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EP. REVIEW: Dororo


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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 732
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:34 pm Reply with quote
NGL, I'm always pretty surprised by the lukewarm reception this show keeps getting on ANN. I think it's absolutely fantastic.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4579
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:46 am Reply with quote
Wow, that was the bloodiest episode of My Little Pony I have ever seen!
Seriously, I was not expecting for Hyogo to lose his head to give Hyakkimaru a hand! Very Happy

So they doubled down on the concept of Hyakkimaru’s body being the source of the land’s prosperity, but this time they emphasized that the peace was both stolen and temporary, so that’s good (if a bit late. Would’ve been nice if you had shared your theory with your younger son before he took his elder brother’s eyes, mom!)
I think this show is too dark for it’s own good, but the fight choreography is incredible and the cinematography is stunning. The talking parts were way too on the nose, but everything else about Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru’s end game fight is mesmerizing. If only there were a way for both brothers to survive their sibling rivalry...Poor Nui.


Nordhmmer wrote:
Quote:
it's more important than ever to reflect on why the show is named after Dororo" "Tezuka's original Dororo manga never truly concluded,"

(you've answered your own question Smile )

Had the manga not been abruptly canceled,Dororo would've emerged as the main character. Leading a peasant revolt to overthrow the Samurai- her father's plan paving the way....

At it's core,the live action movie was more faithful to Tezuka's work than this current version. My thoughts-this show jumped the proverbial shark.
Very Happy

I was waiting for Dororo to offer her father’s treasure to Nui or the villagers for peace/to haggle for Hyakkimaru’s life, but I’m glad she didn’t and hope she doesn’t—they don’t deserve her inheritance. Sponsoring and leading the Revolution, however, would be great (if they win!)
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3444
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:45 am Reply with quote
I wish this episode wasn't bogged down in dialogue, since there is only one episode left and it looks like it will have to cover a lot. It would not have been too big of a problem if was not just rehashing the same topic and not really adding all that much to it.

And does anyone else find the shows portrayal of Hyakkimaru in more recent episodes unfair? He only kills evil demons and people who try and kill him, yet we keep getting told he is turning into a beast and must be stopped.

I feel that this episode was 2 different things, Hyakkimaru and Tahomarus final bout, which will decide the fate of the domain and Hyakkimaru. Which is a 5/5.
But also yet another conversation other what is just Hyakkimaru having his body returned or the domain having prosperity. Which is between a 2 and a 2.5/5.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 158
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:34 am Reply with quote
I suddenly get the feeling the mother or Dororo might become collateral damage if these two brothers don't get their act together. Or if that happens, they team up against Daddy Dearest. He's the whole reasons things went straight to hell.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 1899
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:21 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
And does anyone else find the shows portrayal of Hyakkimaru in more recent episodes unfair? He only kills evil demons and people who try and kill him, yet we keep getting told he is turning into a beast and must be stopped.


A whole lot of people he just bumrushed while they were scared of the big fire tornado.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 712
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:06 pm Reply with quote
I'm totally on Hyakkimaru's side here. The peace and prosperity of Daigo's lands that he obtain in his deal with the demons is in the end for the benefit of him and his family alone and it is false utopia in which the common people were still being exploited by their feudal lords and murdered by the 48 demons of the Hall of Hell.

Let Hyakki tear it all down.
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Vikkio92



Joined: 25 Sep 2014
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:07 am Reply with quote
The fact that this show has the audacity of presenting Hyakkimaru's point of view as anything but righteous is outrageous. There is absolutely no moral grey area in a defenseless child that was literally abandoned and torn to pieces trying to recover his own body. He keeps saying 'it's mine' and he couldn't be more right, yet a lot of the characters seem to be conflicted for absolutely no bloody reason. It makes me so angry.
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1621
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:38 pm Reply with quote
And finished the series spoiler[that BUDDHA they stuck the landing. I was afraid they were going to go with some BS plot twist like utilitarianism or make Hyakkimaru getting his body back seem bad. Nope, they have Tahomaru get it through his thick skull that he was wrong and he gives Hyakkimaru back what is his, Daigo is outright said to have been selfish, stupid, and lazy by taking the demons' deal, and everyone is on a better path than before. Good ending]

Overall, a very good dark fantasy samurai show. Had a few stumbles and some muddied thematic messaging (seriously, trying to act complicated about Hyakkimaru's ordeal kinda comes off as "telling instead of showing" and artificially trying to insert drama) but still a great series and a worthy adaptation of Tezuka's classic manga.
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Vikkio92 wrote:
The fact that this show has the audacity of presenting Hyakkimaru's point of view as anything but righteous is outrageous. There is absolutely no moral grey area in a defenseless child that was literally abandoned and torn to pieces trying to recover his own body.


