After experiencing the trip that was Dorohedoro episode 1, I was expecting a bit of a comedown. Episode 2 was anything but that. Taking the premise of episode 1 and cranking it up to a notch showed us that Dorohedoro has big plans. Further setting up its class divide between the denizens of The Hole and the sorcerers, episode 2 shows us even more of the absurd struggles the characters face. But with this exploration comes the question of whether Dorohedoro can deliver. Does the show have anything to say, or is it just biting off more than it can chew to be flashy?
A Heart Shaped Mask
Seemingly concerned about the high disappearance rate of sorcerers in the whole, a man with a heart-shaped masked and his skull hoody friend have set out to track down what we can only assume are rogue sorcerers. Confident in his abilities, the heart masked man espouses that he will only resort to using magic against other sorcerers after ripping through some hoodlums. After finding an incapacitated sorcerer of sorts, the scene cuts to Caiman and his Gyoza. Unfortunately for him, his lunch is interrupted by a trash bag full of a chopped up sorcerer. Not a dead sorcerer though, just a chopped up one.
After trying to pry as much information as possible from the agonizing individual inside of the trash bag, Caiman eventually accepts its request to get thrown into a fire pit. We later see that he was not the only one to meet this fate, as the sorcerer from the scene just before seems to be in a bit of a similar predicament. Unfortunately for this sorcerer, he is being held in questioning by the heart masked man and isn’t offered the easier route out.
A Banquet of Mushrooms
This episode brought us a whole new glimpse into the life of the aristocratic thugs that are the sorcerers. We’re briefly shown last episode’s two surviving sorcerers, Fujita and Ebisu, shop for new clothing which looked like it just came off a runway show. With Ebisu wearing her absurdly revealing garment, the two join the heart masked and skull hoodied sorcerer at a banquet held by a man called En. Dressed in his fiendish attire while the other’s have button-up shirts, En tells them that he needs Caiman and Nikaido. After receiving complaints that his underlings weren’t in the mood to slaughter more weaklings, he assured his pawns that Caiman and Nikaido were no laughing matter. And, of course, what better way to give your hitman a briefing than a performance by shapeshifting dancers.
Taking the appearance of Caiman and Nikaido, the two shapeshifters made their advances on the audience. What started as a performative dance quickly became an assassination attempt on En. Fortunately for En, everyone in the room was prepared for just the occasion. Unfortunately for me, the show didn’t really do enough to communicate what exactly was happening in the few seconds that this attempt on En’s life occurred. What first seemed like uncalled violence against some performative dancers was propelled into absurdity after En turned them into mushrooms. It was at that moment where I needed to rewind the episode to figure out what the hell was going on.
I wasn’t the only one who needed to backtrack here, however. After witnessing En’s ability to turn people into mushrooms, the other banqueting sorcerers weren’t feeling too good about the mushrooms they were feasting on. En’s excuse was that he didn’t want any food to go to waste. While this segment was a little edgy, it does fit in well with the detached eccentric livelihood Dorohedoro wants to paint for its upper class.
Another Day Another Sorcerer
On their journey to find out the mystery of Caimens scaley exterior, the duo continued to wonder the hole in search of more sorcerers to question. Having to fight off gangs of thugs, brutally murdering them even, the gang eventually find their way to a sorcerer by the name of Needle.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing of this episode was our revisitation to the inside of Caiman’s mouth at the very end of the episode. Needle seems comparatively smaller than his munched on counterparts in episode one while the man in Caiman’s throat was anything but. Leering over an ominous-looking surgical bench of sorts, the towering figure greets Needle with a wry smile as he extends his neck to utter his iconic statement. “You’re not the one.”
Unbeknownst to Caiman, Ebisu who he had only narrowly failed to question has some familiarity in reptilian sorcery. Perhaps he’ll find his answers through her if they ever meet again.
Biting Off More Than It Can Chew?
But the question still remains, will Dorohedoro deliver on the premise it has spent the last two episodes building? It’s hard to say. With Caiman resorting to mindless violence along with new characters getting thrown in before we really get to vibe with the old ones, I’m worried that the Dorohedoro is more interested in building a quirky scenario rather than playing with what it’s already set up. That being said, I’m still rooting for Dorohedoro. As long as the show is not scared to continue experimenting, it has nothing to break my trust so far. Looking forward to what episode 3 will bring to the table.