Dororo Episode 16

Dororo Episode 16

The story of Shiranui

This week’s episode focuses on Dororo now that she and Hyakkimaru have split up and gone their separate ways. However, at the end of the episode we do see that Hyakkimaru is searching for Dororo, and so the pair will probably be reunited in the next episode or the one after that.

So, with Hyakkimaru temporarily out of the picture, there was nobody to save Dororo when Itachi and his men came to kidnap her. The reason for them doing this was to gain access to the half of the map on Dororo’s back, and we learn that they already have the other half.

The half of the map which was on Dororo’s mother’s back leads to the general location of the treasure, which is on a cape inaccessible by land. Dororo’s half of the map then depicts the specific locations on the cape where the treasure was buried.

Shiranui from the anime series Dororo
Shiranui

The problem facing the group is that they have no way of getting to the cape via land due to the rugged terrain, and there are no usable boats nearby to cross the bay. Luckily, a man named Shiranui appears and offers to take Itachi and his men across to the cape for a fee.

Shiranui is the sole survivor of the nearby fishing village which he claims was destroyed by brigands. He’s also missing his right arm, which is assumed to be an injury he sustained during the attack that took the lives of his friends and family.

Itachi’s Brigands

So, what have Itachi and his men been up to since the last time we saw them? After leaving Hibukuro’s brigand group, Itachi and his men joined up with a local lord (which might have been Daigo) and became pseudo-samurai.

This is the position Itachi was in when Dororo last saw him, which was before her mother died. Since then, Itachi and his men decided to leave the service of the lord after they learned that he had used them as bait so that his main forces could attack the enemy base undefended.

This betrayal reinforced the teachings of Hibukuro in Itachi’s mind, and he realized that his old friend was right not to trust the samurai. But, that doesn’t mean Itachi has turned over a new leaf. Instead, he and his men have gone back to being brigands, and are now searching for Hibukuro’s treasure.

I have to say that I like Itachi as a character. He’s not the nicest guy around, but he’s a good, flawed character who occasionally shows that he has soft side despite his rough facade. He seems to care about his men, and when he had them strip Dororo down to find the map, he genuinely seemed to regret his actions after learning she’s a girl.

Jiromaru and Saburomaru

Back to shark boy Shiranui, after Itachi accepts his offer to ferry him and his men across the bay, it’s revealed that the boats he’s in possession of have no oars. Instead, there are two massive sharks pulling the boats via rope from beneath the surface.

These sharks are named Jiromaru and Saburomaru, and Shiranui sees them as both his best friends and family. It’s also revealed that Shiranui didn’t actually lose his arm in the brigand attack, but he instead fed it to his shark friends.

While he may have had good intentions originally, this sacrifice of his arm started Shiranui down a dark path. As he explains, after that point Jiromaru and Saburomaru acquired a taste for human flesh, and so Shiranui began feeding them corpses, though this only furthered their desire for humans.

Eventually, he began feeding live humans to his sharks, and this is when the true fate of the villagers is revealed. There never was a brigand attack. Instead, they were all fed to Jiromaru and Saburomaru by Shiranui, and his ferry service is actually just a ploy to attract new people to feed to the sharks.

Shiranui and Saburomaru from the anime series Dororo
Shiranui and Saburomaru

By the end of the episode, Saburomaru has been killed by Itachi and his men after Dororo comes up with a plan of attack. The brigands then use the body of Saburomaru to lure Shiranui onto the shore where they capture him.

Before moving on with the rest of the episode, I do want to mention a few thoughts I had on Jiromaru and Saburomaru. Firstly, they appear to be demon sharks, not regular sharks. However, were they always demon sharks?

On one hand, I was thinking that maybe they were demons from the start, and that Shiranui’s sacrifice of his own limb and the bodies of the villagers is what forged his pact with them. However, on the other hand, it’s also possible that these sharks were turned into demons after being fed humans.

The Treasure

After Itachi and his men decided to go back to being brigands, he remembered that Hibukuro had been stealing treasure from his own brigand group and hiding it away somewhere. However, since Hibukuro is now long dead, Itachi thought that this treasure was lost for good.

That is, until he stumbled across the grave of Ojiya, Dororo’s mother. I’m not sure how he knew this grave belonged to Ojiya or why he thought she would be buried with a clue pointing towards the treasure, but he did and so he dug up her grave to find the map on her back.

And, after somehow finding Ojiya’s grave and knowing that she would have a map to the treasure, Itachi also somehow knows that the map is incomplete and that Dororo must have the other half. Even after Dororo shows him that there’s nothing on her back, he still believes she’s in possession of it somehow.

Finally, after a strip search, it’s revealed that the map only appears on Dororo’s back when it’s exposed to heat. I don’t know how this was actually managed considering the map was supposedly carved into her back, but whatever. Anyway, Itachi now has both halves of the map and sets out to find the treasure.

But, while he and his men are away, Shiranui escapes and calls upon Jiromaru to kill all of his enemies.

Conclusion

While the fight against Saburomaru wasn’t all that difficult, I imagine that the fight against Jiromaru will be. Perhaps we’ll see that there’s more to it being a demon shark than just its size. And, perhaps Hyakkimaru will have to come to the rescue at the end of the episode.

But, what did you think of this week’s episode of Dororo? Although there were some inconsistencies revolving around Itachi’s discovery of the treasure map, overall I thought it was a good episode. At the very least it was better than the previous episode.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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