Greetings! I´m ShadowHaken, and welcome to another article where I’ll be talking about the latest anime/manga that I´m reading or watching.
Disclaimer: English is not my native language, so I apologize in advance for anything that is badly written or completely incomprehensible.
Dororo is the anime adaptation of a manga amde by the legendary Osamu Tezuka back in the 60´s. It features a supernatural story about a Ronin and a young thief who hunts demons.
Chapter 1: The story of Daigo
The sengoku period, the warring states of Japan, a stormy day on a poor region, in the house Daimyo, the sound of the rain is muted by the screams of a woman giving birth to her first child, the lord of the land is looking at the distance, yes… It was in a day like this when he made that pact.
Sometime before the already mentioned events, Daigo Kagemitsu, the Daimyo of a poor region of Japan, filled with despair since he can’t help his people nor he can advance his political power has decided to enter a forbidden territory…
Daigo enters the temple known as “The Hall of Hell” a little temple fileld with horrible images of demons…there, he finds a Budhist monk who tells him that he should reconsider his decision, dealing with demons and straying away to the teachings of Budha or the Gods will only bring pain… Daigo says that he won´t be able to advance or help his people if he continues with the divinities when they have forgotten about him! In order to bring the sacrifice and the attention of the beings of the underworld, the Daimyo eliminates the Budhist monk, Daigo apologizes, but the Monk says it don´t be…This is blessing because he will die believing in Budha… These times are so bad that he was afraid that over time he would stop believing in him, and for that he is grateful…
While the dead body of the monk was in the ground, Daigo yells at the demons, that he wants the power to make his land a beautiful one, one where there is no hunger and deceased, and the power that he will be able to conquer the country! He will give them anything they desire! Suddenly a violent wind enters and the place gets in the dark, a thunder hit the forehead of the Daimyo but didn´t killed him.
Time later, the wife of the Daimyo has started to give birth to their first child, the baby is about to come out and a lightning comes and strikes the image of a Goddess cutting her head! The birth giver takes the child who makes no sound… Outside, the Daimyo see one of the servants running in terror, so he runs to see what is happening.
There he see a proud Mother holding her baby, a child… One without arms, legs, ears, eyes or skin… The birth giver tells that he was born without much organs. Still the Mother says that she loves this child with all her heart, so they should raise him as their son, their pride…
Daigo takes the child and remember the pact, this is what they asked for and starts laughing. He gives the child to the birth giver, an old lady, and tells her to dispose of the product, the weakened Mother yells by saying that they must not take away her baby! Daigo tells his wife that the product is not meant to live for too long; still the Mother wants to be with her child, if he is going to die, at the very least he will die in the arms of her beloved Mother! Daigo blocks her again and tells her that she should rest, recover her energies since soon she will have another baby, one that will succeed a great ruler…
The old lady takes the child to the rice fields, the water that has inundated the place, she feels sorry for the child, but maybe sometimes some things aren´t meant to be born… She tries to drown the child, but can´t do it so she puts the baby in a boat…Now his fate is at the hands of Budha. Without knowing, a demon has killed the old lady. Nearby, a blind man kills the demon and can sense a presence in the boat…Its not human, but its not demonic either…
Now whatever happens to the child is at the hands of Budha and the Gods.
The time has passed and the region is one of the richest in Japan, filled with food, little to no sickness, and the Daimyo Daigo Kagemitsu is rising in political power.
In a village inside the land, a young kid who responds by the name of Dororo is selling various goods. Some silk for the ladies or a pot from a noble man or… Something. Suddenly three men comes to him, they demand their stuff, it seems this kid promised to look out for their things while they were away… Dororo shrug them off and at the same time piss them off, still he escapes any penalty and runs away.
Meanwhile, a lone ronin, a Samurai without master, is entering the town, a Child is about to get drown in the river, but the wanderer puts him away. The Mother gives his thanks, and the Ronin keeps going his way. The child ask her mother if there is a festival in town? The mother responds with a negative and ask why is he saying that? The child says because that man had a mask on his face…
Back with the 3 men they are searching for Dororo who quickly takes them and throws them horse manure, leaving them humiliated and stinky. Doror leaves and washes the dirty hands on the river, after that he sees a hungry puppy and got distracted with the little animal.
Suddenly the three men comes and start punching and drowning the kid in the river waters. Suddenly they stop at detecting the presence of that Ronin, he was looking at the river and is preparing his weapon. The men tried to explain why they were drowning the infant; but the wanderer jus doesn´t seem to listen, what is more, his face looks like a mask. Dororo says that he is not looking at them.
Suddenly from the river waters a monster made of mud comes and quickly kills the three men! The being was about to take Dororo, but the Ronin enters in action and saves the Kid! What is curious about his violent way of fight is that he doesn´t uses a sword, or rather… his arms are swords. In his other hand he holds what was supposed to be his limb, soon the warrior takes out both of them and fight the monster killing it!
Thankful, Dororo takes the arms and gives it to the man, helping him to put them in place. He actually wonders what is with that man…and also it seems he can´t see, hear or talk. The weird mask that makes him resemble human is somewhat off putting…
Suddenly the mask fell off and a weird change is happening on the muscles of his face!
Somewhere else, the Daimyo can detect a change in the whole atmosphere, he quickly runs towards the hall of hell only to see one of the demonic statues is now destroyed…
Meanwhile, his wife is enjoying the time with her new son, while still not forgetting the one she had before this one…
Back with Dororo, skin is starting to grow in the face of the Ronin, still…the Child will stay with the wanderer, at the very least for the time being.
End of the Chapter
An amazing chapter and the best way to start this new series! Since the moment I knew this was based in one of Tezuka works I had my eyes on it, and i´m glad with the result! The action was intense, and the dramatic scenes were extremely good, especially how they are telling the story that is being presented to us.
One of the things I always wondered was Why it it was called “Dororo”? When the obvious hero of the story is Hyakkimaru, then after seeing this chapter I come to understand it… Dororo is the proxy, the voice of the silent hero Hyakkimaru, and even could be someone who will make him more human, not in the physical sense, but mentally and spiritually. Plus because Hyakkimaru can´t talk…yet, so having Dororo to do the talking like in the legend of Zelda games can be of great help! So taking that into account and how we are seeing the things in the little thief´s perspective, the fact that the series has his name, it´s understandable and justified.
One of the most powerful scenes on this chapter was the moment the Daimyo took the baby out of his Mother´s hands and how in the future she hasn´t forgot about him, still… Part of me thinks that with the second son and Hyakkimaru, the clash they will get won´t be pretty and the Mother will be the one who will suffer the most by seeing her two sons who doesnt know of the other existence, killing each other.
Now Dororo, the character, I actually liked how playful he is! Although he is a thief, and someone one can´t trust… And yeah, he gets beaten, but he is trying to do the most of the cards he has on his hands… Still I hope he gets to grow too while the journey with Hyakkimaru continues.
Finally, I´m excited to start this new journey with all of you every Sunday morning, while in the Saturday we will get Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho anime cover!
Anyway my two cents. See ya Next time!