I know a lot of people prefer to wait until a manga has been serialising for a while so that there’s a number of chapters to read with plot development, but I’m going to be a little unconventional today and
brainwash you guys to be interested in— share about a manga that I’ve only read 3 chapters of.
Please forgive me. I just really love how it started out.
Manga: Doodle 「ドードル」
Doodle is an action, supernatural, seinen series written and illustrated by Kohske. Some of you might be more familiar with Kohske-sensei’s better-known work, Gangsta., which I’ll probably post about sometime in the future too. Doodle only started in June 2013 with Shinchosha’s new quarterly comic magazine, Go Go Bunch 「ゴーゴーバンチ」and is currently on irregular publishing. In other words, readers have no idea when and how long until a new chapter’s out. /WAILS IN AGONY
In a world where drawings come to life, each city has a ‘Sin’ of their own in the form of a child with white hair and red eyes. Doodle follows the story of a group of children (titled “Rogues”), from the city of Anfang and their struggle to protect their Sin from other cities’ Rogues. This probably isn’t a very good description of the story, but I’m trying not to give too much away here HAHA.
WARNING: Violence and mild gore. I don’t know, this might not seem like such a heavy warning at all, but the way its told and with the choice of characters being children, it actually ends up very grave and a tad psychologically scarring. But maybe that’s just me.
Its honestly really tricky trying to talk about this series without spoiling much considering all I can reference to is the first 3 chapters, but I’ll do my best.
The first time I saw the synopsis with the words “drawings come to life”, I immediately thought of Chalkzone. When I saw the first chapter cover, I was reminded of that Powerpuff Girls episode where Bubbles’s drawings came to life (“All Chalked Up”, thank you Google) and I thought, “Oh, okay, the drawings come to life and you battle with them, maybe? That sounds cool.”
Unfortunately… I NEGLECTED TO REMEMBER THE FACT THAT THIS MANGA WAS WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY KOHSKE-SENSEI and she’s uh… not known for… um… ‘light-hearted’ works. PLEASE DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE TITLE AND HOW CUTE IT SOUNDS HAHAH. Half-wish someone told me that before I started reading, but oh well.
Doodle throws you head-first into action right from the beginning. It took awhile for my brain to catchup, as with all new series you start on, but by the eighth page of the first chapter, my jaw had dropped and I was well and truly sold. Okay, I guess that’s pretty darn fast for someone to get attached to a series, but in my defense, the plot had already appealed to me a significant extent even before I started. I was thinking how ‘cool’ the plot seemed, then SUDDENLY SHIT HAPPENED AND I WASN’T PREPARED. You should be prepared.
Kohske-sensei’s art style has always been really cool. There’s a ‘rugged’ feel to it without being overly messy. I’ve always liked how clean and high-contrast her works are. It makes everything really easy to follow even with the many battle scenes. Another thing about her works, I’m pretty in awe of how she can tell so much of the story through images without dialogue. She leaves space for readers to make conclusions and connect the dots themselves, to realise that “HOLY SHIT, that’s actually pretty chilling.”
This may sound terrible, but I’m very glad this manga is written using children as compared to older characters. You see a lot of mature manga with characters in high-school or older, but I can’t think of another series for older audiences with a predominantly child cast. I like the way the children are portrayed in a very different light; They’re the ones with power to fight this time. As we get older, sometimes we forget just how smart, intuitive and surprising children can naturally be. It’s expected they won’t be able to understand everything, but they’re more capable then a lot of people give them credit for. Don’t underestimate kids, man.
Besides the fact that I’m slightly partial to child/child-like characters
because I feel like I can connect with them to a certain extent, I’d like to think that this manga really does have a lot of potential. With the way Doodle started out, I’m seriously looking forward to what comes next. Its definitely going on my tankobon-to-get list when the volume compilation comes out.