I can’t wait to find out who’s responsible.
So did you enjoy this season? How did you like the season finale?
Dorohedoro episode 11 is full of surprises. After the last episode, I assumed Johnson and Dr. Kasukabe were goners. I had completely forgotten the fact that the Doctor saved Shin’s life. Meanwhile, Chota abuses Nikaido. He gives her poison tea and drops a bowling ball on her head. He’s jealous of her partnership with En. He makes her watch the autobiographical movie that En wrote and produced. Dorohedoro uses the movie as a framing device to tell us En’s backstory. The first chapter is titled “Hell.” When En was a baby, his magic turned his parents into mushrooms. A bulgar kidnapped him. Sold to low-class sorcerers, he stole smoke from higher classed sorcerers. He worked there for nine years. After that, they threw him in a river.
En’s backstory, Surviving Hell
En was mistaken for a corpse by a devil. It took him to hell. However, due to his hatred, he survived. Two years later he was discovered by Chidaruma. He returned to the factory. After killing the owners he developed an alliance with many sorcerers. The second chapter is called “The Enemy.” Twenty years later a serial killer is loose. He targets high-level sorcerers and decapitates them. The Cross-eye was the culprit. He killed En’s men one by one until only Tenjin, Shin, and Noi remained. Tenjin locates his hideout in Mastema. Shin and Noi head there first. The Cross-eye eviscerates them. However, En arrives in time to save them.
Face to face with the Cross-eye En blacks out. The surrounding area was turned into mushrooms. En’s mask was broken and he had a “shallow wound” on his throat. En assumes that the Cross-eye was turned into a mushroom. Until he witnessed him walking through a door headless. The movie ends and En arrives. He tells Nikaido that he wants her to rewind time. He wants to know what happened to the Cross-eye. Despite Nikaido being under En’s control, she seems to still have her mind.
See You At the Food Stall
Kaiman, Tanba and the others arrive. Kaiman introduces himself as Tanba’s new wike, Pieman. Inside they run into Asuka a former employee of Tanba’s. She has opened a competing Pie shop. Elsewhere, Noi heals, Vaux, Dr. Kasukabe, 13, and Johnson. Shin tells them they have to stop associating with Kaiman. Otherwise, they will become enemies. Fukuyama shows Kaiman the En family newspaper. It finally sets in that Nikaido is a sorcerer. He figures he should probably just leave since she seems happy. The contest between Tanba’s shop and Asuka’s results in a landslide victory for Asuka. She uses her magic to summon a monster called “Angel.” It can ” make any man fall in love with her.”
Seeing an opportunity to speak with Nikaido (as En, Shin, and Fujita are distracted) Kaiman grabs her and runs towards an alleyway. Meanwhile, Asuka passes out from overusing her magic. The men return to normal. When En has a taste of Tanba’s chanterelle pie he declares him the winner. On a bridge, Nikaido tells Kaiman that she “wants to be near En.” He decides that he’s willing to take her by force. She asks “do you think you can?” Another great episode. I just can’t predict this series. Dorohedoro episode 11 scaled back the typical violence (mostly). Just when I thought En was the bad guy this episode gives me a reason to think otherwise. Furthermore, Cross-eye is starting to become a clear villain. I predict that Kaiman and the En family will join forces against him.
Dorohedoro episode 10 begins with Vaux attacking the mushroom monster with a bat. It does nothing. The monster then spits an acidic liquid on Vaux, melting him into a mushroom. Dr. Kasukabe rushes to rescue Vaux. Meanwhile, Johnson attacks the monster. Gouging out its eye and ripping off its arm. Everyone runs to the second floor. Thirteen bandages Nikaido’s back. She heads to a secret room, while the monster bangs on the door. In a flashback, we witness her receiving a mask that will enhance her magic. This mask is located in the secret room. Nikaido contemplates becoming a sorcerer again.
