[Collab]The Hammer & Heart Mask's Magnetism
For a tribute to my favorite character in Dorohedoro
Yes, I am indeed writing about Dorohedoro again.
The prospect of my first art & blog collab, especially with such a bae artist and one of my favorite manga of all time was hard to pass up though.
You can find Erina-bae's <3
Art blog right Here
I’m unsure when Shin became my favorite character in Dorohedoro if I’m honest.
Dorohedoro is after all lacking in no shortage of compelling, fun and morally gray characters that enhance your overall experience and enjoyment in the manga.
I have actually already done a favorite of Shin that functioned as mostly a review and partly an analysis, however this time I would go about finding out exactly why Shin is someone I find so fascinating and why he has left such an impression on me, more so than the other undoubtedly amazing characters in this manga.
It’s exceptional to note that despite the introduction of Shin being of a total sadist and ‘bad guy’ of sorts, upon getting glimpses of him in more relaxed settings, for example, just without his mask in En’s mansion or his cheeky nature and especially his adorable and amusing banter and relationship with his partner Noi you get this new perspective of him that makes you better appreciate just how complex he is.
However to mention that even way back when he was introduced, his heart mask is so cool and even better it has an even more intimidating side when he turns it around and you know he means business then.
Also the mere fact that despite being able to use a creepy and powerful ability to cut up his opponents and still let them remain alive to better torture them or get information out of them shows a very dark and twisted side to him and it juxtaposes so much with his more laidback side that it brings a certain layers to this character.
Plus he still prefers to use a hammer in his fights despite his magic and while never really specified I have no doubt it is tied to his nostalgia of sorts of The Hole and at the very least while I doubt more happy memories are the connected reminiscence, I do believe it fuels/entices him the moment he came so close to death and fought the Hole Militia with nothing but mostly his hammer and his newly awakened magic power.
While Shin comes off as crazy and mad when he is completely into a fight or mission, he does seem to care about Noi and to some extent about the En family, meaning that they’re his anchor, heck even when he was fighting dr.kasukabe when they were escaping en’s mansion, he stopped himself from killing the Dr., because he recognized the Dr. back from hole years ago when the dr. saved his life and helped him to awaken his smoke magic too.
In general as well Shin’s aesthetics and style as a villain is top-notch, he is terrifying, oozes charisma and as a bonus he is gosh darn handsome as well as always wearing a suit. (Guys in suit are Yumm! tbh <3).
Apart from a moment such as Shin giving Fujita a bit of his smoke for him to take along on his infiltration mission or Shin not harming the Dr. despite finding out about his amical bond with Kaiman, the individual he has sworn to kill or even his semblance of an honor after En took him or Noi healed his arms that lead him into becoming a cleaner (sort of hitman) for the En Family.
There are 3 other big aspects though that contribute a large part in both endearing you to Shin and be enthralled with the prospects and outcome these 3 points bring with them.
One regarding a more heartwarming and romantic notion to it and the other connected his background and getting a feel where Shin is coming from and lastly to raw fighting potential.
For starters Noi & Shin’s relationship from the more light-hearted En Family moments and shenanigans is the first part that went about warming you up to Shin not only being a cool, crazy badass, but by far before getting a glimpse of his own backstory, his dynamics with Noi, care for Noi and past with Noi is what really humanized Shin even more and went about making him more likeable and brought about even more playful and cheeky sides of Shin, usually if Noi is present and he even got more open later on with other members on his own as well.
You see despite Shin & Noi being perfect partners for each other in the sense that they bask in danger and thrive against a challenging fight and opponents the fact that Noi is a gorgeous, more approachable & more willing to help functions at the start of Dorohedoro as a token of sorts to up Shin’s appeal as well.
A popular and more simplistic example of this is of course Honey Senpai from Ouran high school host club and how he is carried around by the tall senpai to make the tall senpai even more appealing because of the contrast.
Although dorohedoro does a much better job in adding layers to his characters which goes a long way in making them more than just their characteristics or quirks, rather it an amalgam of their past, their dynamics, the decision and actions they take in certain and different situations and so much more.
So don’t get me wrong Noi is very much her own person and I rather like her on her own as well, but shin undoubtedly not only got more development, but his past went a long way in informing you of an earlier time in The Hole, one that actually had the magic-users not have as much free reign to experiment on humans in the hole to the point of deformity or death.
However before I start talking about the huge influence Shin’s past had in his overall appeal I would like to mention a few important moments between Noi & Shin that makes you realize how deep their bond and appreciation for each other is.
