When I found Dororo I was instantly hooked into the story. I didn’t realize it was a re-imagining of the 1969 version until I googled, but this is a remake done right. This new iteration is honestly tragic. As uncomfortable as the first few episodes made me, I wanted to find out how the story ended. Season one of Dororo is 24 episodes and it has one of the best opening themes I’ve ever heard. And contrary to other named anime, the title of the show has nothing to do with the main character. This anime evoke a lot of emotions with the story telling and really makes you invest in Hyakkimaru as a protagonist.
What is the story about?
In a world where war has ravaged every village in the area and famine, sickness and natural disaster have become the norm, a domain lord named Daigo makes a deal with demons to gain prosperity and rule over his land.
His deal was sealed at the expense of his firstborn son. As his wife was giving birth, demons fed on each body part leaving him without skin, ears, nose, eyes, or limbs. However, the child still lived because the God of Mercy saved his head.
16 yrs passed and that child, now named Hyakkimaru, is a skilled samurai even without his limbs and senses. He can sense auras and when he meets Dororo, a witty little girl with a gigantic heart and will, she begins to travel from village to village ridding them of monsters. Soon Dororo, Hyakkimaru, and a traveling monk realize that every time he kills a demon he gains a part of his body back.
By the end of episode 12, Hyakkimaru meets his family that sacrificed him for their “greater good”. This encounter alters his motivations. He no longer just wants to survive. He vows to kill every demon and regain all of his body parts, break the deal between his dastardly father, and the demons.
The second half of the season surrounds Hyakkimaru fighting for his body no matter the cost. He risks his humanity in the process and almost loses it. However, Dororo, Biwamaru (the traveling monk), the guardian who raised him, and his mother assure that he gains his salvation.
He even resolves his issues with his brother before becoming whole and going off on a journey without Dororo. He leaves Dororo to make sure he appreciates humanity since he came so close to losing it trying to get his body back.
Why should you watch Dororo?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Dororo is unlike anything that I usually find enjoyment in. It has a very deep and involved story and watching Hyakkimaru’s transformation from mute assassin to a man fighting for a life that was stolen from his is very cool.
If a season 2 is planned, it’ll be interesting to see his rekindled relationship with Dororo especially since she is of age now. Hyakkimaru’s journey surrounded him getting his body back. Now that arc is complete, what will the next adventure bring them?