Posted by Lenlo on 20 March 2019 with categories: Dororo

Lets skip the preamble this week and just dive in to Dororo! On this episode our plucky pair explore Daigo’s city, fight some fox spirits and get in a bit of a pickle. Lets go!

Startin off, Dororo had some interesting visuals and colors this week. With the Fox Spirits and the Crazy Woman sticking out to me the most. Both had some great colors and unique styles to them. The Fox Spirits for instance had some fantastic greens and blues, really selling that other-worldliness in a series that is mostly natural greens and browns. They really brightened up their scene and drew the focus. The crazy woman on the other hand had some nice blending. With the green/black drooping from her eyes nicely accenting her sickness. It’s a simple effect, but one I loved. So overall while Dororo is not the most visually impressive series in this season, I can say it has established its style. Unlike Mob Psycho, which changes every scene almost, Dororo is really sticking to its older aesthetic and that sets it apart, similar to what Megalo Box did.

Now before we continue, I need to follow up on something I mentioned last week. I thought that the Crab Demon defeated was one of the major ones, giving Hyakkimaru another body part. However ‘somedude’, a commenter here, pointed out that it didn’t appear a statue had broken in the Hall of Hell. Based on the start of this episode, it looks like they were right! Hyakki didn’t regain any body parts and continued on as normal, nor did Daigo’s land get any worse than it was. It’s a bit of a shame, as it was a rather interesting bit with the demon, but I suppose it makes sense. It’s a bit to early for Tahomaru to learn about all of that, and Hyakki regrowing a limb then and there would have pushed that. So my mistake! Now onto this episode of Dororo.

Speaking of them, the brothers apparently got to chat a bit more than we saw last week. Tahomaru continues to show his character, breaking away from the “spoiled brat” prince stereotype. Thanking our pair and paying them for their assistance. What I like about it all though is that Dororo is not content to just stop there. It also shows us what is going on in Tahomaru’s head, and how he feels inferior to Hyakkimaru. How he had been the best, and his attendants would have died, and how he needs to get better. It’s nothing huge, but it’s another block in building their relationship for their inevitable confrontation. Combine that with Tahomaru slowly figuring out the truth about the sacrificed child for himself and I think a compelling narrative is on the way. Considering how easily his character could have been just another brat, Dororo is doing good work.

Dororo also did 2 other things this episode that stood out to me, which I really liked. The first of these was the return of the aid from Hyakki’s birth. Who went mad from, and years later recognizes Hyakkimaru as he returned to the city. She serves to set Tahomaru on the path of discovering who Hyakkimaru is. I also like that others remember, that there is a song and possible fables, as it serves as a way to organically involve Hyakkimaru in the land itself. You see, all of his cares so far has been about the demons or bandits/soldiers. This however, should Dororo choose to go down this path, opens up a more political side as well. Of taking over the lands from his father. I doubt Dororo will go down this path, not as its main story, but the option is there.

The 2nd, and much bigger one, is Daigo’s meeting. I never expected this would come so soon. I figured this close brush with each other would set off some kind of chase. With them not meeting again until the end. Dororo did this fantastically though, really involving each other and getting them interacting much earlier than I had hoped. And boy was it a great meeting. They have barely exchanged two words, yet Dororo’s direction and score have made it fantastically memorable. What’s great is, Hyakki doesn’t appear to know who his father or brother are either. So this is not only Daigo confronting his son, but Hyakki learning who he is and what has happened to him. Assuming Dororo plays its cards right, this meeting could be just as narratively impactful as episodes 5 and 6. A big ask, I know, but Dororo has sucked me in.

So now the question becomes, where do we go from here? Hyakkimaru is confronting a force of soldiers and Dororo is probably getting captured. Going by the OP it looks to me like the two are going to be separated for a time. Hyakki running away after fighting and Dororo taken prisoner. The question then becomes, how do they get joined back up? Does Hyakki go looking for him while being hunted by his father/brother? Does Dororo reunite them? Maybe a spirit or demon will come in to give them the chance to escape! Really, the possibilities are endless, yet all have great potential for drama. Just like the last 2 parter, which was Mio’s story, I am excited for where Dororo can go from here.

So all in all, I think this was a good followup episode. Tahomaru isn’t getting relegated to the backline like I feared after his reveal, and Daigo is being proactive. I didn’t expect him and Hyakki to meet quite so soon, though it is halfway through the story I suppose. I still think the animation is very limited at times, detracting from some scenes, but the direction saves it. Dororo also isn’t helped by sharing a season with Mob Psycho, which skews any seasonal discussion of animation far higher than it probably should be. Still, I am enjoying Dororo and don’t regret picking it up.

How about you? Now that we are halfway through and approaching our end of cour finale, has Dororo been worth it? Ready for the 2nd half? Let me know down below and I will see you next week!

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