Dororo is actually the second anime adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's classic manga series from the 1960s focused on a ronin swordsman named Hyakkimaru trying to reclaim his body parts from various demons and accompanied on his journey by a young orphaned thief named Dororo. The series at the start reveals that the loss of Hyakkimaru's limbs are due to a pact that his father, the feudal lord of a territory, made with a number of demons in order to maintain his land's prosperity against disaster. As I'm not completely privy to the 1969 anime adaptation (though plan to get around to seeing it at some point), I'm not gonna judge this between the older adaptation and instead will judge this on its own merits.
Dororo 2019 explores Hyakkimaru's journey to reclaim his body parts from various demons, as he comes upon towns affected by the demons in varying capacities, while Dororo accompanies him to navigate him to various locales since he lacks the ability to see or hear beyond sensing a nearby presence by seeing the color of a living being's soul. As their journey presses on, Hyakkimaru learns more about his past and what led to the loss of his various body parts as this leads to a moral dilemma over the morally right choice to make for those connected to Hyakkimaru between restoring the boy's humanity or sacrificing it to ensure the survival of his family's territory. Members of Hyakkimaru's family are also aware of the morally questionable choice they made to ensure their land's stability and make different stances on the matter in regards to acknowledging Hyakkimaru's humanity. Dororo's presence in Hyakkimaru's life serves as the boy's moral compass to prevent him from completely losing his morality as he tries to regain his body parts, especially as he does later come at odds with his family and their followers when they try to kill the boy off to ensure their land's prosperity.
A number of the episodes during Hyakkimaru's journey to hunt demons also lead to other morally ambiguous elements explored in some of the towns he visits. Much like the situation with Hyakkimaru's father, some of the demons he encounters have brought some sort of happiness to people of the lands he visited, yet at the cost of someone else's suffering or life. These episodes help add more to the question of whether Hyakkimaru's journey is a justified one or not.
Moral delving on Hyakkimaru's journey aside, Dororo is not without its issues. The titular character of the series does have his character fleshed out at points throughout the series, though has some elements of his character unexplored that could have provided some interesting exploration on how feudal Japanese society regards gender identity and how this affects Dororo on a personal level. Plus as the series focuses more on Hyakkimaru's struggles in later episodes, Dororo does gradually get shafted in focus as a result which does result in a rather unsatisfying ending with Dororo's place within Hyakkimaru's character development.
Issues with Dororo's character aside though, the series was still a mostly engaging one that offered some interesting moral ambiguity in regards to the choices made by Hyakkimaru and his family with ensuring their own prosperity in spite of the sacrifices that their decisions would result in. It does have me tempted to want to dabble into the 1969 anime series at some point to compare the two considering Osamu Tezuka's historical contributions to anime. Regardless, fans of anime dabbling into Japan's feudal period and supernatural lore should give this series a viewing at least once.
Rating: 8.5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Dream: Last anime I will be covering is Gankutsuou: Count of Monte Cristo. Will start watching it tomorrow. Not sure how much longer I can keep myself up at this point.
Feb 7, 2020 5:19:21 GMT
Taka: Depending on my energy, I can watched up to 2 AM. Usually with work, I fall asleep on anime series that don't have a lot of action.
Feb 9, 2020 3:24:18 GMT
Master Menos: Finally got out of the fast food job. It was a graceful exit, but to be honest, I'll miss some of those guys. Got a sprained ankle from it since September, so I'll finally focus on healing that back at the family home.
Feb 10, 2020 3:53:27 GMT
HungryWorld: Well if anyone remembers what happened to Pingu in the City, with it being joke 10/10 scored on MAL just to get it into the top 10 anime... well now is Ishuzoku Reviewers' turn. Seems that in response to Funimation's cancel people boosted the score hard.
Feb 11, 2020 2:11:38 GMT
Taka: What? That sounds so weird.
Feb 11, 2020 5:36:23 GMT
Master Menos: It's damn awesome to be honest. It shot to 1st Place!
Feb 11, 2020 6:31:08 GMT
Dream: On the subject of MAL, it looks like the admin are planning to tweak their scoring system for titles to reduce the likelihood of voters artificially inflating the ranking of certain titles.
Feb 13, 2020 22:47:26 GMT
Master Menos: My V-Day present will be belated this year because I "Had some trouble with ol' Johnny." (That's your hint.)
Feb 15, 2020 4:17:13 GMT
Dream: The joys of adulthood. Joking aside, plan to at least attempt to wrap up Gankutsuou sometime early to mid next week so I can get done with my Funi voted titles. Afterward, not doing any more voting for a while considering how long this had been taking.
Feb 15, 2020 16:50:30 GMT
Dream: Done with Gankutsuou. Will be working to get a review up for it by sometime tonight.
Feb 16, 2020 20:57:26 GMT
Taka: Great job, Dream! I should do some reviews, too.
Feb 17, 2020 5:24:39 GMT
Dream: Looks like MAL's currently down due to the site getting hit by a major denial-of-service attack, just as a heads up.
Feb 18, 2020 17:55:23 GMT
Taka: I added 2 polls tonight. Also, I wonder why MAL was down. Crunchyroll also had it, too.
Feb 20, 2020 4:05:24 GMT
Dream: Not sure about Crunchyroll. For MAL, the DoS attacks may have been retaliation by those who dabbled into manipulating the site's scoring system for certain anime titles. The admin on MAL announced they would be overhauling the system to prevent said...
Feb 20, 2020 13:42:15 GMT
Dream: ...manipulation last week.
Feb 20, 2020 13:42:45 GMT