Dororo Episode 11

Dororo Episode 11

The story of Banmon, part 1

Apparently up until this point Hyakkimaru and Dororo weren’t actually within Lord Daigo’s domain, or at least until the previous episode. But, now that they are, they’re beginning to see what the people of Lord Daigo’s domain already know, it’s extremely prosperous compared to the surrounding regions.

However, while we know the reason for this is Daigo’s deal with the twelve demons, the people of the region have a much different story to explain their land’s wealth. We don’t know where this story originated from, and it’s unlikely it came from Daigo himself, but the people seem to truly believe it.

The story goes like this: There were demons who had been cursing the land, but then the heroic Lord Daigo stood up to them and defeated them so that his land could flourish. But, Daigo didn’t do this alone; he also had the blessing of the goddess to which his wife prays.

So, what can we take away from this legend about Daigo and the prosperity of his domain? Two things:

  • Daigo is a hero because he slayed the demon(s) which had been plaguing the land.
  • Daigo is a hero because he was recognized by the goddess his wife worships.

With an origin story like that, who would ever guess that Daigo actually made a deal with the demons and forsook the goddess?

However, there is one more legend prevalent in Daigo’s domain which I didn’t really understand, so feel free to attempt to explain this in the comments. There’s a single wall left standing from an old Asakura fortress, and it’s believed to house the spirit of the goddess Nuinokata worships.

My question is this: Why do the people of Daigo’s land believe the goddess, who chose Daigo as her hero and to whom Nuinokata worships, resides in the wall of an enemy castle which Daigo destroyed? It would make sense for it to reside in a wall of Daigo’s castle, but not that of his enemy.

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru had their first encounter at the end of last episode, and that’s exactly where this episode picks up. In fact, this may have been the first episode of the series to have a recap at the start.

While I previously assumed that the two of them would simply be aware of each other after this point, they actually interacted much more than I expected. Tahoumaru tells Dororo and Hyakkimaru about Daigo’s land, and even pays them for defeating the monster crab, at Dororo’s insistence of course.

Likewise, Dororo tells Tahoumaru and his men about Hyakkimaru’s condition and his exploits as a professional demon killer. Before parting ways, Hyakkimaru also gives his name to Tahoumaru, not that this information will really help him find out more about his identity.

But, when Tahoumaru’s guards report back to Daigo on the mysterious boy who defeated the monster crab, Daigo seems concerned and leaves in a hurry and in secret. This causes Tahoumaru to believe that Hyakkimaru might know something about the secret his parents have been keeping, but he hasn’t yet connected the dots.

And, the fact that he hasn’t connected the dots is a bit crazy considering all the information he’s either been given or has overheard. He knows that Hyakkimaru is slightly older than himself and has prosthesis, and he overheard his parents mention their first son who had no body parts.

One would think that Tahoumaru would be able to take a hint.

The Cursed Child

But, maybe Tahoumaru will wise up once he talks to the “town crazy,” a woman who walks around town holding a fake baby and talking to herself about a demon child. As it turns out, this woman once worked in Daigo’s household 16 years ago, and was present when Hyakkimaru was born and subsequently disposed of.

So, it’s no surprise that the demon child she refers to is Hyakkimaru. However, what is surprising is that she’s able to recognize him when she sees him and Dororo in town. Does she have some special vision like Hyakkimaru and Biwamaru do despite not being blind?

And, if she does have some special vision, how different is it from what Hyakkimaru and Biwamaru have? As far as we know, Hyakkimaru’s soul looks pretty normal, so there shouldn’t be a way to tell that he’s the demon child unless this woman somehow recognizes his soul.

Former maid of Lord Daigo from the anime series Dororo
Former maid of Lord Daigo

And, speaking of Hyakkimaru’s soul, after he and Dororo meet up with Biwamaru again in the town, Biwamaru has a cryptic, parting message. He mentions that Hyakkimaru has now killed humans, and not only demons.

While Hyakkimaru’s soul was previously white, it now has strands of red in it, signs that he killed people, specifically those who killed Mio and her children. Is this the beginning of Hyakkimaru’s downfall? Will his soul continue to get tainted as he takes revenge on Daigo and his lands?

The woman who refers to him as the demon child seems to think so. By calling him the demon child and being terrified of him, the woman is implying that although she recognizes what happened to him was wrong, Hyakkimaru is still just as much of a monster as the demons he slays.

Kyūbi

Circling back around to the aforementioned legend about the Goddess of Mercy dwelling within a wall, we have the next demon to be slayed by Hyakkimaru. Although seemingly in the heart of Daigo’s realm, this wall signifies the boundary between what he controls, and what his enemies, the Asakura’s control.

Those from Daigo’s domain who are caught crossing this boundary are pinned to the wall by arrows and left to die as a warning to future trespassers. It’s likely this act that has caused the wall to house a demon.

But, unlike the other demons we’ve seen so far, the fox demon doesn’t seem to have a physical body. Instead, it’s an ethereal creature which can split and combine its spiritual body at will. No matter how many of the fox spirits Hyakkimaru and Dororo defeat, more simply arise out of nowhere.

The Nine-Tailed Fox Demon from the anime series Dororo
The Nine-Tailed Fox Demon

Since the fox demon only appears at night, the other boy with Dororo and Hyakkimaru, Sukeroku, attempts to light a fire which the Asakura use during the day. Unfortunately, he gets captured by the Asakura while doing this, and from what we can tell, Dororo does as well when he goes to help.

By the way, Sukeroku comes from a village which was destroyed by the Asakura when they built the wall. During the attack, he was separated from his parents, who were still stuck in Asakura territory. Despite all the time that’s passed, he still believes he’ll be reunited with them, though I’m pretty sure he’ll later discover they died.

So, now that Sukeroku and Dororo have been captured, Hyakkimaru is left to fight the fox demon alone. However, just when he’s getting overrun by the demon, Daigo and his men appear and scare the demon off with a volley of arrows.

This is the first time Daigo and Hyakkimaru have come face to face since the latter’s birth, and I can’t wait to see what happens next between them.

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s Dororo episode? And, what do you think is going to happen next? Is Daigo going to help Hyakkimaru defeat the Asakura and save Dororo and Sukeroku? Is Daigo going to order his men to attack Hyakkimaru? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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