Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Magic, Horror
Age-Appropriateness: 17+ (Violence, Gore, Profanity, brief nudity)
Episodes: 12 (+1 OVA on Netflix)
TheAwersome Rating: 8.1 / 10 (Fresh and exciting)
Premise: “Hole” is the dark, disorderly slum where strong prey on the weak and death is an ordinary occurrence. With no law or ethics, it is the testing ground for magic users who want to experiment with their powers. With free access to and from Hole, killing and mutilating at will, magic users are viewed as indomitable to nearly all of Hole’s residents. Save for Caiman, a man cursed with the head of a reptile, but an immunity to magic. Having recently lost his memories, he hunts down magic users, searching for answers about his identity and past life, accompanied by his friend and Gyoza specialist, Nikaido. Dive into the gritty world of hellish design with Caiman and the sorcerers that is Dorohedoro!
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This was such a strange and fascinating ride that I enjoyed a lot more than I was expecting. Comedy is balanced excellently to keep this surprisingly light-hearted, despite having a distinctly dark and gritty setting and premise. It’s hard to describe the general vibe, but it’s akin to a cyberpunk dystopia, but instead of technology it uses magic? I absolutely love it, whatever it is.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the CG animation is a bit hard to get used to if your normal fare is classic 2D anime animation. In a lot of instances, it feels like the framerate is too low and it can come across as cheap, despite clearly having a lot of effort put in. It’s like the “high frame rate = soap opera = bad quality” association in live-action movies and TV shows.
My only real qualm would be that it ends not on a cliffhanger, but somewhat of a non-ending; it feels like a mid-season finale, but the second half (season) isn’t here yet so it’s somewhat unsatisfying.
TLDR: A fun, gritty, fantastic adventure unlike anything I’ve seen.
There has been no word on a season 2 as of yet.
This is an interesting show in which you the villains get as much screen time as our protagonists, but are also equally likeable and well fleshed out characters. That, and the beefy powerhouse muscle-women that put JoJo characters to shame. That’s a definite plus. And the OP and various EDs are bangers as well.
You’ll likely enjoy this if you enjoyed:
- The psychedelic “Alice in Wonderland” vibe of Flip Flappers
- The gritty, (and gory) atmosphere of Castlevania
- The mystery, comedy, and pluck of Kill la Kill
- The mold-breaking vibe (and animation) of Land of the Lustrous