Dororo Episode 3

Dororo Episode 3

The story of Jukai

In this week’s episode of Dororo we learn about the prosthetic maker’s past and his relationship with Hyakkimaru. Previously, all we had known about him was that he went around battlefields after the fighting was finished and attached prosthetic limbs to the fallen warriors who required them.

Now we know that his name is Jukai, and attaching prosthetic limbs to fallen soldiers is far from how his journey started. Originally he worked for a lord who was ruthless on the battlefield, and who made Jukai crucify and cut off the limbs of his opponents.

Interestingly enough, this doesn’t really seem to have bothered Jukai at the time, but instead it was the killing of an innocent woman which sent him over the edge, literally. After throwing himself off a cliff and into the ocean, Jukai was rescued by a passing ship which took him to another country where he learned the art of prosthetic making.

Once he had mastered his craft, he returned to his homeland and set himself up as a doctor who made free prosthetics for ordinary civilians in need. However, his secret past couldn’t be hidden forever.

Jukai had a teenage apprentice who he had given a prosthetic leg to when the boy was just a child. The boy had been loyal to Jukai ever since, but eventually finds out about Jukai’s past and realizes that Jukai had killed his father many years ago.

Although the boy now wants Jukai dead, he ends up leaving instead because he realizes that by killing Jukai, he would be taking away the lives of all those who are saved by his prosthetics. But, before leaving, the boy removes his own prosthetic leg and disowns his master.

While we never saw Jukai’s apprentice again in this episode, I’m expecting him to reappear later on in the series to finally get revenge for his father.

Jukai and Hyakkimaru

Not long after his apprentice leaves, Jukai stumbles upon the baby Hyakkimaru and devotes his life to helping the cursed infant survive. Not only does he make a full set of prosthetics for the boy, but he also raises him as if he were his own son, despite Hyakkimaru not being able to see or hear him.

However, while Hyakkimaru is blind and deaf, even as a child he was able to “see” the world around him via the spiritual vision he and the blind old priest, Biwamaru, share. Although we now know that Hyakkimaru was raised by Jukai and not Biwamaru, I’m still interested to see if Hyakkimaru’s spiritual vision is somehow linked to his early encounter with Biwamaru.

It was also Jukai who gave Hyakkimaru his name, taught him how to fight, and eventually built weapons into his prosthetics. However, the decision to teach Hyakkimaru to fight was a difficult one for Jukai, considering he knows how horrible war can be from a first hand experience.

But, he comes to the conclusion that Hyakkimaru at least needs to know how to fend for himself considering monsters appear to be attracted to the young boy for some mysterious reason. Jukai assumes this is linked to Hyakkimaru’s spiritual vision, but we don’t know for sure as of this episode.

Then, one day while Hyakkimaru was wandering about, he was attacked by a demon, which shouldn’t have been that big of a deal by this point. However, upon defeating this demon, something strange happened, Hyakkimaru regained his right leg which he had been born without.

Hyakkimaru from the anime series Dororo
Hyakkimaru

Here’s where I take a break from the summary to draw your attention back to my review of the first episode. In it, I made the assumption that when we first meet Hyakkimaru he hadn’t yet regained his legs, but we now know that this is incorrect; he at least had one of his legs back.

So, this brings up the question of Hyakkimaru regaining his skin at the end of the first episode. In this episode (episode 3) his right leg is shown to be without skin when it’s first re-obtained, so does that mean it had some sort of wooden covering on it until the events of episode 1, or did the skin on his leg grow in over time?

Considering we weren’t specifically shown Hyakkimaru’s right leg when he regained his skin, and were only shown his face, I’m left to assume that the skin on his leg was already present. This would mean that in the first episode, what Hyakkimaru regained wasn’t his skin, but his face specifically.

However, I’ll also mention that there are 48 demons who took pieces of Hyakkimaru’s body, and so he may have defeated more than just the one seen in episode 3 by the time we get to the events of episode 1. This means that the skin on his right leg could have been regained from the defeat of a different demon which we simply didn’t see happen.

Back to the episode at hand, it’s after Hyakkimaru regains his right leg that Jukai comes to the conclusion that the boy has been cursed by demons and will need to fight to regain his body. At this point, despite how he feels about battle, he builds weapons into Hyakkimaru’s prosthetics to help him defeat the demons.

