Dolls is about Usaki Toudou, Shouta Mikoshiba, and Seiju Shikiba. Well, primarily at least. In the3rd Toutoh Empire a massive spike in immigration led to a rise in violent acts of crime. The jails filled up too quickly, so the government passed a bill that would allow trials to be held with out the defendant present, assuming there was enough evidence. This is called the RoT, or Rationalization of Trials. The sentence would be called, usually the death sentence and the Tokkei, or the Official Unit for Punishment and Special Executions, would carry out their sentence. The name 'Dolls' was eventually given to the Tokkei due to the stereotype that they were all emotionless dolls. Later, many began to oppose the Tokkei, namely a terrorist group called the Dolls Hunters. Yeah, you can guess what they do.
Personally, I'm not a fan of Seinen or Shounen manga (probably because I'm a girl). They tend to be really dull, childish, or grossly violent. There's only a few Shounen and Seinen that are able to walk the line between plot an violence. Dolls successfully walks this line with surprising ease. I instantly fell in love with Dolls after the first book, and I found myself having to read more and more. Soon it became an incredible obsession of mine. I'm even thinking of pulling off a ' Usaki
' cosplay in the future. I became obsessed with Dolls because it was intense and action packed while still retaining it's plot, the characters were amazing, and the art was strange, yet pleasing.
The action in this manga is epic, to say the least. Even with out animation I can still clearly imagine how a certain action is carried out. I can see how Usaki wields his katana with out it being right in my face. Not to mention, for all the gore lovers, there is a tonne of blood. Heck, with in the first half of the first book you see human hearts, and words written on the walls in blood. The suspense in this book is also perfectly piled up and resolved. I hate how HBO will always leave cliff hangers at the end of every single episode of every single show. In Dolls, each mission is wrapped up, while still retaining a yearning for the next book. Even with all the action and gore, Dolls is able to sustain a 9 book long plot. I can see how Dolls could continue to the next book, with out revealing the end, which i particularly like.
I also like how the characters, despite being ruthless killers still have personality and uniqueness to them. Yes, I know it's one of the many sub-plots to the book, but it's true. That sub-plot is done incredibly well, and it's one of the best things about Dolls... Well, everything else is still awesome. While Usaki tries to be cool, calm and collected, I like how Naked Ape slowly reveals that there is more to the Doll. I like how each character has their own unique quality and originality. You can see exactly what Seiju's soft spot is, and you can see why. I especially like how each character is not what they seem on the outside. There is much more to the 3 members of the First Brigade and it makes me want to continue reading and figure out what it is. Let's not go talk about how every male character is an attractive bishounen, and how I would totally date everyone of them.
Finally, the art. It's strange. I don't think I've seen an art style similar too it. The proportions are different, but not off. It's very unique and it adds just a little spice to the manga. I also noticed that the way Naked Ape draws the characters, you can see them living in real life. The eyes aren't ridiculously large, and the girls look cute with out being unnatural. The men look masculine, yet attractive, which tends to be a big problem many manga and anime face these days. The characters looked like they actually could exist. Also, the setting, weapons, inanimate objects, est, matched the art for the characters. Nothing seemed copy and pasted in from a picture on the internet, nor did it seem like a 10 second sketch that is comparable to the art of a 3 year old kid. Everything looked like a lot of effort and time went into it, and everything meshed well together. I really liked the unique and amazing art.
The only thing I have a bone to pick with Dolls is the fact that it had a strange pacing. Some parts were really fast, when they should have taken more time, and other parts were strangely slow when they should have been fast. Other than that, I give Dolls 4.5/5. Amazing. I highly recommend Dolls to any action lovers, psychological lovers, and any manga lover with a great taste in good manga. I loved the first volume of Dolls, and I definitely will finish this series and read it over and over.