The moment of truth finally arrives. Dorohedoro has created a conflict with Kaiman’s unwillingness to accept that Nikaido is a sorcerer and her refusal to use magic. In the last episode, it seemed that Kaiman was less hostile to sorcerers. His boss and coworker both seem to have had changed his perspective on sorcerers. Whether he accepts the fact that Nikaido lied is another matter altogether. Nikaido puts the mask on and quickly dominates the monster. She kills it. However, when the blood from the monster pools underneath them it turns into a sorcerers door. Sending Nikaido, Johnson, Dr. Kasukabe, and 13 into En’s mansion, where he welcomes them.
Lonely Kaiman and a brutal contact ceremony
Elsewhere, Kaiman and Fukuyama discuss his failed search for Risu. Kaiman wonders if Risu is even in the sorcerer’s world. Back at the mansion, En uses the remains of the monster to bind Nikaido. 13 yells at En, but is merely turned into a mushroom. Before he can question her, En is interrupted by the devil, Chidaruma. A devil with a skull-like head, gargoyle wings, and a long tongue sticking out, he quickly confirms that Nikaido is the sorcerer that can control time. Suddenly, Nikaido, the devil, and the En family are in the house. The devil is preparing to start the contract ceremony between Nikaido and En. The men and women are separated and Noi heals her back.
Apparently contract ceremonies don’t need the consent of any kind. After begin washed up, Nikaido is forced to sit. Chidaruma takes a handle with a spike protruding out of the bottom and stabs her in the chest. He pulls it like a door handle, opening her chest cavity. Chidaruma pulls a bloody piece of paper or flesh like paper and has En sign it. Nikaido is forced to sign it as well. Meanwhile, both Noi and Shin happily sign their contracts with each other. Unfortunately, for Fujita and Ebisu the Blue Night ends before they could sign. The next day it major news that En found the time sorcerer. In a dungeon, Dr. Kasukabe is being tortured for info on Kaiman. He doesn’t seem phased at all.
President Tanba will help
Kaiman is troubled by nightmares and can’t sleep. He heads outside where President Tanba joins him. Kaiman tells him why he’s into the sorcerer’s world. Seeing that he’s in need Tanba offers to help. He tells Kaiman that he knows a guy with “cross marks on his eyes.” They head to a prison where the cross-eyed, Shimizu’s is expected to be executed. Kaiman bites his head, exposing him to “Risu” inside. He’s not the one. Before he can tell Kaiman anything he’s pulled to hell by a monster. Kaiman grabs his legs trying to keep him from going. However, the devil Asu interferes. Cutting Shimizu at the ankles, forcing Kaiman to drop. He then tells Kaiman about Nikaido.
The next day Kaiman arms himself. President Tanba and Fukuyama tell him about En. We already knew that he was a big shot, however, Fukuyama informs Kaiman of the “Death Shroom Incident.” Six years ago, the city of Mastema was enveloped in black smoke. When it cleared all the living creatures were turned into mushrooms. Tanba warns Kaiman that he’s “going to die.” He then suggests that Kiaman use his pie wagon. Elsewhere, in the dungeon, it turns out that Johnson can communicate with roaches. One frees them.
Nikaido loses her free will
Chidaruma notices that Nikaido was wearing one of Asu’s masks. Exposing his secret. He makes another mask for Nikaido. Noi notices that she’s become obedient. En informs them that devil contracts can let you “control your partner.” In the courtyard, Johnson and Dr. Kasukabe cause a seen. Stealing Fujita’s gun, they take the food from a merchant. Ebisu and Fujita try to save the merchant, but when Ebisu turns into a lizard she can only manage to turn into a small one. Shockingly, Noi and Shin arrive. Noi stops Johnson and Shin cuts off Kasukabe’s arm. He asks him, which does he want him to “gouge.” His “head or his heart.”
It’s obvious that the En family has the upper hand now. What I love about this series is I don’t know who to root for. At least not all the time. I want Nikaido to get free and I don’t want Dr. Kasukabe or Johnson to get killed. While I don’t really care that much about 13 he seems too nice to kill. Furthermore, I like Fujita and Ebisu and I didn’t want them to get killed. I’m fine if En dies. I do wonder, however, if the reason he wants Nikaido is to reverse the effects of the “Death Shroom Incident.” Does he want to save the victims? Is there a more selfish reason? It’s possible that he will free Nikaido when she reverses it right? This series keeps me guessing and excited about the future.
