A Remake for All Audiences
- Episodes : 24
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Historical Demons, Supernatural, Shounen
- Airing Date : January 7, 2019 – June 24, 2019
- Producers : Tezuka Productions, MAPPA
Dororo Introduction and Story
Taking place during the beginning of the samurai, Daigo Kagemitsu, a warlord, prays to the demons in the Hall of Hell for his land to prosper. He says he’s willing to sacrifice anything. Literally taking those words into account, the demons then use the birth of his son in order to answer his prayers. As a result, his son is born an invalid, and the demons are now unleashed throughout the land.
Seeing that his son his no chances of living, he orders to have his son killed, but instead, the midwife sends him downstream to be raised by Jukai, a doctor who specializes in prosthetics. Thanks to his specialities and experiences, he gives the boy a body and a name, Hyakkimaru, and also trains him how to fight. Eventually, Jukai lets Hyakkimaru go his own way in life in order to reclaim his body. As Hyakkimaru journeys to slay the demons to regain his body, he befriends a child named Dororo, after saving his life from demons and thugs. Together, they help others in need and form a strong bond.
1. Dororo and Hyakkimaru’s Relationship
If there is any quality that can be considered the heart and soul of this series, it is without a doubt the relationship between Dororo and Hyakkimaru, and this new series provides many fresh spins on it. As their journey progresses and as Hyakkimaru’s emotions further develop into rage, you see how Dororo is frightened by those emotions. Even if Hyakkimaru regains his body, his anger doesn’t make him any more human. Dororo tries to teach Hyakkimaru humility, compassion and mercy, the true qualities that make someone human, which is something he gained through his hardships.
2. Tahomaru has a Bigger Role
In the original series, Tahomaru has a rather small but memorable role. In this edition, he is given more presence and his motivations are understandable. He is by no means a villain who is driven by “toxic masculinity” like his 1969 counterpart. He genuinely cares about the people that his father rules over and wants to make sure the land continues to prosper. He’s a leader by example and he definitely walks the walk. He puts himself before others, and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done not just to prove that he’s a true man, but because that’s what a leader does. Tahomaru is by no means a villain, it’s just that his role serves as a unique opposite side of the coin that is presented for audiences to see.
3. Solid Acting
Presently, there is no dub, but the acting of the Japanese cast is just superb and captures the tone that this series is aiming for. Hiroki Suzuki as Hyakkimaru equally balances his demonic rage and childlike innocence as he learns to use his senses and body, and masterfully exhibits how his emotions overtake him. Rio Suzuki (no relation) as Dororo perfectly portrays the character as someone who grew up in hardship and knows what it’s like to grow up taking care of yourself at such a young age. They have a chemistry that compliments each other’s personalities and how they shape their roles in their relationship.
1. Violence Towards Children
This anime contains numerous acts of violence. People getting their limbs cut off is one thing, but the anime does portray violence and slaying towards children. If you’re disturbed by such images, then we have to say avoiding this anime is in your best interest.
2. OP & ED Themes Are Weak
The main OST works well with the dark and time period of the series, but the opening and ending themes do not. Preferably, the opening and ending themes should’ve used something more traditional as opposed to something emphatically modern. Despite the inclusion of traditional acoustics, a lot of the modern qualities and nasal sounding chorus of the singer just doesn’t feel right, and is way too trendy in modern Japanese rock.
3. Dororo’s Plot Twist is Revealed Too Early
The plot twist behind the Dororo character is rather unique and progressive (and this even applies to the original material). For those that have no prior exposure to the original anime series or manga, this may not be a big deal, but for those that have seen the original, then you learn the truth about Dororo in the last episode in that respective version. Considering the rise in acceptance of transgender people in modern society, there is no doubt that Dororo’s plot twist is beyond progressive. However, we felt that the plot twist should’ve been saved for the third act as opposed to being revealed a little less than half way.
For those that love Inuyasha, Berserk, or Garo, this is certainly the anime for you. As we have shared before and on previous articles, you need no prior exposure to the original anime in order to enjoy the 2019 edition of Dororo. It is faithful to the source material and yet can tell its own distinct story. Try to think of going to the same destination, but you’re taking a slightly different route. Some sights are going to be familiar, and some just have something distinct. Either way, you’re promised a story of redemption and what it’s like to really be human, the ultimate reason why we recommend this remake to anime and manga’s greatest classic.