Posted by Lenlo on 5 June 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome all to what is the beginning of the end for Dororo. Tahomaru and Hyakki meet once more, war begins and things start to get complicated. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, production felt very lazy for the most part this week. The last 5-6 minutes or so was great. The fight was a lot of fun to look at. So much so that it almost seems to me that Tahomaru is the sign for good animation. Other than that though Dororo was just… boring. There were a lot of still pans and cutaways. Reused footage from previous episodes and odd framing. Similar to OPM Season 2 really, where faces would be cut off by the top of the screen. The only movement being the occasional hand gesture on a still screen. Had the last 5-6 minutes not happened, this episode would be a wash. As is, the only part really worth watching is that section. As everything else is setup that, really, we were already were aware of. Enough ribbing though, let’s get into the meat.

I thought Dororo did a good job of continuing Hyakki’s mental breakdown from last week. Always being upset or in a mood. Threatening random passersby that get in his way. Holding back and, while not kind, being amiable towards Dororo though he didn’t listen to her. Even how he acted in the fight against Tahomaru. Always pushing forward and being aggressive. Not holding back with his attacks and just going straight for the kill. Dororo did a good job really painting him as a monster here, and really selling his motivation for his body. Hyakki has been struggling with it for the entire season so I think Dororo has done a good job with it’s leads motivation. Meanwhile, Tahomaru I really want to like, but I feel we haven’t gotten enough time with him. What we got was good, like this fight, but there wasn’t enough.

Speaking of the fight, let’s talk about the only well animated section of this episode. That isn’t sarcastic, it was fantastic. A lot of fluid motion, maybe an overreliance on smears, but I enjoyed it. It was a very brutal fight as well. With Hyakki taking out both of Tahomaru’s retinues arms in smooth motions. It was very unexpected, as Dororo has seemingly done its best to avoid any major damage to its leads. Even Tahomaru only lost an eye, and seemingly got stronger afterwards, depth perception be damned. My favorite part of it though, just like the last time they fought, was the teamwork. The actions of the characters in the fight said a lot about them. Tahomaru focusing on defending his retainers, caring more for them and his lands than himself. At this point, he is the real tragic hero.

Because, when you think about it, Tahomaru has lost more than Hyakki. Sure, Hyakki doesn’t have his body, but he grew up without it. He was never really aware of what was lost, though it is still his to retrieve. Tahomaru though is seeing his lands die around him. His best friends lose their arms, one no doubt infected with the plague. Giving their lives for his hopeless quest to defeat his brother and save his lands. I say hopeless, because Tahomaru isn’t the MC, so it’s inevitable he loses. Even if its mutual destruction, I doubt he gets out of this happy. My only gripe with the whole thing is that, for the 3rd time, they don’t get to finish their fight. Every time they are interrupted by something or someone. Always putting it off for another episode. It’s rather annoying all things considered.

On the topic of the retainers, I do have some questions that Dororo raised this week. Some narrative issues I have. Specifically with their backstory. I get that its supposed to be tragic, Dororo likes to have everyone grow up terribly. However, I just don’t get this one. How did Daigo find them in those slave cells? Why did he hunt them down or pick them? Why raise them and let them become his only son’s personal guards? None of it makes sense narratively, like a sort of throwaway insertion made to artificially heighten the tension. Almost like a… death flag of sorts. It just felt completely random for how it played out. Meanwhile we also have the monk who has no history, no real connection to anyone, and just sort of keeps… appearing in the story. Its like Dororo never went through a “cut the fat” writing process.

Lastly though, lets talk the ending, next episode and predictions. Right now, I am claiming victory for my belief that Hyakki is going to be possessed. That demon armor and flaming horse is really pushing a sort of “Ghost Rider” vibe and I think him giving into his rage to mount that horse would be amazing. Now, it’s entirely possible its a completely separate demon forming at a convenient time. However, I think it would be a lot of fun to see him become the villain everyone paints him as, even if he breaks out of it layer. Maybe that’s just my love of tragedy speaking, but I would enjoy it. At the very least, Hyakki is going to be very upset over what happened with Dororo. Historically, kidnapping people Hyakki cares about has not gone well for soldiers. So we can at least expect more bloodshed next week.

So, all in all, how was this week? Satisfactory I would say. It was a bit dull at the start, with the tired animation and loads of setup. But the payoff at the end at least made it worth it. It gave us a good fight and some good character moments between the two brothers. It also showed us, ever so slightly, more of Daigo’s character. That he does want Tahomaru to survive and succeed him, he is just bad at saying/showing it. I really wish we got more of him though. That Daigo was an actual character instead of a cardboard cutout pinned up for the finale. At the very least though, Dororo is going to give us a finale. It won’t remain forever unfinished. So we have that to look forward to in the coming week.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar SuperWooper says:

    These “The Story of” titles are starting to irk me. Why not just call your episode “Breaking the Cycle of Suffering” instead?

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      At this point, I think its purely for consistency. Back when the person whose name was in the title was actually involved, or it was an actual person, I was fine with it.

      Now its starting to get obnoxious.

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