First published by Monthly Ikki a now suspended seinen magazine which serialized the story since it started back in 1999, until its closure in 2014, it was followed by Hibana, a new magazine produced by the same publisher, Shogakukan. Since then, the story has been on several hiatuses. However, thanks to its cult manga status, the original ending was postponed to spawn four more volumes.
The Hole is a dismal city where humans live in constant fear due to the sadistically disfiguring and often fatal abuse from the Magic Users, beings from another dimension closely resembling humans. In order to further their magic proficiency, they test their unique, gruesome abilities on the humans of The Hole. The Humans resent them, but have adapted to living in a society irreversibly affected by their interference, believing themselves to be totally at their mercy. However, Caiman, a man with a reptilian head and a bad case of amnesia, has taken to the streets brutally murdering sorcerers along with his partner Nikaido. The pair patrol the Hole, shoving the head of every sorcerer they find into Caiman’s mouth and asking them each the same simple question before putting them down: “What did the man inside say?”
Backgrounds and Character Design
One of the biggest appeals in the manga is its highly detailed scenarios. These backgrounds express the world's mood around the characters with as much as the character themselves because everything its hand-drawn. All the visuals show some sketch or rough lines, suiting the dirty and convoluted environment.
As much as the scenarios, the characters are designed in a wide variety of forms. One of the most suitable examples is Noi, with a design that goes from a brute gimp-looking bouncer to a beautiful muscular woman just with a change of clothes. Most of the characters are surreal or brutal in appearance, but with a charming and quite warming personality, showing them as normal, real people, but with rough exteriors.
Their design is inspired in Motofumi Kobayashi's Omega series, King Gonta's Soten Koro, and even Puripuri-ken sense of humor. These mangas gave Q Hayashida her typical touch in design and character development, for example, Kaiman's militaristic looking clothes and overall detailed weaponry comes from Motofumi's work.
Q Hayashida is quite free in terms of how she put the manga together, sometimes even in a way different from how it is supposed to be. During an interview in 2006 she said:
"I just draw it, however, I feel like drawing it, always. I’m really inconsistent about that stuff. And sometimes I might color with paint that’s supposed to be used for plastic models, stuff like that. I pretty much always use tracing paper, though... ...Without even planning the layout, I just started drawing it from scratch, and then after a while, I got to a point where I felt it was time to end it, so I did... ...I guess I didn’t really have any overall story. I just went on drawing scenes that I wanted to draw".Reference