Happy New Anime Year, everyone! Have you settled on your watchlist for this season? If you are here because you need some convincing for adding Dororo to your list, then stop right there. I am usually writing these reviews assuming that you’ve seen the episode beforehand. Here is the gist: if you like historical shounen anime with great action scenes, then go see the episode and come back to read this review. It will be worth your while.
Japanese Title: 醍醐の巻
What is this Anime about
Dororo was written by one of the greatest mangaka of all time, Osamu Tezuka. It tells the story of a lone swordsman, Hyakkimaru, who has a peculiar backstory; he was born without any limbs, eyes, or body parts for that matter because of a pact his father made with a conglomerate of 48 demons who were too anxious to get themselves some human body parts and roam the Earth. The only way to get his body parts back is to kill those demons. During his travels, he meets a young thief named Dororo and together travel Japan during the Sengoku period in search of demons.
Daigo Kagemitsu, Lord of Ishikawa and vassal to the governor of Kaga Province, is an ambitious samurai who won’t stop at nothing to achieve power and rule over the land. He makes a pact with a group of demons to give him the power he needs. The demons in return strip his newborn son of all his limbs, skin, eyes, nose, ears… well, you get the picture the first time you look at the baby. He looks like a skinned animal without eyes. His life spared by an elderly handmaiden (who is soon killed by a demon who is killed by a blind old man) he grows to be a young man full of prosthetic limbs and sword hands (made by Dr.Jukai, a character we meet briefly but who will surely protagonist in a few flashbacks). While hunting a demon, he meets a young thief named Dororo. After killing the demon, he regains his skin, which means that he needs to kill demons to regain his body parts. An intriguing scenario that will put our characters through a monster-of-the-week kind of story. After all, there are so many demons to kill.
Shithole: Dororo finds horse manure and throws it to his pursuers. Sometimes I wish I had some manure handy. You never know when you’ll need to throw some.
Barefoot Poverty: The Sengoku period was characterized by extreme poverty and the animation made sure to depict them without shoes.
Themes & Trivia
Unfinished: Tezuka did finish the manga but the story ends before Hyakkimaru had the chance to get all his body parts back.
Video Game: Sega released a hack-n-slash videogame for the Playstation 2 under the name Blood Will Tell.
Live Action: A live action adaptation was released in 2007. It was set in a post-apocalyptic future, a setting in which Hyakkimaru’s artificial limbs made more sense.
Great first episode for Dororo. I was not familiar with the story before the series and I was glad to see how much care was put in the animation and sound. We learned enough of Hyakkimaru’s past to intrigue us but not too much to bland our interest in the story. Who is the doctor with the prosthetics? He surely have something to do with Hyakkimaru’s artificial limbs. Why are his blades strong enough to kill demons? Maybe they have something to do with that old man in the beginning of the episode?
Onwards to Get Some Limbs
Hyakimmaru and Dororo are not yet a team and I am sure the next episode is going to build on how they are going to travel together. I want to know more about how he got the articifial limbs and what kind of blades he sports.
Did you like Episode 1 of Dororo? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Winter 2019 reviews
Winter 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast