Dororo Episode 24: Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru accept each other

Episode 24, Dororo and Hyakkimaru

The final episode of Dororo begins with Tahomaru and Hyakkimaru continuing their battle among the blaze of Daigo castle. Both lay claims to the castle and their mother. As Oku head into the hidden passage to the castle, she asks Dororo to stay by her son side like she always had. Oku and Jukai meet as the brothers continues their brutal battle. Hyakkimaru finally gets the upper hand and decides not to kill Tahomaru because “they are both human.” Tahomaru concedes that he “lost.”

Oku apologizes

However, the demon takes control over Tahomaru. He removes the eyes which then return to Hyakkimaru when he defeats the demon beneath the floor. Oku apologizes to both her sons, she decides to stay with Tahomaru as he dies in her arms. Daigo hears the news from the castle and continues his war effort. The final demon statue crumbles as well. Dororo decides that she’s going to use the money to help the people build up their own country. Hyakkimaru finally meets his father in the Hall of Hell. Daigo has learn nothing, suggesting that if he must he will simply feed “another human” to the demons. This includes Hyakkimaru as well.

Tahomaru dies in his mother’s arm

His only regret is that he left Hyakkimaru to a midwife, instead of strangling him. Hyakkimaru refrains from killing his father, instead telling him that he “better not become a demon.” Daigo wonders if he hadn’t struck a deal with a demon, Hyakkimaru may have had the strength to save the land. Hyakkimaru leaves Dororo behind looking to find himself. The ending wasn’t to clear to me, but it does show that Dororo grows up and appears to meet Hyakkimaru in the golden rice fields. Regardless, the series ending was bitter sweet.

Dororo all grown up

Overall, this series was well worth it. While some of the animation was poorly rendered the story of tragedy and triumph was the most important part of this series. The theme of the importance of a individual or larger society is never clearly concluded. However, Dororo deciding to help the people build their own society suggest that a compromise is possible, each individual can contribute to the success of their society. The anime series does change some things from the manga. Instead of 48 demons, Hyakkimaru has to fight 12. Jukai’s story is expanded upon, and many of the events, detail and tone are change. Dororo is a good , albeit a darker adaptation.

Hyakkimaru in the golden rice field

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Dororo Episode 22 and 23: Recap & Review

Midoro the demon horse

Episode 22, The Story of Nui

Tahomaru and his group return home with Dororo now captured. Daigo is preparing to fight against the Asakura Clan at Banmon. Finding out that Dororo has been kidnapped, Hyakkimaru becomes enraged. His anger attracts the demonic horse. Oku decides to free Dororo because she became the friend of Hyakkimaru. Oku leaves with Dororo. They are caught in a current and their ship is destroyed. They are rescued by Daigo refugees, Biwa-Hoshi is among them.

Mutsu with Hyakkimaru’s arm

Oku decides to remain with the group and help the sick and wounded. Meanwhile, Hyakkimaru riding on Midoro is slaughtering Daigo’s soldiers in search for Dororo. Mutsu, the sister of Hyogo offers herself to the demon’s in the temple in exchange for the protection of the land and people. Her offer is rejected. However, when Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo encounter Hyakkimaru their wounds are healed. This is due to the demon, and the demon has given them the arms of Hyakkimaru and both his eyes.

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash

Midoro bites Mutsu’s head

Episode 23, The Story of the Demons

As the villagers prepare for war, Hyakkimaru fights Tahomaru, Hyogo and Mutsu. Oku and Dororo arrive at the battle. They are stopped by Biwa-Hoshi. Midoro attacks Mutsu and Hyogo. However, Midoro is distracted when her foal arrives. Midoro decapitates Hyogo and crushes Mutsu. The demon still has control over their bodies and uses the arms it gave them to mortally wound Midoro. After Mutsu and Hyogo die, Hyakkimaru’s arms return to him. Leaving Tahomaru heartbroken, then enraged.

Tahomaru with Hyakkimaru’s eye’s

He grabs the two sword blades with his new arms and clashes with Tahomaru. Hyakkimaru flees when he’s senses Dororo and Oku’s sadness. As he runs away he asks himself “what is a human.” He and Tahomaru fight again, only this time Hyakkimaru’s reach is longer. Dororo, Biwa-Hoshi , Oku and the villagers discuss the value of one (Hyakkimaru) and the many (the villagers). Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash in the castle, knocking over a candle. As a fire starts, Hyakkimaru fights for his last two parts. Oku and Dororo rush towards the burning castle.

Hyakkimaru clashing for the last time?

Dororo is reaching it’s end and I’m not sure what will happen. The major theme of this series now seems to be the lives of the few verses the lives of the many. The series introduces some Buddhist concepts regarding human desires and the costs of such desires. The question I have is if Hyakkimaru dies does what would happen to the prosperity? Regardless, I think this season will end with some devastating death.

