Dororo Episode 04 Review – The Story of The Cursed Sword

Bloody Massacre

The thirst of the sword

The fourth episode of Dororo, The Story of the Curse Sword , starts with Hyakkimaru enjoying the rain. With his ability to feeling returning many mundane experiences must be profound. Dororo doesn’t seem to be too impressed though. He talks to a woman that was praying for her brother to return from war. As they are talking a man asks for help, collapsing with a large gash in his back. Hyakkimaru sprints off and Dororo follows. They find a terrify sight, a massacre.

Hiding behind a tree, a man wielding a odd sword attacks Hyakkimaru. He claims that the the sword was “thirsty for blood.” He says that the sword overtakes the body of the wielder and forces them to kill. Dororo notes that the mans facial expressions tell a different story. He attacks Hyakkimaru. During the altercation, Hyakkimaru feels his first injury during combat, a small cut on his cheek. He’s able to disarm the man when the sword gets caught in his artificial leg. Unfortunately, Dororo grabs the sword when he tries to retrieve Hyakkimaru’s leg.

Tanosuke’s crimes

Long lost brother

Osushi (the woman from earlier) finds the swordsmen when searching for Dororo and Hyakkimaru. It turns out to be her brother, Tanosuke. Meanwhile, Dororo is being dragged against his will by the sword. He resist but eventually the sword puts him into a trance. Dororo arrives at a village, but Hyakkimaru intercepts him. As Osushi tries to reconnect with her disinterested brother, he remembers being ordered to murder a man that built his master a castle, because he feared the man may spill its secrets. A first he refuses but then he’s given a sword to kill himself with. He then murders the man with it. The sword is called Nihiru, it reawakens after Tanosuke murders the builders.

Tanosuke reunites with Nihiru

Hyakkimaru verses Tanosuke

Tanosuke is drawn to Nihiru. He retrieves it after Hyakkimaru disarms Dororo. He fights Hyakkimaru, and as Osushi watches in horror, Tanosuke is defeated and the Nihiru sword is broken. Destroying the demon sword means that Hyakkimaru gets a body part back. This time its his ears. The first thing he hears is Osushi crying in the rain. This episodes ending was tragic. While, Tanosuke needed to be killed it was heart breaking that his sister never really got to reconnect with him. Hyakkimaru returning hearing was bittersweet.

Hyakkimaru vs Tanosuke

One question I have is, does Hyakkimaru have sympathy? He seems to save innocent people but maybe he just want to kill the demons and as a result he saves lives. Dororo believed that Hyakkimaru was trying to help him, what if he only wanted to destroy the sword? I love the direction of this series. The begin and ending of this episode paralleled each other, with Hyakkimaru looking up towards the sky as it rained.


Other Reviews of Dororo:

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One Piece Episode 870 – Gear 4 Snake Man Luffy vs Katakuri’s epic animation

For a long series like One Piece it is possible or necessary to have every episode feature the best animation. Costing more money and taking more time it’s important to plan to use top notch animation for important battles. Gear 4 Snake-man Luffy verses Katakuri is one such battle. I’ve a ready reviewed the manga version of this fightbut it clear that the animated version is superior. Check it out:

The Promised Neverland Episode 3 Review – 181045

Krone’s creepy “daughter”

Wear are the tracking devices

The Promised Neverland’s third episode, 181045 introduces us to the character Krone. Before we get to learn about her the trio get together to discuss where their tracking devices might be. The most obvious question from the previous episode was the location of the tracking devices. Emma says she failed to locate any. They conclude that they should check the new baby, Carol. Later Emma does just that and locates a bump behind Carol’s ear. Of course this introduces new questions. Why does the bump disappear? My best guess is that they inject nano machines into their bloodstream. Regardless, the trio later discuss the possibility that destroying the trackers will only notify them, setting off some alarm.

The tracking devices

Creepy Krone

Krone is the new assistant of Isabella. Krone tries to ingratiate herself to Isabella, but she’s not interested in “lip service.” Isabella reveals that she knows that Emma and Norman know the secret. Her plan isn’t to follow the rules, but hide this fact from the “higher-ups.” At this point we learn that Krone is a bit mentally unstable. She decides that she will use this to “capture the children who know the secret and report Isabella’s violation,” getting her fired. She says all this while holding a creepy baby doll she seems to believe is her daughter. The introduction of Krone has increased the pressure on the trio. Simultaneously, it has also increased danger to Isabella.