Dorohedoro episode 9 begins by telling us the story of how Shin and Noi became friends. The last episode left us with this big question. It answers it quickly. En tells Fujita the story. En opened a very successful Noodle Soup Franchise called “Flower Smoke.” Noi was the bouncer there. One day a theft (Shin) dine and dashed. Noi gave chase. After noticing Shin’s rotting arms she heals them. Shin hits her with a hammer and escapes. However, he says that he will repay her someday. Shin eventually gets hired as a hitman by En. During all of this Noi is training to become a devil. The final stage of the training is to stop using magic for a year until Blue Night. She manages to make it within three days.
However, they’re attacked by two magic users. They destroy the shop, intending on capturing Shin and Noi for Blue Night. Shin and Noi fight them with the later crushing the head of Baku with a huge boulder. It’s this magic user that manages to get one last shot off. Aimed at Noi, Shin takes the explosive shot. His body is maimed. Noi heals him violating her training. Noi and Shin become partners during the Blue Night.
The Wonderful Meat Pie
Yaku seals Shin in a body bag as the later is asleep. Meanwhile, Kaiman chases the guy that hit him over the head. President Tanba catches Kaiman and berates him for leaving the shop. He’s fired. Fukuyama arrives and asks Kaiman “why are you here?” Kaiman vaguely responds that he’s “looking for someone.” He asks Fukuyama if he “found a partner?” Fukuyama hasn’t had any luck. Kaiman asks him about his magic. Fukuyama’s magic is for food creation. Kaiman is excited and asks for some food. This exchange suggests that Kaiman may have softened on his prejudice towards magic users. That said, I instantly assumed that Fukuyama was going to get killed.
Baku and Yaku meet up. Yaku is carrying Shin and Baku confirms that he has Noi. Yaku knocks Kaiman’s “precious gyoza” to the ground. He threatens to kill both Yaku and Baku. Witnessing Baku attacking Kaiman, Tanba attacks them. Grabbing a knife, Kaiman cuts Baku’s arm and then guts him. Baku explodes. Yaku tries to attack Kaiman from the behind. Fukuyama uses his magic and turns Yaku into a giant pie. Elsewhere, Risu searches for more magic smoke. He finds Noi’s body in a locker. Still alive she emits her magic smoke, healing herself and restoring Risu’s body.
Blue Night Day 2
Risu finds a disguise and searches for Aikawa. Kaiman and Risu walk right past each other. Fujita continues to be humiliated. His potential partner didn’t show. He was left waiting in the same spot for two days. Anyway, Noi arrives looking for Shin with En’s dog Gura-Gura. The find the “pie,” that Ebisu and Gura-Gura start eating and Noi sits on the body bag that Shin is in. She is happy to find Shin and the head to sign the contracts. Fujita admits that he sent one of the two applications that he received. Turns out that the other one was sent by Ebisu. This “twist” was obvious, but I was happy to see Fujita get a partner.
En learns that Nikaido is the killer of the shopkeeper and she has time magic. He creates a doll of her and puts a small mushroom inside it. Back at the Hole, Nikaido and the others are having a birthday party for Vaux. Dr. Kauskabe reveals to Nikaido that they know she’s a sorcerer. Suddenly, a mushroom monster sprouts out of Nikaido’s back. En can see through its eyes. Nikaido is in danger but she’s not going to be killed. En wants her magic. The question is how is he going to get it? He would probably have to take it from her, as she definitely won’t work for him. Dorohedoro continues to impress. I really liked how they solve Risu’s mechanical body limitation and Noi begin trapped in a locker at the same time. It was well done.
Episode 8 of Dorohedoro starts with En recapping the events of the day. Chota explains what Ebisu’s magic is. Her magic is “mutagenic reptile-type magic.” Basically she can turn anyone into a lizard. En asks Ebisu what she has learned? She remembers that the man inside Kaiman’s head said that she was “the one who got in my way.” It quickly cuts to Kaiman. He can’t get Risu out of his head. Seeing the scarring on the back of Nikaido, Kaiman decides that he won’t involve her anymore. When Nikaido arrives at his job to pick up her medicine and give Kaiman his lunch, she learns that he quit the day before.
