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.


Dororo First Impressions (1): Spooky demon baby

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The Hall of Hell sounds friendly

Okay, I probably should have expected it, but this series seems a lot more grim than I was expecting. Perhaps it’s still too early to tell, but this introduction definitely took a harsh tone. Additionally, part of me wonders how much of this I would have understood if I hadn’t read the synopsis beforehand. But since I have, it seems that this story follows Hyakkimaru, a man on a quest to retrieve the organs that were stolen from him at birth after his father made a deal with a group of demons.

The lord sacrifices something

From what I saw in the first episode, the story seems fairly simple, but I guess it depends on how the show approaches its moral implications. Sure, the lord comes off as a jerk, but he’s technically trying to save his land. It might call into question whether it’s truly right to undo the wish later in the series. Who knows?

The statue is destroyed by the lightning

I’m not entirely sure how I was supposed to interpret this scene, but my understanding is that the child’s life is saved by this statue. I’m assuming that this leaves the lord’s wish “incomplete”, as the child now has the opportunity to retrieve what was lost.

A man approaches a doctor who specializes in prosthetics

I’m not entirely sure what this part was doing in the episode. Is it just supposed to introduce this doctor as the one who saved the main character? Is he a recurring mentor character?

Dororo steals from thieves

I’m a little bit worried about Dororo as a character. I get the feeling that I’ll find this bratty behavior annoying pretty quickly.

Gruff guy threatens a dog

How do we show that this guy deserves to die? Have him threaten to kill a puppy! Brilliant!

The main character regains his face

Honestly, I’ll be happy if the series doesn’t dwell too much on this scene. Given what we’ve seen, it shouldn’t be hard to guess that the main character regained his face after defeating one of those demons. Additionally, the lord starts to see his fortune weaken at the same time, so it makes sense.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 12: The friend zone is rough

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This episode pretty much goes as you would expect…a mostly fluff episode to cool down from the fight now that it’s done. And yeah, still leaves plenty of open questions…which makes sense given how closely the series has been following the manga this time around. But hey, we can get more seasons, right?

Overall, this season was an unfortunate one to revive the series since the action is pretty low. I also think it might have gotten bogged down by the fact that it was coming back after so long, specifically with the excessive flashbacks. We’ll see where it goes from here, I suppose.

Was anyone else watching the motion of the trees in this scene? Because I definitely was. But more to my point, what exactly did these girls accomplish after promising to get Suguro’s dad some medical attention.

This guy says “I’ll give you the good news first” before saying this. What a jerk…

Haha well played. The fact that Rin gets pissed off at Shiemi for doing this also makes the scene better.

Hmm…I had forgotten that this conversation happens. This doesn’t become relevant for a while. But yeah, Mephisto certainly feels like too strong of a force. Earlier in this conversation, he’s basically ensuring that Shima testifies on Rin’s behalf to the Order, which begs the question of how much he orchestrated with this business of the Impure King to give Rin the chance to make a case for himself as an Exorcist. While that’s not inherently a bad thing, it’s really frustrating when there’s no explanation given and we’re just supposed to accept that he’s this influential/clever.

Come again? Wha?

I guess the message here is “when the tsundere doesn’t say yes, pretend she did and move on”?

Glad we got that serious stuff out of the way. Let’s be tourists!

Oh, hey Kuro. I mean “haha”! Totally funny skit is happening!

Haha Yukio’s face makes this scene amazing.

Aww…he cares.

Yeah, like 11 episodes ago or something…

Yukio and Rin honestly have the most interesting relationship in this show. They both care about each other, but see the strengths of each other as their own flaws. As such, they compete with each other, but also want to gain what they lack from the other. It’s a relationship I can really relate with and is pretty much my favorite thing to see in this series.

Overall Score: 6/10

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 11: Mephisto needs some popcorn

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While Yukio’s fight this week was a bit strange, Rin’s initial battle against the Impure King with his powers unlocked was pretty cool, even if he was mostly on the defensive. For all of that buildup, the fight against the Impure King ended without too much fanfare. I was honestly expecting more out of that fight. I also wasn’t expecting the fight to be over in this episode. I wonder how they’re going to end this season. The preview makes it look like we’ll get some sort of quiet epilogue episode.

Dude, you had one job.

Apparently, this bad guy is impeded by both fire and water. Make up your mind, buddy.

There’s a point where you overdo the “mysterious observer” role and I think Mephisto passed it long ago.

Just die already, man. I know I’m asking too much, but come on…

This might not necessarily be an incorrect translation, but it was very confusing for me. It sounds like Ucchusma is offering to help Rin in the future, but it looks more like an offer in the present based on the events that follow. Not that I have a problem with Ucchusma working with Rin to fight the Impure King…it’s just that I thought the way the offer sounded was weird.

Going straight from “you just need to work on your confidence” to “you need to bathe the entire mountain in your flames without hurting anyone” seems a bit much, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain, this is happening. Giant Nee turned out to be a bit of a letdown.

