Posted by Lenlo on 25 June 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome one and all to the Dororo finale! It’s a difficult one, as parts of it are fantastic, while others just leave me confused. But all in all, I think I enjoyed it, and I definitely don’t regret my time with the series. So, all that said, let’s dive in.

Starting off, I think Dororo visually ended on a high note. There were definitely issues of course, it wouldn’t be Dororo without some. For example, in a lot of the wide shots, the fire just looked pasted on in Aftereffects. It wasn’t even from the same show, it didn’t feel real. A lot more care was seemingly put into the closeup shots around Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru, as that looks much better. Or perhaps its just sheer volume that makes it seem less out of place. Regardless, what this means is that just like last week, the brothers were the visual high point of the episode. Dancing around the scene, fighting and conversing. There was a lot to like here, both in terms of symbolism and just straight up fight animation. As far as the actual ending though… I am conflicted, and let me tell you why.

First up, the good news. I found Tahomaru and Daigo’s endings to be well done, a good end for good/decent antagonists. I wish we had gotten more from Daigo as the series was airing, but he was always more a moral enemy than a physical one. The final battle with him being one of moral growth, as Daigo sticks to his ways, while Hyakki grows to see value in life. That is all fine and dandy in my book, just wish we got more time with Daigo as a character. Meanwhile, Tahomaru’s works best when tied with Hyakki’s, naturally. Solo, I found it a tad to redemptioney, but most of that issue comes with Nui and Junkai, whom I will get to later. Over all though, it was just as tragic as I was hoping for. Sadly, as we move away from the antagonists, the problems begin to arise

For me, Hyakki’s ending was just a tad to… happy. Part of that is how rushed Dororo seemed to make the 2nd half of the episode. With almost no prologue, despite the large amount of baggage and characters worth checking up on. There was never any real mourning on his part for the only two parental figures in his life. We just kinda burned through that. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, his I said before that Tahomaru’s ending works best when mentioned with Hyakki. I loved their heart to heart, the mutual realization that neither had a happy home life. Even living with Nui in the castle, Tahomaru was just as empty as Hyakkimaru, and they came to realize both were neglected. I really liked this, it was a good way to have them grow together. But then Nui and Junkai enter and I start to question.

Simply put, Nui and Junkai’s inclusion confuses me. Not that they were included at all, they were all but required for the ending. They were, with Dororo, Hyakkimaru’s humanity and his veritable parents. Tahomaru’s to in a way. Any resolution without them would be lacking. However its the way they were included that confuses me. Why did they have to die in the tower, there was no urgency with the whole burning castle thing. What about the continuity for how they got there with no one noticing, though the brothers were fighting throughout the tower, yet the entrance is in the one room they happen to stop in? It just feels… rushed and convenient on their end, like they died to fulfill a quota rather than a legitimate reason. This all ties back into my major issue with Dororo as a series though, that being the wandering middle.

The last bit I want to talk about I touched on earlier, in that the episode felt rushed. There was a lot to wrap up and I don’t think Dororo accomplished it all. The big one of course being the supposed time-skip at the end. I understand the desire to leave it open ended, that the “after” wasn’t the focus of the show. However so much was predicated on Dororo’s gold/goal of following in her fathers footsteps, along with her relationship with Hyakkimaru. Yet at the end it mostly got swept away in an ending sequence of a bridge and a golden field. It was nice enough, I enjoyed the callback to Mio, whom I still love. But it felt like we went from “child Dororo” to “teenager Dororo” to “Meeting Hyakki” way to fast. Even 5 more minutes to see results of her work would have been enough.

So all in all, how was the ending? Nice enough. Not perfect, there are a number of wholes and issues, but I don’t regret watching the series. At the very least, we got a complete ending to an anime, which is rare these days. The story is, legitimately, complete. That is wasn’t as tragic as I would have preferred is a tad irrelevant in the face of that I feel. So, was Dororo a good time? Yeah, it was. It flagged a lot in the 2nd cour, but I don’t regret it.

Thanks for sticking with me through the series! A full review should be out by this weekend at the latest, as I get it all written up and finalize my thoughts on it. See you then!

4 Responses

  1. Avatar somedude says:

    Well, so the series ends. It was rather rushed and ended a bit too happily, as you suggested. My main gripe with the series as whole is that demon fights tend to be too short and one-sided but it was similar in the original so that’s that. I guess another way to look at it would be that these demons only become horrifying through human frailty and wickedness – once you overcome that or face them with positive human qualities, they are just mortal beings that can be cut down just as easily as humans. Still, I expected Hyakkimaru to go through more hardships, both mental and physical, in his journey to recover his body and humanity. At this point, I consider this more of a drama than an action, similar to Gungrave anime.

    All in all, the story either went nowhere or rushed too quickly to be considered really good. The episodes like 7, 13, and 19 could have been easily taken out and that time and effort would have been better used to fatten up the episodes that mattered. Oh well, party is over and thanks for the ride even if it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Drama might be a better category for it, your right. Ill have to think on where I finally place it.

      The middle section is really whats dragging it down for me. I enjoyed the start, I enjoyed the end, but the middle 15 were a series of lows and forgettable meh’s. If your going to cut it down to 12 demons from 48, I feel there is a much better way to incorporate those 12 into more personal stories.

      • Avatar jimtim says:

        regarding the pacing. a friend of mine mentioned that the industry just doesn’t have writers that carry out the works of screenplay adaptations like say movies. I don’t know if this is true or not but it would make sense why the pacing is so off.

        You also have the scenario where you have a two cour slot you need to fill, end up padding the middle too much and speed up the end. On the other hand you have shows like Violet Evergarden which was done before it aired and the pacing was pretty much perfect so it could be a bunch of factors.

        What I will say is they did make the last scene work amazingly well. The transition of Dororo and the music and seeing an older Hyakimaru in a field of gold has to be one of the best closing scenes I’ve ever scene.

        • Avatar Lenlo says:

          Definitely, the final scene on the bridge was great. There is a lot to like in this ending. It both started and closed the episode well. My main issue is just the middle bit, I suppose.

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