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.

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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 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?

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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