Episode 20, The Story of the Nue
The Diago villages begin suffer from what Tahomaru believes is the result of demons being upset that Hyakkimaru is alive. Diago realizes that his deal with the demons must have been revoked and the prosperity he received is now over. Hyakkimaru and Dororo meet Saburota that is hunting a demon that ate his mother. A massive Nue appears, but when Hyakkimaru tries to fight it he’s interrupted by Saburota. He claims that he now likes to feed travelers to the demon. This is yet another human that has sided with demons. I wonder if this is a coincidence or part of a larger them.
Dodging the demon both Hyakkimaru and Dororo fall of the cliff. Dororo gets her arm stuck and Hyakkimaru struggles to free her. Water begins to rise almost drowning Dororo. Hyakkimaru panics and begins to smash his head against the rocks. Biwa-Hoshi arrives and swiftly saves Dororo, breaking his sword in the process. The inability to save Dororo due to his prosthetic arms seems to cause him to become desperate for his real body. He runs to find Saburota and Nue. He fights the Nue. It becomes desperate as Hyakkimaru dominates it cutting the head of the Nue in half. The Nue eats Saburota.
It gains wings and attacks Hyakkimaru. Dororo arrives later to find the Nue cut into pieces. Saburota sees the spirit of Hyakkimaru and notes that he’s not “human.” After failing to get his limbs back, Hyakkimaru becomes enraged. Unfortunately, it seems that Hyakkimaru is destined to go off the deep end. It’s still not clear why killing demons doesn’t result in receiving a limb automatically. However, I have a hunch that if he kills a demon for the sake of killing he won’t receive a limb but if he does it save someone he will. Regardless, it seems like this might end badly for Hyakkimaru.
Episode 21, The Story of Breaking the Cycle of Suffering
Hyakkimaru is for Daigo’s territory determined to get his body back. Dororo is sad to see how single minded he has become. A villager notices him and Dororo and informs Daigo. Villagers are becoming ill and are burned to death. Young men that are able, are forced to join the army. Horses including a nursing horse named Midoro are requisitioned. Tahomaru decides that he, together with Mutsu and Hyogo will go find and kill Hyakkimaru.
They find Dororo and Hyakkimaru at a ravine that’s filled with dead bodies. Tahomaru and his men attack Hyakkimaru. Dororo doesn’t want him to fight his brother. He takes on all three and manages to cut Mutsu’s arm off. Dororo begins to cry as Hyakkimaru fights against his brother. The fight is interrupted by Kagemitsu men. The leader riding on Midoro sends the horse to crash into Hyakkimaru and kills it by blowing it up. Hyakkimaru is knocked into the ravine. Dororo is captured. Hyakkimaru survives the fall and the horse becomes possessed by a demon, becoming a flaming horse.
One weird thing that happened in this episode is when Hyakkimaru looks at his brother, Mutsu and Hyogo their spirit are pure white. They are trying to kill Hyakkimaru but for the good of the people in the territory. I’m assuming that intent is important in determining what’s in someone heart. I don’t like that Dororo seems to be on the side of Tahomaru, when he keeps trying to kill Hyakkimaru. Granted Dororo is a child so maybe she being immature. However, the series has set Hyakkimaru to be the accidental villain. We’ll see. The series is clearly playing around with what makes someone evil or not.