Posted by Lenlo on 15 May 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome one and all to Dororo’s redemption, the episode that takes us back to first cour quality. We have demons, sword fights, and poignant character moments. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t be disappointed in 2 months. Lets jump in!

First up, thank you MAPPA, for getting production right this week. Every aspect was, at the least, decent. There are still small nitpicks that could be made, but they are just that. Nitpicks. The actual big picture is that this episode felt like one from the first cour. Sure, the demon shark fight was rather fast, but that wasn’t the focus of the episode. That was Hyakki vs Tahomaru and co, and I enjoyed this. It was animated much better than previous episodes, really moving the “camera” around and giving us full body shots. Yes some detail goes away at points, but in its place we get a much more movement. To top it all off, the music was great and there were lots of picturesque shots that adored. It’s entirely possible my standards have fallen, but I am just glad Dororo is actually animated this week.

Speaking of the fights, let’s start with Tahomaru and co’s fight with Hyakki. Was it animated perfectly? No. It was better than anything else this cour though, and I enjoyed the actual choreography. It wasn’t just 3 1v1 fights, but Tahomaru’s troupe actually worked together. Using their different skills and weapons to pressure Hyakki in different ways. I really enjoyed this, especially because Hyakki wasn’t winning. There is a limit to his strength, and we saw it here. Considering how invincible Hyakki has been up until now, Dororo really needed this, Also, had Shiranui not blown up the top of a mountain, I believe our leads would have been captured. It really helped Tahomaru grow as a threat. Now, was the shark fight a bit of a let down? Yes, obviously. But for the sake of getting to the important plot, I really didn’t mind.

On Shark Boy, I think he served his purpose well this week. Shiranui did a good job of causing chaos, giving our leads a good reason to survive. Without him, I don’t see any good way for Dororo and Hyakki to live. But with his chaos, Dororo gives everyone an out while also ratcheting up Tahomaru’s emotional issues. The best part of it though was that it was completely in character for the guy. He was already shown to be insane leading up to this. Feeding people to sharks and what not. So for him to lose his only two “family members”, it makes sense he would want to take out those responsible. Dororo also setup the existence of the explosive with the trapped caves, so that didn’t come from nowhere either. All in all, I thought it worked well.

Next up lets talk Dororo and Hyakki. They enjoyed a very wholesome, sweet, reunion. I loved the, while not exactly subtle, meaningful interaction between the two. Last episode we saw what the head-touch means to Hyakki. He has only really done it with Junkai. So seeing Hyakki do it with Dororo, be explicitly clear about his intentions and why he’s doing this? It was a nice moment of clarity for the story. No more ambiguity tying it down on that front. They have finally become a mutually recognized family. As an emotional conclusion to the last arc/their split, I think it worked well. Considering writing has never been Dororo’s weakness, this is hardly surprising. But I wasn’t expecting to care as much as I did. Combine that with the death of the last of Dororo’s old family, and I think narratively Dororo did well this week.

On Dororo’s old family though, let’s talk Itachi. He was… confusing for me this week. I am very conflicted on whether or not I like him. I find his overarching story, this perpetual search for gold and fortune until he dies right in front of it, nice. It’s a quaint little story about human greed and the like that parallels fine with Hyakki’s own quest for his limbs. Something even Shiranui comments on when Hyakki kills the Shark, on if his limbs are worth it. That’s all great. But as a character, I find him… annoyingly inconsistent? He cares for his men, until the gold is close. He is kind to Dororo, until she has a map, where he then ties her to a tree next to a one armed psycho. Had we more time with him, this could have worked. As is, he feels… compressed.

All of that out of the way though, let’s finish with my minor gripes I mentioned before. The first one is, how did Dororo’s dad set this all up? How did no one but Itachi notice he left to this cape all the time? Set up all these traps? It just stretches my belief that Itachi was the only one to figure this out. I also find it incredibly convient how Hyakki got the leg he had been demanding from Junkai last episode, back this episode. I get that its supposed to tie into his development, he did something to help Dororo and not himself and got rewarded for it. For how dark the series has been though, this feels a bit to… convenient? Finally there are the obvious animation issues. Though they are slight, compared to recent episodes at least, they are there. But they didn’t bother me much.

So all in all, how was Dororo this week? A marked improvement, that’s how. This is the first episode I felt like we were back in the first cour for. We had a cool fight, a good story and everything just kinda worked. It wasn’t perfect, Dororo has never been perfect. A flawed production from the start. But with recent episodes I look back fondly on that first cour, and wish for me. With Dororo finally, finally, reentering its most interesting plot, hopefully we will see more of this. I suspect, however, that we are going to be entering another side-arc here. Something to tide us over between Tahomaru and Hyakki’s inevitable round 3. I hope I am wrong, I want Dororo to keep up with the family drama. But I have been disappointed before by this very same series. Better not to get the hopes up to high, eh?

 

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

10 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Vinland Saga – 15 [After Yule]

Another week, another episode of Vinland Saga with a dash of murder and depression. This week, Thorfinn catches a rabbit, Ragnar gets into a fight and Canute becomes Best Girl. Let’s dive in! Starting off, this week continues Vinland Saga’s theme on fathers and parents in general. As we start to really dive in to […]

Fire Force – 13 [The Trap is Set]

So this is the finale of the first half of Fire Force…and it doesn’t really feel like a finale at all.  But that’s okay!  It’s one of the better episodes we’ve seen from our 8th brigade so far – mainly because it feels as though some of the fight scene animation demons have been (partially) […]

My Hero Academia S4 – 02 [Overhaul]

Welcome to the kick-off of My Hero Academia, Season 4! (Last week’s episode didn’t really count, since it was FILLER…not a recap!).

Dr. STONE – 15/16 [The Culmination of Two Million Years/A Tale for the Ages]

This week of Dr.STONE is a double feature, courtesy of my inability to write! Here we cover the conclusion of the Grand Bout, finish the Cure-All and then dive into the history of Ishigami village. So without further ado, since we have a lot to cover this week, let’s dive in. Starting off, first an […]

Beastars – 02

Furry anthropomorphic animals animals are in fashion now thanks to the onslaught of countless isekai settings, but Beastars is here to offer something fresh and different. Indeed, there are many elements from Beastars that we can feel optimistic about. The manga source is penned by Paru Itagaki, which recent news reveals to be the daughter […]

Hoshiai no Sora – 02

Hoshiai no Sora picks up where Mix left off in terms of character-driven sports dramas. Between those two and Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru at the start of the year, we’ve had a strong representative for the genre at all points during 2019. Though it’s just two episodes old, Hoshiai has the potential to be the […]

Mononoke – 11 [Goblin Cat, Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to the penultimate week of Mononoke! Apologies for the lateness of this, life is busy busy right now, much like Mononoke itself. As this week we dive into the mystery at hand, our suspects start to talk and the series gets… weird. Let’s dive in! Starting off, what do I mean […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 13-16

This really wasn’t the best way for me to pop back into blogging for a while if I am to be frank. It’s not hard to shake off the rust but to walk into the middle of a series I watched a year ago which has a cast and political landscape to dwarf a star […]

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

Welcome back to Beni town!  After a two week break, Fire Force has awkwardly picked back up with its penultimate episode (for the first cour).  Missed Shinra and the gang?  Unfortunately, there’s some Catgirl this week, but aside from that, we have another solid effort all around.  Let’s get into it!

Latest Reviews

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

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 […]