Tag: Dororo

Dororo

Dororo

Dororo anime series cover art
Dororo

Overview

Dororo (どろろ) was originally a manga by Osamu Tezuka which released 1967. It then went on to receive an anime adaptation in 1969. 50 years have passed, and once again this timeless series has received an anime.

I won’t be discussing the differences between this 2019 adaptation and the 1969 adaptation simply because I haven’t seen the older one. However, there are a few differences between this new adaptation and the original manga, but the main one is the length.

The series follows a young man named Hyakkimaru, and his sidekick, Dororo, as they travel around Japan hunting down demons which stole Hyakkimaru’s body parts at birth. In the manga there were 48 demons, but in the 20191 anime there were only 12.

I would have liked to see all 48 demons and which body parts of Hyakkimaru’s they each had, but at the same time I recognize why the anime was limited to 12. Episode constraints are a real thing, and the series probably would have gotten fairly repetitive if it included all 48 demons.

Hyakkimaru from the anime series Dororo
Hyakkimaru

As for how Hyakkimaru fights these demons, his body is nearly all prosthetic and there are blades hidden within his limbs. Also, since he doesn’t even have eyes, he sees the world via its spiritual energy instead. With this he can determine whether people or objects are good or evil.

But while fighting demons is what forces our two heroes to progress through the story, that’s not really what the story is about. It’s a tale of both revenge and not losing your way as you seek that vengeance. Over the course of the 24 episodes we see the various characters, including the main duo, change in response to situations and their surroundings.

This is where I think the Dororo series shines. Often in anime we’re introduced to one-trick characters who may receive some sort of character development, but are ultimately unchanged at their core. For example, Naruto has a number of major events which help develop the titular character, but his core ideals never really change.

And since the characters in Dororo are constantly changing and evolving, their actions are rarely black or white from a moral perspective. We always know exactly why a character acts or feels the way they do, so even when it may seem bad on the surface, the thoughts behind their actions are justified.

Characters

Despite the series being named after Dororo, I think the best character to start with is Hyakkimaru simply because it’s his revenge story. He was born as the first child to the lord and lady of a failing land. However, his father, Daigo, had made a pact with demons to give up his firstborn child so that his lands could be saved.

In some ways this sacrifice was noble because it saved all the people who were living on the land. But, Daigo also wished for military might with which to defeat his enemies, a mostly personal cause.

However, the key factor in this tale is that Hyakkimaru’s body parts were sacrificed against his own will. He was saved from death by the Goddess of Protection his mother prayed to, but he lost everything else, his body and his family.

From Hyakkimaru’s perspective, he’s simply trying to reclaim what belongs to him. But from the perspective of his enemies, he’s stealing the good fortune which has been bestowed upon the people of Daigo’s land. So who’s right and who’s wrong?

Dororo is the one character who doesn’t change all that much due to the fact that they’re still a pure, innocent child. However, while Dororo is generally unchanged by the events going on in the world, that doesn’t mean Dororo doesn’t feel the effects.

Dororo’s was born to a pair of brigands who fought against the samurai class on behalf of the people. Unfortunately, both of them ended up dying, leaving Dororo all alone. And this is where Hyakkimaru comes in. He rescued Dororo and was stuck with them ever since.

But just because Dororo doesn’t really change throughout the series doesn’t make them a bad character. For the most part we see the events of the anime play out from Dororo’s perspective. Due to this it would be a bit odd if any major character changes occurred.

Tahoumaru, Hyogo, and Mutsu from the anime series Dororo
Tahoumaru, Hyogo, and Mutsu

To keep this review from becoming too long, the final character I’ll discuss is Tahoumaru, the younger brother of Hyakkimaru. Tahoumaru was born after Daigo’s lands were already thriving, meaning he grew up in relative peace and comfort unlike his brother who was tossed aside.

Because of this difference in the situations in which they grew up, Tahoumaru and Hyakkimaru obviously see the world in different ways. However, what I like the most about their dynamic is that while they often oppose each other, neither one of them is inherently in the wrong.

