Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dororo Volume One by Osamu Tezuka

I am setting myself a new goal : read all of Osamu Tezuka`s work that is available. For those of you who don't know, Osamu Tezuka is known as the godfather of manga. As the creator of Astro Boy, he has created some of the best loved stories of the world that have been re-worked, re-told and ripped off all over the world (coughDiseneycough) Originally inspired by the artwork of Walt Disney's early films, he found  his own artistic style and story telling that went on to inspire graphic novels known in Japan as Manga. He is credited with inventing the serial manga.

I got Dororo volume 1 at the library. I am in love with this book. If I could make love to it (and I think I could actually make love to a physical copy...) I would, if it didn't belong to the library. I should first mention that I love the cover art for this book (the recent edition). It's a great collage !! Kinda reminds me of a zine. The tagline is "nobody is born whole" which I really appreciate because it makes me think that we are all partial people until we live our lives and gain experience, thus making us whole.

The story follows a teenager who is cursed (due to his piece of shit father) with a crippling affliction. He was born missing 48 body parts. He can regain them by defeating 48 demons. With prosthetic arms and legs he roams feudal Japan chased by demons. He speaks, sees and hears with a supernatural power in his brain due to the lack of eyes, ears and vocal chords. During his travels he comes across a tenacious young boy called Dororo. Dororo is Japanese child speak for "thief". He is a young boy born of farmers turned thieves, orphaned at a young age and left to fend for himself. Dororo and the cursed teenager Haykkimaru (Hyakki = hundred demons, maru= fuedal suffix for boy) find a kinship in each other. It isn't long before Dororo begins calling Haykkimaru his brother. The two journey the countryside battling evil, all the while being seen as vile, evil creatures themselves.

Originally printed in Shukan Shonen Sunday in 1967, this story directly influenced countless manga of our time. Inuyasha being one of those manga's directly influenced, a personal favourite of mine.

This is a really intense story that is also incredibly humorous. Tezuka can tell a story like no bodies business and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next volume. If you like comedy, action and drama, it's perfect for you. Do you like a bit of everything because I do and this story has got it!