Aww, they’re friends now. Remember when they needed to rescue Suguro’s dad? Because I didn’t until right about now.

On the bright side, none of Rin’s friends were there to yell at him. But still, this is power of friendship and really makes me wonder why those lines are only just now helping him with his confidence issue.

Hey, Mephisto. This whole “maniacal laughter” thing you’re doing. Not helping.

Classic Rin.

Aaaaaand classic Yukio.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 10: The sword is loose!

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I don’t really have much to say about this episode other than…well, Rin got his turn. I went into this more last week, but seeing Rin draw the sword wasn’t exactly the most motivating thing in the world given that we’ve seen the same progression twice already and Rin’s in particular was probably drawn out too long. Anyway, now he can finally fight, so things should get more interesting, right?

That’s…not what I was expecting.

Aww man…I was just about to make a comment about literally fighting fire with fire…

I feel like this fight would have been a lot better if Todo didn’t have that orange filter surrounding him.

It’s a spirit bomb!

Wow…they really went with the “make him absorb too much” plan.


Anyone else find this giant Nee to be excessively creepy?

Also, this would have been more interesting with a brief explanation of why Shiemi was choosing those specific plants.

If Karura is just using part of the barrier to defend Suguro, why does it cost him extra energy to maintain it? It seems like Suguro paid for a full second spell and Karura just chose the cheap option.

I’m asking the same thing, buddy.

I would say something about making plans for the future, but I know better with this series.

Eh, I have to admit that I like conversations like this.


Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 9: Confidence

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The show is finally giving us some fights. I might be biased in favor of this episode because it contained my favorite songs from the soundtrack.

Still, if you really think about it, the main events in this episode can be boiled down to the same basic idea. Shima has a confidence issue caused by the death of his brother, but unlocks his power to save Konekomaru when he is in danger. Shiemi has a confidence issue after Nee was de-summoned, but unlocks her power to save Izumo when she’s in danger. And finally, Rin has a confidence issue because of his lack of control over his flames, but he’ll probably unlock his power to save Suguro when he’s in danger.

These scenes are literally recycled from the end of last week’s episode.

Ahh…sibling rivalries.

I really like this scene…not just for the amazing music (it was one of my favorite tracks from the first season). Yukio’s deception and the fact that he comes to grips with his shortcomings is a great combination. Still, I have to say that the fact that we hear Shura’s statement from last week is a bit of a disappointment. It makes it feel like that line is supposed to trigger this personal revelation for Yukio, but I feel like there’s not enough of a path connecting them.

Haha okay I’ll give you points for lightening the mood, Rin.

I really hope this is important and doesn’t get forgotten because it seems interesting.

I know I’m being picky here, but they go through the effort of making us watch Shima slowly walk towards Konekomaru, but don’t show him jumping on the branch? He just plops on the branch in the next shot…

Well, I can understand Shima’s annoyance with being measured against the person who gave his life to save his. It’s a less direct way of giving the “Takezo should have lived instead” line, which I appreciate.

Uhh…aren’t those baby foxes sitting on top being counter-productive?

While Shiemi getting over her confidence issues isn’t too bad, I’m still questioning what the giant Nee can do in this situation. Hugs for everyone?

I guess we failed…

Something else that’s very interesting, but may very well get swept under the rug.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen Episode 8: Flame buddies unite!

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We’re finally at a decent pace this week. I think we’ve finally blown past the obligatory “new season blues” and we’ve gotten to the real adaptation. This episode is still somewhat of a precursor to the real action, but at least some fights are getting started with the Impure King. Yukio’s having a nice fight too…despite how one-sided it is.

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean…

Haha that’s just embarrassing, man.

Arbitrary rules are not so arbitrary.

Props to this guy for not dying of straight-up blood loss.

Finally a bad guy with a weak point that’s not just out in the open. Heck…they probably have to risk releasing the miasma to get at it.

Hmm…if only there was some alternate source of flames.

Hey look! Now Rin has a flame buddy!

Very reassuring. Good thing you’re the protagonist, so we know you’re going to draw the sword when it counts anyway.

Also, I guess I take back what I said about Rin faking the sword thing…

Even though this has been largely treated as a side quest, the interaction between these two characters is probably what I’m more interested in seeing in this arc.

Aww man…this is the first good Kuro appearance in this season and it feels so wasted.

Well, he’s not wrong.

Manga Section

Again, I only have one thing to point out this week. There’s a very small difference in translation that I thought was worth highlighting. When Karura is talking with Tatsuma about giving his power to Suguro, he states that Suguro is being more rational and Tatsuma responds by saying that he didn’t want to get his son involved. In the manga, the dialogue is slightly different in that Karura says that Suguro is wiser than Tatsuma and Tatsuma responds by saying that this is the reason that he doesn’t want to get Suguro involved. In the manga translation, Tatsuma seems to be acknowledging Suguro more and it makes for a more loaded statement compared to the anime version, which sounds like a more typical line.