Dororo Episode 20 and 21: Recap & Review

The Nue eats Saburota

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.

Hyakkimaru spirit

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.

Dororo is concerned with Hyakkimaru

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.


Dororo in tears

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.

The spirits of Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo

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.

The brothers clash again

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.

The demon horse

Dororo Episode 18 and 19: Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru kills Shiranui

Episode 18, The Story of the Cape of No Mercy

Shiranui calls Jiromaru to “eat all their enemies.” It then consumes the corpse of Saburomaru becoming a grotesque white shark that can move on land. It quickly tries to eat Dororo, who’s saved by Hyakkimaru. He slays Jiromaru and tells Dororo that he “came for her.” Hyakkimaru leg grows back (which of course means that it wasn’t necessary to get an new artificial one in episode 17). Meanwhile, Itachi finds the cave. Two men enter and are blown up for their efforts. Tahomaru arrives with a fleet and he orders his men to “leave no one alive.”

Tahomaru arrives with his fleet

Itachi’s men are attacked and killed by Tahomaru and his men. Hyakkimaru faces off against Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo. Dororo and Itachi are attacked by Tahomaru’s men. Itachi is riddled with arrows, while Hyakkimaru is overwhelmed fighting 3 against 1, he and Tahomaru clash. Shiranui decides he’s going to blow up the mountain top killing everyone and himself. He fails to accomplish this. Hyogo gets injured and Itachi dies in the cave with the treasure. Dororo decides to leave the treasure there. He and Hyakkimaru leave the island together.


The Amanojaku (demon)

Episode 19, The Story of the Amanojaku

This episode was largely just filler. Hyakkimaru and Dororo looks for a swordsmith to repair his prosthetics sword arms. For some reason the townspeople tell them that Munetsuna is a bad swordsmith and his daughter Okowa is ugly. A amanojaku (demon) uses it’s power to cast a spell on Hyakkimaru resulting in him saying the opposite of what he means. As a result he ends his journey, an decides to marry Okowa. Dororo releases that everyone in the village says the opposite of what they mean. If he wears one of the masks from Munetsuna wall they are able to tell the truth. Eventually the demon is resealed by Munetsuna and Hyakkimaru gets his new sword. This episode is largely a waste of time, but I guess Hyakkimaru needed his swords back.

Dororo Episode 17 Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru kills the demon

Episode 17, The Story of Questions and Answers

Jukai returns. He’s continuing his mission to proved prosthetic limbs to the dead. He is attacked by a ghoul on the battlefield. Hyakkimaru intervenes. Jukai remembers his experience with Hyakkimaru. Of course Hyakkimaru has change significantly. He now has real human skin, ears and now can speak. At this point it seemed like Jukai wanted to say that he was Hyakkimaru’s father, but he doesn’t. Anyway, Hyakkimaru demands a new prosthetic that he can use for fighting.

Jukai destroys the prosthetic

Jukai is reluctant to do this out of fear of Hyakkimaru having to confront his family. In this series it’s been telegraphed that Hyakkimaru is on the path to becoming a “demon.” However, no one seems to really talk to him about it until now. Jukai even goes so far as to cut the prosthetic with his ax. Suddenly they are trapped in the cave by a landslide. He tells Jukai that he wants his body back because it’s “his.” Is Hyakkimaru better off without his body? Does he actually become less human the more real his body becomes?

Hyakkimaru slaughters demons

If you consider the behavior of the other humans in this series even if Hyakkimaru becomes a mass murder he won’t be much different from most. The main demon is a tree called Ayakashigi. It gives “birth” to demons through the fruit. It’s gross or creepy. Or both. Anyway, Hyakkimaru kills many of the demons and finally kills the tree. While watching him fight, Jukai begins to cry. He believes that Dororo will keep him human. Hyakkimaru asks his name. Jukai refuses to give saying he’s nobody. Hyakkimaru says that Jukai is “mama.” It was a funny and sweet moment.

Hyakkimaru calls Jukai “mama”

Tahomaru has resigned himself to defend Daigo at all costs. He and a small army are send to hunt down Hyakkimaru. Meanwhile, Hyakkimaru somehow finds the Cape Hakkotsu and is rowing a boat to rescue Dororo. A few weird things in this episode. First, Jukai doesn’t make a new prosthetic leg for Hyakkimaru. Second, Jukai is bitten by one of the demons and seems completely unfazed by it. Did it kill him? I don’t know it seemed like odd narrative choices. Anyway, this was largely a lovely episode.

