Dororo Episode 11: Family reunion

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Dororo brags to Tahoumaru

This story is progressing along much faster than I expected. I can’t believe we’re already in Daigo’s territory. I was under the impression that we had a whole other season with this series, and this seems like a climactic battle. I’m actually quite excited to see where it goes, though. Overall, I enjoyed seeing what this episode did to introduce larger background points without drawing too much attention to them as well.

Comparing Hyakkimaru and Tahoumaru is pointless

I’m hoping there’s some hidden meaning in this statement. In many ways, you could argue that Hyakkimaru is equally an heir to the land. If Tahoumaru somehow falls from grace after finding out his father’s secret, he could very well become a vagabond in the same sense as Hyakkimaru is now. That would be cool.

The old man notices that Hyakkimaru has killed humans

The old man pops up so sporadically, but he contributed a surprising amount despite his brief appearances. He explains that Daigo originally sealed defeated demons in the shrine of this land, which suggests that he committed an act of betrayal by making a deal with those same demons. He also makes this comment about how Hyakkimaru has killed humans since their last encounter, which seems like a heavy statement.

Daigo learns about Hyakkimaru

I suppose there are only so many people he could be, but I liked that Daigo and his wife both immediately understood who Hyakkimaru was. They didn’t even have to say anything in this scene. Their reactions spoke volumes.

Tahoumaru overhears his parents

Well, I suppose Tahoumaru knows the truth now. I wonder what he’ll do with that information. I honestly still want him to be an ally of sorts, but it’s not looking great for him.

Hyakkimaru faces the Banmon monster

Given all of the other things happening in this episode, this Banmon monster seemed like a bit of a side note to meet the monster quota for this series.

Hyakkimaru meets Daigo

This is hype.

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Dororo Episode 10: The other son

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Daigo sees the waning prosperity of his country

I was pleasantly surprised by how likable Tahoumaru was in this episode. Given the resentment he’s shown in previous episodes, I expected him to be a brat, but he seems like a decent character from this episode. I’ll be curious to see how he ends up turning against Hyakkimaru. I think he could end up being a decent villain as long as he doesn’t go berserk when he finds out the truth. I look forward to seeing where things go.

Daigo finds out Hyakkimaru is alive

It’s about time this guy figured out that his son was still alive. We’ve seen Hyakkimaru go crazy fighting against normal humans in the past, so I wonder if Daigo’s involvement will foster the darker side in him.

Tahoumaru wonders how to fight the crab

Tahoumaru seems like a perfectly reasonable character so far, which is great to see. He seems to care about his subjects, and he’s willing to fight for them himself. Given the demonic side of Hyakkimaru that we’ve seen, I think it would be great to see Tahoumaru actually act as a counterweight to that. It would force us to question the protagonist, which could be interesting.

Tahoumaru traps the crab on land

Also, I think he’s a worthy rival for Hyakkimaru given his capability in this episode. His plan to defeat the crab seems solid, and it almost works.

Hyakkimaru meets Tahoumaru

Personally, I think the episode would have been slightly better if it had focused solely on Tahoumaru. Hyakkimaru’s interference here seems a bit excessive. That being said, I suppose it’s about time the two met.

Also, was that crab a demon that held one of Hyakkimaru’s organs? In the end, it didn’t look like a statue broke, after all. I think the story’s better if it is, though, since it would mean that Tahoumaru inadvertently worked against his father in his attempt to please his father.

Dororo Episode 9: Some background information

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Dororo falls ill

After a couple of lighter episodes, we’re right back into the suffering with this show. It’s nice to see Dororo’s past, though, even if it’s full of sadness. If anything, it’s a good demonstration of what she’s had to endure and of how much her parents cared for her. And given how the episode ends, it looks like Hyakkimaru’s father is finally on to him, which might make for some more human-on-human interactions soon.

Dororo worries that Hyakkimaru will leave her

I actually kind of forgot what Dororo is referencing here. When did Hyakkimaru leave her behind? Either way, it was nice to see this sense of how attached she is to Hyakkimaru.

