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As far as juggling four different factions goes, this episode did a pretty good job managing them all. It crystallized the relationship between Tahoumaru and Hyakkimaru, while giving nice character moments to Dororo and Itachi. The episode also delivered what I thought was the best fight sequence I’d seen in a while from the series. Even fighting at a massive numbers disadvantage, Hyakkimaru is awesome.
Well, I was honestly expecting the transformed demon shark to be more of an issue, but it looks like it was just a stepping stone in the episode. I suppose it finally solved Hyakkimaru’s right leg problem. I’m not that upset about it, though. Even with a freshly mutated form, that shark looked pathetic on land. I wouldn’t have believed it if it had given Hyakkimaru a hard time.
Tahoumaru’s really gone through some drastic changes, hasn’t he? I understand why he might feel forced to stand against Hyakkimaru, but there’s a strong sense of irony in him calling Hyakkimaru a demon and accusing others of siding with him. After all, that’s basically what his father did.
I’m definitely curious to see what the implications of this line will be. Hyakkimaru is outright declaring Tahoumaru to be his enemy, which could mean that he’s willing to kill Tahoumaru if the situation calls for it. This mentality could give him a good chance to be the better man in the future, so it could work out.
Itachi’s such a weird character for me. It seems like there’s a lot going on with him, but I ended up with mixed feelings about his death. In that sense, I think he accomplished what he was trying to do. He seems to redeem himself right at the end by saving Dororo, indicating that he’s always cared for her in some way. But he dies showing off the greed that we’ve come to expect from him.
In contrast, I like that Dororo comes to realize her own immaturity in this scenario. I got the sense that she acknowledged the heavy burden that comes with the treasure before her, and she deferred taking it in deference to that. It’s a strong moment for someone who started out as a ragamuffin attempting to use Hyakkimaru to earn some money.