Dororo Episode 16 Recap & Review

Shiranui

Episode 16, The Story of Shiranui

After the terrible animation of the previous episode this one reverted back to the traditional level. Anyway, Dororo was kidnapped at the end of the last episode by Itachi. This episode doesn’t include Hyakkimaru at all, which is fine. As a result Dororo shines as we get to see how much she has grown. Itachi becomes a more complicated figure as he shows that while he can be cruel (digging up Dororo’s mother’s body) it’s largely out of desperation. They take Dororo to Cape Hakkotsu.

Dororo giving a speech

They can’t reach the island without a boat. They approach a village that has been abandoned or at least it seems to. They meet a suspicious man named Shiranui, who offers to take them across the water. The boats are weirdly pulled by to sharks named Jiromaru and Saburomaru. Shiranui was obviously going to be the main villain in this episode. Regardless, his story really didn’t make sense to me. There doesn’t seem to be any real magic responsible for how he controls the sharks. Or why haven’t the sharks tried to eat him, especially after he feed them his arm.

The Bandits killing the shark

Shiranui feeds one boat of Itachi’s men to one of his sharks. While waiting for death, Itachi explains that he was betrayed by the samurai. Dororo berates them for given up and gives an inspired speech that reminds Itachi of her father. She comes up with a plan to kill the shark that requires great risk on her part. It succeeds and they get to shore. Shiranui returns and is beaten by the bandits. Itachi hasn’t decided to have a change of heart after Dororo saved them. He strips her naked. Unintentionally, while near the fire the map on Dororo’s back is revealed. Itachi and his men search for the treasure, while the angered Shiranui plots his revenge.

The map on Dororo’s back

I liked the focus on Dororo in this episode. It was a welcome departure from the usual story. While I didn’t expect that Itachi would change, I do think that he won’t bother to harm Dororo any further. However, I think in the next episode he and his men will probably get killed by Shiranui. Hyakkimaru will return to the story and kill who ever remains. At that point Dororo will probably decide what to do with the treasure.

Shiranui seeks revenge

Dororo Episode 15 Recap & Review

Episode 15, The Story of the Scene from Hell

This episode seem to have marked a low for the series in terms of animation quality. There was weird distant camera angles, coupled with no faces on the characters. The episode is weirdly inconsistent animation wise and was disappointing. After some research it appears that the episode was done by Osamu Kobayashi. He’s known for having ruined episode 4 of Gurren Lagann. This style change is dramatic and really just overall unappealing.

Anyway, it turns out that the nun and the children were sacrificed to demons. Sabame’s prosperity is like that of Daigo’s. The village is able to produce rice due to their willingness to offer the children to the demons. The weird demon baby is a collection of the spirits of the dead children. Hyakkimaru is of course driven to kill the moth demon, regardless of whether it will have a negative effect on the village.

At the end of this episode both Hyakkimaru and Dororo end up responsible for parts of the village being set on fire. After he kills the original moth demon he gets his spinal cord back. You would think this scene would be bloody but it was rather uneventful. Also due to the animation style I didn’t realize what happened at first. Blood would have made it more clear. When Dororo and Hyakkimaru return to the village it’s burnt down and many of the villagers are dead including Sabame.

I was so distracted by the animation I didn’t really get into this episode. Hyakkimaru seems to begin his downward spiral where killing demons is all he cares about. I’m going to assume that he will be tasked with saving lives or killing demons and choose the later. Meanwhile, Dororo and Hyakkimaru walk their separate ways, leaving Dororo to be found by Itachi and his men looking for Dororo’s half of the map. Overall, this episode was a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully, the rest of the season will return to a higher quality animation.

Dororo Episode 14 Recap & Review

The non-demons, the old nun and the baby

Episode 2, The Story of Sabame

We get an explanation as to what the map on Dororo’s back is. Or at least we kinda get the explanation. We could assume that Dororo had the map placed on his back at some point but he doesn’t seem to have any recollection. What we’re reminded of is the insane poverty that Dororo had to live with. The reason that he didn’t notice the map was that he had NEVER had a warn bath before. Biwamaru brings up a problem he sees. With a wider “range of choices,” he asks what happens to them when Hyakkimaru gains his body. This introduces a conflict that will come at that point. Would Hyakkimaru and Dororo stay together when Hyakkimaru gets his body restored.

Moth and caterpillar demons

Biwamaru presents a conflicting choice, Dororo can use the wealth he has OR they can “destroy the land of Daigo” and get Hyakkimaru’s body back. I think that Dororo would either give the money away or leave it hidden. While, walking on the road Dororo encounters odd looking beings. Hyakkimaru notes that they’re not demons so he doesn’t seem to care. The odd “baby” carries Dororo around. The ghostly woman points to the ground at a burned down house. It turns out that it’s oil, hinting that it was burned down. When a man shows up the baby disappeared. The man invites them to his house, he’s the Sabame, Lord of the land.

