Dororo Episode 2

Dororo Episode 2

The story of Bandai

After the defeat of the first (that we saw) demon last episode, Dororo and Hyakkimaru are now traveling together. While Dororo seems to have decided to stick with Hyakkimaru for both a source of protection and potential income, Hyakkimaru simply allows the boy to follow him because he isn’t a threat.

Hyakkimaru can’t hear or physically see Dororo, but thanks to his special “vision,” he knows that the boy is pure of heart, which is explained later on in the episode by the old priest. We’re also told that Dororo is only the second person to stick around with Hyakkimaru, which is actually a fair amount of information.

The first thing we can assume from this is that Hyakkimaru assumes Dororo will grow tired of him and leave before long. This could be one reason why he shows little interest in the boy until the end of the episode, at which time he finally shares his name.

But, if Dororo is the second person to stick around with Hyakkimaru, then who was the first? It’s heavily implied that the prosthetics man who travels around battlefields and attaches limbs to the fallen warriors is the one. This would make sense, since he would have had to continue supplying Hyakkimaru with new prosthetics as he grew.

Last week I also made a prediction about the old priest being the one who taught Hyakkimaru how to use his special “vision” and fight demons, but it appears I was wrong.

Disappearing Travelers

During his travels with Hyakkimaru, Dororo learns of a nearby village which is being terrorized by a monster. Although the villagers themselves have managed to escape harm, travelers to the region mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again.

As a budding businessman, Dororo can’t simply pass up an opportunity like this. He decides to lead Hyakkimaru to the village, have him defeat the monster like he did at the river, and the pair will claim their reward from the village leaders.

However, upon arriving at the village, Dororo notices something strange. While the village appears to be extremely wealthy, he sees no evidence of how they came to acquire all this wealth, specifically noting that they don’t even have large rice paddies, which would have been a major source of income for a village.

But, although the village seems strangely well-off considering their circumstances, Dororo isn’t complaining. After all, he was given a full meal, a place to sleep, and the village clearly has enough money to pay out once Hyakkimaru slays the monster.

Unfortunately for Dororo’s plan, Hyakkimaru doesn’t attack the “monster” that enters the stable where the pair are spending the night, but instead tries to attack the village chief when they meet her the next morning. After this, the pair are thrown into a storehouse used as a makeshift prison.

The Old Priest

So far, the whole theme of this episode is that you can’t always trust what your eyes see. Although he’s blind, Hyakkimaru can see the world around him by sensing life forces. Thanks to this ability, he can tell friend from foe, and even find himself food, although he didn’t know that cooking was a thing.

Again, this theme is brought up when Hyakkimaru doesn’t attack the “monster” that Dororo sees, but instead attempts to attack the village chief. To Dororo’s eyes, the chief simply looks like a beautiful, but bedridden, woman, however we know that likely isn’t the case based on Hyakkimaru’s reaction to her.

And, again, once Dororo and Hyakkimaru are thrown into the storehouse, the theme of this episode continues, though this time it’s explicitly explained. The old priest who’s in the storehouse with our heroes is the same one who found Hyakkimaru as a baby, and is blind as well.

Dororo, Hyakkimaru, and the old priest from the anime series Dororo
Dororo, Hyakkimaru, and the old priest

Just like Hyakkimaru, the old priest has the ability to see the souls of living creatures, as well as of demons. He explains to Dororo that this is how Hyakkimaru is able to “see” and that sometimes this version of sight is even more reliable than true sight.

In the comments of a couple of my recent posts there have been discussions of “show, don’t tell” when it comes to anime, and I think this scene is a great example of what shouldn’t be done. The old priest explains how Hyakkimaru’s sight works, but anyone who had been paying attention so far should have already known, so there was no reason for this explanation.

We’ve seen that monsters show up as red to Hyakkimaru, while Dororo, insects, fish, and other pure creatures appear as white. In fact, the old priest doesn’t give us any information that wasn’t already at our disposal.

The reason I think this is such a good example is because we’re both shown and told in this episode and the previous one. Because we’re getting both versions of the same information, we can see just how effective each way of conveying this information is.

If we’re only shown, it’s easy to say that some telling would have made things more clear. On the other hand, if we’re only told, it’s easy to cry “show, don’t tell.” So, which way of conveying the information about Hyakkimaru’s sight did you prefer?

Personally, I think the “tell” portion of this show and tell was a waste of time because of how well the “show” portion did at explaining the idea.

The Village Monster

The now trio escape from the storeroom through a well that leads to an opening out back of the chief’s house. It was through this passage that the missing travelers were taken by the monster after being imprisoned in the village, as we later learn.

Finally, once confronted by Hyakkimaru a second time, the village chief reveals her true form as a demon. The lower half of her body, which had previously been hidden behind a screen, turns out to actually be the main body of the monster.

After defeating the demon out in the nearby forest, we see that the body reverts back to that of the village chief, Bandai, implying that her body had been taken over by the demon, and that she wasn’t a monster herself. Although, it’s unclear if she’s actually dead at this point or simply unconscious.

So, why were the villagers helping such a monster? The stand-in chief claims it was for two main reasons, but there may actually be a third which is connected to chief Bandai.

The first reason was that as long as the villagers supplied the monster with travelers to eat, it wouldn’t attack any of the villagers. The second reason was that the first traveler who was killed had a large amount of money, and so the villagers saw the monster as a source of income.

These two reasons are extremely important because they’re the exact reasons why Dororo has been sticking with Hyakkimaru, as I mentioned at the start of this post. Just as the villagers are protected and receive money from feeding travelers to the demon, Dororo stuck with Hyakkimaru for protection and a source of income as well.

The final reason I hinted at for why the villagers accepted their new, demon overlord may simply have been out of respect for their chief, Bandai. If the villagers loved and revered her, then they may have not wanted to kill her even after she was possessed by the demon.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s also revealed that the “monster” Dororo saw in the middle of the night was actually some sort of spirit of the first traveler sacrificed to the demon by the villagers. To the villagers, this spirit was the real monster because it’s bell was a constant reminder of the sin they committed.

The episode also ends with Hyakkimaru regaining another part of his body, and this time it appears to be his eyes, which is fitting considering the theme of this episode. I’m interested to see if the rest of the series continues on with the theme of a person’s disabilities not defining them in a negative way.

Also, as a final note, the OP/ED songs haven’t grown on me yet. I do like the visuals in the OP, but that’s about it.

So, what were your thoughts on this week’s episode of Dororo? Did you prefer the show or tell version of  how Hyakkimaru is able to “see?” And, what’s your prediction for the next body part he’ll reclaim? My prediction is that after his eyes, he’ll get his ears back, and then his voice (or tongue, or whatever) after that.

If you enjoyed this episode review, or found any of my explanations to be helpful, then be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Likes don’t just show other readers that you enjoyed a particular post, I also use them to determine which posts my readers are most likely to enjoy in the future.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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