Posted by Lenlo on 23 April 2019 with categories: Dororo

Fuck you Osamu Kobayashi. Your a terrible director and you ruin everything you touch. Welcome to another week of Dororo, where for once OPM isn’t the show I am most disappointed in. Lets dive in.

Let’s cut right to the chase, Dororo looked like shit this week. And all the credit goes to Osamu Kobayashi, the same man who butchered episode 4 of Gurren Lagann. He must have a fetish for blobs and faces, because it’s all terrible. Zoomed out, all the detail disappears into the aforementioned blobs. Meanwhile when zoomed in, while it looks fine, the direction is anything but. We cut from face to face at crazy times, mid speech or sequence, before randomly cutting to a wide shot of the cast. Its as if the man is deathly allergic to pan’s or stills. God, he even has me wishing for more pans and stills. This is how much the man has butchered Dororo this week. Luckily he only has this episode, so maybe Dororo will return to form next week. For for now, continue on if your ready to read a reaming.

By the gif below, you can see, Dororo is a mess this week in animation and direction. Everything was a mess. There were a few good cuts, which I will talk about later. But those feel more like the work of impassioned animator the anything intentional on Osamu’s part. How can I say this? Well everything surrounding them was terrible. Osamu seemingly favors a very amorphous style, with low details, allowing him to really move everything around. But he didn’t do that. He just let everyone sit around. On top of that, it’s the 2nd episode of a 2-part arc, and it completely breaks the style of the first half. Not to mention the series as a whole. I just… I’m rambling here without getting to anything specific because I am just so very angry. Bad Direction or bad animation, either one was recoverable. But together, this becomes a wash.

As much as I am ribbing on Dororo this week, it did have its moments. Take for example the ending sequence on the boat. The blobs low detail was actually used to get a lot of fluidity, and really let that scene pop. The rocking of the boat to the fiery explosion looked good! However based on what I have seen, I am more likely to attribute that to a passionate animator than MAPPA or Osamu. Because this one sequence is so wildly different from the rest of the episode, that it’s the only explanation that makes sense. As much as I hate what Osamu Kobayashi has done to Dororo though, it wasn’t all bad. Just mostly. The actual narrative of the episode managed to make it through, mangled and battered as it got, leading to some great narrative moments. This was in spite of Osamu though, not because of.

Before I get into those though, I want to point out something I noticed that I found interesting. For those of you that have read Berserk, this arc of Dororo might seem similar. After all, its almost beat for beat with Berserk’s Lost Children arc. Had Dororo not come out first, I might have called it a budget Lost Children arc. As is I can only assume Dororo inspired the arc in Berserk, from Moth Women to the carnage left behind afterwords. As a die-hard Berserk fan, this probably influenced me a bit, made me care/see more than was already there. But I quite enjoyed seeing these parallels, and seeing how Dororo influenced the works to come after it. I have held you up long enough though, how does Dororo’s actual story hold up in this terribly animated shell?

Well, just like with the animation, there is good and bad. The bad comes in the form of the Ghost Story of the episode, involving the nun and her orphans. We see what really happened to them, they were sacrificed for the Ghouls, and that’s great. But they come out of nowhere and never really get any solid resolution. The children appearing to save Dororo randomly, and then provide some exposition. I was excited for a sort of murder mystery/ghost story last week, but with how weak this resolution came to be, I would prefer they never have existed at all. They are just irrelevant to general story of the episode and seemingly only exist to save Dororo. It was a perfect chance for her to learn a bit from Hyakki, to get out on her own and show some growth while Hyakki falls, but it just fell flat.

Hyakki’s story though was much more engaging, as we follow his fall. I said last episode that this arc was a microcosm of the larger story, telling us where Hyakki is at and what the consequences might be. Even through the terrible animation, this shown through and I quite enjoyed it. Dororo didn’t have Hyakki take the high ground, it made it very clear that he is still reeling from his families decisions. That his quest for revenge, and his body, is all he cares about. Dororo even had him state, explicitly, that he doesn’t care about these people. Repeating it, as if to convince himself of it all. I liked that, I enjoy tragic stories, and that’s exactly what Hyakki’s is. He isn’t free from consequences either, as this drive’s a wedge between him and Dororo.

This wedge appears to be our next arc, or at least part of it. A nice low point, where Dororo and Hyakki’s new family is being broken up. I suspect that this arc is what will start to help Hyakki move on from his destructive mindset. Helping him figure out what he truly values beyond just revenge. I say this because at the end, we see him mumbling about how he doesn’t care, until realizing Dororo is gone. Clearly he is coming to realize he has taken Dororo’s tag along for for granted. Hopefully, with the view we got of Tahomaru and the return of Itachi, we can return to Dororo’s central thematic story. The themes of chosen family and character drama taking over the almost episodic series Dororo is still sticking to.

