Posted by Lenlo on 8 May 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome one and all to the best episode of Dororo this cour! The animation is still disappointing, but the story is returning to form. Lets jump in!

Starting off, I have to say, it’s good to see Dororo getting back in form. Not production wise of course, no it’s a mess on that front. With delayed blood sprays and reused clips. It gets even worse when compared to the flashback clips shown in this very episode. No no, I am talking about the story, because this week we finally get back to the family drama. For the first time since the 2nd cour started up, Dororo has returned to its primary plot. Focusing not on combat or side stories, however they might connect into the story, but on the characters and what has happened to them. Suffice to say, this made me really happy, however bad it looked. So that said, spoilers after the break, and let’s go.

Story wise, it was nice to see Hyakki’s family again. Daigo is still an ass, but everyone else has changed a lot. Granted, I still think Oku’s survival is terrible. It completely undermines her final scene with Hyakki last season. But what they are doing with her is, accepting that she is alive, alright. I thought the touch with the Buddha’s head was well done. How the deal with the demons was never complete, saving Hyakki’s life and explaining why he survived at all. It gives more context to the Buddha and why it was relevant. But the big one for me of this episode was Tahomaru. His decision to not let emotions dull his sword, after he fought Hyakki. Its as if he is losing the emotions that Junkai and Dororo are trying to instill in Hyakki. Gosh, Dororo does these parallels well.

However, as much as I love the family dynamics, they were not the focus of this week’s episode. That honor belongs to Junkai, everyone’s favorite prosthetic woodworker. I love how much has changed between them, and how much catching up actually happened. Yes, a good bit of it happened off screen, but still. We at least got to see Junkai’s reaction to Hyakki having skin, hearing and a voice now though. That was sweet. Like a whole cours worth of compacted wholesomeness. It was also interesting to see how Hyakki interacts with someone he is completely at ease with. Going from hardened warrior to spoilt child almost immediately. Demanding a leg over and over. Sure, he wants it to slay demons, but the attitude is reminiscent of a child demanding things from a parent. And you know what’s funny? Junkai never gives him one.

I thought Dororo did well with Junkai this week, showing how torn he was over Hyakki. Loving what is effectively his son, but hearing the burden on his shoulders. How he has dedicated his life to helping people now, yet his son is going to get his body back at their expense. I thought Dororo did a good job of drawing that line between that and simply not wanting Hyakki to spend his life fighting anymore. Junkai also provided another perspective, one Hyakki’ might actually listen to, on his humanity. On how his killing and actions, though they will return his body, loses him something more important. Considering what we know of Junkai’s past, which is entirely anime original from what I understand, he is in a unique position to talk about this. He had to fight this battle himself and is trying to instill it in Hyakki.

What I like about this is it shows how much he cares about Hyakki, and we get to see how much Hyakki cares to! Sure, the “mama” bit was a kinda funny. But it was also serious, made sense for Hyakki’s character and added a bit of levity to a wholesome moment. After all, when you think about it, Hyakki has only had bad relations with his father. Daigo tried to, and currently actively is trying to, kill him. His mother isn’t much better, after her whole suicide pact sort of thing. But what other mother has Hyakki heard a lot about? Dororo’s. Hyakki has heard a lot about Dororo’s mother, the sacrifices she made for her and her general love. That Hyakki is relating that unconditional love to Junkai, realizes thats what motivated his own mother? I think it’s a very well done, wholesome scene.

Finally though, lets talk about what’s coming up. Because Dororo is, at long last, supposedly returning to the main plot. We are about to get some family drama! I’m so happy. Tahomaru is closing in on Hyakki, while Hyakki closes in on Dororo. Between them and the Demon shark, I am sorta expecting Tahomaru to die. As the stakes have been rather low recently and we already know Tahomaru is weaker than Hyakki. Sure, Hyakki is currently getting pushed to be a better person and not indiscriminately murder people. But I still think it’s a bit early for that to affect a life or death fight. My current fear is that Dororo is going to tease us with this. That we won’t actually get any real drama out of it all until the finale. But I really hope I am wrong.

So all in all, how was this episode of Dororo? Well, aside from suffering from the 2nd Cour Curse of MAPPA studio’s, it appears to be getting back on track. The story is getting interesting again, Hyakki is confronting aspects of his character and the family is finally re-entering the plot. There are still plenty of issues. The remaining demons with body parts, Oku surviving and the actual production problems. But I can forgive a lot of that if Dororo can nail the ending. A last taste so to speak. But what do you think? Is Dororo a lost cause at this point? Am I to harsh? Let me know below, because this is shaping up to be a really rocky 2nd cour.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar somedude says:

    Well, at least Dororo is slowly starting to recover since the travesty that was episode 15. The next episode promises some family drama as well as demon fight (though I expect demon fight to be rather short to make way for the former) so that will be better indicator on whether Dororo is back in the game or not, so to say.

    I am not sure Tahomaru is going to die in next episode. The point that Jukai made in this episode is that Hyakki can hold onto his humanity as long as there is someone with him so Dororo may be able to prevent him from committing fratricide. Though one or both of his retainers are fair game, which may serve Tahomaru to fall further and lose his humanity in contrast to Hyakki. I believe Tahomaru’s death is likely but if so, it will probably come in the finale, just as you fear.

    All in all, this 2nd cour is nowhere near as gripping as the first cour but there is just enough quality in it to make one watch until the end. I really wish they took a bit longer break after the 1st cour but oh well.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Doesnt have to be next episode, just eventually. I might be projecting my own tastes here abit, but I enjoy tragedies. And Tahomaru is, so far, a well built up tragedy in waiting. Your probably right though, a retainer or both will fall. They are the only things keeping him tied to his humanity at the moment, so without them he may go a bit… crazy.

      I agree, the 2nd Cour has started off weak to. If they can just… nail that landing though, I can forgive it. Somewhat. Leave me with a good final impression, you know?

  2. Avatar cliotaku says:

    I totally agree that the production values have dropped mightily in the 2nd course (the first few episodes were actually painful to watch), but this episode made up for it in the storytelling. Hyakki calling Junkai “mama” was especially touching! I do think that Tahomaru will meet his end before the finale (to heighten the final conflict between Hyakki and Daigo), but I think he will last a couple of episodes still. Just for practical reasons, I think that Hyakki needs to regain the leg that Junkai wouldn’t give him, most likely by killing that demon shark for another demon. He would be at too much of a disadvantage against Tahomaru and his vassals otherwise. Also, I agree with the other poster that losing one or more of his vassals would complete his transformation into a complete villain (losing the people he felt truly cared about him and served as his moral compass), and that won’t happen in one episode. I hate that MAPPA did not give the production the attention it gave the storytelling, but it is not enough of a detriment to lessen my enjoyment of this awesome story.

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