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There was so much to like about this episode. For one, I believe that this is the first time that Dororo is forced to fight without Hyakkimaru, proving that she really isn’t all talk. Additionally, the battle focuses around an enemy that makes Hyakkimaru’s extrasensory sight useless, prompting him to adapt by using the senses that he’s regained. As always, the story behind the episode had its strong emotional appeal, so I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.
The fact that Dororo constantly speaks for Hyakkimaru has honestly been a sticking point for me in recent episodes. I always get the sense that she’s just acting bombastic while Hyakkimaru does all of the heavy lifting. I get that Hyakkimaru can’t speak, but it’s frustrating to see.
Fortunately, this episode dispelled all of my complaints about Dororo. When Hyakkimaru is unable to fight the monster, she refuses to quit the job and comes up with a surprisingly decent plan to fight without him. I respect that mentality a lot, and it makes Dororo feel like more than a mob character.
I think I’ve mentioned in a previous episode that I felt like Hyakkimaru’s ability to see souls breaks the story a bit. It’s a godlike power that he can almost always rely on to give him the best information. In this episode, we see this turned around, which gives him an amazing opportunity to grow and rely on the senses we’ve been seeing him gain.
It’s a neat trick to use Dororo’s loud mouth for something useful, but I think there’s something even better going on in this scene. Initially, we see Hyakkimaru rely on his hearing to fight by shooting an arrow to find the enemy. It’s a great scene because we saw him throwing rocks randomly in an earlier scene. For most people, that could just be seen as a form of sulking, but it was most likely Hyakkimaru’s way of testing his technique of using sound. It’s a nice touch.
I assume that’s sulfur in the air or something. Hyakkimaru really has the worst luck with regaining his sense, doesn’t he? Anyway, I’m also glad that the bride girl ends up being alive. Her death seems a bit too forced earlier in the episode, so I was hoping she’d be back.
Also, we get a nice scene to close things out. One of the few words that Hyakkimaru knows now is Dororo.