The first moment is when Noi was taking an exam to become a devil and as a condition she was not allowed to use her magic for a year and she was a few days away or so from completing that compromise, however when a few random magic users attacked Shin & Noi and Shin ended up jumping in front of a fairly lethal blow heading for Noi, he was in a bad state and Noi did not hesitate to use her healing magic on Shin.
Of course she was disqualified from the devil exam, but has not regret it because she is partners with a guy she truly admires and enjoys his company, actually I would say even in a romantic sense seeing by Noi’s teasing with Shin and how clearly flustered he tends to get at times.
The 2nd very prominent moment is actually a point where the possibility arose of a surgery being made to implant a healing chip of sorts and Shin took it into himself because Noi is overconfident in her healing ability that she doesn’t even care to dodge obvious strikes because she can just heal up.
So Shin gets the chip, attacks Noi and manages the implant the chip within Noi which ends up saving them all later on because without a healer en family would be fairly screwed.
So Shin genuinely cares for Noi’s well-being.
Lastly I will actually mention the first ever meeting between Noi & Shin.
After Shin had escaped from the Hole he went to the magic-user world and was scavenging for food and he decided to steal from one of En’s many food places at that time and Noi being there when it happened chased after and caught up with Shin and proceeded to heal Shin’s rotting hands after having cut them up to upon up the magic flow in his body, but severe tissue damage has already been done by then so Dr.Kasukabe could not do anything for Shin anymore.
Of course she healed Shin’s rotting hands because she wants a good fight, so you can clearly see Noi has her honorable side, sadly in this instance having grown up in the harsh environment of Hole and scavenging for food and surviving in this world made Shin promptly after the healing took place, attack Noi.
Which lead to funnily enough Shin being noticed by En and let into the En Family and eventually Noi become his partner some time later after her botched devil exam.
Going back to the overall 2nd point though that helped in endearing Shin to readers is the depiction of his life as a teenager growing up in a point in The Hole that is unknown to us compared to what was depicted at the start of Dorohedoro.
You see in the dorohedoro world there exists a cruel hierarchy of strong magic user, weaker magic user and human, humans being the meek insects that are at times play things for some magic users.
However you find out when taking a glimpse into Shin’s past life living in the whole, he grew up with his human father and his mother was a magic user that was murdered by the militia in control at Hole at that time.
While he was working a simple life at a welding place of sorts, he got injured and cut himself, this lead to smoke coming out and healing his wound, naturally his boss being scared of both what a magic-user would do to him and if the militia found out he did not speak up about harboring a magic-user he ratted Shin out and his father was killed immediately due to having fraternized with a magic-user.
This started shaping Shin into a more cold and sadistic person with a survival instincts of the fiercest of beast as he dogged the militia and one day he decided he had to tap into his magic-user side, because while his trusted hammer was helpful, against a large group of people a more powerful force would help immensely.
And so he made the choice that eventually led him having to be healed by Noi sometime later and how he was helped by Dr.Kasukabe.
However the prospect of Shin being half magic user, half human also brings about some interesting advantages and makes him a real threat.
As seen how the Hole rain weakens and functions as pretty much kryptonite for magic-users but Shin is mostly immune to it due to his human blood and his unique combination not only brings about interesting fighting potential as seen in his bizarre and terrifying ability to vivisect people while they still stay alive, it also forms a bridge of sorts between the animosity and bad blood that exists between the Hole people & the magic users people, so I enjoy that Shin is a representation of both worlds in a sense.
To be honest there is a lot I love about Shin as can be seen by how not brief this ended up being.
That said I believe it speaks volume by well put-together dorohedoro is as well to slowly make me love not only Shin more and more but a lot of other characters by interactions, showing various sides of them both in more action packed and more relaxed situations.
Also I love how aesthetically pleasing Shin overall is in both his villain design and costume and his normal attire.
Shin & Noi relationship is also utterly cute and cool because they both care for each other and kick ass with each other so the perfect duo.
To be fair as well it’s fascinating how organically shin’s backstory fit in with solid world-building moment regarding a past time of the Hole that depicts a changed dynamic between Hole people and Magic-users and ironic as well that after Shin killed the militia due to the chain events of being ratted out and his dad’s murder and that lead that Militia never again having a chance to rebuild themselves and this in turn probably lead up to Dr.Kasukabe not having as easy access to death magic-user bodies and lead up to him moving away from the hospital and starting his own haunted mansion/lab.
See what I mean with how everything is well put together in Dorohedoro?
Also have you seen how handsome the guy is? Insane also yes, but goodness does he look amazing <3.
Some pictures and information were taken from Tumblr, MAL, Google & Wikipedia.
Thank you for your attention and remember………