Posted by Lenlo on 1 May 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome all to another week of Dororo! This time Hyakki takes a break, Dororo hangs out with an old friend, and we meet a cannibal. Good times. Lets jump in!

Starting off, after the travesty that was episode 15, let’s talk production. While it’s still nothing stunning, Dororo has returned to its usually mostly acceptable with blips of good quality. I say mostly acceptable because there wasn’t much actual action this week. Consisting mostly of pans and stills, Dororo still has yet to match its first cour. The best we have gotten so far was Saburomaru, the shark, diving out of the ocean. Yet I could almost have been fooled into thinking it was just sliding up the screen. It’s a disappointing that, were the direction still not strong, would have Dororo losing me. As it is, visually I am only really hanging in there for Dororo’s interesting direction. Such as our return to the flashback and its bright red flowers against a field of shades of grey. Story wise though, Dororo remains strong.

For instance, I really liked the return of Itachi this week. In fact, what I liked the most about this is that Hyakki wasn’t in it. This was a purely Dororo episode, for her and only her, on her own. How she has grown from when she last met Itachi. It does exactly what I wanted to see in episode 14, when Dororo was saved by the child spirits. For instance, we saw her budding leadership and strategic mind. The bravery instilled in her by Hyakki and her parents, where she used to always run from trouble. Itachi, who hasn’t seen her in years, is the perfect mirror for this. To him, Dororo is like a completely different person and more like her father, helping make the change clearer to us. It helps that Dororo also made Itachi more complicated than your standard traitor.

What I mean by that is, Dororo shows Itachi to be more than just a monster. Sure, he’s a greedy dick who murdered Dororo’s parents to get a leg up in the world. But he’s also disgusted by the murder and cannibalism of a village. He’s willing, or at least says he is willing, to split the treasure with Dororo if she helps him out. Prior to the last 3 minutes, I was actually starting to like the guy. He’s a plucky survivor dealt a shit hand, constantly making terrible decisions he thinks might help him out. Then he stripped Dororo down in front of a fire, and it just got weird. I get that it was for the map, and I understand they didn’t know she was a girl. Narratively it all makes sense. It’s just my own sensibilities making the stripping down of a prepubescent girl… weird.

I also found Itachi’s complete disregard for Dororo’s actions to be a bit odd. After all, he had given up. His men had given up. They were prepared to die, be devoured by sharks. So when Dororo stands up and inspires them, comes up with a plan, executes it and gets them out, that doesn’t seem to factor in at all. Itachi himself even comments how similar Dororo is to her father at one point, the man he had followed for years. I’m not expecting a complete change of heart here, that would be ridiculous. But a bit of regret or recognition would be nice. Granted, it appears like this will be a 2 parter, so there’s still time for that. I won’t write it off just yet, that defeats the purpose of a 2 parter. But I would like to see Itachi recognize it.

As for the actual plot of the episode, let’s just stop for a second and recognize something here. Pet, cannibalistic, sharks. Well, not cannibalistic I suppose, they are eating people not other sharks. But Shiranui is definitely a cannibal and I will get to him next! The actual sharks though just seemed a bit ridiculous. They weren’t demons or anything, just tamed sharks. Now, science says you can train them a bit like dolphins. But pulling a boat? Somehow in a world of demons and blood sacrifices, that stretched my disbelief a bit. Still, I liked how it setup Shiranui, his fall (well, further fall) and the apparent merging of demon and shark. Before that though, I need to get this off my chest. The hardest part though was going this whole paragraph without saying Dororo jumped the shark.

As for the Shark demon, I suppose this is how Dororo comes back into danger and Hyakki returns. Most likely it’s going to come up on land somehow, and maybe even go a bit stir crazy. Would be interesting to see it lose its sense of self and go after Shiranui a bit, and what kind of demon is infecting it. If its a demon at all, we have no proof that it is. The shark could just be going crazy from the murder of its… brother? Whatever it is. Either way though, it at least sets the stage for next episode. Most likely forcing Itachi and Dororo to work together again. For some weird reason though, Dororo doesn’t appear like it will continue this next week. Or if it does, not as its primary focus.

What I mean is, the episode preview for next week was centered on Hyakki and Junkai. I really like this, though I do fear what will happen with delaying Dororo’s story. Hyakki needs morality check from someone he respects, and that’s pretty much restricted to Junkai. It also gives him the opportunity to replace his leg, and to get reactions for how much he has grown. Its similar to Dororo really. Meeting the only people who knew them before all of this. Who can compare who they have become with who they were. For Dororo, it was a very flattering comparison. She’s grown up. I fear for Hyakki, and the repentant Junkai though, that it won’t be so kind. I also think this is a good opportunity to bring back Junkai’s apprentice! Perhaps to cause conflict for Hyakki as a “don’t kill needlessly” sort of thing. Lots of promise, really.

So all in all, how was this episode of Dororo? Better. Much better. Granted, that isn’t hard after last week, but hey. I will take what I can get. The narrative is still good, its starting to delve back into relevant characters again. Meanwhile our leads have hit their low point. I still have some concerns though. Namely, where are Daigo and Tahomaru? Dororo set them up as the central villains, the central story, at the end of the first Cour. Yet four episodes in and we haven’t seen them much at all. I’m not asking for episodes focused on them yet. But updates would be nice. Seeing them plan for a war, Tahomaru dealing with his eye or Daigo’s growing worry as demons die. They are just as important as Hyakki now, so we need information on them for the finale to lad. Hopefully Dororo figures that out.

2 Responses

  1. I agree with you on the contrasting colours and Itachi’s character but I found with this episode, which was at the start, kind of a slide show, that the animation is becoming harder to ignore and shark guy was, well I thought he was pretty lame actually.
    I need this series to land its ending.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I do think the animation is a step down from the first cour, but I am just so happy to not have Osamu Kobayashi doing this episode, that I will take what I can get.

      At this rate though, I fear the MAPPA 2 cour curse is taking hold.

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