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Dororo – 12

「ばんもんの巻・下」 (Banmon no Maki: Ge)
“The Story of Banmon, Part 2″

For the 12th episode of Dororo, Hyakkimaru’s bitter reunion is further intensified when his family confronts him several times during as he pursues Banmon. Even with his disabilities, Hyakkimaru finds himself slowly learning that his father fed him to demons for his empire’s sake and commands the army responsible for Mio’s death. What makes the episode impactful, however, is how Hyakkimaru’s survival affects his remorseful mother Osu and his brother Tahoumaru, who is forced to come to terms with the reality behind his power.

One of this episode’s greater dilemmas was regarding the path that Tahoumaru would cross. Much of the information about Daigo’s demonic pact had come to light all at once. After learning about the possibility that his parents had gotten rid of their first child, Daigo came in to confirm that he sacrificed him to demons. Initially, Tahoumaru was outright disgusted by his parents’ actions and sought to undo any of the suffering that Hyakkimaru had undergone due to the demonic pact. However, fate would rule against any of his wishes as demons cast him out of the Hall of Hell where he intended to end his villages alliance with demons. Daigo’s defense would also weigh on Tahoumaru as their village would be reduced to ruin if the curse was undone, and Tahoumaru had styled himself as the warrior for his people. These circumstances would eventually drive Tahoumaru to align himself with his father as he resigns to the fate that he could only get to where he is today because of the status quo fueled by demonic influence within his father’s empire.

While Tahoumaru had submitted to his father’s will upon understanding the painful reality that Hyakkimaru’s suffering was their prosperity, his mother Osu is tormented by this fact. Ever since the day of his birth, she prayed endlessly for her long lost son’s safety and forgiveness. But upon his return, the guilt would flood back on an overwhelming scale as she was compelled to face her guilt upfront. Hyakkimaru was able to sense that there was some uneasy force that binds him together with his father and brother, but his reaction upon noticing his mother is far more subdued. Dororo mentioning his mother even brings a wistful smile to Hyakkimaru’s face. It’s in this fondness, however, that makes her reunion with him all the more agonizing. Her words, “I cannot save you,” hit Hyakkimaru the deepest as she sorrowfully apologizes for the fact that her family and village have greatly benefited from his agony. The voice that would initially keep him from tearing apart Tahoumaru and the army that helped kill Mio would bring him the unfortunate reality that the demons who stole his body parts prevent her from supporting him. Whereas Sukeroku had received the good news that his mother survived his village’s destruction, Hyakkimaru had to witness his mother stabbing herself with her words of helplessness lingering with him on his way out of his father’s village.

March 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm
  • March 25, 2019 at 7:59 pmJoshua

    Its the last time we see that OP/ED..

    Party is truly over T_T

  • March 25, 2019 at 8:42 pmzztop

    The biggest change the anime’s done is putting in greyer morality and issues into the story, especially the “needs of the many outweigh the justice of one” conundrum that Tahoumaru grapples with (and reluctantly resigns himself to).

    Manga Tahoumaru was a much simpler character – he disliked Hyakki from the start and was utterly convinced he was bad news. The outcome of Tahou vs Hyakki is still the same as the manga, but with greater depth.

    Oku stabbing herself is anime-original; she never harmed herself in the manga, but the guilt still remained. She did try to hug manga Hyakki, but there he rejects her and refuses to believe she’s his birth mother (“I don’t know who you are, Lady!…My real parents died long ago!)


    Manga Sukeroku was killed by the archers, and it was mentioned his mother died too. I’ve seen complaints saying anime Sukeroku and his mother being alive were too contrived, but I suppose the writers wanted some kind of positive note to break up the Banmon arc’s general downer mood.

    • March 25, 2019 at 9:15 pmMagnus Tancred

      This has to be one of the rare cases where the anime adaptation surpasses the source material. Kudos to the writers and staff for making the story much more compelling.

      • March 26, 2019 at 8:16 amBigFire

        Consider the original manga sort of just ended with absolutely no resolution. The first anime adaptation actually have a proper ending, and I can see this anime to take that same path as well.

  • March 26, 2019 at 6:14 amAtsu

    Does this anime have 2-cours? If not, how many episodes does it have left?

    • March 26, 2019 at 6:47 amzztop

      Anime has 2 cours. 24 eps confirmed.
      There are still 12 more episodes left, Ep 13 airs April 8th.

  • March 26, 2019 at 11:27 amdanny

    I appreciate the conflict presented between allowing the villages to suffer or prosper by the suffering of others.

    Hyakki suffers for the prosperity of his father’s people yet many other people suffer because of that prosperity.
    Daigo’s been able to fight against his neighbors, causing violence, poverty, and the destruction of many people and villages. People suffer when living in proximity to the emboldened demons Hyakki was sacrificed to.

    The question here isn’t “is the success and comfort of many people worth the suffering of one?”
    The question clearly is “is the success and comfort of a relative few worth the suffering of many more?”
    It’s a question with deep and profound meaning. It’s a question with modern importance.

    The direction of this adaption surpasses the original manga in several ways even though I do think it’s unfair to discredit the manga because changes in mass storytelling make direct comparisons iffy. I believe the manga did was it was intended to do at the time but from a modern POV, it’s lacking a lot of clarity and purpose. The anime has turned out to be an excellent rehab of the original by really allowing the deeper morality suggested in the original to take center stage now that there is an audience really ready for it. This is the manga, all grown up and discovering its hidden parts.

  • March 28, 2019 at 3:33 amdropped

    Choya, I Vehemetly disagree about the “conundrum” that the people face, there is a clear answer to this.

    the answer is to NOT make deals with the demons for “prosperity”

    The answer is to work hard enough to keep your territory free of disaster in the first place.(shortest answer) a real-world example would be the former soviet union, in which if people were actually honest, and fought back against stalin and his goons, 80+million people wouldnt have died (eitherh through starvation or firing squad, 1/3 of the people wouldn’t be informers trumping up charges on each other to get better accomodation in a devastated land due to people letting their own demons take over[parrelleling this story quite well])<—short answer Same story with China's Mao and Cambodia's PolPot

    If you want the longest answer, you need to read "The Gulag Archipellago" by Solzhenitsyn.

    Seriously, you NEED to read it, as you really don't have a leg to stand on to comment on this "dilemma" if you haven't as this"conundrum" has been repeated many times throughout the 20th century.

    Hell, I DARE you to read that book.