One of Krone’s many expressions

One step forward, two step back

Ray reminds Emma that their biggest problem is that the younger children are a “hindrance.” Emma’s plan is to teach the kid’s through playing tag. Using tag as a training method is clever. She simultaneously can train their minds and bodies, all while under the noses of Isabella and Krone. However, Krone quickly undermines this when she plays tag with them. She’s able to track down the younger kids with lures. Krone exposes one problem, Emma’s compassion makes her a weak link. She reveals that Norman weakness is his psychical body, Ray’s is that he’s “a little quick to give up.” She tells Emma that if she “saw the harvest the other day,” she’s on her side. Krone captures Emma, but fails to capture Ray and Norman before the time runs out.

Gilda the traitor?

A traitor among them

After she loses at tag, Krone notes the trio and a fourth child, 10 year old Gilda. Visually, she is depicted as different from the others. I might be heavy handed, but it’s still effective. This episode has positioned Gilda as more important. The difficulty here is that children are naive by nature and the one person they’re likely to trust absolutely is Mom. Emma, Ray and Norman have to break this trust or trick the children. Ray figures out that there might be a traitor among the children. Could it be that Gilda is the traitor? This series loves playing mind games, I think this might be one of them.

Emma realizing the possibility that there’s a traitor

Check out previous reviews:

Trigger and XFlag’s reveal new trailer for anime movie Promare

Promare a new film by Trigger and XFlag that is due to be released in May. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, both of whom have worked together on Gurren Lagann and Kill La Kill. The character designs will be Shigeto Koyama. The series will focus on “Galo and the Burning Rescue Fire Department as they face off against BURNISH, a group of mutants who are able to control and wield flames, and the fire disaster they have unleashed on Earth.” Promare is scheduled to be released in Japan in May 2019.

Made in Abyss Compilation film to be released on March 15th

Sentai Filmworks announced that Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake the first of two Made in Abyss movies will have it’s premiere at the Regal Cinema in L.A. on March 15th. The film is describe as:

The enigmatic Abyss is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider. One day, she receives news that her mother died in the Abyss, yet a mysterious note tells Riko that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with a humanoid robot boy name Reg. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.

Sentai Filmworks

Both films will be released in 2019. The first film had revealed a “new work for the franchise titled Gekijōban Made in Abyss: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei (Made in Abyss the Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul). The second film will feature a new scene featuring a new character, Prushka.

Source: ANN

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 Episode 2 – Urban Legends

Reigen and his sad little stand

Looking into Urban Legends

Reigen is bored. No one seems to bothered by spirits. In search of money Reigen decides that he and Mob should look into urban legends. Reigen is of course looking for the gullible, that believe in the supernatural. He sets up a stand to offer exorcism help. Mob and Reigen are interrupted by Shinra Banshomaru, the greatest psychic of this century. He claims that they don’t have any jurisdiction to put up their stand. As challenges their so called authority, but a potential client arrives. She claims that spirits are attracted to her. Mob confirms that a spirit of a middle aged man is following her.

Shinra Banshomaru

Eliminating the Urban Legends

Shinra is uncertain who would take such a job, and of course Reigen claims the job. Shinra decides to help, Reigen asks Dimple to tail him. He seems to be concerned for Shira’s safety. He asks some children about what they’ve seen. He becomes weird and the girls think he’s a pervert. A guy in a read raincoat runs pass him and he tackles him. This reveals that the man named Akarain isn’t wearing any clothing. We get a seen that’s similar to the fighting game genre, with Akarain vs Shinra. Akarain flees. The human faced dog turn out to be a dog with a face written by marker.

Akarain Verses Shinra Street Fighter style

Hey aren’t you thirsty

Shira catches up to Akarain. This turns out to be his plan all along. He attacks Shinra with a taser. At this point it seems like Shinra doesn’t have any psychic powers. After knocking Shinra out, a skinny woman dragging several dolls behind her, stating hey, aren’t you thirst over and over. Akarain attacks her with his taser. She reflects the electricity on him, knocking him out. Shinra uses Spirit Hold. It doesn’t have an effect. The woman sinks under the water and rises under Shinra throwing him into the lake. She tries to drag him under water, but Dimple possess him awakening his latent powers.

