With 13 episodes of Dororo broadcasted so far, we thought we could use this halfway point to share some of its best 5 scenes so far, and what made them impactful to the series. Some scenes are taken from the original manga or series, and there are some that are original to the series. Even when there are some scenes taken from the original, some take new liberties with them to make the impact of them fresher to audiences already familiar with the franchise. So, what are some of the top 5 scenes from Dororo up to episode 13?
5. Daigo Sacrificing Hyakkimaru from Episode 1
This takes place at the beginning of the series. It’s also the start of Hyakkimaru’s origin and it sets the mood and context as to why feudal Japan is roaming with demons. Through this scene, we see how ruthless and power hungry Daigo, a Daimyo, truly is. His people are suffering from hunger due to drought. When the Gods fail him, he turns to the demons in the Hall of Hell by saying he’s willing to “do anything” to make his land great again. Taking that “do anything” literally, the demons use his son as a sacrifice the following day when he is to be born. Upon his son’s delivery, he is a monstrosity (and Daigo has an X marked on his head like he’s a follower of Charles Manson, and Daigo is just as maniacal and manipulative as he is). So, how does Daigo react? He is only shocked for a millisecond, but it quickly turns to laughter as he sees it as a sign that the demons have answered his prayers. He tells his servants to get rid of the baby and it shows that he cares more about his power than his own flesh and blood.
4. Yajiro and Ohagi from Episode 7
In this episode, Hyakkimaru and Dororo face a female spider demon who pretends to be a beautiful woman in order to lure men into her trap. Her latest prey is an average mine worker named Yajiro who names her Ohagi, after a flower she eats. Due to Yajiro’s kindness towards her, she starts to see the good side of humans and sees that she is capable of good, too. Through this unique relationship, the audience and even Hyakkimaru starts to see that even demons are capable of good. So when it’s time to fight, what does Hyakkimaru do? He lets her go and escape with Yajiro, who she has genuinely fallen in love with. Thanks to this scene, we get to see that Hyakkimaru is capable of showing mercy and compassion to demons who share the same sentiment.
3. Dororo’s Origins from Episode 9
Through this scene, we learn why Dororo has a strong will to survive, why he hates the samurai, and (probably) why he identifies as a male despite being born female. You see that his parents were just as proud as they only wanted to provide for themselves and their fellow villagers. They felt they didn’t need to be taxed or bullied around by the Samurai. They were like American Revolutionaries before they were a thing. Unfortunately, his father’s subordinates sold him out for riches and they had to fight the good fight themselves. Eventually, his father dies in a fight and for a while, his mother struggles to feed him to the point that she’s willing to accept hot porridge in her hands in order to do so. Then it came to a point that his mother died of starvation. Through Dororo’s origins, you see that he has always lived a hard life but despite that, you also see how his parents’ work ethic and morals taught him to be positive no matter what.
2. Mio’s Death/Hyakkimaru’s Rage from Episode 6
As Dororo and Hyakkimaru journey throughout feudal Japan, Hyakkimaru falls ill for the first time and they stumble upon an abandoned village where only orphans reside. Taking care of the orphans is Mio, who is only a teenager herself. The only way she can support the orphans is by prostituting herself to samurai camps that are conflicting against one another. When one samurai camp discovers that she has been prostituting herself to the enemy, they assume she’s a spy and without mercy (while Hyakkimaru is also out slaying a demon), they slaughter the orphans and Mio. As Hyakkimaru returns to the camp, while he has yet to regain the ability to see, he knows that the orphans and Mio were killed by the samurai. Enraged, Hyakkimaru in turn kills a majority of the samurai without hesitation. Through this, you see Hyakkimaru emotionally develop in a very unfortunate way. Thankfully, Dororo stops him from killing one remaining soldier reminding him that this isn’t what it means to be human and if he kills him, it would only make him a monster. Hyakkimaru shows restraint and what makes this scene impactful is that the audience hears him speak his first word, “Mio,” in tears.
1. Sukeroku reuniting with his mother from Episode 12
While we are giving away a spoiler here in context to both this series and the original, it’s also nice to see a negative turned into a positive. When Dororo and Hyakkimaru stumble upon the land ruled by Hyakkimaru’s birth father, they see that they are at war with a neighboring village and it’s separated by a wall that would make probably Donald Trump proud. When Hyakkimaru and Dororo are temporarily separated in this part of their journey, Dororo befriends Sukeroku, a boy from the opposite village who can’t go home. They go through a lot of hurdles to find his home and when it’s all said and done, he reunites with his mother. What makes this scene impactful is that it takes a turn from the original series where Sukeroku in that series discovers that his parents died while he was gone and was executed at the wall! Not willing to be predictable, it was nice to see that Sukeroku got a happy ending this time.
With the series only halfway done, we’re only just starting. As the series concludes, we can re-explore this series later. For all we know, it may continue to do certain things similarly or differently from the original series. Either way, there is still so much to look forward to.