In fact, I actually prefer Tahoumaru over Hyakkimaru, or anyone else in the series for that matter. He’s an extremely well written character, and thanks to the fact that we see him interact with so many different kinds of other characters we really get a sense of who he is and what he stands for.

Conclusion

Overall I think Dororo is a 7/10. I enjoyed the beginning, the middle dragged a bit, and the end was amazing. If you enjoyed the other older manga series which recently received new anime adaptations, like Devilman: Crybaby and Megalo Box, I highly recommend Dororo.

These series are all unique, but there’s just something about how their stories were told that’s similar. Something missing from a lot of modern day series. That’s not to say old series are superior, but they are different, so if you like that, you’ll like Dororo.

As for the OPs/EDs, there were two of each. I preferred the second OP over the first one, but the first ED over the second. That said, the other OP and ED were still pretty good, so I have nothing to complain about on that front.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future 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 how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Dororo Episode 24

Dororo Episode 24

Dororo and Hyakkimaru

The final episode of Dororo is here, and I’m not sure whether is was good or bad. It was definitely more interesting than the episodes which aired during the middle of the series, but it still had some questionable choice which I’ll go over in a bit.

But the thing that I feel the need to mention before anything else is that Hyakkimaru’s eyes were the last body parts he needed to retrieve after all. The final demon wasn’t in possession of his heart (as far as we know) and while that makes sense from a time constraint perspective, I’m not sold on it from a plot perspective.

After the previous episode it seemed pretty clear that there wasn’t enough time for everything I expected to happen to actually happen. However, I still feel like the final demon was likely in possession of Hyakkimaru’s heart in the original manga, though I haven’t read it.

This adaptation was actually changed from the source material to only include 12 demons as opposed to the original 48. And if you do the math, 48 demons means a lot more of Hyakkimaru’s body parts were taken in the manga, potentially including his heart.

So if you’ve read the Dororo manga, let us know how the ending of that compared to the ending of this adaptation down in the comments.

The Final Battle

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru continue their fight throughout Daigo’s castle in this week’s episode. However, it’s not quite as nice of a fight as in the previous episode. This time around the fight is less about the action and more about what the fight means for both parties involved.

Hyakkimaru is still fighting to reclaim what he believes (rightfully so) is his, while Tahoumaru is still fighting for the people of the land whom he has sworn to protect. With that said, as the fight drags on we see their perspectives begin to change and swap.

As Tahoumaru becomes more enraged, he stops thinking about the people of Daigo’s land and more about his personal issues with Hyakkimaru. He mentions things such as how Hyakkimaru took Hyogo and Mutsu from him, and how Hyakkimaru has no right to set foot in the castle.

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru from the anime series Dororo
Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru

On the other hand we have Hyakkimaru, who begins to truly see Tahoumaru as his brother as the fight drags on. The more Tahoumaru talks about the things Hyakkimaru has taken away from him personally, the more Hyakkimaru sees that they’re not so different after all.

In the end Hyakkimaru defeats Tahoumaru, but opts to spare his life rather than kill him. Hyakkimaru realizes that Tahoumaru isn’t an evil person, but was instead being controlled by the ideology of their father (and the demon which takes over his body at the end).

And in response to this mercy, Tahoumaru returns Hyakkimaru’s eyes to their rightful owner (and refers to him as his brother). Also the final demon shows up as a giant blob and doesn’t really do anything.

Life and Death

Now here’s the part of the episode that I didn’t really understand. Even though Hyakkimaru chooses not to kill his brother and mother, and seems to want them to live on, they choose to die. And it’s not just them, Jukai chooses to die along with them.

I get that all three of these characters have things in their pasts which they aren’t proud of and wish to repent for, but I see no reason for why they died in the castle the way they did. None of them said anything about wanting to die to repay their sins, instead they seemed fairly optimistic about the future.