La La La Mystery Man
Kaiman heads to the sorcerer’s world along. His only clue to finding the sorcerer that is responsible for his lizard head is Risu. Kaiman is broke, hungry and needing a job. While sitting in an alley he overhears two men trying to kidnap someone. Suddenly that man’s boss, Tanba, arrives crushing the skull of one of the assailants. He asks them “how they think he would carry on his shop if they kidnap his staff ?” The other kidnapper holds the employee at knifepoint. Kaiman arrives behind the kidnapper and breaks his arm. He then smashes the face of the other kidnapper.
Grateful, Tanba offers Kaiman food at his restaurant Tanba. His employee Kirion gives him the main dish of the restaurant, “meat bags.” Kaiman learns that the kidnapper is “collectors,” that aim to use them for the blue night. Regardless, Tanba offers Kaiman a job as a “brute.” Risu arrives home to find his food moldy and his house covered in dust. He recalls the last moments of his life. He received a job from Cross-eyed division leader Tanabe. He is sent to the Salmanza plains by himself. Risu’s partner warns him and leaves. At Salmanza, Risu is killed when he’s stabbed in the neck by an unknown assailant. I don’t know how Risu knows his killer is a cross-eye. Regardless, he knows that they can’t know that he’s been resurrected.
Welcome to Blue Night Land
The En family prepares for Blue Night. All members of the En family get tailored suits and offers from potential partners. Kaiman learns from Fukuyama that the Blue Night is a festival where a sorcerer can find a partner. Despite Tanba telling Kaiman to stay and protect the restaurant, he sneaks into the festival anyway. Inside the mansion, En is practicing his speech. Sone of his henchmen arrives to give them a list of possible partner candidates. En gets the most, Ebisu gets none, Fujita only gets two, Shin and Noi are concerned about two specific applicants. Shin says that this ” could be the end of them.” En explains the festival’s rules.
While in the bathroom, Noi is attacked. Her arm is blown off. Shin instantly senses she’s in danger. Meanwhile, detectives are investigating the murder in the smoke shop. They find the camera. This episode was a little slower than the last one. However, it has set up the next episode. It seems improbable that Kaiman will get exposed as he’s clearly outnumbered and knows it. The most interesting part of this episode is the partner concept.I’m particularly interested in how Shin and Noi became partners and what’s this danger they face.
Fujita and Ebisu head to Hole to get revenge on Kaiman
Dorohedoro episode 7, The All-Star Dream Game, begins with Fujita visiting the grave of Matsumura. Fujita has been a secondary character at this point in the series. However, one thing was made very clear he loved his friend and partner. I’ve already stated that I don’t think there are any good guys in this series. Fujita so far seems to be the closest any of these characters get to “good”. During the game, it is revealed that Prof. Kasukabe has turned Matsumura into a Frankenstein type monster. Horrified at first, Fujita decides to kidnap Matsumura and let Kikurage resurrect him. The act of stitching Matsumura together is quite grotesque. Vaux and Kasukabe seem more than willing to violate others. In Kasukabe’s case, it appears he does so just for fun.
Let’s Play Ball
The baseball game takes most of this episode’s time. I enjoyed it. If Dorohedoro stands out, for one thing, it’s the characters. They are all different and eccentric. Seeing them interact in this game was fun. Ebisu, who I usually find annoying, was funny in this episode. She was the Shark mascot for the Clinics Sharks, singing a rather creepy song. The Clinic Director encourages her to give the other team soporific, causing them to sleep. The game is entertaining but ends when Nikaido hits a ball so hard that she knocks the dentures out of the clinic Director’s mouth. The game is suspended. In the commotion, Fujita and Ebisu escape with Matsumura.
Elsewhere, Noi having been accidental hit with Ebisu’s magic, has turned into a mutated human reptile. Shin is told by En to stop, even if it means killing her. With Kikurage’s power, she can be revived. Shin is brutally attacked by her. Before Noi can finish him, he stabs her in the throat. She rips his guts out, before falling asleep. With death all but removed from consideration, Dorohedoro is free to be as violent as it wishes. It’s still cringeworthy (in a good way), despite the fact that there’s no real cost. With his organ dangling out of his stomach, Shin carries Noi to meet Chota. A man that En has locked in his mansion for some reason.