[Ivan:]“Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

“No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Strangely enough, people seem to like The Brothers Karamazov quite a bit and consider it fine that Dostoevsky even later has opposing points of view to Ivan's impassioned speech above.

Also consider that infanticide (as a means of population control, under the idea that a family in particular and the land in general could not support them) was fairly common in Japan for hundreds of years, particularly in the Edo period.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2399
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:27 pm Reply with quote
I am seeing mixed feelings from some people especially in regards to Tahomaru’s fate but I was largely satisfied with the ending. It was bitter sweet but it could very well have been a complete tragedy so I am glad it didn’t go that route

I was a bit bummed that Dororo and Hyakkimaru spoiler[didn’t continue their journey together. But it also makes sense that Hyakkimaru needed to find his humanity without Dororo as his guide. Hyakkimaru couldn’t always rely on Dororo. I am glad they were shown they reunited in the end. And I like to believe that last scene wasn’t their first reunion but they had been together for a long time. But of course this is open to interpretation]


As for Tahomaru spoiler[ I think he sealed his fate unfortunately when he sided with the demons to bring down Hyakkimaru. In the end he made the right decision and acknowledged Hyakkimaru as his brother but it wasn’t enough to save him, at least not physically. Spiritually I believe Tahomaru was saved in the end. And no Tahomaru will not bring peace to the land but he is giving that up to his brother. Tahomaru is the tragic hero of our story. Redeemed in the end but it’s a bit too late. Still he dies in peace and comfort. I understand why people wanted another ending for him. But I think thematically it works and that he finds peace and dies loved in his mother’s arms.]




Finally there is Daigo. spoiler[Unlike Tahomaru I never bought his reason for betraying his son. I am glad the story shows Daigo his mistake in the end. The son he sacrificed could have been the one to bring peace to the land. Daigo lives but he lives to watch everything he built lost. Being human is living on with our regrets.]



Dororo spoiler[is of course our true hero of the story. She never strives from her path to fulfil her parents dream and build a better world. She is also the only one who always believes in Hyakkimaru and sees him as human. She earns her happy ending with her own hands.]

Decided to add spoiler tags until I see more people watched it.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2399
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:10 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Still, the belief that he must undertake this journey alone goes against the message the anime has been repeating all along, that Dororo is Hyakki's conscience, the vital factor that's been keeping him from becoming a demon.


I am seeing this misunderstanding of the ending a lot and here it is again in the review

Yes Dororo helped Hyakkimaru understand what it is to be human. If it wasn’t for Dororo then Hyakkimaru may very well have turned into something else. In fact someone pointed out on tumblr that when Hyakkimaru decided not to kill Tahomaru he remembered Dororo.

https://dragoniangirl.tumblr.com/post/185826739031/some-more-things-to-talk-about-with-the-finale

However here is what is important Hyakkimaru could not continue to just rely on Dororo to learn what it is to be human. He had to grow and learn things for himself. The two times that Hyakkimaru almost lost himself was when Dororo almost drowned and when Dororo was kidnapped and taken to Daigo’s castle. If Dororo had died what would have happened to Hyakkimaru? Would he have become a demon?

As important as Dororo was to Hyakkimaru’s growth. He also has to learn and rely on himself for a bit. Walk his own path without Dororo telling him what is right and wrong. Hyakkimaru has his own heart and conscious. And as Dororo said in episode 23 she believes in that strong heart.


However that doesn’t mean that Hyakkimaru’s and Dororo’s fates are not crossed.
When Hyakkimaru walks his own path for awhile he will find his way back to Dororo which is what we see in the end (although I like to believe they had already met up well before that scene and that was just a normal day in the fields to them).