Sabame and the moth demon woman

Sabame has very noticeable bright green eyes that feel dead. Dororo is frightened by him who thinks he’s a monster. Hyakkimaru isn’t sure. Regardless, Hyakkimaru and Dororo enjoy a meal at Sabame’s house. He tells them the “story” of what happened to the nunnery. The nun abused the orphans that were their, then they died when lightning hit the roof and set a fire. Neither Hyakkimaru or Dororo believes this story. At night they are attacked by a caterpillar demon. It escapes, when a moth demon arrives. That moth demon then arrives by Sabame side and transforms into a human-like woman. This episode has a weird ending. It seems like it should have a second part to it. However, the title suggests that this is it. That said, it could be an error in translation or the story will return to this arc later.

Dororo Episode 13 – The Story of the Blank-faced Buddha

That statue carver

Dororo has been on break for a week. It has returned with Hyakkimaru now talking in fun sentences. He remembers the events of the previous episode. Dororo nags him with pleas, asking him to rest. We find that Oku has survived her suicide attempt. We then get to witness the latest demon dragging a man. The demon seems to have been taken on the form of his wife. Placing him on a stone, with a statue that literally slices his face off. The statue then forms the face of the victim.

The demonic statue

Dororo is drawn to the waterfall, where he sees the demonic statue. The demon woman from before arrives. According to Dororo she looks just like her mother. However, when Hyakkimaru “sees” her he’s unable to tell if she’s a demon. This is very interesting considering that we see Okaka help kill a man. Okaka tells them the story of the statues carver. Dororo claims that Okaka not only looks like her mother, but sounds like her as well. She asks to call Okaka “mama.” Okaka reveals that she’s the carver, resurrected by the statue, as Dororo fall asleep.

The map on the back of Dororo

Okaka takes Hyakkimaru. Dororo awakens and chases after them. He prevents Okaka from killing him. The fight between the statue and Hyakkimaru was boring. However, that’s not the real point of this episode. Despite Dororo’s age, I found it difficult to believe that she would really think that Okaka was her mother. I don’t know. I wasn’t really emotionally invested, even though I felt they wanted me to be. Anyway, they head to a hot spring where they run into the priest, Biwa-Hoshi. While there it is revealed that Dororo has a map on her back. That of course is the most important part of this episode to be answered in a later episode. Also, why hasn’t Hyakkimaru gain an organ after killing another demon?

Dororo Episode 12 Review – The Story of Banmon, Part 2

The Priest realizing that their are too many demons

Hyakkimaru of course doesn’t recognize his father, but Diago recognizes him. Diago asks why “his half-born demon child survived.” He orders his soldiers to kill Hyakkimaru, and they fire arrows at him. He escapes into the forest. However, the words of Diago echoes in his mind. Meanwhile, Dororo and Sukeroku are captured by soldiers. While in jail, Sukeroku reveals that the entire village was destroyed. Dororo sees a small hole in the cave and decides that he’s going to escape through it.

Hyakkimaru battles Tahomaru

Tahomaru finally confronts his mother. His mother says that “she has never forgotten he first child.” Diago explains that he needed to do for the “people.” I’m surprise that Tahomaru is so upset at his parents behavior. He calls out his father for only caring about himself. They are interrupted by Hyakkimaru. When he “sees” his “family” the aura’s of his brother and mother are pure. Diago of course has been tainted. Diago sends his men after Hyakkimaru, when Tahomaru interjects his father asks him if he’s willing to sacrifice the land.

Oku stabs herself

Diago argument seems to work for now. Dororo arrives and tells Hyakkimaru that Sukeroku is in danger. A jailer informs Sukeroku and the other prisoners that they are going to be killed. War becomes a bigger threat. Tahomaru and his handlers arrive in the temple. The Asakura kill the hostages and the war begins. On the battlefield all the principle characters arrive. Dororo, Hyakkimaru, Diago and Tahomaru are all present. Tahomaru begrudgingly accepts his father’s decision and calls Hyakkimaru a demon.

The statue green aura dissipates

As they fight, Diago seems pleased. Meanwhile, Dororo tries to save Sukeroku. They’re saved by Hyakkimaru who separates himself from Tahomaru when he breaks his sword and cuts his eye. Oku, Hyakkimaru’s mother arrives to asks for forgiveness. She proclaims that she “cannot save him,” and “sacrifices” herself by stabbing herself. Ironically, as Hyakkimaru loses his mother, Sukeroku is reunited with his. This episode made it very clear that the cost of restoring Hyakkimaru’s body will become a theme.

