Dororo Episode 14

Dororo Episode 14

The story of Sabame

Even after waiting a day, Amazon still doesn’t have the latest episode of Dororo uploaded, so it looks like I’ll be setting off to the high seas for the rest of this series. Maybe nobody told Amazon that Dororo is more than a single cour.

Last week I tried out changing my Dororo episode reviews to Mondays rather than Tuesdays. But, because of this issue I’ll be swapping back to Tuesdays from here on out, with the Fruits Basket episode reviews taking place on Mondays instead.

With that out of the way, let’s get into this week’s episode. Although there wasn’t very much action, I liked this episode a lot due to the possible directions it set up for the story to go in, and the plot that was built up for the following episode.

At the start, we learn a bit more about the map on Dororo’s back. It turns out that it is a treasure map, which is what I was hoping it wouldn’t be, but the good news is I don’t think it’s going to turn this into a treasure hunting series. I still would have rather it be something like a map pointing to where Dororo’s parents were supposed to regroup with the other rebels.

But, the end location of the map aside, it’s also only half of the map. The other half of the map was engraved on the back of Dororo’s mother, and since she’s dead, it’s lost to the world. However, there is one living person who’s seen that half of the map, Dororo.

The only problem is that Dororo didn’t know the other half of the map was on her own back, and because of its location, she can’t see it even though she now knows it’s there. As for the reason Dororo never knew about this map, it only appears when heated up, and she had never taken a hot bath before.

But what makes the treasure map so interesting is that it opens up a lot of potential paths for Dororo and Hyakkimaru to take in the future. After reclaiming Hyakkimaru’s body parts, will they use the money to live comfortably? Will they charge into Daigo’s land? Will they create their own land? The possibilities are endless.

Ghouls in the Night

After leaving the hot spring behind, Dororo and Hyakkimaru encounter a pair of “ghouls” in the forest. One is the ghostly form of an older woman, and the other is a giant, baby-like monster.

However, it’s implied that these “ghouls” aren’t actually ghouls, because then they would appear red like demons to Hyakkimaru. Instead, the woman appears blue and the baby appears gold. So, what does this all mean?

We know that white represents regular people, red represents demons, and green represents gods or goddesses. I also think we’ve seen blue somewhere before, but I can’t remember exactly where. That said, it’s probably safe to say that blue is a good color and fits in somewhere between white and green.

The gold is the real mystery. It makes me think it’s meant to represent something divine, but as I mentioned, green is already used for that. Perhaps gold is a bit more unique in that it represents innocence that was taken away, such as a child who is killed.

Two "ghouls" from the anime series Dororo
Two “Ghouls”

The fact that these two “ghouls” are represented in blue and gold is something I’ll come back to in the next section.

Back to the plot, the ghostly woman leaves the monster baby in the hands of Dororo and Hyakkimaru, and it takes a liking to Dororo. The now trio then continue through the forest until they come to a burned down temple. Here, the ghostly woman reappears and directs Hyakkimaru to a spot on the ground.

What he finds there is oil that has since been soaked into the earth, implying that the temple was burned down on purpose. A mysterious man known as Sabame then appears, introduces himself, and invites Dororo and Hyakkimaru to his home.

It’s important to note that the monster baby disappears as soon as Sabame shows up. There’s a reason it doesn’t want to be seen by Sabame, and my guess is that it’s not just because it looks like a monster.

Lord Sabame

On the way back to his home, we learn from the villagers that Sabame is considered a good lord who protects his people and land from harm. But, this is something to be cautious of. Have we seen a good lord so far in this series who wasn’t secretly evil? I don’t think so.

Daigo is an obvious example due to his pact with the demons, but even that one woman who was a village chieftain turned out to actually be a demon who the villagers were feeding travelers to. It’s hard to imagine that Sabame would be able to protect his land without any kind of army, so how is he doing it?

And, this is where the “ghouls” from earlier come back into relevance. Sabame claims that the reasons he invited Dororo and Hyakkimaru back to his home are because he likes hearing travelers’ tales and there are man-eating ghouls who live on the mountain near the temple.

The story he then tells about these ghouls goes like this:

Originally the temple was home to a nun and a bunch of orphans. However, the nun would work the children like animals, and then sell them off once they were no longer useful. The gods then got angry with the nun and burned down the temple, including all those inside, with a lightning strike.

Based on this story, we can deduce that the ghostly woman we saw earlier was the nun and the monster baby was one (or a conglomerate of) the children. However, if his story is true, then the nun should have appeared red, or at least white with red wisps in it as we’ve seen before.

And, here’s where Sabame’s story begins to fall apart. Not only do we know the nun and monster baby aren’t dangerous, we also know that the temple wasn’t burned down by lightning. It was already discovered that it was intentionally burned down.

Further, although Sabame’s soul mostly appears white, it has a red tinge outlining it, implying that there’s a darker side to him than meets the eye. So, was Sabame the one who burned down the temple? Probably, but why would he have done so?

Mothra

It’s fairly clear to me that the nun wasn’t actually as bad as Sabame made her out to be in his story. But, even if she was, that doesn’t explain why someone would burn down the temple while all the children were inside as well.

But, we know that Sabame is hiding something, and it likely has to do with this disaster. What we don’t know, even by the end of the episode, is exactly what role he played and why he played it. The outcome, however, is clear.

With the nun and temple gone, a demon was able to come in and set up shop in Sabame’s land. This demon takes the form of a giant moth, and also has children of its own which appear as giant caterpillars. The moth also has a human form, which it seems Sabame is infatuated with.

A moth demon from the anime series Dororo
A Moth Demon

Just as the episode with the female chieftain who was actually a demon, the story this time around appears to be about Sabame feeding unsuspecting travelers to the moth demon in return for the safety of his people. That in itself isn’t groundbreaking since we’ve seen it before.

But, what makes this arc more interesting is the dynamic between the demon, Sabame, and the temple. Did Sabame burn down the temple on the demon’s instruction? Did Sabame burn down the temple to invite in the demon? Or, perhaps Sabame burned down the temple for another reason, and the demon happened to appear.

All three of these options seem viable to me, and I’m interested in finding out which, if any, of them is correct. And, if my third guess is the correct one, then why did Sabame burn down the temple in the first place?

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Dororo? What do you think Dororo and Hyakkimaru will do in the end now that they have a treasure map? What do you think the blue and gold souls represent? And, why do you think Sabame burned down the temple?

If you enjoyed this review, then be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any upcoming content. I tweet out every time a new post goes live, so it’s the best way to stay up to date.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about becoming a supporter and the benefits you’ll receive for doing so, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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