The Dragger

Dimple verses the Dragger

The fight between Dimple (in Shinra’s body) and the dragger is a dynamic battle. The animation is spectacular ask they fight through the trees. Dragger attacks with a series of clawed weapons. Cornered, Dimple considers abandoning Shira when his achilles tendon snaps. However, Mob’s faith in him prevent him from doing so. Just before the Dragger kills Shira, Mob saves them. She flees. Dimple claims that the Dragger was given life from “the imagination of masses.”

Mob defeats the Dragger

Fear is used to power her. The lake begins to expand, trapping Reigen and Shinra. However, because Mob doesn’t have a childhood fear of the Dragger he’s able to defeat her. Mob’s ignorance saved him. Reigen, Mob and Dimple head to find the “Dashing Granny,” but it turns out she just an old lady that runs. Mob is embarrassed that she beat him, becoming Mob’s “first traumatic experience with urban legends.”

Dashing Granny

Dr. Stone will get a novel on February 4

Art by Boichi

Ichio Morimoto’s novel Dr. Stone Hoshi no Yume, Chi no Uta will be released on February 4th. Based on the manga series by Riichirou Inagaki and Boichi’s, Dr. Stone focuses on Taiju Oki, Senku Ishigami and Yuzuriha Ogawa as they navigate the world after humanity is turned into stone. One story in the novel will focus on Senku during high school, before humanity was petrified. Another will focus on several characters after the pertrification, as they join a band using handmade instruments.

Shueisha published the 8th volume in December and a 9th volume is expected to be released in February. Viz Media published on it’s digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The series will get an anime adaptation in July this year. The series is described as:

One fateful day, all of humanity was petrified by a blinding flash of light. After several millennia, high schooler Taiju awakens and finds himself lost in a world of statues. However, he’s not alone! His science-loving friend Senku’s been up and running for a few months and he’s got a grand plan in mind—to kickstart civilization with the power of science!

Viz Media

Source: ANN

Fire Force anime to premiere in 2019

Fire Force (Fire Brigade of Flames) is becoming an anime later this year, according to Atsushi Okubo the creator. Yuki Yase at David Production (JoJo’s Bizarre, Cells at Work!) will be handling the direction for the series. Yamato Haishima will be handling the scripts, with Hideyuki Morioka doing the design for the characters.

Fire Force is a manga series that’s was created by Atsushi Okubo, published by Kodansha and serialized in the Weekly Shonen Magazine. Fire Force is set in a world where human ” spontaneously ignite and turn into flaming demon-like creatures, a disease most feared and known by the name “Human Body Ignition Phenomenon”. The series focuses on Shinra Kusakabe, who joins the Special Fire Force Company 8 to fight the Flame Humans.

I wrote an introduction to the series back in 2015, here. Despite likely Okubo’s art style I wasn’t able to maintain my interest in the manga, however, sometimes the anime is more enjoyable than the manga or vice versa. Regardless, I’m gonna give the anime a chance. It’s looks good:

Fire Force teaser

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 Episode 001 Review – Ripped Apart ~Someone Is Watching~

Reigen plots plan for cherry tomato

It’s been three years since Mob Psycho 100’s season 1 premiered, and the much anticipated 2nd season has arrive without disappointment. Episode 1, entitled Ripped Apart, Someone Is Watching quickly reintroduces the series. Shigeo Kageyama or “Mob” is a powerful esper that works for Reigen, a false psychic who owns the “Talk About Spirits Agency.” The cast of characters from season 1 remain, Dimple, a formerly powerful evil spirit that now hangs around Mob hoping to use his power someday.

Mob Training montage

There’s Ritsu Kageyama, Mob’s younger brother, also a psychic. Ritsu excels where Mob doesn’t with girls, school, athletics and Mob excels where he doesn’t, physic abilities. This episode begins with Reigen talking to a farmer that believe’s his farm is possessed. Of course he’s right. Reigen is a con artist, but manages to have a heart at the same time. Reigen agrees to take “30 % of his harvest.”

Mob wow’s the audience with his non speech

He and Mob (mostly Mob) face off against what the think a minor spirit, however, the spirit turns out to be more powerful. The battle is fine but what is most important is that Mob has seeming learned how to control living things “like a remote control car.” He uses this new ability to defeat the spirit and later is able to grow a cherry tomato plant from a seed almost instantly. We return to school where, Ichi-san is now part of the “Psycho Helmet Religion,” where she plans to exploit Mob for her own benefit.