Dororo Episode 11 Review – The Story of Banmon, Part 1

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru finally meet

Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru finally meet, after the former saves one of Tahoumaru’s subordinated from death. After he pays Dororo, he tells them where to find the land of Daigo. Tahoumaru learns Hyakkimaru’s name before they leave. The old blind priest is there and he plans on going to the “Hall of Hell,” to seek the truth. Meanwhile, Dororo and Hyakkimaru head to the Fort Banmon, built on the site of a village Daigo destroyed. They find a wall where Asakura “pin bodies of their enemies to the wall.”

Hyakkimaru’s aura

While, there they meet a survivor of the village, Sukeroku. He is hoping to reunite with his family. The problem is he will be killed by the Asakura sentries waiting. Of course, Dororo and Hyakkimaru are going to help him. Elsewhere, Tahoumaru’s bodyguards inform Daigo, of Hyakkimaru. He quickly realizes that his son survived. Predictably, he concludes that he must kill Hyakkimaru in order to maintain his power and prosperity. Tahoumaru overhears the conversation. He learns the truth from a demented woman that the “demons ate everything.”

Nine tails fox

When it becomes night, a lot of nine tail foxes appear. Hyakkimaru and Dororo fight them off long enough for Sukeroku to run away. Dororo chases after him only to find out that he’s been captured by the Asakura. The nine tails demon foxes are chased away by the arrows from Daigo soldiers, leaving Hyakkimaru to face his father. The potential conflict or maybe I should say the inevitable conflict between Daigo and Hyakkimaru, has finally started. He clearly wants to kill him, but the I question if this is the moment he tries. He could attempt to gain the trust of Hyakkimaru then kill him, especially considering his fighting ability.

The statue get’s another crack

However, it’s doubtful that he has the patience. What is most interesting is the role, Tahoumaru and his mother will play. Hyakkimaru’s desire for vengeance was seen in the previous and it wasn’t pretty. The old priest (Biwamaru) noticed that his aura had changed and predicted that Hyakkimaru had killed humans. It seems that killing human has a more negative effect on one’s aura regardless of how evil they might be. All I know is that the future of this series is probably going to get darker than before.

Dororo Episode 9 Review – The Story of the Merciless

Dororo’s father Hibukuro

Dororo becomes ill and passes out. Hyakkimaru searches for someone to help him. He’s able to say some words, but no one could or would help. A nun arrives and takes Hyakkimaru and Dororo to a temple for treatment. Dororo remembers his childhood. His mother, Ojiya and father, Hibukuro were members of a group of bandits. They regularly came into conflict with samurai. Hibukuro second in command, Itachi runs afoul of Hibukuro, who threaten to kill him.

Dororo falls ill

Itachi betrays Hibukuro, taking his men and cripples him. Dororo’s family is left to raid dead bodies on the battlefields in search of supplies. Dororo witness a legs less solider, cannibalizing a dead one. Hibukuro is recognized by some samurai and is killed before the eyes of Ojiya and Dororo. They bury his body. They begin to starve. Hearing that the samurai are handing out food, they find that Itachi is doing well since his betrayal. When they begin to running out of food, Ojiya runs to the head of the line.

Ojiya burning her hands

She doesn’t have a bowl, so she sticks out her hand. Ojiya burns her hands and gives Dororo some food. Unfortunately, she collapses from starvation and dies. It is revealed that Dororo is actually a girl, as the nun accidentally reveals this to Hyakkimaru. I’m not sure why Dororo’s gender matters other than typical sexism that must exist in this world. Regardless, we get to see that Daigo has learned that Hyakkimaru is alive.

The nun revealing that Dororo’s a girl

Eventually, Daigo and Hyakkimaru must come into conflict. As he gains his limbs, he simultaneously causes Daigo to lose some of his power. Of course, this is the reverse of what Daigo did to his son. It seems predictable that Tahomaru will grow to hate his brother because his mother still longs for her first child or at least try to kill him for his fathers approval. However, Dororo could surprise me with some twist.

Daigo learning about Hyakkimaru survival

Dororo Episode 8 Review – The Story of Saru

Saru

Nokosaregumo the forsaken cloud

A dark cloud arrives over a village pouring “ashe rain,” a villager suggest they prepare a bride for sacrifice. It’s called Nokosaregumo, a massive flying centipede demon that has tormenting the village. It would kill the entire village. At some point the villagers decided to sacrifice a “bride.” Once it consumed her it would leave the village alone. Saru is the an orphan that was once saved by the bride that’s to be sacrificed. He teams up with Dororo to save her.

Big Sister sacrificing herself

Not a sacrifice, a volunteer

When Saru arrives to save his “sister,” he informs him that she decided to sacrifice herself for the sake of the village and Saru. The demon arrives, spreading a black mist that blinds Hyakkimaru. Unable to see, he’s rendered useless in this battle. The demon tries to eat Saru, but his sister pushes him out of the way and ends up swallowed whole. Nokosaregumo escapes unscathed.

