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.
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.
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.
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.
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