Set in Japan’s Sengoku era, the ruler of a samurai kingdom trades the life of his infant son for the prosperity of his kingdom which at that time was plagued by disease and starvation. The barter is accepted by the demons which take away the infant son’s skin, limbs, senses and internal organs.
This introduction brings chills down ones spine. Trade what is essentially the life of your own infant son for the prosperity of your kingdom? Daigo Kagemitsu has a character that walks on the slim moral line of the bad father-good ruler idea. As the father of our ronin protagonist Hyakkimaru, might hold the key to the story with more episodes to come. Hyakkimaru’s brother Tahomaru, who has no clue as to the existence of Hyakkimaru has also shown some promise as his character too develops with the plot.
Dororo was originally run 50 years ago, in 1969. 50 years later the anime series is back and deserves some recognition for its well-paced plot and decent character choices. After being left to die by his father as an infant, he was picked up by a medicine man of that era who happened to be a dexterous prosthetist too. He patches up the infant Hyakkimaru and acts as a fatherly figure for Hyakkimaru till he reaches a certain age.
The story proceeds as Hyakkimaru slays demons on his path and he regains the parts of his body one by one, along with his sidekick Dororo. Dororo is a young thief who claims to be the greatest conman of his era, and true to his word, is seen conning local villagers in his opening scene. Dororo could be called the comic relief to the entire series and has been shown to have a rather mature side too. Dororo has acted as a catalyst to Hyakkimaru’s demon-slaying-senses-regaining spree and indubitably so, it is shown that Dororo would not have survived the ruthlessness of that era without Hyakkimaru’s physical abilities.
**Spoilers in red**
The most interesting aspect of Dororo which is revealed as the story unfolds is how Hyakkimaru views the world since he is blind. Dororo the sidekick, views the world in a normal fashion. But Hyakkimaru views the world in shades of good and evil. Good is shown as a neutral colour Grey, whereas evil is shown as red. These colours form the silhouette of an individual rendering a completely different world-view to Hyakkimaru where he literally cannot judge-a-book-by-its-cover even if he wanted to!
This concept creates considerable momentum in the plot when the story introduces the ever-so-wise Blind-man who also happens to be a very nimble swordsman. His presence gives the anime a heightened sense of mystery and keeps the audience riveted to the screen as he slashes the toughest monsters in a single motion.
** Spoilers End*
Overall, Dororo is a great watch. The characters are well developed and have their own distinct persona that can be followed, the individual story arcs have their own bit of originality and watching Hyakkimaru slash monsters back to back does not feel monotonous in the least bit. Dororo has a gritty feel to it and is worth the watch.
Reception and Soundtrack
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