Dororo and Saru teaming up

Dororo and Hyakkimaru vs Nokosaregumo

Dororo and Saru plan to defeat the demon by luring it into the sunlight. Dororo pretends to be a bride and is attacked. Saru shoots a fire arrow causing a big explosion. The demon recovers. Hyakkimaru uses the sound of arrows hitting the demon to pinpoint it’s location. Dororo attaches himself to Nokosaregumo, using his voice to help Hyakkimaru find the demon. Dororo gets knocked out. Hyakkimaru begins calling for Dororo, who awakens. Hyakkimaru and Dororo end up defeating the demon as they realize that Saru’s sister is still alive.


This episode is a departure from the usual Dororo episodes. While the story of the demon wasn’t that interesting, and Saru’s sad childhood is typical for this series, Hyakkimaru being almost useless was new. This is the first episode that Dororo took the lead in battle. Hyakkimaru ended up doing the slaying in the end, but he needed Dororo to accomplish it. Another difference, this episode ended on a happy note. Saru and sister reunited and are going to live together ending both their loneliness. Hyakkimaru gains the ability to smell and finally says his first word, Dororo.

Dororo and Hyakkimaru teaming up

Dororo Episode 7 Review – The Story of the Jorogumo Silk Spider

Dororo tickling Hyakkimaru

Dororo encounter a spider demon in the process of eating a man that seem infatuated with her. Hyakkimaru fights it off. However, she escapes when she webs Hyakkimaru to a tree. It turns out that the spider demon has been kidnapping the villagers. The demon wraps herself in a cocoon of web and turns herself into a normal appearing woman. She is found to by a man named Yajiro. He gives her the name Ohagi and feeds her rice. Dororo meets Yajiro, who tells him that a reward has been posted for the demon.

Yajiro finding Ohagi

Yajiro is forced to keep working in terrible conditions. A man died during his job, Ohagi asks if it’s “worth working to death.” Yajiro captures a cockroach and lets it go. Ohagi asks why Yajiro saved it. He says he believes that “life is life,” and human and bugs are the same. Ohagi struggles to cure her hunger. She clearly likes Yajiro and is unwilling to eat him. Ohagi appears emaciated and Yajiro hopes to help her later. Meanwhile, Dororo and Hyakkimaru are hungry and eat flowers.

Ohagi and Yajiro deciding to leave together

Hyakkimaru and Dororo encounter Ohagi and Yajiro at night. As Dororo tells him that she’s a monster, he reveals that he’s the kidnapper. He’s been helping villagers escape this miserable village. They are attacked by soldiers looking to capture Yajiro. Ohagi fights them, eating two of them. She and Yajiro escape, however, they are eventually caught by the soldiers. Yajiro is hit by several arrows, Ohagi attacks the soldiers. She transforms into her spider form, but unlike other episodes of Dororo she escapes with Yajiro, instead of being killed by Hyakkimaru.

Ohagi fighting the soldiers

This episode marks a departure from the others. We were use to evil demons being irredeemable monsters that needed to be killed however, in this episode we meet a demon with a heart. Or at least she liked one human. Ohagi’s aura marked this progression. As she changed so did the color of her aura, from red to orange. Of course because Dororo never remains in the same place characters are quickly developed, then discarded. The romance between Ohagi and Yajiro feels premature, but they were never going to get more than episode to explore their relationship. Regardless, Dororo continues to play with our expectations.

Dororo Episode 6 Review – The Story of the Moriko Song, Part 2

Dreams of Rice Paddies

After the last episode I can’t say that I’m hopeful that this on will be happier. Dororo leaves Mio stunned at what he just witnessed. He quickly runs into Hyakkimaru and the Old Priest as they return from their battle against the demon. Mio returns with food for the children, she is clearly bruised as she helps Hyakkimaru. Tahomaru gets some attention this episode. He wants to go to war, certain that he would “crush,” the Sakai clan. He seems to care a great deal about his mother view of him. Tahomaru feels that his mother doesn’t care for him. While, his mother never was cruel to him, she paid him little to no attention.

Tahomaru demands to fight

Hyakkimaru recovers, as he remembers his encounter with the demon. Mio tries to soothe him with her song. The Priest warns Dororo that Hyakkimaru may not be as “good.” Mio is insecure about her “soul.” Her “job” has made her feel dirty and she’s ashamed of herself. This belief is unsurprising. Dororo and Mio have a conversation regarding her job. He tells her that the “one,” job his mother didn’t was prostitution. A few days later Hyakkimaru fights the demon again, as soldiers arrive to find the children. Hyakkimaru succeeds in killing the demon.