Finally, I wanna take a quick second to mention Junkai again, the greatest DIY dad on the planet. Seriously, that spine sequence was fantastic body horror, as poorly animated as it was. The sound design was fantastic, and the spine was completely unexpected. I never would have thought that, of all things, was fake. Seriously, how do you make a spine out of strings and bamboo cans? Did he replace it as Hyakki grew older and taller? How did it function or support him at all?! I love Junkai and the idea of the prosthetic body fading away as Hyakki gets his real body. Becoming less human mentally as he gives into his rage, even as he becomes more human physically. Its a Japanese Pinocchio. But a spine?! Dororo, I need more here. Where are the limits?

So, all my ranting and tangents aside, how was this episode of Dororo? A disappointment. The setup of this being a microcosm of the greater story and Hyakki’s attitude managed to not get buried in terrible animation and direction. But that’s the best I can so for it. Everything else about this episode, from a production standpoint, was just awful. I don’t know how much of this is MAPPA’s 2-cour curse and how much is Osamu Kobayashi’s inability to do his job, but either way I am not happy. If Dororo doesn’t start shaping up soon, I fear for the series. It has all the necessary components for a good drama and is just… ignoring them. Basically, next episode is going to make or break where Dororo goes. Lets hope its not shit, eh?

3 Responses

  1. Avatar nevon says:

    I visited just so I could read this rant. Just finished the episode, and while I didn’t have problem with any of the previous ones, this was a mess all around, and I had no idea why. Good to know it’s thanks to a single person who won’t be back.

    Everything was so different in the episode: the cheap look, the different look of the villagers, the awful movement and action, the strange scene-changes, and even the fight and everything else. It’s like it was a different series.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Precisely. Apparently, he had a deal where he would make the first ED if he got to direct an episode. Why they gave him the 2nd part of a 2 part arc, I have no idea. But hopefully I never see his name as a directorial credit ever again.

  2. Avatar Hey says:

    Osamu Kobayashi wanted me to tell you he is too busy to respond because he is fucking your mom right now.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

O Maidens in Your Savage Season – 02 [Es Ee Ecks]

To someone on the outside looking in, the anime medium, or what it has become now, comprises of some incredibly good seasonal shows that never become truly great; behind these, we have a slew of solid ones followed by a sea of mediocrity. And all this covers a fifty feet deep pile of crap that […]

Kanata no Astra – 02 [Wilderness]

Welcome to the first week of Kanata no Astra, aka Astra Lost in Space in English localization. The double-length premiere remains a flawed but decent introduction for me, and this sophomore further underlines the strengths, as well as the potential weaknesses of this show going forward. For instance, many of the anime’s changes baffled me. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 15 [Mount Natagumo]

Another week, the start of another arc in Kimetsu no Yaiba. This week our trio start to grow, we meet some new villains and some old characters make a return. Hope your not afraid of spiders, cause we have whole host to get through. Lets go! As far as production goes, I think this was […]

Fire Force – 2 [The Heart of a Fire Soldier]

Welcome to Fire Force! I’m your infernal host for the season (and hopefully many more), Amun. Fire Force kicks off as the highly anticipated sophomore work of Atsushi Ohkubo (known for Soul Eater). The most pressing concern I’ve heard so far is the show couldn’t possibly maintain the level of quality from the first episodes […]

Dr.STONE – 2 [King of the Stone World]

Hello everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood Lenlo here. Ready for another season? Well you better be, cause this might be my favorite season of the year. Starting of course with Dr.Stone, a series I have followed since its first few chapters. So that said, open up your textbooks and let’s dive in! Starting off, production. […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 10/11 [Love/Infornography] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to a 2 parter for Serial Experiments Lain! Apologies for missing last week. Between end of season reviews, first impressions and a boxing match, I was a bit busy. But we are back on track with some Lain weirdness, so lets dive right in! Starting off, I once again was forced […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 14 [The House with the Wisteria Family Crest]

Welcome to another week of Kimetsu no Yaiba. This week we take a break as our trio get to know each other, have some dinner and meet best sister Nezuko. Let’s get into it! Right off the bat, I am rather split on this episode. Both in terms of production/animation and the actual narrative of […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 13 [Something More Important Than Life]

Another week, another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba, though not a great one. Zenitsu gets less annoying, and the fights are fun, but the pacing is off and the narrative is questionable. That said, let’s get into some details and jump in! Starting off, like always, production. Animation wise, Yaiba was fine. The rotating room […]

Mix – 12/13 [Aren’t You Taking Him Lightly?/Because We’re Brothers]

I missed last week’s post due to a temporary Hearthstone addiction, so here’s a doubleheader for you. These episodes stepped away from the show’s recent focus on romance and character building, opting to broaden the cast in preparation for the East Tokyo summer tournament. Episode 13 actually covers the opening innings of Meisei’s first game, […]

Latest Reviews

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]