Dororo Episode 15

Dororo Episode 15

The story of the scene from hell

Dororo and Hyakkimaru’s story has come to the second important junction. The first was the death of Mio and her children, because this gave the pair something to continue fighting for that was beyond themselves. However, this time the outcome may not be as righteous.

Hyakkimaru has continued his downward spiral, and it’s beginning to put a strain on his relationship with Dororo. All he wants to do is kill demons, reclaim his lost body parts, and eventually take the fight back to his father. However, Dororo is looking towards a life not fueled by revenge.

At the start of the episode, we see this difference most exemplified by what each of the pair do. Hyakkimaru wants to kill the moth demon and so follows Sabame in hopes of finding it, while Dororo heads into the village to have a look around and talk to the locals.

In the end, they each come across startling conclusions.

Hyakkimaru learns that Lord Sabame accepted the demons in return for the prosperity of his land. This is especially important because it’s essentially the same thing his own father did. Dororo on the other hand learns that the villagers were the ones who burnt down the temple and killed the orphans.

Maimai-Onba

The demon this time around is named Maimai-Onba, and is the moth demon seen in the previous episode, though she also has a human form. We’re never explicitly told why this demon appeared before Sabame, but it’s heavily implied that it appeared due to the war and famine devastating the region.

Interestingly, this is also one of the 12 demons with which Daigo formed a pact. This doesn’t have too much significance other than the fact that it means Hyakkimaru regains a part of himself for defeating her, but I thought it was an interesting glimpse into how pacts with demons work.

Just because you have a pact with a particular demon doesn’t necessarily mean that same demon doesn’t also have a pact with one or more of your enemies.

The Ghoul Maimai-Onba from the anime series Dororo
The Ghoul Maimai-Onba

However, Maimai-Onba isn’t just a singular demon, she has children. Upon making the pact with Sabame, she and her children killed and ate all the brigands and wild beasts which had been ravaging his lands.

In this sense, she’s a protective demon. She doesn’t grant Sabame military victory, but rather only grants his village safety. It’s also important to mention that unlike previous demons we’ve seen, there’s no implication that she and her children would have eaten the villagers if a pact hadn’t been formed.

Basically, Sabame forged a pact with this demon not so that he could expand his influence, but solely so he could protect the peace within his lands. And, he did so without having the demon force his hand by threatening his land with further death if the pact wasn’t forged.

The Secret of the Village

But, there is one caveat. While Maimai-Onba never seems to have threatened the villagers directly, she does require sustenance in the form of human sacrifice. Sure, this can be taken to mean that she’ll eat the villagers if no one else is sacrificed, but I understood it to mean that her protection would disappear instead.

We know that currently her thirst for human blood is quenched by sacrificing travelers who pass through the village, but what about initially?

Remember the fire at the temple which killed the nun and all of the orphans residing there? Well, as expected, this wasn’t an act of the gods punishing the nun for abusing the children. Instead, this was an intentional act of mass murder to appease Maimai-Onba.

The temple burning from the anime series Dororo
The temple burning

We can assume that the nun and orphans weren’t sacrificed due to any sin they committed, but rather because they were on the fringes of society. The nun likely had no other family in the region, and since the orphans had no families either, they were the perfect candidates for sacrifice.

So, not only did the villagers know that Sabame forged a pact with a demon, but they were complicit in the forging of said pact as well.

It was also revealed, as I predicted last week, that the monster baby was actually the combined souls of all the orphans who were killed during the massacre. When Dororo is thrown into a pit with the children of Maimai-Onba, it’s these souls who come to her rescue.

Dororo and Hyakkimaru

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Dororo and Hyakkimaru seem to be moving in different directions. And, by the end of the episode the gap between them has widened even further, to the point that the two of them are literally moving in different directions.

After Maimai-Onba was defeated, the village burned down, causing the loss of all the stored food and the lives of some villagers, including Sabame. However, it seemed to be implied that Dororo was the cause of this fire, so due to that I have to take her stance with a grain of salt.

Dororo starts to believe that the villagers would have been better off if she and Hyakkimaru had never stumbled across their village in the first place. Specifically, she thinks that perhaps Hyakkimaru shouldn’t have killed the demon, because it was protecting the people.

Aside from the fact that the fire was started by her, and not the demon, there are a couple other flaws with Dororo’s line of reasoning. However, that doesn’t make her perspective any worse than Hyakkimaru’s.

Hyakkimaru is of the mindset that demons need to be slayed, and the effects of said demon slaying aren’t any of his concern. The way he sees it, it was the villagers who invited the demon in, and so it’s only natural that they should suffer the price for it.

But, the real issue Dororo has isn’t necessarily that she disagrees with Hyakkimaru’s stance, it’s that Hyakkimaru is so absorbed in his revenge that he can’t see the other sides to the story. In fact, he didn’t even notice that Dororo wasn’t with him as he was leaving the village behind.

Conclusion

At the very end of the episode, in what felt like a somewhat random turn of events, Dororo gets picked up by Itachi and his men. In case you don’t remember, Itachi was the one who betrayed Dororo’s parents and sided with the lord (who I think was Daigo).

It turns out that Itachi is also aware of the treasure map which was depicted on the backs of Dororo and her mother, and is already in possession of a copy of Dororo’s mother’s half.

So, what did you think of this episode of Dororo? Do you think Dororo’s point of view is correct, or Hyakkimaru’s? And, did you feel that the arrival of Itachi at the end of the episode was as out of place as I did? Let me know down in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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