Nui makes a bit more sense than the other two though. As the lady of the land she might have seen it as her duty to go down with the burning castle as a way to signify that Daigo’s reign was over, but I still think it was pretty pointless. We’d already seen her doing things to help the people of the land, so why doesn’t she just survive and continue to do that?

Tahoumaru is kind of in the same boat as his mother, but has even more reason to continue living. He still hasn’t accomplished his goal of protecting the people, so why is he suddenly resigning himself to death? He could have made such a positive impact on the lives of many had he lived.

Jukai is the one that honestly makes the least sense. I get that he’s had his fair share of suicidal thoughts in the past on account of his previous work as an executioner. But, he’s been repenting for that ever since and has actually done a lot of good, such as by raising Hyakkimaru. Why would he suddenly stop now?

Finally we have the character on the other side, Daigo. Out of anyone, Daigo should have been the one character to die, but he doesn’t. Hyakkimaru decides to spare the life of his father just as he did to his brother and mother. He even tells Daigo to live the life of a human from now on, not a demon.

The question is, did Daigo take this to heart? We know that he now realizes that it was wrong to rely on the demons to bring peace and prosperity to his land. He realizes that he should have raised Hyakkimaru to take over after him, and that would have been best for his people.

But even so, he’s still Daigo and we don’t know what he does after that scene. Does he too kill himself? Does he go back to ruling the land with an iron fist? We simply don’t know, but I find it hard to believe he would be willing to give up his position as the lord of the land even if he turned over a new leaf.

Towards the Future

The best part of the episode to me was the very end. In the past I’ve made it clear that I’m a fan of more open endings in series, and that’s exactly what we get from Dororo. Along with not knowing Daigo’s ultimate fate, it’s also unclear what will happen to our protagonists in the future.

Hyakkimaru leaves on a new journey on his own without so much as saying goodbye to Dororo. For you Naruto fans out there, Hyakkimaru’s journey is kind of the same as Sasuke’s after his final battle with Naruto at the end of Shippūden. He’s going on a journey to make sense of everything he’s done.

However, it is implied that Dororo and Hyakkimaru are reunited in the future. It’s unclear whether what we see is this actually happening at the very end, or if this is just foreshadowing that a reunion will occur one day.

Teenage Dororo from the anime series Dororo
Teenage Dororo

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that older Dororo was low key the highlight of the entire series. I mean, just look at her. Sure, Okowa, that one girl from what essentially amounted to a filler episode, is probably cuter, but it’s nice to see Dororo grown up.

Also for all we know Dororo could be the new lady of the land. Perhaps Daigo is gone and now Dororo is the one in charge, she does have a literal ton of gold after all with which to finance her own country. Though, it should be mentioned that she planned to give it to the people so that they could create a country of their own.

Conclusion

If you enjoyed my Dororo content, don’t worry, this isn’t the last of it. I can’t tell you exactly when it will go live at this point, but I will be doing a review of the entire Dororo season at some point in the future.

Also if you liked this review in particular then click the like button ❤ down below and 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 how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Dororo Episode 23

Dororo Episode 23

The story of the demons

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in at least one of my previous episode reviews, but Tahoumaru is probably my favorite character in Dororo. He was already a great character before this week’s episode, but this episode really did a lot to emphasize his role as Hyakkimaru’s foil.

I think what I like most about him is that he’s not really the villain of the story despite working against Hyakkimaru. Hyakkimaru is himself more of an antihero than a true hero. This in turn makes Tahoumaru an antivillain, if that makes any sense.

An antihero is someone who sometimes does the right things, but often for the wrong reasons. Hyakkimaru is fighting against demons, but he’s doing it out of selfishness.

From this definition of antihero, an antivillain would be someone who does the wrong things, but for the right reasons. I find this to be a great explanation of Tahoumaru’s actions and ideals. Sure, he’s working with demons to kill his own brother, but he’s doing so to save the rest of the civilians living on Daigo’s land.

