In this remake to this Osamu Tezuka classic, Dororo and Hyakkimaru go on a journey not just to slay demons in order to reclaim Hyakkimaru’s bod, but to meet and help people along the way. Not only do they help them, Hyakkimaru and Dororo gain something from these people as well. So, who are the top 5 contributing characters to this great series? Read our picks to find out!
Naturally, we start this list off by having the titular Dororo. Dororo’s presence is rather unique, even when the original incarnation of this character debuted 55 years ago. SO SPOILER ALERT, Dororo is (probably) THE OG gender fluid character in anime and manga. Though the fact that Dororo is a girl isn’t revealed until the end of the original series, the new series actually reveals it rather early. Considering how the presence gender fluidity in the media and society has changed this past decade, Dororo’s portrayal has a different kind of relevance today in comparison to when he (meaning the characters’ preferred pronoun) first debuted. Of course, the story reveals the motivations for this, but Dororo’s presence and contribution goes beyond the gender identity. In this remake, she serves as the rock to Hyakkimaru’s humanity. Though Hyakkimaru slays demons, Dororo does what she can to make sure that Hyakkimaru doesn’t kill humans no matter what the reason because if he does, he’s no more of a demon than those he slays.
Jukai is a doctor who specializes in prosthetics and served as Hyakkimaru’s adoptive father. Through Jukai in this remake, we get more of a redemption story. Prior to adopting Hyakkimaru, he served an evil warlord and was trying to make things right by helping people. While the audience isn’t given any details to the nature of how Jukai served this warlord, Jukai shows how even today, Japan is a group oriented culture and you can be guilty just by association (even if it was 20 years ago). Due to how the parents of a former apprentice of his was killed by the warlord he served (even though Jukai didn’t kill his parents himself), he showed absolute disgust at Jukai and even wanted to kill him! Jukai was ready to accept his “punishment” under the culture, but was always willing to help people first. The fact that he goes out of his way to help people and raise someone as helpless as Hyakkimaru shows that he’s a great man in his own way, and that we shouldn’t judge people for their past associations.
In this series, Mio represents how Hyakkimaru learns to deal with his new sense of hearing. When he gains his hearing back, he has trouble processing noises and the only sound soothing to him is a song that she repeatedly sings. While only just a teenager herself, she does everything she can to support the orphans who all live in an abandoned temple. Sadly, she is prostituting herself to samurai in order to make ends meet and we see how it is affecting her physically. Tragically, her willingness to prostitute herself to both sides of a conflict leads her to getting herself and the orphans slaughtered by a platoon of samurai soldiers. Mio’s death triggers Hyakkimaru’s murderous rage as he kills humans for the first time and you see what Mio meant to Hyakkimaru since she was so kind to him. And her ultimate contribution to the series is when Hyakkimaru gains the ability to speak, the first word he speaks is her name as he embraces her dead body in tears.
Tahomaru is Hyakkimaru’s long-lost brother and his rival. Though he serves as a rival and is the son of a total dic(k)tator, deep down inside, Tahomaru is really a good kid and wants to make his parents proud and wants to serve the people. When the lake was being terrorized by a monster, he puts himself at risk to fight the monster to prove that he wants to be a leader by example. He was raised to be great and there’s nothing wrong with that, and he actually rebels against his own parents just to figure out what’s going on and why his father is interested in Hyakkimaru. Though he does exhibit some disgust over what his father did to Hyakkimaru, he reasonably sides with his father because he feels that his sacrifices are for the benefit of the villagers, who he genuinely cares about. Though Tahomaru is as big as a war monger as his father in the original series, in this new one, he’s really a nice kid just manipulated.
Though Dororo is the titular character, Hyakkimaru is the driving force behind this series. Hyakkimaru in this version is portrayed rather differently in comparison to the original manga and anime series. Though he suffers the same ailments and deformities, they’re expressed rather differently for the 2019 series. He is literally incapable of speech, sight, hearing, touch, and smell when he’s first introduced. Through this journey, audiences can get a more organic feel of what it’s like to become human. As opposed to reacting with excitement, though the sense of wonder is there, audiences are given both the physical and emotional difficulties there are to gaining new senses, and how using them at first isn’t as easy as you would think. When he regains his hearing, sounds drive him crazy. When he regains his smell, he is smelling everything in sight. While Hyakkimaru is a killing machine, you also see how truly innocent he is when he gains a new body part or ability, which is a quality this new series excellently does best at displaying.
Here are our top 5 characters from the 2019 edition to Dororo. Who are some of your favorite characters that have been featured so far? Leave your favorites in the comments!