Welcome to the second cour of Dororo. We have 12 more episodes to see how and if Hyakkimaru will get back all his body parts and how he’s going to deal with his family problems. Thank the anime god that he has Dororo with him. That girl is a lifesaver.
Dororo is Hyakkimaru’s ever present guard, friend, and (at times) conscience. Hyakkimaru’s recent denunciation by his family didn’t lessen his resolve to find and kill all the demons that have his body parts. Instead, it slowly becomes an obsession. He doesn’t sleep at night and he only goes to places where a monster has been seen. When Dororo learns of a nearby onsen, a natural hot spring that could help them ease their fatique and rest, she counters Hyakkimaru’s indifference by mentioning, what else, the presence of a monster in the same area. There is nothing better at luring an addict.
Tahomaru has lost an eye; their mother is delirious and probably descending into madness out of guilt; Daigo is content that for now his deal with the demons is valid but he is afraid that it won’t be for long.
It’s tough to think ill of someone when they remind us of pleasant memories. We know that Okaka, the woman Dororo mistakes for her mother and in whose cottage the duo finds solace, help the demonic Fudo statue find new faces. Yet, Dororo sees her mother (she seems to be a spitting image) in the kind lady and that intensifies his experience. The simple rice porridge she offers, a dish that remind of her childhood, tastes like the sweetest food in the world. She may have declared earlier that one can live without a mama and papa, but her thirst for motherly attention tramps all previous comments. Dororo felt safe… in the hands of the dead.
Okaka’s story about the carver who made the statue was far from complete. He may have died trying to create the perfect face, but his death didn’t last long. The demon that took residence inside the statue revived the carver, transformed her into a being that can take the image of the one closest to its victims, and ordered him to bring the demon faces in search of the perfect one. I always wondered why villains feel so compelled to share their plans or origin stories, but I think there is a simple explanation for that: somehow we need to know and the hero needs to know so that he can take care of the villain once and for all.
In the end it is Dororo and her words that make the most sense. The carver spent a lifetime searching for the perfect face, working after a perfection that exists only in the realm of impossibility. It was a quest for the holy grail, and as such, doomed to failure. Sometimes there is a point where the creator (of anything) should be happy with ‘good enough’. In the end, Hyakkimaru kills the demon, and the carver finds peace in the hands of his ‘fake’ daughter.
The silver lining to all this ordeal was Hyakkimaru’s change of mind. Coming to a full circle, the episode ends with Hyakkimaru taking Dororo to the onsen even though he knew the monster nearby was a lie. He cares more about his little ‘sister’ that he cares to show but we should not forget that he is a demon child who knows little about the real world.
He Talks: Hyakkimaru said more words in the first minute of the second cour than in the entirety of the first. He’ll be a philosopher by the end of the series.
New OP: I’ve always liked the music of Asian Kung-Fu Generation. They have a soft rock style that is easy to the ears but doesn’t get degraded to pop-rock levels of shallowness. I don’t know the background, but the title (‘Dororo’) pretty much gives away that the band wrote the song for the series. It’s not bad, not by a long chance, but I feel it is a step down from last cour’s OP theme. I will probably grow to like it. It is a bit catchy and I like the opening animation.
Map: Dororo has a map on her back? The plot thickens.
Themes & Trivia
Fudo: Fudo Myo-o is one of the important deities of Japanese Buddhism. His statue can be seen in so many places in Japan that it’s not uncommon to find one near a waterfall or simply by a mountain path. As seen in the episode, he holds a rope in his left hand which he uses to catch and bind demons and a sword, the Kurikara, to subdue them. There is a mantra associated with him which goes like this:
Nômaku sanmanda bazaradan senda makaroshada sowataya un tarata kanman.
Homage to the all-pervading Vajras! O Violent One of great wrath! Destroy!
It’s probably not a treasure but I can’t wait to see why Dororo has a pink map on her back. Any guesses? Let me know in the comments.
Don’t forget to check the rest of our Spring 2019 reviews!
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast