Posted by Lenlo on 12 March 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dororo

Welcome to Dororo’s week of brotherly love! This episode, if the title wasn’t obvious, we look at Tahomaru and his relationship with various characters. Lets dive in!

Production wise, Dororo stepped it up a bit this week. As always, the direction and shot composition is it’s strong point. Doing a great job of conveying emotion. The surprise for me was the animation department, as Dororo really wanted to make a good impression for Tahomaru. His battle with the demon, along with the flowing of the water as it came down on them, was visually interesting. Take for instance the scene of Hyogo throwing the villagers to safety. It wasn’t huge, like Mob Psycho always goes, but it fit Dororo’s subtler style and stood out in the moment. Sure, it rarely wow’s me, but the landscapes are beautiful and do a good job of building up the world. Still, enough about Dororo’s animation, I talk on that every week. Onto the spoilers!

First, obviously we have to talk about Tahomaru. His character turned out much differently from what I was expecting. Like many, I was prepared for a a spoiled, but neglected brat, who just wanted his parents love. Instead we get a respectable young man who cares for his people and land, and want them to prosper. Who doesn’t send other people to do his own work. Somehow, Daigo has fathered to two children who are better than him, while not caring about them at all. Sure, we don’t know to much about Daigo just yet. He seems to be inspecting his fields and wanting to take care of his people. He did sacrifice his child partly for his lands after all. But the man is being setup as the villain, so I fully expect his characterization to take a turn. Sadly though, I fear he will take Tahomaru with him.

What I mean is, I fully expect Tahomaru’s story to become a tragedy. So far, very few characters have gotten any sort of happiness, and I don’t expect that to change. Already we are seeing him and Hyakkimaru put at cross purposes, while managing to work together towards the same goal. In destroying a demon that was plaguing his villagers, he weakened the curse benefiting his lands. I believe Dororo is going to use this to tear him between the two, between Daigo and Hyakkimaru. Inevitably ending in his death. Of course there are other options, such as Tahomaru joining Hyakkimaru against Daigo. Their confrontation teaching him a better way, like many Shounen do. However in my opinion, that’s to happy an ending for Dororo, and doesn’t fit with how different Dororo demonstrated the two are today.

By different, I am talking about their approaches to life. We saw that while Tahomaru is skilled with the sword, and has heart, Hyakkimaru is still better than him. This makes sense, Hyakki has spent his whole life fighting and surviving against these ghouls. However what Tahomaru has the Hyakki lacks, is friends. Funnily enough it is the younger brother who will get by with the power of friendship. As his skills seem focused towards leading men, bringing them together for a greater goal. He inspires loyalty in his attendants and admiration in his subjects. On top of that, Tahomaru isn’t reckless. He plans, tying the boats to land, and retreats when the situation becomes disadvantageous. All of this sets him up as a good opponent for Hyakki in the future. Tahomaru is emotionally stable, Hyakkimaru is not. Hyakkimaru fights mostly alone. Tahomaru does not. It all just… works, really.

One thing I find interesting between the two brothers though, is how their father Daigo treats them. For all that he sacrificed him, it seems to me that Daigo only really cares about Hyakkimaru. We have only really seen him ignore or lash out at Tahomaru, the supposedly only living son he has. Meanwhile his wife, Tahomaru’s mother, has mostly only prayed before a statue. Its as if Tahomaru was their replacement for Hyakkimaru, and now that he lives Tahomaru isn’t needed anymore. I think there is a chance for some interesting characterization for Daigo here though. A split between a need to catch and kill his eldest son, and pride for a child to survive in such a harsh world. Combine that with Hyakki’s mother possibly obstructing Daigo and there is a good chance for some family drama coming up. An interesting contrast to Dororo’s family story last week.

Finally, lets wrap up some small details of the episode. For instance, what do we think Hyakkimaru got back from this newest demon? From the looks of things, it was nothing large or external. Such a change would have been obvious when Tahomaru floated past. Perhaps his vision, as they were looking at each other? Regardless, its something that should be answered quickly next week. The other thing I want to mention though, is that most of this episode was anime original. MAPPA really is going all out in adapting Dororo. Taking a 50+ year old manga and not only adapting it for a modern age, but fixing plot holes or smoothing out story beats as they go. It’s very impressive in my opinion, and MAPPA deserves a lot of credit for their efforts here. If they can keep this up, Dororo will be one of the best this season.

So all in all, another good episode of Dororo. Its been on a roll these past 3 weeks really. From Saru to Dororo’s parents, to now Tahomaru. The best thing about it being Tahomaru’s focus though is that unlike the other two, which mostly setup backstory, this progresses the plot. Hyakkimaru is now in close proximity to Daigo, Tahomaru knows something is up, and the two have finally met. My hope is that Dororo keeps this thread up, and doesn’t return to its episodic monster of the week setup. Give us some more time with the two interacting, or at least with Tahomaru figuring things out. I love his character, and as good as Hyakkimaru is, he still barely talks and can’t carry a scene because of it. It works best when he interacts with the cast.

But what did you think? Tahomaru a brat for you, did you like him at all? What about his relationship with Daigo? Let me know down below and I will see you next week!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar somedude says:

    I am not sure if the crab demon is one of the twelve since it did nothing but terrorize villagers in Daigo’s lands. Since they have a pact with Daigo to protect his lands, it kinda struck me as odd that one of the twelve would cause problems for his lands like that. So far, those 12 were either doing something for Daigo’s lands (antlion and mud demons) or causing problems somewhere else (the rest). I suppose there is possibility that Asakura clan is planning to attack Daigo’s lands by water and the crab demon was trying to prepare for that. Oh well, we will likely find out next week.

    Also, I think Daigo’s just planning on how to find and get rid of Hyakkimaru. I doubt Daigo has any interest in acknowledging Hyakkimaru as his own, given how Daigo is clearly shown to place his ambition above all else and Hyakkimaru is undoing everything Daigo has accomplished even if he is not aware of it. It seems like his hands are tied at the moment since Daigo can’t really afford to go on full manhunt without raising suspicion and risking invasion from Asakura clan.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      For the crab demon, did a statue in the Hall of Demons not break at the end? Thats what I assumed that was.

      Yeah, he will most likely just try to off him. But the anime has gone rather far off script from the original manga, so I can dream of some internal dilemma. I enjoy relationships with villains where the villains acknowledge or respect the hero in some way. Where, in their minds, they are the hero. Daigo is no doubt the hero in his mind, so I could see a world where he sees his son living and is proud of him. But knows he still has to get rid of him, you know? For the sake of the land.

      • Avatar somedude says:

        I don’t think anything broke at the end. It just seemed to focus on the center showing off the four demons, especially highlighting the one that was somewhat hidden behind the three in previous episodes. We could see six broken statues in the Hall of Demons (far right – 2, close right – 2, close left – 2) at the beginning of this episode so a new broken one can only come from the center or the far left. None in the center broke and we could only see one in the far left section, which didn’t seem to have any sword cut like broken ones. Still, there was a case when some time had to pass before the statue broke and Hyakkimaru got his body part back (like episode 2). We will find out in the next episode for sure.

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