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This week’s episode felt like a strange, mixed bag. I thought that the general story was excellent, but the execution felt lacking. On the more obvious side, I felt like the animation in this episode was noticeably shaky compared to previous episode. But more than that, I thought that the general pacing of the episode was a bit forced, to the point where the message was potentially distorted.
As I’ve said in previous episodes, I like seeing Dororo act independently. She eventually calls out to Hyakkimaru for help when she gets into trouble, but she ultimately gets out of the situation without him. It does a great job of setting up the ending of the episode, when she chooses to part ways from Hyakkimaru.
I also liked the idea that the villagers were directly responsible for the death of the nun and the orphans. I don’t know if the episode really makes it clear why they did it, but it does set it up well. While outwardly nice, the villagers are shown to be clearly guarded around Dororo, indicating that there’s more to the village than the lord himself.
What I thought was less clear was Lord Sabame’s role in whole ordeal. He’s shown in the same scene that depicts the nun’s death, but Dororo seems to imply that the villagers acted without his intervention. Additionally, the aftermath scene heavily suggests that he sacrifices himself to stop the fire that Dororo started, which could mean that he was just trying to help.
It’s been a while since Hyakkimaru got an organ, and this one was a bit gruesome. I’m still a bit underwhelmed by the fight with the moth, since Hyakkimaru just kind of confronts it and immediately kills it. It did manage to escape him a few times throughout this story, but this is kind of a weird climax. Also, I wonder what the implications of getting his spine back are. Does he have faster reflexes now?
I quite enjoyed seeing Dororo question the pair’s actions by the end of the episode. While it’s true that the villagers committed a heinous crime, it’s hard to truly say that they deserved to have everything burned to the ground. Even though Dororo wasn’t directly responsible for the fire, it’s interesting that she questions whether their arrival ultimately ruined the town.
I think that seeing Dororo leave Hyakkimaru behind in her frustration makes things interesting as well. While her run-in with Itachi clearly gives Hyakkimaru a reason to “save” her and prove that he cares for more than killing demons, I appreciate how she acts upon her own doubts.