Itachi betrays everyone

As much as the episode wants to portray him as the main antagonist, I somewhat agree with Itachi. From what we’ve seen, Dororo’s father forms his crew because of a resentment for the samurai, and he spends the episode consumed by vengeance. I think it’s reasonable for Itachi to adapt to the changing times and get himself out of that mentality, strange as it might seem.

Dororo's mother confronts Itachi

It certainly is gut-wrenching to see Dororo’s parents literally kill themselves to keep her safe, though. I have to give them credit for that.

Dororo watches her mother die

Other than that, there’s not really much more to say about this episode. It’s self-contained, and it goes over Dororo’s past well. She feels a lot more understandable now.

Hyakkimaru's father finds out about him

It’s about time this guy got involved.

Dororo Episode 8: Facing the smog

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Ash rain starts to fall

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.

Dororo offers to take out the monster

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.

Dororo comes up with a plan to fight the monster

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.

Hyakkimaru is blinded by the dark cloud

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.

Dororo leads Hyakkimaru to the enemy

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.

Hyakkimaru smells the sulfur

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.

Hyakkimaru uses Dororo's name

Also, we get a nice scene to close things out. One of the few words that Hyakkimaru knows now is Dororo.

Dororo Episode 7: Taking a break

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Dororo attacks a bear

After a series of depressing stories, we finally get a bit of a happy one. It’s a nice change of pace, and I like the idea that not all monsters are terrible. It’s not anything new, but it’s a great way to add a feeling of respite to a show like this one. It makes the episode feel more wholesome overall, which is surprising.

The guards tell Dororo about the disappearances

Looking back, I remember thinking it was weird that the guards were smiling when they mentioned the disappearances in the village, but it took me a while to put the pieces together. What a bunch of creeps.

Ohagi talks with her benefactor

It was actually quite interesting to see Ohagi interact with the man who saved her. I like that the episode pushes Dororo and Hyakkimaru into the background to tell this story. It’s almost like the episode is a break in many senses of the word. It’s hard to put it into words, but I get the sense that episode releases a lot of the tension that’s been building up.

The man talks about a mysterious night job

The “mystery” itself in this episode wasn’t too hard to guess. It was late, but this was the point where I put it all together. I stopped suspecting the spider as soon as it was revealed that people were still disappearing while she was hiding out. I think the story works nonetheless, though.

Ohagi reveals that she doesn't like to kill

Part of me wonders if Hyakkimaru’s soul sight complicated the story that this episode was trying to tell. In the heat of the moment, he attacks Ohagi because she flares up in rage after seeing the guards attack the man protecting her. But she’s eventually saved when she calms down and her aura goes away. Dororo mentions that it’s a good thing that Hyakkimaru could hear, but it looked more like he just reacted to the reduction in demonic energy. I feel like the gesture would have meant a lot more if Hyakkimaru had decided to leave Ohagi alone because he hadn’t relied on that.

Hyakkimaru stands over the spider

So, was there never an organ to be regained in this episode? I like that Ohagi was spared, but I was mostly expecting that she’d return a body part out of goodwill instead of being killed for it. Earlier in the episode, Dororo calls her a “ghoul” instead of a “demon”, so maybe she’s just some other random monster.

Dororo Episode 6: Suffering intensifies

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Dororo finds out that Hyakkimaru has his voice again

Well, I can’t say that I didn’t expect this story to go the way it did, but it was still sad to watch. That being said, I do like how this arc has highlighted Hyakkimaru’s compassion while simultaneously suggesting a darker layer to it. We finally get a sense of what his demonic aura actually is, which adds an overarching question to the series. I’m a lot more curious to see how things turn out now.

Tahomaru seeks his mother's approval

It’s nice to learn more about Tahomaru as well, even if we don’t yet know what role he’ll play in the story. His entitled behavior is annoying, but his trust issues make sense given the guarded nature of his parents. I am curious about his mother’s thoughts on the matter, though. She doesn’t seem to resent Tahomaru, so I don’t know what to say.

The blind man leaves

I’m still not sure I understand why Hyakkimaru is in danger of becoming a monster. Is it just because he has become such a killing machine as a matter of necessity? My guess would have been that he absorbs part of the demons who took his organs when he regains them. However, the blind man makes it sound like the original loss of his organs is what tainted his soul.