On an unrelated note, it was revealed that Hyakkimaru’s body parts Tahoumaru, Hyogo, and Mutsu are currently in possession of might actually be the final three Hyakkimaru needs. Last week I went through the body parts he’s reclaimed and has yet to reclaim, and I noticed we were short by one.

Even accounting for his eyes (which count as one), and arms (which count separately), he would still be missing one body part. Because of this, I’m still fairly convinced that his heart is the final piece of the puzzle, but with only one episode left I’m not sure how there’s enough time to wrap everything up if that’s the case.

Demon Horse

Also last week I had mentioned that since Tahoumaru had the purple accents under his eyes that it meant he may be possessed by the twelfth demon. However, I noticed that in this episode, Hyogo and Mutsu also had these purple accents, so I guess it’s just to represent that they have been granted power by the demon.

I get that this is a supernatural series, but I do sort of think the abilities granted to Hyogo and Mutsu by the demon were a bit much. Not only did the demon grant them, and Tahoumaru, Hyakkimaru’s body parts as replacements for their own, but it also gave them superhuman physical abilities.

In Tahoumaru’s case, we see that he’s now able to react to Hyakkimaru’s superhuman-like attacks. That’s all well and good, but what we see from Hyogo and Mutsu crosses the line just a bit as far as I’m concerned.

Tahoumaru witnessing the deaths of Hyogo and Mutsu from the anime series Dororo
Tahoumaru witnessing the deaths of Hyogo and Mutsu

While Tahoumaru takes on Hyakkimaru, Hyogo and Mutsu fight the demon horse that teamed up with Hyakkimaru (which there is still no explanation for). Even after severely wounding the horse, Hyogo and Mutsu are defeated by it.

The horse rips off Hyogo’s head with its mouth, and then kicks Mutsu so hard that she loses her replaced arm along with a significant chunk of her chest. But although these are clearly fatal wounds, they’re not enough to immediately stop Hyogo and Mutsu.

Even without a head, Hyogo’s body stands up once more to deal one last blow to the horse. And the same goes for Mutsu’s body, which flies up into the air before making one, final attack. I get that this was the demon’s power at play, but I would have preferred the horse to simply succumb to its earlier injuries after killing those two.

However, regardless of how it happened or what their bodies do, it’s important that Hyogo and Mutsu are killed here. Their deaths allow for Hyakkimaru to reclaim the arms he had lost, meaning he only needs his eyes from Tahoumaru.

Land of Daigo

The land of Daigo is more than just the physical land over which he rules. It’s also the people who live and die on the land. So when Tahoumaru exclaims that the arms and eyes granted to himself, Hyogo, and Mutsu belong to Daigo, he really means they belong to the people.

But Hyakkimaru doesn’t want to give up his body for the sake of the people. After all, it’s his body and it was stolen from him, he never willingly gave it up. In this sense, Hyakkimaru is the “right” one and Tahoumaru is the “wrong” one.

However, as I mentioned earlier, the opposite side also has a valid argument. If Hyakkimaru simply sacrifices himself, then all of the people living on Daigo’s land will prosper. And it’s not just Lord Daigo and Tahoumaru who believe this is the way it should be.

Most of the civilians who live on Daigo’s land also seem to think that Hyakkimaru should give up his own life so that they can live in peace, or at least those who know about him. As far as they’re concerned, he should be honored to be sacrificed and become the hero of the people.

Luckily for Hyakkimaru, he’s not alone in his views. Dororo also believes that Hyakkimaru shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice himself for people who never cared about him to begin with. And, although it takes her a while to get around to this conclusion, Lady Nui sort of believes the same.

Nui instead suggests that the people of Daigo should work to create a prosperous land on their own and stop relying on someone else to do it for them.

Two Demons

Finally, we have what I assume is going to be the final battle between Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru. Their fight doesn’t conclude in this episode, but my guess is that only one of them is going to come out alive (at most). It’s possible that they both die.

