OP Sequence

OP: 「Kaen」 by Ziyoou-vachi

「醍醐の巻」 (Daigo no Maki)
“The Story of Daigo”

With the first week of the Winter season underway, we start out strong with double episodes of Boogiepop and the first episode of Tezuka Osamu’s samurai epic Dororo. The first episode of the anime goes beyond capturing the spirit of the original by making sure that presentation is vital. As a result, what we’re left with is an engaging story that aims to captivate and draw viewers into the world and struggles that plague Hyakkimaru.

From the start, we are given full background on the circumstances behind his birth when his father Daigo makes a pact with 12 demons to give him the power to lead the world into prosperity. The catch is that they take his son Hyakkimaru’s organs and body parts, leaving him to be a birthed out as a living husk. We don’t get as much information on what lead him on his quest or in the direction of the medicine man who would offer him prosthetics as a customary sign of respect for the deceased. What we’re given, however, is highly substantial as we learn about men like Hyakkimaru who can sense those around them because they were robbed of most other sensations, and how Hyakkimaru is able to slowly recover parts of himself with every demon he slays. His family’s side of the story is also intriguing because Daigo notices that the demons that wished for his strength are slowly getting cut down, and his mother still has difficulty coping with Hyakkimaru’s presumed demise. Even though Daigo was quick to await the birth of another son, Hyakkimaru left a strong impression on her right away and losing him only deepened the sorrow in her heart. It’ll be interesting to see what the anime does with Hyakkimaru’s family now that he’s taking on a more active role in hunting and killing the demons that robbed him of his body.

What will help us understand Hyakkimaru’s personal life, however, is the fact that we are able to look in from the perspective of Dororo, a young and clever bandit who takes joy in pulling the wool over villagers. Dororo’s scheme to resell stolen goods ended up being really funny as were the tactics Dororo used to escape from an irate group of men. Since Dororo seems to do the most to try to level with the stoic Hyakkimaru, it will be neat to see what kind of dynamic they bring to the table. Where Dororo’s talkative, mischevious, and curious demeanor is just the right level of personality to strike a balance between Dororo’s energy and the quiet determination of Hyakkimaru.

Dororo‘s first episode knocks it out of the park with supernatural intrigue, fluid animation, and superb story-telling that leaves you anticipating for what’s to come. The set-up towards Hyakkimaru’s hunt for his missing body parts begins on a high note as we are not only treated to high-quality action scenes, but also an enthralling setting that brings spirits and demons to life in the Sengoku era. Even if the manga came from 1967, this anime adaptation reminds me of samurai anime from the early aughts that revel in the visceral grit of battle and the vibrant lushness of ancient Japan. It also helps that the OP and ED are both catchy and pleasant on the ears. I can’t wait to see more of how Hyakkimaru’s tale unfolds now that Dororo will be joining his party.

ED Sequence

ED: 「Sayonara-gokko」 () by Amazarashi


  1. Considering the original manga ends quite abruptly without resolving the main plot points, I’m curious if the anime will end like the manga or if it’ll make its own ending like the 1960s anime version/the 2007 live-action movie.

    1. It’ll be interesting to see if they do go with an original ending considering that Tezuka gave it a more open ending, especially now that they’ve narrowed down an easier goal of less demons to fight.

    1. I’m fairly sure its 26 episodes. Amazon licensing the show for streaming worldwide probably helped cover costs. Not to mention I’m sure someone like Funimation will be along to pick up the home video rights too.

      1. Oh well nevermind. I thought perhaps they were going to go along the same route as the 1969 series. Thanks though.

        It’d be funny if it does actually get those two extra episodes.

    1. It’s not uncommon for children of anime to be styled differently than adult characters. Additionally, there were other adults who were drawn more comically, such as the bandit-looking group shown briefly in the opening.

      1. I’m not denying it’s common, I’m just wondering what the rationale was for diverging from the source material. I suppose if the production committee came to the conclusion that the original character designs just wouldn’t work any more then they could take a completely fresh approach.

    2. Seems like the younger characters and the dog are drawn more with Tezuka-inspired cutesiness while the older characters are given a more mature modern seinen upgrade. I supposed they didn’t want to have Hyakkimaru or the older characters looking too whimsical when they want to at least make the more battle-heavy sections of the show grittier.

  2. Different and interesting. I have no knowledge of the original,
    but this looks like it’s pretty engaging. OF course you gotta
    wonder how he lived and make it into adulthood, but fantasy…

  3. – The catch is that he gladly gives up his son Hyakkimaru’s organs and body parts, leaving him to be a birthed out as a living husk.

    No, in the anime Daigo offered ‘anything’ and the demons decided to take his son’s body parts. It seems to me that you’re still reading the story synopsis of the 1960s anime.

    1. @Tofu :: yeah, that’s clearly mentioned several times in the episode.
      Not once was giving up Hyakkimaru’s organs and body parts mentioned.
      Yes, that’s a consequence but I agree with you in that it wasn’t a
      condition …

    2. You’re right in that it wasn’t a part of the deal since he was willing to do anything for the demons, but when I said gladly, it was mostly within the context of him being content with his first son being born without organs. Changed the number of demons to 12 as well to reflect on the anime’s changes.

  4. Finally a Show that I’m down for, the animation was just top notch and I especially love the Characters, so this show I’ll watch 100%. I’ll mention even the Opening and Ending are just amazing, they might even be my Favorite themes this season.


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