Dororo Episode 5

Dororo Episode 5

The story of the Moriko Song, part 1

At the end of last week’s episode, Hyakkimaru regained his hearing, and for the first time, was able to hear the sounds of the world. However, while this is a blessing, it’s also a curse, as Hyakkimaru doesn’t know which sounds to focus on and which to block out.

There are two main ways in which this impedes him. The first is that he simply suffers from sensory overload, by which I mean there are too many sounds all coming at him at once and he doesn’t yet know how to process that auditory information.

But, despite how crippling this sensory overload is, the real issue for Hyakkimaru is that he doesn’t know which sounds are important and which aren’t. This concept is exemplified in his fight against the giant bird ghoul when Hyakkimaru is getting distracted by various audio cues and so can’t effectively fight.

Luckily for him and Dororo, the Priest, Biwamaru appears at the perfect time and effortlessly defeats the ghoul. I’m not sure if we saw this from him in a previous episode, but Biwamaru isn’t merely a priest, he’s a swordsman too. The lute he carries doubles as a sheath for his sword.

The next morning, Hyakkimaru awakens to the first pleasant sound he’s heard since regaining his hearing, a young woman singing. He finds the woman standing in a stream, but soon after collapses due to the wounds he sustained from the fight the night before.

Mio

We learn that the woman’s name is Mio, and at this point I think it’s safe to say we’ve found our female lead for the series. Not only does she seem like a good love interest for Hyakkimaru, but I’m pretty sure she’s featured in the OP as well, which is a fairly clear sign that she’s important.

Mio lives in what appears to be a partially burned down temple with a bunch of children who she’s taken in. These children are all war orphans and a significant number of them are missing limbs as well.

Mio from the anime series Dororo
Mio

So, how do Mio and the children survive up in the mountains? Well, most of the children are in no shape to work due to their injuries, and so they simply do chores around the “house” for the majority of the day. It seems that the children are also responsible for things like cooking meals.

Mio, on the other hand, is the breadwinner for this makeshift family. There’s currently a war brewing nearby, and so Mio makes her services available to the nearby army in return for both money and food. However, since there’s more work and better pay at night, Mio sleeps during the day.

The big reveal about Mio towards the end of the episode is that she works as a prostitute for the army. But honestly, if you couldn’t figure that out from practically the moment we learned of her living situation, then you have a shocking amount of faith in humanity.

And, towards the end of the episode Mio decides that she’ll start providing her services to the opposing army as well in an attempt to support her family even better. I can already tell that this is going to backfire in the next episode.

Hyakkimaru’s Soul

Not long after meeting Mio and her children, Biwamaru leaves Dororo and Hyakkimaru in search of a safe road past the two armies. When he returns, he informs the group that he’s discovered an abandoned house far away from the war in which Mio and the children could live in safety.

However, the only problem is that a demon is currently living on the plot of land. I’ll discuss this demon more in the next section, but for now all we need to understand is that since this is a demon and not merely a ghoul, Biwamaru is unable to defeat it on his own, and so Hyakkimaru sets out with him.

While heading to the demon’s domain, Biwamaru notices that Hyakkimaru’s pure, white soul has hints of red, which is bad. As far as I can tell, there are two possible reasons for Hyakkimaru’s soul to look this way, and we’ll just have to wait and see which one it is.

Hyakkimaru's soul from the anime series Dororo
Hyakkimaru’s soul

Either these red strands in his soul are the remnants of the curse left on him by the demons, or Hyakkimaru’s soul is becoming tainted for some reason. Originally I suspected the former was the case, but if that were true, then Biwamaru shouldn’t have any reason to suddenly worry.

So, is Hyakkimaru’s soul becoming tainted? And, if so, why?

Again, there are two possible answers for this which I could come up with. The first being that the regaining of his body parts and senses is having some sort of negative impact on him, and the second being that his new feelings for Mio are having a similar, negative impact.

The Next Demon

Alright, so the next demon is in the form of a giant antlion larva and can be found at the bottom of a sand pit outside the abandoned house which Biwamaru found. My guess is that the presence of this demon is the reason the house is currently abandoned, and not the other way around.

So, there’s not really all that much to say about the fight with this demon, because it’s mainly just Hyakkimaru and Biwamaru being sucked into the sand trap and slashing away at the demon. However, what’s important here are the things Hyakkimaru both gains and loses due to this fight.

As for what he gains, this is the demon which appears to have stolen Hyakkimaru’s voice from him. Now that he has both his hearing and voice, Hyakkimaru will finally be able to start communicating with Dororo and the other people they meet on their travels.

However, this time around Hyakkimaru didn’t just regain a part of himself for free. In the fight against the antlion demon he lost his right leg below the knee, which for reference is his actual leg, not prosthesis.

So how will this affect Hyakkimaru going forward? Since that leg was already reclaimed from the demons, we can assume he won’t merely be getting it back once again. My guess is that in the next episode we’ll run into the prosthesis maker, Jukai, and he’ll refit Hyakkimaru with a new limb.

But, at the same time I also kind of think that won’t happen until the following episode. Perhaps when Hyakkimaru has to go save Mio from the enemy army, as I already predicted, he’ll have to do so with a makeshift prosthesis like the children Mio takes care of have.

Conclusion

To recap, in this episode Hyakkimaru was barraged by an onslaught of sounds, regained his voice, lost his leg, and met his potential love interest, Mio. Although, I have to say that while Mio may end up being a good character in the long-run, I think the peddler from the previous episode was cuter.

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Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for his support of DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can help support this blog, head on over to Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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