Jukai’s Apprentice

I previously mentioned how I expect Jukai’s former apprentice to reappear later on in the series to exact his revenge for his father’s death, but why would he do this and what would be the consequences?

As for the why, it may seem obvious that he would want revenge simply for the sake of it, but if that was all there was to it, then he would have killed Jukai long ago. The reason he didn’t as I mentioned, was because he acknowledges that the work Jukai was currently doing is a good thing, even if it doesn’t make up for the atrocities he committed in the past.

So, for him to come back and finally decide to get revenge, something has to have changed. And, I have two guesses as to what this change is. Either it’s the fact that Jukai now makes prosthetics for the dead, and not the living who need them, or it’s the fact that he turned Hyakkimaru into a human weapon.

The reason Jukai was left alive was solely because he was helping those in need, but the dead aren’t really in need of prosthetics in the same way that the living are, so his apprentice could see this shift as evidence that Jukai has abandoned those in need.

As for the modification of Hyakkimaru’s prosthetics, I think this is much more likely to be the catalyst for Jukai’s former apprentice’s revenge. The act of arming Hyakkimaru could be seen as Jukai acting as a warmonger, which would go against the peaceful life he was attempting to live.

Further, if the former apprentice now works for Daigo Kagemitsu, Hyakkimaru’s father, then later on in the series when Hyakkimaru comes after his father, the apprentice may think Jukai put him up to it. Either way, I don’t expect Jukai to live to the end of the series.

As for the consequences of this revenge, this will probably be Hyakkimaru’s first experience with loss. He was raised by Jukai, and so the loss of his surrogate father would likely be a pretty big deal. However, even if this comes to pass, I’m not sure if Hyakkimaru would go after Jukai’s killer.

Jukai was against war and conflict, and because of this he wouldn’t want Hyakkimaru to want revenge on his behalf. At the same time, Hyakkimaru also doesn’t attack anyone who he sees has a pure heart, and so this may also stop him from going after Jukai’s killer.

If the former apprentice does kill Jukai, afterwards he’ll likely feel the loss just as much as Hyakkimaru, since he too was essentially raised by him. Once Hyakkimaru sees this, I doubt he would be able to kill the former apprentice.

Tahoumaru

The final character we’re introduced to in this episode is Hyakkimaru’s younger brother, Tahoumaru. Unlike Hyakkimaru, Tahoumaru was born to Daigo and Nuinokata with his body intact. This means that Tahoumaru is the heir to Daigo’s wealth and status.

However, while he’s Daigo’s heir, I’m not yet entirely sure where his allegiance will fall later on in the series. He’s been trained as a swordsman since he was a child, so he may come to be Hyakkimaru’s main rival, but at the same time I could see the two brothers allying against their father.

Yes, Tahoumaru would likely want to protect his father from Hyakkimaru, who is likely going to try to kill him once he regains his body parts, but there’s more to it than just that. Even though the existence of Hyakkimaru has probably never been revealed to him, we’re shown that Tahoumaru knows his parents are hiding something from him.

Specifically, Tahoumaru knows that there’s something strange about the fertility goddess idol in their home not having a head. Because of this suspicion, I could definitely see him being angered by his father lying to him about being an only child for all these years. But, even if this comes to pass, I think both boys will hold no ill-will against their mother.

I’m interested to see how the dynamic between these two brothers will play out over the course of the series.

Conclusion

The final thing I want to bring up as far as this episode of Dororo is concerned are the visuals. If you watched this episode, then you may have noticed that the flashbacks, which made up a majority of the episode, were done entirely in black and white.

While this was something I found a bit distracting at the start of the episode simply due to it being different, by the end I found that I was barely even noticing the shifts between color and black and white. I found this to be a great way to represent when a flashback was occurring without explicitly saying it.

This choice may also have been made to more closely reflect the art style of the 1969 Dororo anime, which was entirely in black and white. If this is the case, then props to the director, or whoever made that decision.

And, with that, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this week’s episode of Dororo. It may have not been the most action-packed episode, but did you still enjoy it? As you may know, I’m a fan of character building, so I thought this was a great episode.

If you enjoyed this review, then be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also, give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any upcoming content. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, and this Thursday I have something a bit different planned for you all.

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Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting this blog at the Heika tier this month!

My review of the next episode is available here.

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