The third volume of Dr. Duo was released on the 17th of December 2012, and as with volume two, I read it as soon as I received it in the mail. This is one of my favourite current manga titles and I want to show you some pictures of it and my thoughts of what this third book contains.
The story of Dr. Duo volume 3 is not really in continuation of volume 2, as it starts up new stories. You might actually be able to read volume 3 without having read the other two, but of course you’ll miss a lot of the background. In volume 3 several one-chapter medical events occur, and a few two-chapter stories, which is a bit of a shame, since I like the longer stories more.
In spite of this, volume 3 is very cool and has a lot of fascinating medical trivia. The stories are varied and all interesting. Most of the stories in volume 3 introduces new characters in the story, some of who become staples who we will continue to follow in the plot from time to time.
This image is from the first story in Dr. Duo volume 3, where Tasuku and Mai are visiting a model building convention. Here Tasuku realizes that the model building guru, from who we gets a miniature motorcycle, is in fact colorblind (in some way) that makes it dangerous for him to drive around on his real motorcycle. I love to see how these small models are drawn. The art in Dr. Duo is so nice!
After this story is another which involves a woman who has ingested some sort of poison that makes her topple into the harbour besides the recording of a cooking show outside. Shinonome and Tasuku finds out that she will have to get some milk and olive oil into her stomach for her to survive. Tasuku is the man to interrupt the recording (with the assistance of an odd guy called Yokota) and of course they get the girl back in good health. Is it strange that the Doctor Duo can solve every single situation they encounter and every person that’s in danger? Well, yes! I know this is a fictional manga book but couldn’t the author bring in a bit more realism, to make the reader wonder if a particular chapter will actually have a happy ending or not? How Dr. Duo goes right now you wonder how they manage to save the day, and never if there actually is a solution. I think it would be good for the series to have at least one encounter that doesn’t end with a complete recovery of the patient.
The main story piece in volume 3 takes place in a campsite where Tasuku and Mai are out camping in a spot where a pregnant woman is also on vacation. Some events transpire that causes the woman to have to give birth right then and there, which of course requires the help of Tasuku… This had me thinking about whether this was just too unrealistic for its own good. I mean, a woman giving birth in a tent and accepting the help of a young boy to deliver the baby. This just seems really strange to me.
Regardless, the camping/birthing chapter made me think a lot about the story even when not reading the book. I really recommend this series to everyone, as I think it is both educational and very entertaining.
In Dr. Duo volume 3 we also meet a couple of other classmates of Tasuku’s, among those Manami Horikita, a girl in the archery team. This girl is really cute and has an appealing personality. In the chapter introducing Manami she is on her way to a archery competition, when her eye suddenly fails and becomes totally white so that she cannot compete. Tasuku insists that they call an ambulance and that she goes to the hospital, but no, Manami cannot accept dropping out of the competition. In response, Tasuku fixes her up with some nitroglycerin which permits her to continue the competition. It’s a nice chapter but you probably shouldn’t think too much about this, I mean… Isn’t this totally irresponsible? If a person’s eye stops functioning, you can’t just take some strange pill and then disregard it. Tasuku, you don’t have to solve every issue, a good doctor might actually admit from time to time that the best treatment for a patient is to be admitted to a hospital.
Anyway, Manami shows up again later in the book so I believe she will be kept around in Dr. Duo.
In this volume it becomes more apparent that Shinonome is the one carrying the heavy medical knowledge, and Tasuku only acting as Shinonome’s hand in the physical world. Shinonome delivers a lot of interesting facts and explanations of physological matters. He is the real mastermind of the Duo, while Tasuku can tackle some of the more hands-on problems which are of a simpler kind medical-wise or unrelated to the medical world but necessary to solve the issue at hand in a chapter. When I think about it, this has been the way the duo works in all of the story up until now, but in this book I couldn’t stop thinking about it while going through it.
Is Dr. Duo in trouble?
Yes, nothing ever lasts, and lately all the good manga series haven’t been allowed to run for more than 10 volumes. I started to suspect that Dr. Duo is in trouble popularity-wise when I saw that ecchi drawing of Mai on the inside sleeve of this volume. When they start appearing (that drawing is a colored version of Mai on her bike in Dr. Duo chapter 14) the series is usually trying to draw in some popularity, it’s a commonly used thing when the readers of the magazine start to lose interest in the real story of the title. This is such a shame with Dr. Duo, I really hope I’m wrong.
Usually I would go to weeklyshonen on livejournal to read the popularity poll results every week for Weekly Shonen Magazine but that site hasn’t been updating for some months now. I get my popularity index from YouTube for the time being, you can see the magazine poll for volume 4/5 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DXqR-yavZQ. Dr. Duo is very low… And on the new video for volume 6, Dr. Duo is next to last. This does indeed look bleak when both the popularity is incredibly low and the ecchiness starts showing up.
I will definitely urge you to start (or keep) reading Dr. Duo as it’s great, it makes you think about it for a while after reading and it educates you on the human body and gives you tips that you might be able to use yourself if you ever encounter someone in need of help. Go out and buy the first three volumes, you won’t be disappointed!