Unfortunately, while this is a really good fight, it doesn’t have the animation style that we saw from their episode 21 fight. That’s not to say the animation is any worse, it’s just not the particular style I really enjoy for fluid fights.

So why are these two brothers fighting to the death? Couldn’t they find some solution that they could both agree on? Earlier on in the series that may have been a possibility, but no longer. Each of them has been taken over by the rage inside themselves, and it’s safe to say they’re more demon than human at this point.

Tahoumaru fighting against Hyakkimaru from the anime series Dororo
Tahoumaru fighting against Hyakkimaru

However, as much as I enjoyed this fight and everything it stood for, there was one thing that kept bothering me the entire time. Why is Hyakkimaru still using the blades from his prosthetic arms? He has real arms now, and yet he’s holding the blades without hilts, cutting himself.

Now, I get that he’s used to those blades, but still, he has an actual sword too. I mean, why else has he been carrying around a real sword this whole time. Have we ever seen him use it? I can’t remember a time when he has.

Maybe he’ll finally use it in the next episode. I want to see a true sword fight between him and Tahoumaru, not one of these fights where Hyakkimaru is flying all over with two swords. I think he’d be a much cooler character if he used a sword properly like Tahoumaru does.

Conclusion

Overall I have to say that this was a great episode of Dororo. I think the series has really picked up over the past few episodes and I just wish it was more like this for the majority of the series. But what do you think of this episode? Was it good? Bad? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on all my latest 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 how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the final episode is available here.

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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.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future 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 how to become a supporter of this blog 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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Dororo Episode 21

Dororo Episode 21

The story of breaking the cycle of suffering

This week’s episode of Dororo was definitely one of the better ones in the series. There wasn’t a fight against a demon, but major events for the end of the series were set up, we got some background on a few characters, and there was a great fight between Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru.

As for the events which are setting up the end of the series, Daigo’s lands are being plagued by droughts, locusts, and disease while their enemy, the Asakura are mobilizing an army. In response, Daigo is mobilizing an army of his own to fend off his enemies, but doesn’t have the resources to spare hunting down Hyakkimaru.

Luckily for him, Hyakkimaru is heading towards Daigo’s lands, and his son, Tahoumaru, is ready to defeat his brother once and for all. Daigo decides to leave the killing of Hyakkimaru to Tahoumaru while he instead focuses his attention on the battle which is surely coming his way.

In order for Daigo’s land to survive, both the Asakura and Hyakkimaru must be defeated. However, there’s one more thing that needs to happen to ensure the land continues to prosper, Tahoumaru must survive to take over as lord after his father.

To this end, although Tahoumaru tells his father that the only two he needs in order to defeat Hyakkimaru are Mustu and Hyogo, Daigo sends another, secret group of soldiers to make sure the prince comes back alive. This group is outfitted with horses taken from the people of Daigo’s land, including one horse which they’re told to bring back in good shape, but then proceed to strap explosives to.

Mutsu and Hyogo

Mutsu and Hyogo are Tahoumaru’s two personal bodyguards; and I’m still not entirely sure whether Mutsu is a man or a woman. Either way, I’ve finally remembered their names (because I wrote them down this time) so I can no longer use the excuse that their names aren’t important enough for me to go back and figure out.

But, in this episode these two play a larger role than they ever have before. Yes, they’ve been fairly important characters ever since their introduction simply due to their proximity to Tahoumaru, but we never really knew anything about them. That all changes now.

For starters, we learn that they’re roughly the same age as Tahoumaru since they were instructed as children along with him. Before this I assumed that they were each at least 10 years older than him, especially Hyogo.

Mutsu and Hyogo as children from the anime series Dororo
Mutsu and Hyogo as children

However, before they were taken in by Daigo and raised alongside Tahoumaru, Mutsu and Hyogo were captives of an enemy of Daigo which we can assume to be the Asakura. As far as I can tell, Mutsu and Hyogo are siblings who were kidnapped by the Asakura after their parents were killed, though they could just be unrelated children who were being protected by adults of the village.