Emi gives Mob a letter

Kamuro. the student President resigns as his unethical behavior from the previous season made him reconsider his position. Ichi sees this as an opportunity get Mob some attention. She uses his attraction for Tsubomi to convince him to run for President. Mob does the work but fails in epic fashion, becoming the first and only person to not speak during the five minutes allowed. Kamuro becomes President again, while Mob meets Emi who asks him out.

Everyone’s surprise by Mob’s “girlfriend”

We find out later that Mob declined her invitation, but still walked her home for a week so he would hurt her feelings. Mob’s kindness is both his most endearing and his biggest weakness. People take advantage of this kindness often and Emi does as well. She admits that she was “dared” to ask him out by her friends. However, her time spent with Mob has made her realized that maybe she a lot like Mob. She apologizes for the her deception, but Mob doesn’t hold it against her. Emi’s friends turn out to be mean girls and one girl tears up the book Emi was writing.

Ritsu

This is another moment of change for Mob. He criticizes the girls for destroying her work. Mob has decided that he’s going to “consider his feelings more,” and begins to tear up. He starts picking up the pieces of Emi’s book of the ground and she joins him. When the wind blows the pile of papers away, she thanks Mob for his help. He then uses his powers to collect the pieces and reform the book. Exposing his powers to Emi, as Tsubomi watches.

Mob using his esper powers to fix Emi’s book

Mob Psycho 100 picks up where season 1 left off. Maintaining the quality of the previous season. Bones continues to play with the animation of the series, keeping Mob Psycho’s visual originality. Seeing Mob’s emotion limitation expanded in this episode. What would a more mature Mob be able to do as a psychic? What effect does it have on the psychic explosion? Mob’s growth as a young man and an esper is going to be very important theme off this season, I can’t wait to see him mature.

First Impression – Dororo Episode 01 Review

Adult Hyakkimaru
  • Directed by: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
  • Produced by: Twin Engine
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Licensed by: Amazon (streaming)

Dororo episode 001, The story of Daigo begins with a woman giving birth. Sir Daigo heads to the “Hall of Hell.” When he enters he’s meet by a old priest that warns him that “one who steps into Hall of Hell has made a choice.” He begs Sir Daigo to “hear him out,” if he abandons Buddha, he will no longer be human and only hell awaits. Daigo then murders the priest with his katanna.

Infant Hyakkimaru

He then prays to 12 demons. He wants more power and is willing to give then anything for it. It turns out this was a flashback and Daigo had already made this deal. As his son is born, lightning strikes leaving a horrifying sight. The newborn infant was left with no limbs, eyes, nose or skin. Daigo is initially shocked, but once her realizes that the demons granted his wish he no longer cares. The boys mother still wants her child regardless of what he looks like, however, Daigo leaves her crying as he demands that she bare him another child.

Jukai the doctor

The child is grotesque looking, as the old woman puts the child in a boat she is eaten by a demon. Who is then killed by an old blind man. Daigo land begins to prosper as he was promised. We flash forward 16 years, during a war. Jukai is doctor that give the dead his prosthetic prototypes. We are introduced to Dororo, a little theft. He steals from a gang of men that end up beating him up and attempting to drown him. While, being assaulted the now grown up child of Daigo, Hyakkimaru arrives. However, he’s not interested in saving Dororo, he’s focusing on a demon.

Dororo the thief

The demon looks like garbage to the men, then it attacks eating them. When it grabs the boy, Hyakkimaru attacks. He removes his prosthetic limbs revealing sword like arms underneath. He quickly defeats the demon, using quick abilities, cutting down the bridge around them. As the boy thanks him his skin on his face returns, forcing the boy to ask him are you human? Dororo isn’t a new series. It was original released in the late 60’s which explains why I had never heard of it. Dororo is considered to be one of the first Shonen series. I love thing episode.

Demon Hyakkimaru defeats on bridge

The animation is great, the story (while dark) is profoundly interesting. The action is subtle, but effective and enjoyable. Dororo seems like he or she (it’s not that clear) will be the main source of joy for this series. However, Hyakkimaru may have a sense of humor, you know when he gets his mouth back or maybe his throat or lungs, probably all three. Anyway, Dororo has everything, a evil villain (Daigo), sympathetic characters with (Hyakkimaru, his mother, Dororo), action, a badass old man, an a captivating story. I’m hooked.

Hyakkimaru face’s skin returns