Hyakkimaru’s new “leg”

My lack of hope was well founded as Mio’s using of both sides of the war comes back to haunt her. She and the children are massacred. As Mio begins to die, she sings as she always had when dealing with a terrible situation. Still unable to see, her song reveals to Hyakkimaru that she’s dying. He becomes enraged and slaughters the soldiers. Unable to speak, Hyakkimaru growls like an animal, covered in blood Dororo fears that he will become the “monster,” the Priest suggest may lurk inside. As the temple burns down, Hyakkimaru hugs Mio’s death body, as he says her name, his first word.

Hyakkimaru kills the demon

Dororo is a series that leans towards the darker end of the spectrum. Many series seem to be heading in this direction. However, Dororo has layers underneath the carnage. Take the song that Mio sings. At first it’s just a pretty song, but then it becomes the only sound that Hyakkimaru can tolerate. It turns out that it also serves as a distraction from the horrors she experienced in life. Finally, the song becomes the triggers for the rage that Hyakkimaru displays. The song ends up humanizing her. The question becomes what will the consequences of letting the solider go. He will surely spread the word of the warrior with no arms right? Daigo already suspects somethings up with the demons. Would he put two and two together?

Check of other Dororo reviews:

Dororo Episode 5 Review: The Story of the Moriko Song

Hyakkimaru meets Mio

Hyakkimaru is having trouble with his new found hearing. He’s able to hear all the animals surrounding and it’s overwhelming him. To Dororo it’s quiet. It’s remarkable that something that we assume would be great for Hyakkimaru, his hearing, turns out to be a bit of a burden. It made sense that regaining his pain receptors would cause him trouble, not his hearing. Hyakkimaru and Dororo are attacked by a flying demon that instantly reminded me of Fearow from Pokemon.

The priest killing the flying demon

Hyakkimaru manages to damage the bird with his arms, but doesn’t manage to kill. However, the old priest arrives to deliver the death blow. Dororo informs the priest that Hyakkimaru has been having trouble with his hearing. He plans to find some medicine in the big town across the river. The priest informs him of the war that’s brewing, making it too dangerous to travel. The Sakai clan has betrayed and ally, resulting in war.

Hyakkimaru charging at the demon

When the morning arrives, Hyakkimaru wanders off and meets a young woman in the river. The girls name is Mio, she lives with other orphan children. Many of these kids don’t have there limbs, having to result in using wood tied to them with bandages. Mio begins to sing while heading out to get food, Hyakkimaru finds her voice to be pleasant. The old priest finds a better home for the children, out of the way of the war. The problem, a demon “owns”” the land. Hyakkimaru quickly heads to kill it.

The demon takes Hyakkimaru’s leg

Mio decides that she’s going to work for the enemy as well. Dororo plans on going with her. Meanwhile, Hyakkimaru and the old priest face off against the demon. It’s pincers shoot out of the ground and it begins to spin, dragging them both towards it. As they battle the demon, Dororo finds out what Mio does for a living, prostitution. After the battle with the demon Hyakkimaru suffers a major consequence, he loses the bottom of his legs. He can finally be heard, screaming in agony.

Dororo watching Mio with two soldiers

The ending of this episode is haunting. To be honest I instantly knew what Mio did to get food. A pretty young girl during war really could only offer so much. This episode wasn’t without it’s kind moments though. The orphan kids creating a family and Mio sacrifice, along with her beautiful voice. Speaking of sacrifice, Hyakkimaru put his life on the line for the orphans.

For a series that focuses on him retrieving his limbs, it never occurred to me that he would lose one he got back. A few thing didn’t make sense. How did Hyakkimaru know what the priest and the others were talking about? He can’t possible understand language yet. Any way each time he gets a limb or body part back it costs him something else. This show seems to value showing the good with the bad.

Check out other reviews of Dororo:

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:

Dororo Episode 03 Review – The Story of Jukai

Dr. Jukai jumping off of a cliff

Jukai the mass murderer

The Story of Jukai reveals how Dr. Jukai came to learn and provide prosthetics. During war Jukai worked for the Shiba Clan, crucifying wounded enemies. Until his loved one is killed by a soldier. Traumatized, Jukai jumps into the sea. Years later Jukai becomes a Doctor that helps the poor for free. He is aided by a orphan named Kaname. After Jukai gives a boy that had his arm cut off by a samurai a prosthetic arm, Kaname is told of the rumor of Jukai’s past. When confronted, Jukai tell’s the truth. He reveals that he was saved by a ship when he jumped of the cliff. Kaname becomes furious, as Jukai murdered his father. Jukai doesn’t beg for his life but just a chance to make a prosthetic for the boy. Kaname then removes his prosthetic leg and limps away.

