Dorohedoro was a Disappointment (Netflix)

Upon starting it, I had my interest piqued due to the mystery behind the main character, Kaimon’s, past. Unfortunately, by the end, I wondered why I had ever bothered because the mystery is never resolved for the viewers. This sort of shoddy storytelling reminded me of criticisms of Evangelion’s anime whereby the anime presented an intriguing mystery to grip the viewers and didn’t reveal what the mystery was until the End of Eva movie years later. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no Dorehedore anime film sequel that explains the mystery of Kaimon’s lost memories and identity. I would have greatly preferred learning Kaimon’s true identity by the end of the season – even if Kaimon didn’t learn it himself – because the anime spends so much time “foreshadowing” Kaimon’s lost memories, his strange dreams, the mystery of the person in his throat, and the hallway; yet, by the end of the season, nothing is truly resolved and none of it seems to matter. At best, one aspect, involving a character named Risu, is explained a little bit, but we’re never given concrete details on how it relates to Kaimon’s past. We’re given some hints, but nothing truly concrete or at least heavily implied.

Worsening this situation is that the only one specifically tied to Kaimon’s current condition is just a throwaway gag character without any real personality. This was perhaps the biggest waste of potential for this series. At first, I had thought the amnesia from an attack in an early part of the series afflicted this character, but once they got their memories back . . . nothing about their personality or behavior changed. When we’re given more evidence that they had some relation to Kaimon’s condition as a Lizard man, the revelation fell flat to me because nothing about this character was compelling. Of the entire cast which was mostly well written, why did they purposefully choose someone who shows no sign of even having a personality and is reduced to stupid and sometimes awkward gags? It was an unbearable disappointment and yet again, we’re given nearly no information on what even happened. Also, I want to be clear, the stupid and awkward gags wouldn’t be too much of an issue . . . if this character actually had a personality, their own internal conflict, and could add to the story like literally every other character, especially within their own group. Yet, unlike the others, who have gags as an extension of their personalities, this character was nothing but gags and it was boring. You have their two senior members of the group with their own internal conflicts and motives for why they joined the crime organization and yet this specific character who is elevated in importance surrounding the central mystery and motivation of this series doesn’t even get that much attention towards her “character” throughout the entire story of this Season. This bothered me because I actually really did enjoy the rest of the cast and found myself rooting for this crime organization more than even Kaimon and his friend, Nikaido, for most of the story.

I hate to raise this question, because I really did enjoy the characters, especially Shin, Noi, and Nikaido . . . but what even is the point of this story? The plot claims to have a hatred and shows brutal violence between Sorcerers and the people who hunt them down, but the Doctor and Autopsy specialist who are friends with Nikaido and Kaimon are friendly with Sorcerers, despite active animosity and an unrepentant desire to murder as many sorcerers as possible on Kaimon’s part. There seems to be no real government system in place, as it seems like anarchy and brutality for the sake of it with only the antagonists group forming a Crime syndicate basically . . . being the only thing preventing wholesale mass slaughter (as shown from Shin’s backstory) and keeping the peace for the most part. The only semblance of any real law enforcement are powerful “devil” beings who live by vague rules that are unexplained and arbitrarily apprehend people. I had thought the main villain, En, wanted to perhaps make a more peaceful world, but he just happens to enrich the lives of others on his solitary quest to . . . fight some mystery guy from his past. So . . . I’m genuinely confused here, what is the point of this story? I’m not even asking or saying it needs a moral lesson, but . . . despite the great characters, intriguing worldbuilding, and interesting character conflicts and due to the fact the mystery remained unsolved, I’m perplexed as to what the point of this story was. There’s certainly enough internal conflict and character conflicts to keep most people motivated, but the main mystery is never solved, so I became confused as to what the point was. I’d like to make it clear; I don’t expect any bland crap like a saving the world plot, I’m genuinely glad they didn’t do that. However, they didn’t really . . . seem to do anything? None of the overarching character-driven motives like En wanting to fight a mystery man from the past or Kaimon regaining lost memoires went anywhere.

Finally, the final episode having some devil dance ritual depicted with Native American attire was slightly annoying, but it is fiction and its own unique fantasy world so whatever. If someone can explain what on earth was the purpose of this story, please feel free in the comments below. For me, this anime’s Season 1 gets a 2 / 10. I hate stories that make a huge emphasis on its mystery and deliver absolutely nothing as the resolution to the mystery. I wouldn’t even care if Kaimon himself never found out, just so long as we the viewers did. Yet, nothing comes of it.

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