Dororo Episode 22

Dororo Episode 22

The story of Nui

In this week’s episode review of Dororo I’ll be covering Lady Nui’s redemption arc, the demon within Hyakkimaru, and the twelfth and final demon. But before I get into all of that, there are some loose ends I want to wrap up from the previous couple episode reviews.

To start off, it’s finally confirmed that Mutsu is in fact a woman, and she’s the sister of Hyogo. Now, maybe most of you thought she was a woman all along, but let me just say that I’ve seen enough anime to know that there are some pretty feminine-looking anime boys out there.

Next up is the demon horse, which I’ll go into in more detail later. For now I just want to say that it’s interesting that Hyakkimaru doesn’t seem to question the fact that a demon horse appeared before him. We haven’t seen its soul yet though, so perhaps it doesn’t appear red to him.

Hyakkimaru from the anime series Dororo
Hyakkimaru

And the last thing I want to mention here are Hyakkimaru’s missing body parts. Which has he recovered so far, and which have yet to be recovered?

  1. Skin
  2. Left leg
  3. Right leg
  4. Ears
  5. Nose
  6. Mouth (Voice)
  7. Spine
  8. Right arm
  9. Left arm
  10. Eyes
  11. Heart(?)

Of these 11 body parts, he’s reclaimed the first seven, though not necessarily in that order. We also know that there are at least two body parts for which he slayed the demons, but failed to recover the missing limbs (his arms). And we know that he still needs to recover his eyes.

The problem there is that would mean he was only missing 10 body parts for the 12 demons. Because of this, I’m still convinced that he’s missing his heart as well, and that it was his heart beating inside the twelfth demon statue. This would then make sense because 11 of the demons successfully stole his body parts while the Goddess of Protection saved his mind.

Redemption Arc

Lady Nui is the wife of Lord Daigo and mother of both Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru. She’s the one who prayed to the Goddess of Protection to save her child, but later on she threw Hyakkimaru away to the demons in order to protect the people of Daigo’s land.

However, it seems that Lady Nui has once again swapped sides, or at least to an extent. She claims to not regret choosing her land and people over her own son, but at the same time she wants Hyakkimaru to have a happy life. To this end, she frees Dororo from captivity so that she can return to Hyakkimaru’s side.

But Nui doesn’t stop there. In the end she also chooses to flee with Dororo and meet up with Hyakkimaru even though he may decide to kill her. As she sees it, if he decides to kill her then it’s what she deserves, but if not, then I guess she just hopes that he’ll accept her apology.

I’m also not exactly sure what her true intentions here are. I think it’s fair for me to still be suspicious of Nui considering how she abandoned Hyakkimaru at the Banmon wall. Something tells me that she’s just trying to get close to him so she can kill him herself when he lets his guard down, but maybe I’m just being pessimistic.

At the very least, at least she’s actually helping to take care of the wounded and displaced civilians who she and Dororo are rescued by when their boat capsizes. This shows that even if she does intend to kill Hyakkimaru, she cares about the people who live beneath her and it would be for their benefit, not her own.

The Demon Within

So how about Hyakkimaru? Do I think he’s going to be very accepting of Nui’s apology? Unfortunately for Nui I don’t, but it’s possible that Dororo will be able to convince him not to kill his own mother. Hyakkimaru will likely remember how much the loss of Dororo’s own mother meant to her and this will stop him.

But the real point I want to make in this section is that Hyakkimaru is becoming a demon himself. Not only has he now paired up with a demon horse (Rapidash from Pokémon), but he’s also turned into a mindless killing machine.

Yes, it’s possible that the Asakura got in his way while he was going to save Dororo from Daigo’s men, but I find that unlikely. The Asakura would probably love for Hyakkimaru and the demon horse to be on their side against Daigo, but he slaughters them all instead.

So what’s going to become of Hyakkimaru once he reclaims all of his body parts? Will he be able to live happily ever after? Probably not. At this point I’m fairly certain that Hyakkimaru is going to die in the end. I don’t know how, but probably at the hands of someone close or related to him such as his father, mother, brother, Jukai, or Biwamaru.

Twelfth Demon

And, finally, we meet the twelfth and final demon, sort of. In their fight with Hyakkimaru in last week’s episode, Tahoumaru, Hyogo, and Mutsu all sustained new injuries. Tahoumaru received a gash in his forehead above his right eye, while Hyogo and Mutsu each lost a different one of their arms.

It had also been revealed that Mutsu was suffering from a plague and didn’t have much longer to live. Because of this, she knows that she’ll be unable to protect Tahoumaru and help him carry out his dream for much longer. In her desperation, she goes to the Hall of Hell and attempts to form a pact with the twelfth demon to preserve its pact with Daigo.

Unfortunately for Mutsu, the only way this pact can be preserved is with the body of Hyakkimaru. If all the body parts he reclaimed are returned to the demon, then the pact will be reforged. The only problem is that Tahoumaru, Hyogo, and Mutsu were no match for Hyakkimaru before, and now they’re even more injured.

Tahoumaru "possessed" by the Twelfth Demon from the anime series Dororo
Tahoumaru “possessed” by the Twelfth Demon

To remedy this disparity in their combat levels, the demon grants the trio a bit of his power in the form of the body parts it stole from Hyakkimaru. Hyogo and Mutsu each receive one of Hyakkimaru’s arms to replace their own, and Tahoumaru receives Hyakkimaru’s eyes.

One of Hyakkimaru’s eyes replaces the one Tahoumaru lost in battle against him, and the other one appears within the gash on his forehead as pictured above. This means that Hyakkimaru should only have to kill these three to regain these body parts, and not the final demon.

But we can also assume that the final demon is still in possession of Hyakkimaru’s heart, and will therefore have to be defeated in the end.

However, there’s one more thing I want to mention about Tahoumaru, and that’s the purple mark under his left eye. It seems that the demon didn’t just give Tahoumaru Hyakkimaru’s eyes as he gave Hyogo and Mutsu his arms. Instead, I think the demon is either possessing Tahoumaru or has given him even more of his power.

Markings under or around the eyes like this is a fairly common sign in anime that someone has obtained a type of spiritual power, whether it be godly or demonic. Naruto has a number of examples of this in regards to sage mode, but it’s by no means the only series to have done this.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Dororo? I think it’s fairly clear that Tahoumaru and his companions are going to die since they have Hyakkimaru’s body parts, but what do you think about the fates of Nui and Hyakkimaru himself? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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