Kaname threatening to kill Jukai

Saving Hyakkimaru

Jukai finds Hyakkimaru and raises him. We fast forward 6 years as Hyakkimaru is seen swing through trees. He appears to have had powers from the beginning. He gives him prosthetics and names him, Hyakkimaru. While searching through the woods, we see that Hyakkimaru pulls a flower from the stem. By removing the flower it seems to lose its life force and goes from a green aura to red as it dissipates. He’s attacked by a wolf like demon, but is saved by Jukai. The demons appear to be attracted to Hyakkimaru’s powers. Jukai then teaches him to fight. Dororo gives us a glimpse of the life of the brother of Hyakkimaru.

Hyakkimaru fighting a demon

Fearless and Painless

Hyakkimaru masters the techniques that Jukai taught him. He goes on to slaughter many demons. Jukai notes that because he “doesn’t feel pain, he doesn’t have fear and no hesitation towards slashing and killing.” When he kills a demon, Hyakkimaru leg grows back. Jukai realizes what likely happened to Hyakkimaru, he makes him sword embedded prosthetic and sends Hyakkimaru on his way. Dororo and the Old Priest discuss the deal that was likely made. They can’t decided why demons would want his body parts. Hyakkimaru returns having regained his sense of pain. He steps on the fire seemingly testing his pain tolerance.


Hyakkimaru feeling pain

This episode was largely straight forward, explaining how Jukai came to be the doctor he is. While, focusing on Jukai may seem odd considering that Jukai isn’t a main character but he is the only character that knows what happened to Hyakkimaru and can speak. What this episode does leave us with is a question. How will Hyakkimaru handle fighting demons now that he can feel pain. It’s a new wrinkle in this series.


Previous Dororo Reviews:

Dororo Episode 02 Review – The Story of Bandai

The old man and the bell

The Fire of the soul

We see the blind old priest meet what I assume is a demon in the woods. For his vantage point the odd looking demon is nothing but a green aura. Dororo is desperately trying to communicate with Hyakkimaru. It’s clear to him that Hyakkimaru can “see” something as shown in the battle from the previous episode. Also, Hyakkimaru is able to grab berries to eat and fish. After, Dororo cooks the fish, the narrator explains the how the warrior sees the world. Hyakkimaru cannot see or hear.

Since birth he was able to “see” the “fire of the soul.” Using the fire of the soul one could differentiate being from one another. The color of the soul was used to determine if they were hostile. Hyakkimaru also possessed “superhuman senses and strength.” Dororo’s soul was white, therefore it didn’t indicate to Hyakkimaru that he was in danger.

The representation of the murdered traveler

Warrior for hire

Dororo plans on using Hyakkimaru’s fighting ability to make them rich. A small village is under attack by a monster. Villagers and travelers disappear. When they arrive at the village they are greeted by Denkichi who’s filling in for the chief, Bandai. He offers them a place to stay and supper. The “monster” from the beginning of the episode arrives with his bell, asking “You want.” Clearly, this “monster” isn’t a threat. However, his appearance certainly has given people that impression.

The tail end of the demon

Hyakkimaru’s true sight

Hyakkimaru’s ability to see the “fire of the soul,” gives him the advantage of being able to “see” someones true intent. As a result he’s able to see the danger Bandai represents and can determine that the “monster” is harmless. Regular humans can only see the surface of a person. This results in a bias, Bandai is a beautiful woman as Dororo quickly notes. Meaning everyone assumes shes “good,” while the deformed “man” is dubbed a “monster.”

Hyakkimaru quickly attacks Bandai. He and Dororo are placed in the storehouse. They meet the old priest there. He explains to Dororo how Hyakkimaru can see. As they speak, a monster comes from the well. Hyakkimaru attacks it and heads to fight Bandai. She reveals herself to be a demon. However, Denkichi help Bandai escape, revealing that he feed the travelers to the demon to save the villagers. The demon is surprised to see that Hyakkimaru is “still alive.” It suggests that the reason is the “it” failed to “take him.” He kills the demon.

The hidden gold

The pilgrim’s bell

The “demon” from the beginning once again ask “You want” then disappears into the ground. Underneath it is the traveler’s gold that were eaten by Bandai. Addicted to the money Denkichi couldn’t stop. He wanted the bell’s sound to stop so that he wasn’t reminded of what he did. The bell was from the first traveler. Hyakkimaru reveals his name to Dororo and begins to receive his next lost organ. Daigo notices something is wrong and orders an underling to investigate. This episode is the standard monster of the week on the surface but it’s actually more. By explaining to us the limitations of Hyakkimaru it simultaneously explains the limitations of those with “normal” sight. Basically, everyone has a handicap of sorts and we should investigate our biases.

One of Hyakkimaru organs return

Previous Dororo reviews

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