Dororo talks about her past

I liked this conversation between Dororo and Mio a lot. It’s nice to see Dororo recognize that both perspectives, her mother’s and Mio’s, have their own benefits and risks. After seeing her struggle with how to approach Mio throughout the episode, it’s a surprisingly well-thought conclusion.

Take tries to warn Mio about Hyakkimaru

The episode did a good job on focusing on the risk Hyakkimaru was taking to distract away from incoming massacre at the end. That being said, the hints were definitely there, with the hidden soldier in the bush and the soldiers following behind Mio in this scene. However, it does make me wonder why Take couldn’t see the men behind her in this scene, though.

Hyakkimaru goes berserk

The impact of this scene was impressive. The fact that Hyakkimaru is just learning to use his voice makes it so much more gut-wrenching when he cries out in anguish. And having his first real word be the name “Mio” is a nice touch.

Dororo Episode 5: Finding a voice

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Hyakkimaru can't handle the noise

Wow, this series just gets sadder and sadder. I guess I shouldn’t expect a happy time with a show like this, but Mio’s situation was surprisingly rough. I’m curious to see where this story goes, though, since it’s not a one-off like the others. It makes me think that the plan to move to a safer place is not going to go well.

Hyakkimaru tries to filter out the extra sounds

It might be because of the extra time in this story, but I like the little touch we get with Hyakkimaru’s new ears. The first part of the episode sets some time aside and actually shows him struggling to learn how to deal with the new sounds (unsuccessfully). I think that element of adapting to his new body is the touch that I’ve felt was missing in previous episodes.

The kids meet the main characters

I feel really bad for Hyakkimaru. A group of kids feels like the worst thing to run into when you’re suffering from a sensitivity to sound.

Dororo learns more about the kids and Mio

Looking back on this scene, it should have been pretty clear what Mio was doing in the night to earn money. For some reason, I just completely spaced when I first saw it, and I accepted what the kid was saying as an innocuous description. Well played, I guess?

Hyakkimaru enjoys Mio's song

I’m incredibly curious about how Hyakkimaru truly sees Mio throughout this episode. On a basic level, it seems like he just finds the sound of her voice pleasing amongst the cacophony. However, part of me wants to think that there’s more to it than that. Maybe he can hear something else in her voice, and he’s drawn to that. I hope we see something like that in the conclusion.

The mysterious aura of Hyakkimaru

This is a fairly minor scene, but it seems like it should be important. What’s going on with Hyakkimaru’s aura? Is he being corrupted by the red souls of the demons? Or is he recovering from a redder state before the start of the story?

Hyakkimaru faces off against another demon

Honestly, I thought that the fight against Fearow at the beginning of the episode looked a bit wonky, but the fight against the antlion at the end of the episode seemed to make up for it. I’m curious to see how Hyakkimaru deals with regaining his voice. Surely, he won’t be able to speak properly for a while, right?

Dororo Episode 4: Heavy rain sounds

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Osushi calls out to Hyakkimaru

This week’s episode is a bit hard to judge. While I liked how the story tied into Hyakkimaru’s recovery, I had trouble accepting the story as a standalone thing. I think a lot of my hesitations come from the fact that Hyakkimaru’s thoughts are still a black box, and we can’t do much more than guess at them. That aside, I do think that this episode does a good job with the fights. It’s harder to judge when Hyakkimaru is fighting the more grotesque monsters, so the human enemy in this episode adds quite a lot.

Osushi wonders if Hyakkimaru is listening to the rain

I think this line is cool for setting up the final scene. It does make me wonder what Hyakkimaru was truly doing, though. Personally, I assumed he was feeling the rain, since he has his sense of touch back now.

Tanosuke talks about his sword

To be honest, I’m a little bit disappointed in how self-contained this episode was. Maybe I was setting the wrong expectations for myself, but I totally thought that the scene at the beginning of the episode was meant to set up the blind man’s backstory, not Tanosuke’s.

Dororo can't resist the sword

Also, I didn’t feel like the episode explored the “will” of the sword enough. From how much we see Dororo resisting the sword’s influence, it becomes clear that the wielder has some capacity to act. However, Tanosuke gives himself completely to the sword, so it’s an interesting question of who’s really at fault.