Regardless of who they are, in the end they’re rescued by Daigo and raised to be the personal guards of his son.

Unfortunately for Mutsu and Hyogo, the fact that they’re just now getting a backstory isn’t a good sign. My guess is that both of them will be dead before the series concludes, with Mutsu dying first. It’s hinted that Mutsu has contracted one of the diseases plaguing Daigo’s lands, and when Hyakkimaru sees his(her) life force, it’s dim compared to Hyogo and Tahoumaru’s.

Hyakkimaru vs. Tahoumaru

The fight between Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru in this episode is probably the best fight in the series so far even if I’m not sure the episode as a whole was the best so far. I enjoyed the art and animation style used in the fight, as well as the reason for it happening in the first place.

So let’s start with why Tahoumaru wants to kill Hyakkimaru since I feel like that’s been explained well over the past few episodes. Basically Tahoumaru is fighting for the people of Daigo’s land and believes that they will prosper once more if the pact with the demons is upheld and Hyakkimaru is killed.

It’s a noble cause to be sure, but I’m not actually convinced that the logic behind it works out. Wouldn’t killing Hyakkimaru void the pact with the demons? I thought it was previously explained that as long as Hyakkimaru is alive for the demons to feed off of then the pact would be upheld, so killing him seems to go against that.

Tahoumaru from the anime series Dororo
Tahoumaru

On the other side we have Hyakkimaru, who has two reasons for wanting to fight Tahoumaru. The first, and more obvious, reason is because Tahoumaru is in his way. If Hyakkimaru is to reclaim his body, he’ll have to get through Tahoumaru first. The second reason, which Hyakkimaru tells us in this episode, is because Tahoumaru called him a demon.

And to be fair, although Hyakkimaru is the one who actually fights and kills demons, he does act more demonic overall than Tahoumaru does. Yes, Tahoumaru wants to kill his own brother to uphold a pact with demons, but he’s doing so for the sake of his people while Hyakkimaru only fights for himself.

Some other notable things that occur in this fight are that Hyakkimaru’s sword is shown to have a teal-colored soul and Mutsu and Hyogo each lose an arm to Hyakkimaru. At this point I have no idea what the various soul colors are supposed to represent, but perhaps Hyakkimaru is going to be killed by this sword in the end.

Midoro

The fight between Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru ends in a draw, unfortunately. After Mutsu and Hyogo are badly wounded, Hyakkimaru likely would have been able to defeat Tahoumaru if it wasn’t for the interference of the group of soldiers secretly sent to protect him.

These soldiers get rid of Hyakkimaru by knocking him into a crevasse via exploding horse. However, despite knowing that this likely wasn’t enough to kill him, they refrain from going down into the crevasse themselves to finish Hyakkimaru off.

When Tahoumaru attempts to do this, the leader of the soldiers knocks him out with a poison dart so that he can safely return him to Daigo. And, before heading out, the soldiers also decide to kidnap Dororo so that they can use her as bait to lure Hyakkimaru. While I don’t think this is necessary, maybe they’ll set up a good trap.

Last, but not least, we have Midoro the demon horse. Remember that horse that got blown up by Daigo’s men after they were asked to return it unharmed to its owner? Well some random, haunted samurai armor also fell down into the crevasse and somehow brought the horse back to life.

Not only do I not understand why some demonic samurai armor reincarnated an exploded horse, but I also don’t understand why it was thrown into the crevasse to begin with. Did this armor just do that on its own or did someone throw it down there on purpose? Is this literal plot armor?

Conclusion

So what did you think of this week’s episode of Dororo? Did you find Mutsu and Hyogo’s backstory to be interesting? Did you like the fight between Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru? And, what do you think the deal is with the haunted armor that threw itself into a crevasse after a blown up horse?

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on upcoming content or potential schedule changes like the one happening this week. I could tell you what it is, but go check Twitter instead.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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