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This episode is really not making me feel good about how this series is going to end. However, I like that the episode finally attempts to address the moral question that has been looming over the series as a whole. Dororo is a great advocate for Hyakkimaru in this episode, and I’m hoping that the ending won’t end up as grim as the series seems to be foreshadowing.
I get that these people are trying to protect their land, but it’s lines like these that make it hard to sympathize with them. Hyakkimaru’s sacrifice is necessary to keep them alive, but they could at least accept the cruel thing that they’re doing. The idea that Hyakkimaru’s body was Daigo’s to give to the demons feels like a way to dodge the guilt the sacrifice to me.
The scene with the flaming horse was interesting for me, since it seemed like a clear parallel for Hyakkimaru. A cherished loved one calls out to the horse, allowing it to regain its senses. However, Mutsu and Hyogo use the opportunity to cut the beast down, losing their own lives in the process. Dororo is even clearly shown in the reflection of the horse’s pupil as it dies, which heavily implies that something similar is going to happen with Hyakkimaru.
I’m happy to see this debate happening. Many of the conversations before now have been fairly sanctimonious, so they never felt like they were getting at the core issue. Hyakkimaru isn’t even exempt from this, since his quest to regain his body has become entirely one-dimensional without Dororo’s intervention.
I’m not entirely sure I understand the outcome of the interaction, though. Dororo seems to side with Hyakkimaru, but she also looks ready to beg Hyakkimaru to give up his body in the next episode. Perhaps she’s just saying that she wants Hyakkimaru to do whatever it takes to remain human.
Part of me is annoyed at how much Daigo is sidelined in this series by the war with the Asakura lands. This is really his problem, but it looks like the battle is being entirely decided by his sons.
Seeing Jukai doesn’t inspire confidence. Hyakkimaru’s surrogate mother and his real mother are both racing to his side at the moment along with Dororo. This can’t end well, huh?