Chota breaks the magic placed on Noi. He creates a figurine and puts it in her mouth. Using his smoke he releases the magic. Noi returns to normal. Meanwhile, Ebisu starts feeling worst and Matsumura goes berserk. He knocks Fujita into the roof and goes after Ebisu. Afraid, she transforms into a purple raptor and tears Matsumura to pieces. When she returns to normal, she tells a wounded Fujita “I remember.” This was the best episode so far. I balanced everything that makes this series great together. Weird characters, over the top violence, and mystery. I can’t wait to find out what Ebisu remembers and whether she can reverse Kaiman’s head.
Episode 6 of Dorohedoro begins with Kaiman enjoying a meal of soup, sausages, and beer. He waits for Nikaido who is still fighting Noi in the En mansion. Noi is thrashing Nikaido, hoping to have more fun. Nikaido slashes Noi’s eye. With her opponent distracted, Nikaido escapes. Shin, Fujita, Ebisu, and En locate Asu’s Magic Door. Marked with a trident, they realize that the door was created by a devil. En assumes that the intruder is the Cross-Eyes Boss. Elsewhere, Risu tries to escape. Miyamoto tells him not to tell them about “that man.” Risu disregards this information, instead asking if Miyamoto knows who killed him?
Nikaido locates Risu and jumps across a vast gap and two windows to get to him. However, En manages to grab one of Risu’s arms while Nikaido takes the other. Nikaido strikes En in his face. En becomes enraged. He fills the room with his magic smoke turning Miyamoto, Ebisu and a part of Shin into mushrooms. Immune to En’s magic, Risu escapes. Before Noi can recapture him, Shin tells her to “stop En’s rampage.” Noi knocks him out. Elsewhere, Nikaido stumbles home as a mushroom spouts out of her back. She asks Kaiman to use his knife to cut the mushroom off. Back at the mansion, Noi uses her magic to heal Shin as half his body has turned into mushrooms. Meanwhile, En realizes that Kikurage is unharmed, but Ebisu and Fujita aren’t so lucky.
The First Smoke
Dr. Kasukabe and Vaux manage to surgically remove the mushroom from Nikaido back. They discuss the return of Shin. Vaux shows Kaiman a news article that details the fact that he murder 65 people. A decade ago the citizens of Hole actually killed sorcerers instead of allowing themselves to be practiced on like they do now. Shin was the product of a relationship between a human and sorcerer. His mother was murdered when he was a child. Shin kept his mixed blood hidden. However, while working in a factory he cuts himself, revealing to the manager that he’s a sorcerer. Seeking a reward, he tells on Shin. The militia arrives, but Shin escapes due to his fathers interference. Unfortunately, his father is tortured an murder.
Waiting for him to return, the militia mocks him. Triggered by the murder of his father and their cruelty, he becomes enraged. He grabs a hammer and kills all of them. Months later, Shin uses the equipment in the Hospital to cut his arms into pieces. He’s looking for smoke veins to access his magic. Dr. Kasukabe is excited to help him. Now armed with his magic, Shin used his powers on the neighborhood militia. They disbanded after that.
Nikaido considers the likelihood that she needs to use her magic to help Kaiman. He kicks in the door giving Nikaido burnt gyozas. After, Kaiman, Dr. Kasukabe, and Vaux discuss Nikaido. I was confused about whether Kaiman had actually realized that Nikaido was a sorcerer and was in denial. It’s later. The bodies of sorcerers are different from humans. So the Doctors are certain. Suddenly, Kaiman hears Nikaido scream as she’s kidnapped. Given chase, Kaiman runs into a giant roach like a monster. Knocked into the water, Kaiman realizes that it’s filled with corpses. The roach with human-like teeth bites a chunk out of Kaiman’s shoulder. Kaiman escapes while the roach consumes his flesh. Kaiman stops a man from harming Nikaido.
