[Editor’s note: Please welcome back Infinite Speech for another review of Dorohedoro! As a note, I do enjoy the series (I just never seem to have anything to say about it), but Speech seems to love it, so I let him handle it. Thanks, man!]
In the previous volume, Nikaido was captured by the top sorcerer En and bound to him body and soul. Caiman is determined to rescue her, and with the help of some friends is able to gain access into En’s castle disguised as a pie vendor. Their other friends are also able to escape En’s grasp due to some unexpected assistance, but it seems as if they’ve just traded one danger for a much worse fate. All the while, Risu, who also has a connection to Caiman, is getting closer to discovering the details of his past when he runs into members of the Cross Eyes gang.
This volume of Dorohedoro is packed with everything that a great story should have, and continues to make the journey of these many characters worth reading about. The beginning of this volume is actually packed with quite a bit of humor as Caiman is dressed as a woman and posing as the wife of his boss. Most of this is made even funnier by Hayashida’s costume design for Caiman. Even through all of the humor, Hayashida is able to keep the focus on the seriousness of Caiman’s search for Nikaido and his dedication to his friend. This makes their meeting very bittersweet as the two end up in a very fierce fight since she is bound to En. There’s a very human and heartfelt moment that takes place during the fight which really makes the sequence mean a lot more than just punches being thrown.
As the story progresses things are a bit more violent and darker, as Hayashida shifts over to Professor Kasukabe and his crew. Again more about the characters themselves is revealed, making them much more than mere background fodder for the story. And who would have thought that one of the most interesting characters in this diverse group would be a giant cockroach named Johnson. Hayashida also reminds us just how dangerous Johnson can be when he comes to save the day.
The artwork still holds up, and keeps the feel and mood of the story dark and creepy. This is something that is great in transporting you further into the world of these sorcerers and humans, and keeping you there until the story is over. I will say that when the book hits chapter 39 the artwork is exceptionally better until the end. The action is also very fast paced and brutal when the fights do happen. The only problem is that several of the panels feel too small to contain all of the cool things happening inside of them.
Dorohedoro Vol 7 is definitely one of the better in the series, and that’s because of some of the great character building that came before it. This one, however, delivers quite the balance of several storytelling elements, and Hayashida does a great job of making sure none of them overshadow each other. Everything comes together to make a very good entry into the world of Dorohedoro that will make you glad you stayed with the series.