The lord order Tanosuke to kill the builder of his castle

It’s not like I blame Tanosuke for falling into ruin. He’s clearly the victim of a petty lord, so he’s arguably in a broken state when he picks up the sword.

Hyakkimaru tries to get the sword away from Dororo

I’m also curious about Hyakkimaru’s “vision”. Despite the fact that Tanosuke is completely consumed by the sword, he still sees Tanosuke in the same color as Dororo. Does he not sense intentions with his spirit vision? It seems like he just sees all humans the same way.

Hyakkimaru regains his hearing

Ouch, I feel sorry for Hyakkimaru. The first thing he hears in his life is a crying woman. This guy can’t catch a break. To top it off, it’s right after he fails to hear her plea to spare her brother.

Dororo Episode 3: History time

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Jukai starts to feel remorse for his actions

I had my reservations about this episode in the beginning, but it turned out to be an entertaining backstory for Hyakkimaru and the doctor. The doctor’s story of redemption felt a bit formulaic in the beginning, but it evolved into something else when Hyakkimaru came along. Other than that, this episode mostly hits the pause button on the story, so I’m still a bit curious about the development from last week. It seemed like Hyakkimaru was starting to experiment with the sensation of pain in this episode, but it’s hard to tell what his intentions are.

The villagers wonder about the mysterious doctor who is helping them

I had a bit of trouble accepting Jukai’s story at first. In the beginning, his misdeeds don’t really make much sense, and seeing him try to atone for his sins doesn’t seem like anything new. I might have been interested in exploring the thoughts of the villagers a bit more, as they would feel both saved and betrayed by the doctor, but we don’t get anything like that.

Jukai is threatened by his apprentice

It feels like there should be something there. Does Jukai’s past erase the good he’s done for these people? For this guy, I suppose not, but we don’t get much further than that.

Wondering about the mysterious power of Hyakkimaru

Things get a lot more interesting when Hyakkimaru comes into the picture. I liked how the episode showed him struggling to survive while his brother lives the idyllic life in his place. At this point, I’m convinced that the two are going to end up fighting each other in the future, so this setup is cool.

Jukai questions his actions

The agony of Jukai is surprisingly relevant in this backstory too. While attempting to atone for his crimes, his greatest success is arguably the creation of an unfeeling killing machine. I like how his final moments with Hyakkimaru seem to dispel that worry to suggest that he’s truly done the right thing.

Dororo figures out Hyakkimaru's condition

Come on, Dororo. Try to keep up.

Dororo Episode 2: The telltale bell

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Old man meets a monster

This episode felt like it had a pretty straightforward story with a predictable twist, but it did have a certain charm to it. It’s interesting to see Hyakkimaru, in particular, expressing himself through silence. I got the sense that the episode was doing a great job of making his intentions clear without words. I almost want to say that the series would be more entertaining if the blind man from this episode didn’t stay with the main characters.

Hyakkimaru remembers the other person who stopped to help him

I’m feeling a bit ambivalent about the narrator in this series. I felt like the old man covers the same information later in the episode, and I would have preferred to keep inferring from Hyakkimaru’s silence. That being said, I do like how the narrator contributes to Hyakkimaru’s background. In this scene, the narrator starts by talking about the other person didn’t pass Hyakkimaru by, and then the scene immediately shifts to show the prosthetics guy.

Dororo wonders why the villagers seem to be doing well

It’s not what the show is going for, but this episode was really weak as a mystery. It was clear what was going on in the village just from this comment alone. That being said, we as the audience implicitly trust Hyakkimaru as the protagonist, so I guess it’s fair for Dororo to question Hyakkimaru’s intentions at this point.

Blind man explains Hyakkimaru's vision

This guy is pretty convenient.

Demon taunts Hyakkimaru's existence

There’s something funny about watching the demon taunt Hyakkimaru only to die easily. That being said, I tend to get annoyed with this type of “vague pronoun” foreshadowing, and this scene is no exception.

The lord is still running into problems

Given the premise, I’m assuming that any misfortune that befalls this lord are related to the dying demons. I would have hoped for something more concrete, but I guess this works. Also, I feel very sorry for Hyakkimaru based on the ending the episode. It looks like he just regained his nerves, which is an awkward organ to get early in the game.