However, the man calls for “Johnson” (the roach) to tackle Kaiman. The man wonders why Nikaido doesn’t have “black pearls.” Before he can take the pearl from Kaiman, his legs are cut off. Kaiman tosses one of the legs out the door for Johnson to eat. The man reveals that he saw Kaiman’s face years ago. He wanted to become a sorcerer and leave the horrors of living in Hole. However, he dies before Kaiman gets any answers. This episode really was amazing. Beginning with the selfishness that En displays when he goes on a rampage. He doesn’t care about any of his companions. However, he does seem to value Kikurage (although that may be due to Kikurage’s power). Ebisu and Fujita get the worst of it. I still don’t think that those two characters matter much in this series.
They’re supposed to be the comic relief, but if they didn’t exist I don’t think any changes. Shin is obviously the most interesting character in this episode. It seems that the citizens of Hole and the sorcerers are in an oppression circle. Shin was a casualty of this conflict. While I think that he was justified in killing the militia, his turn to homicidal maniac was too quick for me. At this point, I’m not sure that Kaiman can uphold his delusion regarding Nikaido being a sorcerer. I assumed that he would simply get over it, but I feel like his unwillingness to accept that Nikaido is a sorcerer suggests that he will be devastated.
Kaiman and Nikaido prepare to enter the Magic-User World. Kaiman puts on an all-white outfit with rabbit ears. Nikaido wears a biker outfit with rabbit ears. While in the Sourcer’s world they are offered a ride on a magic carpet by a magic-user. Meanwhile, Fujita and Ebisu are beaten up by two sorcerers. While one is breaking the hand of Fujita, Noi cuts him in half. Shin then rips the heart out of the other one. It’s a brutal scene, but the two had it coming. They go for ice cream. Fujita begs Noi and Shin to train him, but they decline.
Elsewhere, Nikaido and Kaiman are enjoying the magic carpet ride. Kaiman says that he “won’t leave until he gets his face back.” However, Nikaido points out that they have no money. Which then begs the question, how are they going to pay for the carpet ride? Kaiman decides that killing the driver would solve the problem. However, with no one to drive, they fall into some ruins. Meanwhile, the En family surrounds the now conscious severed head. One of En’s men arrives to tell him about a hideout. He sends Noi and Shin.
Shin and Noi kill the cross-eyed
Nikaido and Kaiman head to a restaurant. While there Nikaido searches for some direction. She is approached by a “devil” that gives her a piece of paper. Meanwhile, Kaiman passes out in the bathroom. The severed head starts talking, revealing that his name is Risu. Kaiman and Nikaido regroup. They follow a man that has crosses on his eyes but lost sight of him. On the other side of the building Shin, Noi, Fujita, and Ebisu arrive to find the boss of the men inside. As bloody shoot out ensues, Noi takes a bullet in the head for Shin. However, she quickly heals herself and Shin defeats the others.
Kaiman and Nikaido notice the commotion and find the aftermath of the fight. Kaiman begins to get his memories back, remembering the name Risu. The next morning Nikaido begins to hate being in the sorcerer world. She suggests that they separate to find Risu quicker. Meanwhile, En uses his smoke to power a robot body for Risu. En is recognized by Risu and the later quickly begs for his life. During tea, En questions Risu. He doesn’t remember who liked him or how he died. He hasn’t seen the leader of the cross-eye, as his face is rarely seen.
Nikaido searches on her own
Nikaido goes to a smoke shop to pawn her magical smoke. After her smoke is examined the shop keeper is excited to see such rare magic. He gives her massive amounts of money for it. She then murders the shop keeper to keep her magic a secret. She takes the money to pay for a 30 min meeting with a devil, Asu. Former friends, Asu is excited to she Nikaido. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know who curse Kaimon. He does reveal the whereabouts of Risu and offers to create a door to En’s mansion. He informs Nikaido that the “Cross-Eyes, lame sorcerers unable to produce smoke.”
At the mansion, Risu is starting to raise En’s suspicious. He is unsure that Risu’s behavior is an act or not. However, their meeting is interrupted by the news that Nikaido has entered the mansion. Noi rushes to fight the intruder, clashing with Nikaido. This series is slowly starting to unravel the mysteries of the cross-eye and who cursed Kaiman. I suspect that either Risu or Kaiman is the leader of the cross-eyes. Somehow they are connected. One thing I noticed is how brutal Nikaido and Kaiman are. They both murder innocent (I’m assuming) civilians in the sorcerer world. Those killings come so easily to them that it’s troubling.