That being said I do wish there was more to the reunion scene and I would love an OVA. Though I expect if there was an OVA it would just be another side adventure before Hyakkimaru got his body back.
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1621
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:34 pm Reply with quote
Now that Lauren's review is up, some more thoughts:

spoiler[Yeah, it's a bit disingenuous to name this episode "Hyakkimaru and Dororo" when it's mostly about Hyakkimaru and his brother. It's about Hyakkimaru choosing the path of humanity, showing his brother mercy and growing as a person. He even does so with Daigo as well and telling him to live with his mistakes instead of blaming everything on others. Still, at least they showed while Hyakkimaru is gone for now that they will meet again in the future.

As for Hyakkimaru and the disability message, that was something I never felt the series was going for, mostly because of the circumstances of Hyakkimaru's condition. He wasn't born that way nor did he lose his limbs in an accident or something, they were literally stolen by demons. I always felt the story was more of a corruption of the Japanese idea that your body is something your parents have given you, so what if one them stole it. Also there's something of an idea of parents stealing from their children for their own gain and thus not actually thinking about the future.

And Dororo's gender is something I do feel is kinda muddied in this. I thought they weren't really addressing it tangentially as it really only comes up twice. But then at the end they have Hyakkimaru calling Dororo "pretty" and a teenaged Dororo being feminine with long hair and eyelashes (though the clothing worn can be seen as gender neutral). So, yeah, I go NO idea where they were going with Dororo's gender

Another thing, Dororo mentioning his inheritance and gaining power through money makes me wonder if that's a nod to the merchant class in Japan. I can totally see Dororo becoming a merchant selling goods, his clothes in the ending even looking pretty well-tailored.]


Overall, I still feel the show is worth people's time and a very good adaptation of the original manga it's just that sometimes the themes are muddied and confusing. And with how the ending was, it leaves thing open for a continuation
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1383
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(It's a shame these two had to die, but I can't deny they've both had a series-long deathwish.)


Especially because you could see it coming from a mile away. When they avoided the trope of one of them dying to protect Hyakkimaru by having Jukai block the falling debris I thought they might actually make it out, but I guess that trope was to hard to resist.

The ending was good, but I definitely would have wanted more Dororo & Hyakkimaru time to better wrap the story up. Though if there is some kind of epilogue OVA/Ep 25 planned, then that can be overlooked in retrospect.

Since it was brought up, as far as Dororo goes, I never thought Dororo not being female was anything more than a cover to protect her; first being surrounded by brigands with her parents and then on her own without them. Whether it was mentioned that her parents told her to say she was male no matter what or really lied to her to better protect her I don't recall, but I don't think there was ever supposed to be a gender identity message here. A young boy on his own is much safer than a young girl on her own.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:49 pm Reply with quote
I've seen a fair number of comments questioning whether it was really necessary for the anime to kill off Tahoumaru like that; especially since they could use plot points from the 2007 live action movie where he was spoiler[redeemed/survived.]

In that version, spoiler[Tahoumaru is accidentally killed fighting Hyakki. The demons convince Daigo to give them his soul in exchange for reviving Tahoumaru back to life. The demons are good on their promise, but then Hyakkimaru has to slay a demon-possessed Daigo.
Later on, the brothers reconcile and make amends. Tahoumaru tries to give his elder brother the country’s throne, but Hyakkimaru refuses and entrusts his sibling to make the country a benevolent utopia as discussed in an earlier meeting. Hyakki and Dororo continue the body-parts journey.]


Understandably the writers were trying to emphasise the bittersweet loss aspect more, but opinion is they could've done it with Tahoumaru surviving with his regrets and mistakes, but becoming a wiser person for it and breaking free of the shadow of his parents' influence to become the ruler he could be. He gets to reconcile with his eldest brother, and team up with Dororo to restore the land.
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 732
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:27 pm Reply with quote
I don't think the reviews of this show have given Dororo credit for being one of the most coherent anime series we've had in a long time. This would be a perfect show to introduce a newcomer to anime.

I'll admit the finale was a bit rushed, but I didn't have a problem with how things turned out. The title "Hyakkimaru and Dororo" could just refer to them going their own ways for a time and NOT needing to rely on each other. I didn't mind the open ending.

It seems many folks were really hung up on the idea of Dororo being some great trans icon, when that was never going to be the case in an anime of a 1960's manga. She clearly just wants to hide being female since it's safer during that time period. It was just a convenient and easy disguise considering her parents' positions and then being on her own after.
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