Dororo Episode 20: The nature of revenge

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Tahoumaru sees his suffering subjects

After the lighthearted fun of last week’s episode, this episode really got back into the gritty bits. Despite the obvious implications for Hyakkimaru in the episode, I thought that the antagonist introduced here was interesting. He seemed to have a different thought process than typical revenge seekers. As for what comes next, it looks like Hyakkimaru is preparing to confront Daigo again, so I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

Dororo admires the scenery

I think it’s cool that Dororo is recognizing her own sense of comfort while travelling with Hyakkimaru. In the past, she’d been too distracted to simply notice her surroundings. This scene does a good job of showing how far she’s come. Similarly, we see Hyakkimaru attending to her more, especially when the combat starts.

Saburota introduces himself

As I mentioned before, I liked how Saburota was portrayed in this episode. He’s introduced as a typical samurai with a vendetta against the demon Hyakkimaru is hunting. However, he ends up with an interesting reaction to the death of his mother, albeit a rather sick one.

Saburota teams up with the demon

Rather than blindly running at the demon who killed his mother, Saburota instead decides to help the demon kill others. Basically, he’s inflicting the same suffering on others. It’s a strange approach that makes a lot more sense when you see his backstory.

Saburota returns in shame

His twisted form of vengeance is simply a manifestation of his own fear. Unlike Hyakkimaru, who’s willing to sacrifice his own life to get his body back, Saburota isn’t strong-willed enough to fight what he sees as an impossible fight. So, there’s no point in trying to kill the demon because he’d just run away from it. It’s a cool idea, giving his character some surprising depth.

Hyakkimaru cuts down Saburota

This episode also sees Hyakkimaru killing another human. Who knows what the implications of that will be? That being said, I’m curious about the fact that he didn’t get his arms back. Given his inability to help Dororo earlier in the episode, the story was clearly setting up the return of his arms, but he once again regains nothing.

The demon's arms glow

Given the fuss about the newly unleashed “final” demon, I’m guessing it has something to do with Hyakkimaru’s arms. In this scene, the statue’s arms start glowing in response to Hyakkimaru’s victory, which implies that the demon is holding on to Hyakkimaru’s arms now that the Goddess of Mercy is no longer holding it back.

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