However, I think that this series is intentionally playing with morality. Regardless, Nikaido and her murder are caught on tape. That’s going to be a problem in the future. The revelation that her magic is rare and she aims to never use it means that she will have to use it at some point. It thinks that the moment may come in the next episode when she faces off against Noi. I think it’s foolish of her to enter the mansion alone, I highly doubt she will be successful.
In episode 4 of Dorohedoro, the En family searches for clues regarding who Kaiman and Nikaido are. En and Shin discuss the conflict with Kaiman. Shin remarks on the man inside Kaiman’s mouth featuring “cross-marks” on their eyes. En plans to look into Nikaido and seek the aid of a man named Turkey. He’s hopeful that Turkey can use his “dolls” to deal with Kaiman. Turkey has a well Turkey on his head. He demonstrates his power. His living dolls are living and are able to “imitate the habits and behavior of the original.” Turkey creates a doll that’s exactly like Noi.
Roast Duck with a Sorcerer
Turkey explains with more depth how he creates his dolls. He mixes up finely chop onions and celery. Then he adds “cognac, port wine, salt, and pepper.” Finally, he cooks “flattened duck.” This time he reveals a doll of the man inside Kaiman. En doesn’t recognize the man. However, the doll’s that Turkey makes are “drawn to the original” They follow him into a cheap clothing store, then an expensive restaurant and finally an apartment.
Shin and Noi ask the landlord about the tenant. However, he hasn’t seen him in a year, doesn’t know the man’s name or what he looks like. When Ebisu finds a safe, the doll attacks them. Shin and Noi arrive. Shin punches the doll and takes the safe. However, the doll gets up and attacks with a stake. Impatient, Shin destroys the doll with a punch in to the chest. Shin disintegrates the safe revealing the head of a man. Noi using her healing is able to restore it. It turns out that it’s the man inside Kaiman’s mouths head.
Please Attend the Dance in Formal Attire
Noi, Shin and En arrive at a “party.” En gives the nose plugs. Inside, is a party with a corpse hanging from the ceiling. While Shin and Noi eat, En explains that a sorcerer that can revive the dead will soon arrive. A cross-eyed man notices Ebisu who has been to the party before. The woman reveals that theirs a “Devil Tumor” inside a sorcerer. She revives one and it returns to the brain of the corpse resurrecting it. En is pleased. He reveals that the woman will be his “partner.” He orders Shin and Noi to murder the woman partner.
Meanwhile, Ebisu follows a talking balloon. The cross-eyed man offers her some black powder in a drink. She reacts badly and kills the man. Elsewhere, Shin and Noi encounter the male partner. He attacks them after ingesting black powder. His power creates acid. Shin is excited to finally be able to use the combination with Noi. He attacks head-on and the man melts Shin’s arm. However, Noi uses her magic to restore it. Shin kills the man. When En is holding the woman he becomes enraged when he sees that she’s used black powder. He kills her. However, a weird creature escapes from under her dress. En takes it in and names it Kikurage.
The years come and go in Hole
In Hole, Kaiman and Nikaido head to a Doctor that’s an expert in sorcerers. When they arrive there’s no response and the door is open. Inside the lab, they find a number of dissected corpses of sorcerers. Dr. Kasukabe was used as an experiment by a sorcerer and turned into a child. He looks young but is actually sixty. He shows them a door made out of the remains of sorcerers that leads to the sorcerer’s world.
This episode is a little more grotesque than previous episodes. That’s not offensive to me (but I could have done without pooper scooper.) This series in interesting which characters it focuses on. The En family was the majority of this episode. It’s not clear which side is actually “good” or “evil.” Or at least it’s not so obvious. En is cruel but so is Dr. Kasukabe. Our bias are in favor of Nikadio and Kaiman. However, there’s friendship on both sides (Shina/Noi and Nikaido/Kaiman), as well as humor. There’s violence on both sides. However, there’s one mystery that connects everyone. Who is Kaiman and who is the man inside his mouth.